Uganda Destinations Murchison Falls National Park
The sweeping Bunyoro escarpment tumbles into vast, palm-dotted savanna at the northern end of the Albertine Rift Valley, where Murchison Falls National Park is located. It is Uganda’s largest and oldest conservation area, with 76 mammalian species and 451 bird species. It was first designated as a game reserve in 1926.
The Victoria Nile runs through the park, plunging 45 meters over the rift valley wall to form the dramatic Murchison Falls, the park’s centerpiece and the last of an 80-kilometer stretch of rapids. The mighty cascade drains the river’s final energy, transforming it into a broad, placid stream that flows peacefully across the rift valley floor into Lake Albert. This section of the river is home to some of Uganda’s most spectacular wildlife. Elephants, giraffes, and buffaloes are frequent visitors to the riverbanks, while hippos, Nile crocodiles, and aquatic birds are permanent residents.
Winston Churchill, Theodore Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, and several British royals are among the park’s notable visitors.
PARK AT A GLANCE
- Size: 3,840km2
- Murchison Falls became one of Uganda’s first national parks in 1952
- At Murchison Falls, the Nile squeezes through an 8m wide gorge and plunges with a thunderous roar into the “Devil’s Cauldron”, creating a trademark rainbow
- The northern section of the park contains savanna and borassus palms, acacia trees and riverine woodland. The south is dominated by woodland and forest patches
- The 1951 film “The African Queen” starring Humphrey Bogart was filmed on Lake Albert and the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park