Murchison Falls National Park - the park that has everything! Big game safaris, relaxing scenic river cruises, landscapes galore - including the breathtaking Falls themselves and even the possibility of chimp trekking in the Budongo Forest just to the South.
Just a short flight or a six hour drive (feel free to stop at the excellent Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary) from Entebbe, Murchison Falls really is a 'must' on a Uganda itinerary. Many people head to Uganda purely for the mountain gorillas, but improved infrastructure and park management means there is so, so much more on offer - and Murchison Falls is at the heart of this.
Murchison Falls National Park
The name derives unsurprisingly, from the 40 metre plunge the White Nile takes over the scarp of the Great Rift Valley, in the heart of Murchison Falls National Park. In turn, the Falls themselves were named after Sir Roderick Murchison, at one time the President of the Royal Geographic Society. Murchison Falls is Uganda's largest National Park and arguably it's most diverse, in terms of both wildlife and activities. Game drives here are excellent (although not on the same level as somewhere like the Masai Mara
or Serengeti) - expect to see lion, elephant, buffalo and a host of plains game. With 450 bird species birders will be in paradise. In all honesty though the game drives barely scratch the surface of what the park can offer.
With the White Nile running through its heart, Murchison Falls really is all about the water. Taking a relaxing evening cruise on the river and watching the hippo and crocodile lined banks, or take a boat to an area near the bottom of the falls. Disembark here and there is a light 1 hour hike that one can do from the bottom to the top, as you approach the views get better and better and the roar gets louder and louder. It is truly spectacular and something that should not be missed - more fearless travellers stand on the edge of the Falls getting soaked in the spray all for a great photo opportunity.
The best lodge in the area is Bakers Lodge
. With beautiful views across the White Nile, it is ideally located for private boat trips up and down the river. With only ten suites, you can expect an intimate and private stay that does not come as the same price tag as the Nile Safari Lodge.