This 3 Days Murchison falls safari tour in Uganda is an ideal wildlife and sightseeing adventure to Uganda’s largest and oldest national park in Uganda. Murchison Falls National Park is an all-rounder destination that offers plentiful wildlife to include the big five and other wildlife and bird species. Our visit on this 3 Day Murchison falls safari to the park is initiated with the encounter with the raging Murchison Falls which is a sight to behold. Sir Samuel Baker named the falls in honor of the president of the Royal Geographical Society. The falls are also known to be the world’s second most powerful falls. Game viewing in Murchison falls is remarkable and a launch cruise to the bottom of the falls offers you another great opportunity to view more wildlife and enjoy the wonderful nature that this park presents. To complete the big five list, this 3 day Murchison falls tour is enhanced with a visit to Zziwa Rhino Sanctuary which offers you an opportunity to track Rhino en route to Murchison falls, National Park.
Day by Day Itinerary and Activities
Our 3 day safari in Murchison Falls National Park will give you a chance to explore the park’s diverse landscapes and wildlife. Here is a sample itinerary that you can follow or customize according to your preferences:
Day 1: Arrival and Transfer to Murchison Falls National Park
You will be picked up from your hotel or airport in Kampala or Entebbe by your safari guide and driver. You will then drive north-west towards Murchison Falls National Park, passing through scenic countryside and rural villages. Along the way, you will stop at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, where you can track wild rhinos on foot with a ranger guide. This is the only place in Uganda where you can see rhinos in their natural habitat.
You will then continue your journey to Murchison Falls National Park, arriving in time for lunch at your lodge or camp. After lunch, you will have some time to relax and enjoy the views of the park. In the afternoon, you will go for a game drive in the northern sector of the park, where you can spot animals such as elephants, lions, giraffes, buffaloes, warthogs, hyenas, jackals, and various antelopes. You will also have a chance to see some of the park’s birds, such as eagles, vultures, hornbills, and rollers.
You will return to your lodge or camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Morning Game Drive, Boat Cruise and Hike to Murchison Falls
We spend the next 6 to 10 hour exploring Murchison falls on a full day adventure. We begin our day with warm breakfast then head out for a morning game drive; This activity will take about 3hours before heading back for your midmorning lunch, there after we proceed Paraa Ferry Point for a boat cruise on the Nile River.
This is one of the highlights of your safari, as you will get to see the magnificent Murchison Falls up close. Along the way, you will also enjoy watching hippos and crocodiles basking on the river banks, as well as other animals that come to drink or graze near the water. You will also see many waterbirds such as kingfishers, herons, storks, and cormorants.
The boat cruise will take you to the base of Murchison Falls,
where you will disembark and hike to the top of the falls. This is an exhilarating experience, as you will witness the Nile River squeezing through a narrow gap and plunging 43 meters (141 feet) into a roaring pool below. You will feel the spray and hear the thunderous sound of the falls. You will also have a panoramic view of the park and the river from the top of the falls. You will then meet your driver and drive back to your lodge or camp for dinner and overnight stay
Day 3: Game Drive and Departure
On the last day of your 3 Days Murchison Falls Safari, you will have an early morning game drive in the park, where you can look for any animals that you may have missed on the previous day. You will also have another chance to see the park’s birds, especially the early risers. You will then return to your lodge or camp for breakfast and check out.
You will then drive back to Kampala or Entebbe, with a stopover at Masindi for lunch. You will also stop at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for a souvenir shop. You will then proceed to your hotel or airport, where your safari guide and driver will bid you farewell.
Murchison Falls National Park: an Overview
Murchison Falls National Park is the largest and oldest national park in Uganda, covering an area of over 3,800 square kilometers. It is located in the northwestern part of the country, about 300 kilometers from Kampala, the capital city. The park is named after Murchison Falls, which is the main attraction of the park. Here, the Nile River squeezes through a 7-meter-wide gap and drops 43 meters into a pool below, creating a thunderous roar and a spectacular spray of water. The falls are also known as Kabalega Falls, after the former king of Bunyoro who resisted British colonialism.
