Murchison Falls National Park

This is the largest park (3,840 km2), and one of the high points of any visit to Uganda. It is cut in half by the Nile. The land is covered by savannah and tall grassland, with thick bush and woodlands in the higher and wetter areas of the south and east. Closed canopy forests are restricted to the Rabongo area, where ironwood predominates, and small stands along the south bank of the Nile.

The park hosts more than 50 species of mammals, and elephant herds now number several hundred. There are substantial numbers of buffalo and Rothchild’s giraffe, and six species of primates, including chimpanzees. Four hundred and fourty-two bird species have been recorded.

One of the prime attractions in the park is, of course, the world famous Murchison Falls. The three-hour round trip by launch to the foot of the falls from Paraa is an adventure that should not be missed in a murchison falls tour. The most impressive and breathtaking view is at the top, where the Nile forces its way through a seven-metre gap in the rocks and tumbles 40 m down. A path leads from the parking above all the way to the bottom and offers spectacular views of foaming waters rushing into the gorge, with a deafening roar. The river then calms down and winds its way to Lake Albert.

Activities in the Park

The launch trip (where hippos can be counted by the hundred, and huge crocodiles can be seen basking in the sun) to the foot of the falls, and a path that leads through dense rainforests to the spectacular viewing platform described above, starts at Paraa. Birds are a major focus of interest, and game drives in the park are exciting. The Buligi circuit is famous for its open plain, while Wamkwar Drive passes the habitat of lion, elephant and Jackson’s Hartebeest. The Nvamsiki cliff is also a favourite stopping point. In the Rabong Forest you can experience the tropical rainforest and see some of Uganda’s spectacular primates. Chimpanzee trekking is organised from Kaniyo Pabido.

Accommodation

Sarova Paraa safari Lodge and Camp will open in 1997. Sambiya River Lodge is a new luxury Lodge in the southern section of the park. Nile Safari Camp is a deluxe camp with tents pegged on tree-tops overlooking the River Nile.

Paraa Rest Camp, on the southern bank of the Nile, has Acholi-style bandas. The bandas have basic bedding, kerosene lamps and mosquito nets. Bring your own food, or have food cooked by the camp staff. Camping facilities are nearby and at the top of the falls, if you bring your own tent.

There is also accommodation at the Masindi Hotel in Masindi.

How to Reach the Park

The park can be reached from Kampala via Masindi (3 hours). The road is 217 km on tarmac, and 40 km on high-grade murram. From Masindi you can choose either of the two routes into the park. The road (136 km) through Butiaba and Bulisa is scenic, but the more direct route (86 km) brings you to the Wairingo gate. 4WD is recommended. There is an all-weather airstrip at Pakuba, 10 km northwest of Paraa.
VISITORS – Entrance Fees in US $ per 24 Hour Visit
Adult Child
Foreign Non-resident 14.29 3.81
Foreign Resident 9.52 2.86
Citizen Resident 1.90 0.48
MOTOR VEHICLES – Entrance Fee in US $ per visit
Ugandan Foreign
Motorcycle 1.90 7.62
Motor Car or Pick-up 4.76 19.05
Bus or Lorry 11.43 45.71
ACCOMMODATION (BANDAS) – in US $ per person per night
Foreign Non-resident 22.86
Foreign Resident 11.45
Citizen Resident 1.90
LAUNCH TRIP TO BASE OF MURCHINSON FALLS in US $
Trip with less than 10 people 95.24
Trip with 10 or more people 9.52 per person
AIRCRAFT LANDING FEES in US $
Single or twin-engine aircraft 38.10 per landing
FERRY FEES
Foreign Resident or Non-Resident xxxx
Citizen Resident xxxx
FISHING FEES – in areas permitted in the park in US $ per rod per day
Foreign Non-resident 13.33
Foreign Resident 6.66
Citizen Resident 1.90
Season Tickets are available
RANGER GUIDE FEES in US $ per half day
Foreign or Non- resident 6.66
Citizen Resident 1.90
CAMPING FEES in US $ per person, per night
Foreign Non-resident 9.52
Foreign Resident 4.76
Citizen Resident 1.90
PHOTOGRAPHIC FEES in US $ – (commercial filming)
Where the size of the filming party is:
1-5 persons 190.48
6-20 persons 476.19
Over 20 persons 952.38

These figures do not include Entrance Fees

For fuller details please contact:

The Warden in Charge,
Murchinson Falls National Park,
Post Office, Masindi, Uganda.