Murchison Falls National Park, located in northwestern Uganda, is an ideal safari location. Not only do travellers have the chance to spot four out of Africa’s famous Big Five animals (lions, elephants, leopards, and buffalos), it is also home to some of the most unique natural beauty in Africa. The park hosts the longest river on Earth and the world’s strongest waterfall.
If you are planning on visiting Murchison Falls NP, here is all you need to know about Murchison Falls location and how to get to this magnificent Uganda safaris park. Make sure you consult our detailed Murchison Falls National Park guide before setting out, so you will have all the information you will need to get the most out of your experience!
Where is Murchison Falls located?
Murchison Falls National Park is located approximately 305 kilometers (190 miles) northwest of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda. The park is part of the greater Murchison Falls Conservation Area. It covers nearly 4000km2 of wilderness on both sides of the Nile River west of Karuma Falls and east of Lake Albert.
Murchison Falls National Park straddles the Ugandan districts of Nwoya, Buliisa, Kiryandongo, and Masindi. The driving distance from Masindi, the nearest large town, to the Kibanda area of the national park is about 72 kilometres (45 miles).
To the south, west and east, Murchison Falls Park adjoins Bugungu Wildlife Reserve (782 km2), Budongo Forest (825 km2), and Karuma Falls Wildlife Reserve (720 km2). These reserves are diverse ecosystems in their own right, but serve a vital function as buffer zones between the game park and the nearby local communities.
Murchison Falls National Park is a predominantly savannah-woodland park dotted with Borassus palms and encompassing tracts of tropical forests, grassland and wetlands. In addition to a mix of savannah wildlife such as lions, buffalos, leopards, hyenas, elephants, and giraffes, many people visit this park to find shoebills in the dense papyrus marshes.
What is the best way to get to Murchison Falls?
You can reach Murchison Falls National Park by road or plane from Kampala or Entebbe. The process of getting there is relatively uncomplicated due to improved roads and flight connections within Uganda. There are also several points of entry into the park, so access is easy no matter where you’re coming from. Whether you wish to fly or drive to Murchison Falls National Park, Tulambule will get you there.
Getting to Murchison Falls from Kampala
The drive from Kampala to Murchison Falls National Park headquarters at Paraa will take roughly 4-6 hours (305 km). Along the way, you will pass through amazing Uganda rural villages, bustling towns, and enjoy some beautiful scenery!
When visiting Murchison Falls National Park from Kampala we highly recommend exploring the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary in Nakasongora District, a protected area that is home to Uganda’s only wild rhinos. This will offer you a decent chance of seeing all the Big Five animals on your trip.
The most direct route to Murchison Falls National Park from Kampala is through the southern gates (Kichumbanyobo and Masindi South Gate).
Also, the northern gates of Purongo and Takigate-Packwach are also a great option, although longer in distance, they take you straight to the most interesting sections of the park.
Note: Allow another hour or 2 from the entrance gate to most of the safari lodges in Murchison Falls National Park.
The quickest way to get to Murchison Falls National Park is by taking a small plane. It is possible to fly to the park by chartered aircraft or the daily scheduled flight from Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala. The flight is just under one hour. The most convenient airstrip to arrive at is Pakuba because of its proximity to the park headquarters and the main accommodations. Alternatively, you can fly to Chobe Airstrip or Bugungu Airstrip.
Pubic Means (Buses)
You can use a public transport mean like bus to go to Murchison Falls National Park. However, no public buses are allowed inside the national park. From Kampala city, you need to take a bus to Masindi town and then take a small commuter bus up to Paraa. From Paraa area, you would need to hire a private car to use for activities within the park.
Please note that public transport can be inconveniencing in a developing country like Uganda because the buses never keep time and make unplanned stoppages to pick and drop passengers. It is highly recommended that you either hire a private car right from Kampala or use the services of a Uganda tour operator.
Getting to Murchison Falls from Entebbe
When flying from abroad, you will arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB). It is located 46 kilometers (29miles) from the capital (Kampala).
Your local Uganda tour operator will usually arrange for you to be picked up at the airport and will take care of all further transportation as part of your safari package.
It is also possible to fly to the park by chartered or scheduled aircraft service from Entebbe International Airport (EBB). As part of your Uganda tour package, domestic flights are usually arranged by your tour operator.
Regularly scheduled domestic flights are run by Aerolink Uganda and Bar Aviation. Domestic flights from Entebbe to Murchison Falls NP can be booked directly from Bar Aviation Uganda or Aerolink Uganda. The second option is booking the flight through a trusted tour operator.
Getting to Murchison Falls from Kidepo
Murchison Falls National Park is closer to Kidepo National Park than many of the other major national parks in Uganda. You can go for a 6 Days safari to Kidepo and Murchison Falls National Park to experience most of what Uganda has to offer. You can take a drive of about 4 hours or short internal flight directly from Kidepo to Pakuba.
Getting to Murchison Falls from Fort Portal
FAQs About Murchison Falls Location
1. How Long is the drive to Murchison Falls from Kampala?
The drive to Murchison Falls National Park headquarters at Paraa from Kampala city, it takes approximately 4-6 hours (305 kilometers/190 miles).
2. What gate should I use if driving from Kampala?
If you are driving from Kampala, the southern gates (Kichumbanyobo and Masindi South Gate) near Masindi are the closest. However, going via the northern gates of Murchison Falls National Park will have a more scenic route.
3. Can I fly to Murchison Falls National Park?
Yes. You can fly from Entebbe International Airport (EBB) or from the Kajjansi Airfield near Kampala or. The flight time to Murchison Falls National Park is just under one hour.
4. How much is entrance fee at Murchison Falls National Park?
The entrance fee for Murchison Falls National Park in 2023/2024 is USD 45 for Foreigners Non- residents, USD 35 for Foreigners residents and UGX 25,000 for all East African citizens.
5. How many days do you need in Murchison Falls National Park?
The most usual duration for a stand-alone Murchison Falls National Park tour is 3 days, but 2-day and 4-day safari itineraries are also offered by many Uganda tour operators.
Given that the drive there and back requires around 6 hours, a 2-day safari will be very rushed and is not recommended unless you absolutely cannot extend the trip any longer. A 3-day safari will be more relaxed as it effectively doubles the time you spend in the park. In our view, 4 days is even better, especially if you want to track chimps and visit Ziwa en route.