The park is divided into two parts by the Nile River: the northern bank and the southern bank. The northern bank is mainly savanna grassland, dotted with acacia trees and borassus palms. This is where you can find most of the large mammals, such as elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, lions, leopards, hyenas, and antelopes. The southern bank is more forested and hilly, and hosts primates such as chimpanzees, baboons, and monkeys. The park also has over 450 bird species, including the rare shoebill stork, the saddle-billed stork, the goliath heron, and the malachite kingfisher.
Murchison Falls National Park is not only a wildlife sanctuary but also a nature conservation area. The park protects several ecosystems that are vital for biodiversity and ecological balance. These include wetlands, forests, woodlands, and riverine habitats. The park also supports local communities by providing them with livelihood opportunities such as tourism, fishing, and beekeeping.
Topography and Scenic Beauty
Murchison Falls National Park is not only rich in wildlife, but also in topography and scenic beauty. The park boasts diverse landscapes and habitats, from savannahs to forests, and from hills to valleys. The park is also home to three major water bodies: the Albert Nile, the Victoria Nile, and Lake Albert. These water bodies add to the beauty and charm of the park and offer opportunities for photography and sightseeing.
One of the most scenic spots in the park is the top of Murchison Falls. Here, you can witness the Nile River squeezing through a narrow gorge and plunging 45 meters into a pool below. You can also see a rainbow forming over the falls and feel the spray of water on your face. You can reach the top of Murchison Falls by hiking from the bottom of the falls (about 45 minutes) or by driving from Paraa (about 30 minutes).
Another scenic spot in the park is the Nile-Lake Albert delta. Here, you can see where the Nile River meets Lake Albert and forms a large wetland area. You can also see large flocks of waterbirds, such as pelicans, herons, egrets, storks, and sometimes shoebills. You can reach the Nile-Lake Albert delta by taking a boat cruise from Paraa (about two hours) or by driving from Paraa (about one hour).
A third scenic spot in the park is the Karuma Falls. Here, you can see where the Nile River cascades over a series of rocks and rapids, creating a white-water spectacle. You can also see the Karuma bridge, which connects the northern and southern regions
of Uganda. You can reach the Karuma Falls by driving from Paraa
(about one hour) or from Kampala (about three hours).
One of the main highlights of this 3 Days Murchison Falls National Park Safari is the amazing wildlife viewing. The park has a high density and diversity of animals, making it a prime safari destination in Uganda. Here are some of the wildlife encounters that you can expect in the park:
- Elephants: The park has a large population of elephants, estimated at over 1,500 individuals. You can see them roaming in herds or solitary across the savanna, feeding on grasses, shrubs, and trees. They are especially active in the morning and evening hours, when they move to the river for water.
- Lions: The park is home to about 150 lions, which are the apex predators of the park. They are mostly found in the northern sector of the park, where they prey on animals such as buffaloes, antelopes, and warthogs. They are also known to hunt hippos and crocodiles near the river. You can see them resting under trees or on rocks during the day, or hunting at night.
- Leopards: The park has a healthy population of leopards, which are elusive and nocturnal cats. They are mostly seen in the southern sector of the park, where they hide in the dense woodland and thickets. They feed on smaller animals such as monkeys, rodents, and birds. You can spot them by their distinctive rosette-patterned fur and long tails.
- Buffaloes: The park has a large number of buffaloes, estimated at over 2,000 individuals. They are gregarious and form large herds that can number in the hundreds. They are grazers that feed on grasses and herbs. They are also very protective of their members and can charge at any perceived threat.
- Giraffes: The park has over 800 giraffes, which are the tallest animals in the world. They are browsers that feed on leaves and twigs from acacia trees and other plants. They have long necks and legs that allow them to reach high branches. They also have unique patterns of spots on their fur that help them camouflage in their environment.
- Hippos: The park has over 2,500 hippos, which are semi-aquatic mammals that spend most of their time in the water. They are herbivores that feed on grasses and aquatic plants at night. They are also very territorial and vocal, making loud grunts and snorts to communicate with each other.
