Murchison Falls National Park sits on the shore of Lake Albert, in northwest Uganda. It’s known for Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile River surges through a narrow gap over a massive drop.
Park wildlife includes elephants and hippos, and there are chimpanzees in the Kaniyo Pabidi mahogany forest. The Lake Albert Delta is home to rare shoebill storks. There are game fish in the cascades of Karuma Falls.
The distance from Kampala to Murchison falls is 305 km and it is just a five hours drive from the city center when you use the private transport means.
Coming from the southwest, the 280km/170mi drive from Fort Portal takes at least six hours. Allow another hour or two from the entrance gate to most of the lodges.
It is also possible to fly to the park by chartered or scheduled aircraft service from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) or Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala.
Pakuba Airfield is the most convenient point of arrival for the main cluster of camps and lodges around the park headquarters at Paraa.
Watching wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park is generally good and at its best during the Dry season, from December to February. However, January and February can be very hot and scenery is more beautiful during the Wet season from June to November.
Murchison Falls, also known as Kabalega Falls, is a waterfall between Lake Kyoga and Lake Albert on the Victoria Nile in Uganda. At the top of Murchison Falls, the Nile forces its way through a gap in the rocks, only 7 m wide, and tumbles 43 m, before flowing westward into Lake Albert.
The outlet of Lake Victoria sends around 300 cubic meters per second of water over the falls, squeezed into a gorge less than 10 m wide. Samuel Baker and Florence Baker were the first Europeans who sighted them. Baker named them after Roderick Murchison, the President of the Royal Geographical Society.
The falls lend their name to the surrounding Murchison Falls National Park. During the regime of Idi Amin in the 1970s, the name was changed to Kabalega Falls, after the Omukama Kabalega of Bunyoro, although this was never legally promulgated.
The name reverted to Murchison Falls following the downfall of Idi Amin. It is still sometimes referred to as Kabalega Falls. Ernest Hemingway crashed a plane just downriver from Murchison Falls in 1954. In August 2019, Uganda rejected a hydropower project by South Africa’s Bonang Power and Energy.