The place of the meeting of the waters
Uganda’s largest national parks, Murchison Falls National Park is dominated by the mighty River Nile, which bisects the park via a seven-metre-wide rocky cleft and drops 43 m over the western edge of the Albertine Rift Valley before continuing to Lake Albert, which lies on the park’s western boundary.
It offers excellent animal-viewing amid rolling grasslands, savannah and the vast swamps, which line the river. Most of the park’s hippos live downstream of the falls, while the sand banks of the Nile feature huge basking crocodile and often attract elephant and leopard. The park offers river cruises, guided walks and game drives.
Area: 3,840 sq km.
Location: North-western Uganda some 300 km from Kampala, directly north of Masindi on the shores of Lake Albert.
Altitude: 1,292 metres above sea level.
Physical features: The Victoria Nile bisects the park from east to west for 115 km. About two-thirds of the way along this stretch of the river are the spectacular falls from which the park derives its name.
Vegetation: The park terrain is dominated by rolling savannah and tall grassland with increasingly thick bush and woodlands in the higher and wetter areas to the south and east. Closed canopy forest is restricted to the Rabongo area, where ironwood predominates.
Wildlife: Elephant, hippo, crocodile, hyena, buffalo, lion, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe, waterbuck, hartebeest, Uganda kob, six species of primates including chimpanzee, antelope and warthog.
Birdlife: 424 species including goliath heron, Egyptian goose, pelican, bee-eater, kingfisher, hornbill, cormorant and the rare shoebill stork.
Climate: mean maximum of 29°C. The hottest periods are mid-December to mid-February, June and July.