- Crocodiles: The park has over 2,000 crocodiles, which are reptiles that live in the water. They are carnivores that feed on fish, birds, and mammals that come near the water. They have powerful jaws and teeth that can crush bones and shells. They also have scaly skin and long tails that help them swim and bask in the sun.
- Antelopes: The park has a variety of antelopes,
which are hoofed mammals that belong to the same family as cattle, sheep, and goats. They are herbivores that feed on grasses,
leaves, and fruits. They also have horns that help them defend themselves from predators. Some of the antelopes that can be seen in the park include the Uganda kob, the bushbuck, the waterbuck, the oribi, the hartebeest, and the dik-dik.
- Primates: The park has several species of primates, which are mammals that have opposable thumbs and large brains.
Some of the primates that can be seen in the park include the chimpanzees in Budongo Forest, olive baboon, the vervet monkey, the patas monkey, the blue monkey, and the black-and-white columbus monkeys.
Another major highlight of your 3 days Murhison Falls Safari is the boat safari along the Nile River. A boat safari allows you to explore the park’s waterways and see wildlife from a different perspective. You can choose from different boat safari options depending on your interests and budget.
The most popular boat safari option is the launch cruise to the bottom of Murchison Falls. This cruise takes about three hours round trip and departs twice daily from Paraa Ferry Point. The cruise takes you along the Victoria Nile, where you can see hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes, elephants, and a variety of bird species, such as kingfishers, bee-eaters, fish eagles, and the rare shoebill stork. The highlight of the cruise is reaching the base of Murchison Falls, where you can marvel at the power and beauty of the waterfall.
Another option for a boat safari on your 3 days Murhison Falls Safari is the delta cruise to the Nile-Lake Albert delta. This cruise takes about four hours round trip and departs once daily from Paraa jetty. The cruise takes you along the Albert Nile, where you can see more wildlife and birds, as well as fishing villages and local communities. The highlight of the cruise is reaching the delta area, where you can see large concentrations of waterbirds, such as pelicans, herons, egrets, storks, and sometimes shoebills.
If you are looking for a more adventurous boat safari option, you can opt for a canoe safari on the Nile River. A canoe safari allows you to paddle your own canoe along the river and get closer to nature. You can choose from different canoe safari routes depending on your skills and preferences. Some of the routes include Paraa-Karuma Falls (12 km), Paraa-Wairingo (18 km), Paraa-Mubako (22 km), and Paraa-Pakuba (28 km). A canoe safari is a great way to enjoy the tranquility of the river and see wildlife and birds up close.
Another way to experience Murchison Falls National Park in 3 days is by taking a game drive on its vast savannah plains. A game drive allows you to discover the park’s terrestrial wildlife and see some of Africa’s iconic animals. You can choose from different game drive options depending on your interests and budget.
The most popular game drive option is the morning game drive on the northern bank of the Nile River. This game drive takes about three to four hours and departs early in the morning from Paraa ferry crossing. The game drive takes you through different habitats, such as grasslands, woodlands, acacia forests,
and riverine areas.
Some of the popular game drive routes and areas on the northern bank include the Buligi track, the Albert track, the Queen’s track, and the Nyamsika gorge..
Murchison Falls National Park offers a range of accommodation options for visitors, from budget to luxury lodges and camps.
You can choose from different accommodation options depending on your budget, comfort, and preferred experience.
Here are some of the accommodation choices available for this 3 Days Murchison falls Safari:
- Red Chilli Rest Camp: This is a budget lodge located inside the park on the southern bank of the Nile River.
The lodge offers basic but comfortable accommodation in safari tents, bandas, and dormitories. The lodge also has a restaurant,
a bar, and a campfire area.
- Pakuba Safari Lodge: This is a mid-range lodge located inside the park on the northern bank of the Nile River. The lodge offers spacious and cozy accommodation in cottages, suites, and family rooms. The lodge also has a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool,
and a conference hall. .
