Murchison falls national park self drive
Murchison falls national park is the largest national park in Uganda covering a total land area of 3840 square kilometers. Murchison falls national park is one of the most visited parks in Uganda and a habitat of various wildlife species which include 76 mammals such as the big four out of the big five mammals which are lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and other animals such as giraffes, Oribi, waterbucks, hippos, warthogs, Jackson’s heartbeats, crocodiles, bushbucks, Uganda kobs, primates like chimpanzees, baboons, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, over 450 bird species like the elusive shoebill stork, grey crowned crane, goliath heron, silver bird, African fish eagle, open billed stork among others.
Uganda has 10 national parks which visitors can visit on a self-drive at any time such as game drive to the largest and most visited national park in Uganda. You can also go on a self-drive to other national parks like Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, Kibale national park, Bwindi Impenetrable national park among others though it’s not recommended by Achieve Global Safaris because you might miss out some interesting areas, distance to drive, nature or the roads to the national parks or sometimes loose direction.
Self-drive to Murchison falls national park can either be done in a hired safari vehicle from different car rental agencies in Uganda or your own personal vehicle.
How to get to Murchison falls national park on self-drive
Murchison falls National Park is located in the northern part of Kampala 305 kilometers and is bisected by the River Nile into two sectors that is the northern and the southern sector. When getting to Murchison falls national park you can either enter via the northern gates or the southern gates.
Southern entrance gates
On your self-drive to the park you will drive from Kampala or Entebbe airport to Masindi and then continue to Kichumbanyobo gate through Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo forest. From Masindi town to the gate it will take 85 kilometers.
You can also drive from Kampala via Masindi town to Bugungu gate which is 135 kilometers from Masindi town. When using this gate you will pass through Budongo forest and on the way you will have spectacular views of the rift valley, Lake Albert, Congo Mountains among others.
Northern entrance gates
On your self-drive to Murchison falls national park there are several gates in the northern sector that you can use such as Tangi gate which is located 110 kilometers from Karuma Bridge therefore you will drive from Kampala following Gulu road which passes via Bombo, Karuma-Pakwach road and branch off Gulu road after Karuma Bridge.
Chobe gate, this gate is 2 kilometers from Karuma Bridge and can also be accessed from Paraa.
Wankwar gate, this gate is located 10 kilometers off Arua-Gulu highway and several meters away from Purongo. On your self-drive to Murchison falls national park you can take either 5 hours’ drive from Kampala, 6 hours’ drive from Entebbe or even more depending on the stop overs along the way.
When you reach at the park entrance either in the northern or southern entrance gates, you will pay Park entrance fees in order to access the national park and it costs $40 for foreign non-residents, $30 for foreign residents and UGX 20,000 for east African residents.
The park offers a wide range of activities which you can engage in on your self-drive safari such as
Game drive, this is an interesting activity that can either be done early in the morning or afternoon in the northern sector because that’s where large concentrated animal species are viewed following game tracks like Buligi, albert and victoria. It’s recommended to take a game drive with a park guise so as to help you identify various animals which will be in their hiding places. the game drive starts early in the morning at about 6:30am and you can look of for wildlife species like elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes, waterbucks, bushbucks, Jackson’s hartebeest, Uganda kob, oribi, giraffes, bird species among others.
Boat cruise, on your self-drive adventure you can engages in boat cruise which is an adventurous and exciting activity in Murchison falls national park. Boat cruise in the park starts at Paraa jetty and can either be done upstream to the bottom of the falls or downstream to the Nile delta and takes about 2 to 3 hours. Boat cruise safari in Murchison falls national park costs $30 for foreign non-residents, foreign residents and UGX 30,000 for East African citizens. during the boat cruise activity you will be able to view animals like hippos, crocodiles in water, elephants, buffaloes, antelopes among others which gather along the water banks, bird species like the pre-historic shoebill stork, red throated bee-eater, pied giant malachite, grey heron, malachite kingfisher, African fish eagle, African skimmer among others.
Guided nature walk/hiking, this is an interesting activity in Murchison falls national park where visitors get an opportunity to walk on foot as they explore the park. Guided nature walks are carried out in different areas such as Kaniyo Pabidi forest which offers great views of primates like chimpanzees, baboons, red tailed monkeys, bird species like chocolate backed hornbill, mahogany trees among others. Nature walks in Rabongo forest which is located in the southeastern part and takes about one and a half hours from Paraa. During the nature walk in Rabong forest you will view different bird species, primates like chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, medicinal plants among others. Nature walk in Murchison falls national park costs $15 for foreign non-residents, foreign residents, UGX 10,000 for East African citizens and takes about 2 hours and you will view some animal species, feel the cool breeze, relax as you enjoy fresh air.
Birding, Murchison falls national park is one of the best birding destination in Uganda in that it harbors over 450 bird species with some species endemic to the Albertine rift, water birds, savannah birds among others. birding in Murchison falls national park can be done during the game drive, nature walk, nature walk and you can look out for bird species such as the elusive shoebill stork, giant kingfisher, giant heron, marabou stork, black bellied bustard, black headed lapwing, blue napped mouse, silver bird, long toed plover, Abyssinian ground hornbill among others.
Chimpanzee trekking, this is an adventurous activity in Murchison falls national park where visitors move into the forest in search of the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee trekking is done in Kaniyo Pabidi in Budongo forest and takes about 2 to 4 hours and once the chimpanzees are found you will spend one hour with them in their natural habitat learning about their behaviors, habits, taking photos and recording the moments.
There are other safari activities in the park that you can engage in such as hot air balloon, hiking to the top of the falls, night game drives, sport fishing among others which offer exciting and life time experiences for visitors on a safari.
Where to stay during your self-drive safari in Murchison falls national park
Murchison falls national park has a wide range of luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities where you can stay during your self-drive safari in the park such as Paraa Safari Lodge, Geo Lodges, Nile Safari Lodge, Red Chilli Rest Camp, Sambiya River Lodge, Yebo Safari Camp, UWA Campsite, Murchison Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Budongo Ecolodge, Boomu Women’s Group Bandas, Global Village Guest House among others. The lodges in the park offer comfortable beds, sitting lounge, free Wi-Fi, gardens for relaxation, spectacular views of the park, birds, animals among others so as to make you feel at home during your safari.
Visitors who will be staying on the southern sector will cross Victoria Nile Delta with a ferry in order to engage in some activities in the northern sector such as game drive, night game drive, boat cruise among others.
Visitors interested in exploring the largest national park in Uganda on a self-drive in a 4*4 WD vehicle or you can contact Achieve Global Safaris to organize a safari to Murchison falls national park at an affordable price for example a 2 days Murchison falls safari, 3 days Murchison falls safari package which will give you breathtaking and unforgettable experiences on your safari in Uganda.