Uganda's largest protected area, Murchison Falls National Park is renowned for the waterfall from which it takes its name and the rich biodiversity that populate its river banks, lush grassland and riverine woodland. Splitting the park in two is the Victoria Nile, which flows west between the sprawling Lake Albert and Lake Kyoga.
Murchison Falls is easily the park's most famous feature. The explosive outburst of water that cascades 43m to create the falls is the result of the wide Victoria Nile squeezing through a 7m wide rocky clef before outpouring over the western edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. It's an impressive sight and one unique to East Africa.
Hop aboard a boat from Paraa and meander down the river to the very base of the falls - it's a well-established and popular way to experience the spectacle. Boating safaris are also a good way to explore the local ecology; most of the park's 1200 or so hippos live downstream of the falls and line the shallows, while menacing Nile crocodile can be found basking on the sandy shelves.
Home to 76 mammal species, the park is awash with big game. Rolling grasslands, savannah and vast swamps along the river's stretch are populated by large herds of buffalo and elephant, around 15 - 20 prides of lion and some of the world's most unique birdlife. The legendary and elusive shoebill stork is the main sighting for any birder, with the prehistoric creature a sight to behold.
On holidays to Murchison Falls game drives, forest walks, fishing and boat trips are the best ways to explore and get in touch with the park, the chance to enjoy the views from the top of the falls is also recommended. Accommodation at Murchison Falls is excellent, with a range of luxury lodges to stay in, the majority of which take advantage of the area's natural beauty and are situated on the beautiful river banks.
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