Murchison Falls Conservation Area is a unique protected area, and the largest in Uganda together with the adjoining Karuma Wildlife Reserve and Bugungu Wildlife Reserve encompasses a total area of more than 5000sq Km.
Murchison Falls National Park offers a rich diversity of habitats for the visitor to explore, including the Victoria Nile and the surrounding papyrus swamps, magnificent forests and riverine woodlands, as well as the familiar open grasslands dotted with Borassus palm. The falls themselves are spectacular, with the might of the Nile bursting through a 7meter wide gap and plummeting 43 meters over the sheer rock face. An essential stop to visit the top of the falls, brings you within inches of the crashing waters and you feel the ancient rocks vibrate under your feet, it is a very humbling experience!
Murchison Falls National park is a bird watchers paradise, boasting over 374 species (so far), including the weird and wonderful Shoebill Stork! And a home to commonly seen animals, including large numbers of buffaloes, herds of elephants, parties of Jackson s hartebeest, countless oribis, Uganda kobs, lions, leopards, hyenas reedbucks and bush bucks. On the Nile to the foot of the falls, you find the hippos & crocodiles snoozing in the shallows or lying up on the banks.
There are also several species of primate to be seen on the game drives and the boat cruises as well as on the walks in the Budongo and Rabongo forests.
The vast Budongo forest boasts of being the best site in Uganda for a number of sought-after birds such as Nahan’s francolin, Cassins spinetail, Ituri Batis and Chestnut-capped Flycatcher. The same spot is home to Uganda’s largest population of chimpanzees.
Accommodation options in and around Murchison Falls
The accommodation ranges from camps with basic facilities to lodges with modern amenities, listed below is in order from the basic to the up market
Paraa Safari Lodge
Exquisite and Enchanting Paraa Safari Lodge is perched a top a gorge, towering above the mighty Nile River.
First opened in the 1950s Paraa Safari Lodge ha s played host to countless distinguished guest, including the British Queen Mother and one great, Ernest Hemingway, who crashed his plane in the area sometime in the 1950s.
Paraa Lodge hosts its guests to the tastiest Uganda’s rich cuisine, bush dinners & BBQs by the poolside with drinks of your choice!
Each of the 54 appointed rooms is a haven of style and serenity, complete with balcony and private bathroom. For greater grandeur the two suites bring it all, and even more is the charming and secluded Queen’s cottage!
Nile Safari Camp
Nile Safari Camp comes closer to the spirit of Africa in the heart of Uganda and closer to the mightiest river in the world – the Nile, at the Nile Safari Camp. Situated on the banks of the Nile halfway between the Murchison Falls and Lake Albert, Nile Safari Camp is an exclusive tented camp exuding the atmosphere of untrammeled tropical Africa.
The Lodge offers a captivating combination of home comforts and rustic Africa. Accommodation consists of six comfortable double tents and six traditional log chalets,
each, which has its en suite toilet and shower, and spacious private wooden verandah
facing the Nile.
During the day you can relax at the Tamarind Bar, enjoy the shade of a giant Custer fig tree, or laze around the swimming pool.
Dinners are either in the beautifully appointed restaurant overlooking the river, or on the elevated deckings.
Sambiya River Lodge
This is a mid ranged type of accommodation in separate self-contained rooms units, a thatched roof dinning area & a swimming pool.
Red Chilli Rest Camp
This is basic accommodation with traditional bandas and self-contained bandas. Meals & drinks are available.
Very basic, located at Budongo Forest and mainly used by birders, during birding trips when in Budongo Forest.
Five camping sites exist in and around Murchison Falls Conservation Area, near the Paraa Rest Camp, at the top of the Falls, in Rabongo Forest next to the Wairingo River and the two chimpanzee tracking sites at Kaniyo Papidi and Busingiro, both providing hot water, you bring your own food.