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Murchison Falls safaris through Murchison Falls national park

Murchison Falls safaris through the great Murchison falls National Park located in Masindi district, North West of Uganda that offers breathtaking views from all its corners with its great baboons always ushering you through the park's main Entrance via the Budongo forest. The park today is one of the most visited wildlife parks in Uganda with great turn outs of visitors from various countries.

Murchison Falls national park

The Great Murchison Falls in the Murchison Falls National Park

 

The best way to drive to this park and gain the most of your stay is to start early out of Kampala or Entebbe and head North of the country. You will expect some delays of traffic with your driver trying to penetrate to a less jammed area and start a smooth drive mainly after the Kawempe section through Matuga-Bombo and eventually sail on the Kampala-Masindi route. A quick break for a coffee/tea is recommended at the Kabalega Dinners on the Gulu Highway before the Kafu River Junction. This highway restaurant offers a variety of foods with clean bathrooms, WiFi and cable TV for you to get up-date on any worldwide events.

A 50-minutes drive from Kabalega Dinners restaurant will lead you to Masindi town which will offer you lots of options, we can fuel our vehicles as many gas stations are here including Shell and Total. Banks like Barclays, Stanbic and Centenary are all in this town for you to exchange or even with draw some money. A local car garage is on the right hand entry point of the town for you to check and fix your vehicle in case of any mechanical difficulty.

We have other recommended lunch places around Masindi town including the Court view hotel, Masindi hotel, Hoima kolping hotel and Alinda guest house.

The park can be accessed through these major gates:

  • Kichumbanyobo gate: This is the main south entrance to the park and can be accessed via the Masindi-Kiryandongo rd. Visitors using this gate will be ushered into the park by baboons alongside the road through Budongo forest which is also common with the Chimpanzees.
  • Tangi gate: This is the second main north entrance to the park and can be accessed via the Pakwach rd. Visitors here will be welcomed by the many elephants, giraffes, Uganda kobs feeding browsing through the many acacia trees and thickets.
  • Purongo/Wangkwar gate: Another north gate not as active as many animals are only seen after a long drive closing in on the pakuba rd. This can be accessed through the Karuma-Pakwach road. This road is often used during the rainy seasons as an escape section when Tangi gate floods.
  • Chobe gate: This is found on the Kampala-Gulu highway and can only be accessed after the Karuma falls bridge. This is often used by visitors using the Chobe safari lodge. Visitors here enjoy the 100s of giraffes that are seen in the forefront of the lodge's gate and hippos in the back yard hanging along the Victoria Nile.
  • Wanseko gate: Found on the south east of the park, this is mainly used by visitors accessing the park via the Lake Albert drive from Masindi or Hoima towns driving through Biso town ascending to a great rift valley escarpment view with lake Albert and the Murchison falls in the front skyline.

Accommodations in the Murchison falls National Park.

Lodges on the Northern Bank.

Lodges on the South Bank:

  • Budongo Eco-lodge.
  • Sambiya River lodge.
  • RedChilli Camp site.
  • Bakers lodge.
  • Twiga lodge.
  • Kabalega Wilderness lodge.
  • Murchison tree house.

Murchison falls Safari Options.

Sport fishing along the River banks and near the mighty Murchison falls is spectacular with the Nile Perch being a top of the list on any day's catch.

The Shoebill stork as a long sought rare species of a bird can be added on to your package to the Murchison falls with a boat ride along the Delta lane in the papyrus section to easily see this rare bird.

Budongo forest will also offer you that chimpanzee tracking experience on any morning/afternoon. Remember chimps are 99% humans according to their DNA tastes.

Boomu women's group at the main entrance of the Park at Kichumbanyobo gate will offer you that Local-African setting sleeping in a local home stead, with local food meals, visiting the gardens to harvest food, draw water from the wells and carry the water on your head in a can. You will also see or use a Ugandan toilet with just a hole in the ground.

And north of the park, you can witness local music from the Arur people near the Pakwachi town.

Rhino tracking at the Ziwa Sanctuary: This is an-add on activity for most visitors travelling to the Murchison falls National Park and takes not more than 2hrs of tracking the Rhinos at the Sanctuary. The sanctuary is 177KM from Kampala located at Nakitoma trading center off the Gulu Higway.

