Murchison Falls

See the mighty Nile river forced through a 7 metre crack in the African Rift escarpment to thunder 43 metres into a churning foam below.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Jun to Oct

Overview

The Murchison Falls National Park, in the north-west of Uganda, is Uganda’s largest park. Here the Nile River plunges off the edge of the Western Rift escarpment into a pool 43 metres below. Take a birding and game viewing cruise to the very foot of the waterfall to view this dramatic sight. A classic highlight on any Uganda safari!

Its borassus forest and savanna are home to elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as chimpanzees. And a healthy population of hippo and huge crocodiles lurk in the reeds of the River Nile. Plus the river naturally draws many game and bird species to quench their thirst.

Birding in Murchison Falls National Park

Birding safaris are a delight in the Murchison Falls National Park. Common sightings include Fish eagle, goliath heron, Egyptian geese, pelican, bee-eaters, kingfishers, hornbill and cormorant. A downstream boat trip is a highlight for the avid birdwatcher.

Boating in Murchison Falls National Park

Activities

Enjoy walking trails up the cliffs above the Murchison Falls to enjoy a superb aerial view over the Nile River. Or you can head down into the ‘Devil’s Cauldron’ at the foot of the Falls.

One of the best activities is the above-mentioned cruise below the Murchison Falls. Here the surging mass of water turns into a placid body of water which flows gently toward Lake Albert. And it’s a birding hotspot with ample chance to see African fish eagles, Great Egrets, Goliath herons and the rare Shoebill stork.

Walking in Murchison National Park

Chimpanzees of the Budongo Forest Reserve

Budongo Falls reserve is a continuation of the Kaniyo Pabidi Forest. Which is part of the Murchison Falls Conservation Area. It includes a huge Mahogany and Ironwood forest area. So this is the perfect home for over 600 chimpanzees and eight other primate species. Many can be seen from some of the 115 km of trails through this pristine forest.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Famed for the narrow 7 metre gorge where the Victoria Nile is squeezed from 50 metres
  • Murchison Falls is the only place in Uganda where you will see large numbers of elephant and buffalo
  • Specials sightings include Rothschild’s giraffe and Uganda kob
  • About 450 bird species can be spotted here – including the much sought-after shoebill stork
  • Walking safaris and a relaxing wildlife-viewing boat cruise below the Falls is a must

Explore the Murchison Falls map

When to visit Murchison Falls

December to mid-March

Hot & Dry - Best time to visit

Being lower in altitude (at 700m) Murchison Falls gets very hot in the dry summer months, always reaching 32-33℃ and sometimes hotter. But game-viewing is at its best as animals tend to congregate at the water sources, and the dry heat is not oppressive.
AVG RAINFALL 48mm
MAX TEMP 31 ℃ / 88 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

Mid-March to May

Start of rainy season

As elsewhere, the main seasonal difference is around rainfall, not temperature. This is the start of the rainy season which continues until October.
AVG RAINFALL 144mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 17.5 ℃ / 64 ℉

June & July

Rainy season, but good for game-viewing

June and July are slightly drier, so this is also a good time to visit as the park is green and lush. There is good game-viewing throughout the year and it’s a pleasant time to be on safari (as it's cooler)
AVG RAINFALL 91mm
MAX TEMP 27 ℃ / 81 ℉
MIN TEMP 16 ℃ / 61 ℉

August to November

Rainy, but OK for game-viewing

Rain continues until it starts to die down in November. though there are still some downpours. Reasonable time for game-viewing as rain tends to be in form of sudden downpours.
AVG RAINFALL 166mm
MAX TEMP 29 ℃ / 84 ℉
MIN TEMP 17 ℃ / 63 ℉

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Did you know
  • AccidentIn 1954 Ernest Hemingway crashed a plane just downriver
  • WaterMost powerful waterfall along the Nile River