- Paraa Safari Lodge: This is a luxury lodge located inside the park on the northern bank of the Nile River. The lodge offers elegant and stylish accommodation in rooms, suites, and cottages. The lodge also has a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool, a spa, and a golf course.
Travel Tips and Practical Information
To make the most of your 3 day Murchison Falls safari, you need to plan ahead and prepare well. Here are some useful tips and information to help you with your travel arrangements:
Visa Requirements and Travel Logistics
To visit Uganda, you need a valid passport with at least 6 months of validity and two blank pages. You also need a visa, which you can obtain online through the Uganda e-visa system. The visa costs $50 USD for a single entry tourist visa valid for 90 days. You need to apply at least two weeks before your travel date and provide proof of yellow fever vaccination.
To get to Murchison Falls National Park from Kampala, you have two options: by road or by air. By road, it takes about 5 hours to drive to the park via Masindi town. You can either hire a private car with a driver or join a group tour with a reputable safari company. By air, it takes about an hour to fly to one of the airstrips in or near the park. You can book a domestic flight with AeroLink Uganda.
Best Time to Visit Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park can be visited all year round, but some seasons are better than others depending on what you want to see and do. The park has two rainy seasons: from March to May and from October to November. The rainy seasons are good for birdwatching, as many migratory birds arrive in the park. However, they are also bad for road conditions, as some roads may become muddy and impassable.
The dry seasons are from December to February and from June to September. The dry seasons are good for wildlife viewing, as many animals congregate around water sources. However, they are also bad for heat and dust, as the temperatures can rise up to 40 degrees Celsius and the air can become hazy.
The best time to visit Murchison Falls National Park is from June to September, as this is the peak of the dry season and the best time to see the falls in full force.
Health and Safety Considerations
Murchison Falls National Park is generally a safe and healthy destination, but you need to take some precautions to avoid any problems. Here are some health and safety considerations to keep in mind:
- Get vaccinated for yellow fever and other diseases, such as typhoid, hepatitis A and B, meningitis, tetanus and rabies.
- Take anti-malaria medication and use insect repellent, mosquito nets and long-sleeved clothing to prevent mosquito bites.
- Drink bottled or boiled water and avoid ice cubes, raw fruits and vegetables, and street food.
- Carry a first aid kit with basic medicines, such as painkillers, antihistamines, antiseptics, bandages and rehydration salts.
- Wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes that cover your arms and legs to avoid scratches, bites and stings.
- Avoid swimming or wading in the Nile River, as it is infested with crocodiles and hippos.
- Do not touch or feed any wild animals, as they may be aggressive or carry diseases.
- Do not walk alone or at night in the park, as you may encounter dangerous animals or people.
- Follow the instructions of your guide and park rangers at all times.
By following these health and safety tips, you can enjoy your 3 day Murchison Falls safari without any worries.
Conservation and Community Initiatives
Murchison Falls National Park faces many challenges and threats, such as poaching, human-wildlife conflict, habitat loss and degradation, climate change and invasive species. To address these issues, the park management works closely with various partners and stakeholders, such as the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the Uganda Conservation Foundation (UCF), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the local communities.
Some of the ongoing conservation efforts in the park include:
- Anti-poaching patrols and law enforcement
- Wildlife monitoring and research
- Habitat restoration and management
- Community education and awareness
- Human-wildlife conflict mitigation
- Wildlife health and veterinary care
- Alternative livelihoods and income generation
As a visitor to Murchison Falls National Park, you can play an important role in supporting these conservation efforts. Here are some ways you can do so:
- Follow the park rules and regulations
- Respect the wildlife and keep a safe distance
- Do not litter or leave any trace
- Use water and energy wisely
- Support local businesses and products
- Avoid buying or using any wildlife products
- Report any suspicious or illegal activities
- Donate or volunteer for conservation organizations
By being a responsible traveler, you can help protect Murchison Falls National Park for future generations.
We hope this guide has given you some useful information and inspiration for your 3 day Murchison Falls safari. If you are ready to book your trip, you can contact us for more details and customized packages.