The entrance fees are:

Particulars Fee
Adults (Non residents) 45USD Per Person
Children below 12yrs (Non residents) 23USD Per Child
Ugandans 9USD Per Adult
Children below 12yrs(Ugandans) 3USD Per Child

Main observations and caution in the Park.

Baboons are a common sighting on entering through the Kichumbanyobo gate and at the landing site on the Northern bank. All foods have to be kept in the vehicles and locked especially at the north ferry landing area.

Tsetse flies have reduced greatly around the Top of the falls area mainly due to human interference, fumes from the many tourist vehicles. A few remain though, and an air conditioned car is recommended while driving through.

Speeding in the park is highly prohibited as it has led to many accidents and cars being overturned due to the gravel which slips cars.


Park fees:

  • FNR(40USD) (CHILDREN 20USD)
  • FR(30USD) (CHILDREN 10USD)
  • EAC(20,000/=) (CHILDREN 5,000/=)
  • Boat ride to the bottom of the falls: 30USD.

Ferry crossing fees:

  • FOREIGN MOTOR CYCLES (30USD)(EAST AFRICANS-10,000/=)
  • FOREIGN SALOON CARS ( 40USD)(EAST AFRICANS-20,000/=)
  • FOREIGN TOUR COMPANY VEHICLES :(120USD)(EAST AFRICANS-30,000/=)

Fines and Penalties while in the Park:

  • Off-track driving away from the game trails ---------------------------- 150USD.
  • Over speeding in the park --------------------------------------------- 100,000/=
  • Game/animal road accident/kill ---------------------------------------- 500USD.

Short Safaris to the Murchison falls National Park.

A 1 day trip to the park can be offered to visitors leaving around the park like in the towns of Masindi, Pakwach, and or Gulu. A brief game drive and a boat ride may be carried out but you need to know that you will get back to any of the above mentioned towns between 6:30 and 8PM.


2 Days Murchison Falls Safari

This is somewhat better than a 1 day trip as even visitors from Kampala / Entebbe / Luwero can easily do this 2 day safari package with ease and see a lot. With this, you have 2 game drives and a boat ride including a visit to the top of the falls. You could also top up a Rhino tracking activity at the Ziwa Rhino sanctuary on return to Kampala.

We have some of the prices for this 2 day package below:

Budget lodging-Heritage lodge 2 - $385 pp 3 - $326 pp 4 - $284 pp 5 - $265 pp 6 - $248 pp 7 - $238 pp 8 - $230 pp 9 - $230 pp
Mid-range lodging-Pakuba lodge / Murchison River Lodge 2 - $510 pp 3 - $405 pp 4 - $350 pp 5 - $320 pp 6 - $310 pp 7 - $300 pp 8 - $300 pp 9 - $300 pp

3 Days Murchison Falls Wildlife Safari

We also have a 3 days trip which stands out to be the best. It is more relaxed, un-rushed and you could depart even at 8AM from Kampala compared to the other 2 options above.

Depending on the lodge you book, you are at least assured of 3 game drives making you see enough of these wild animals in their natural homes. A boat ride is a must while Rhino tracking is an option which can fit in well. Chimpanzees in Budongo forest can too be done and seen on a good morning or afternoon.

Budget lodging-Heritage lodge 2 - $570 pp 3 - $455 pp 4 - $390 pp 5 - $385 pp 6 - $373 pp 7 - $367 pp 8 - $345 pp 9 - $345 pp
Mid-range lodging-Murchison River Lodge / Pakuba lodge 2 - $775 pp 3 - $655 pp 4 - $590 pp 5 - $575 pp 6 - $560 pp 7 - $555 pp 8 - $550 pp 9 - $550 pp
Luxury lodging-Paraa safari lodge 2 - $890 pp 3 - $752 pp 4 - $730 pp 5 - $670 pp 6 - $660 pp 7 - $650 pp 8 - $625 pp 9 - $625 pp

What to wear or carry on a Murchison falls Safari:

  • Carry both light and warm clothes.
  • Open and closed shoes.
  • Insect repellant sprays.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Hats.
  • At-least 2-litters of drinking water.
  • Avoid blue of while clothes while visiting the top of the falls.
  • Have your camera to capture those adventure moments.

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