The Murchison falls locally referred to as the Kabalega Falls are a spectacular feature along the course of the river Nile. These stunning falls break the Victoria Nile that flows through the northern part of Uganda from Lake Victoria the largest fresh water lake in the whole of East Africa to Lake Kyoga and further on towards lake Albert located within the western arm of the Great East Africa Rift Valley. at the peak of these impressive Murchison falls the waters of the great Nile forcefully make their way through a small gorge within the rocks that is just 7 meters or 23 feet wide, and drops with a thunderous roar to 43 meters or 141 feet below. The great falls form a spectacular water spray the form small beautiful rainbows and creates a very cool ambience around it.
The waters of the Nile then flow on to the north western part of Uganda into Lake Albert. The lake Victoria vent send an amount of water approximated to 300 cubic meters each second which is (11,000 ft³/s) through these Murchison Falls. The sight of seeing liters and liters of water flowing over this gorge as well as the imagination that this water flows every day each passing second without stopping is very heartrending.
This falls where actually named after Sir Roderick Murchison then president of the Royal Geographical Society by Sir Samuel Baker a British explorer. The surrounding area which actually was demarcated as a national park by the Ugandan government was also named after these spectacular falls and is known as the Murchison Falls National Park.
For the period of Idi Amin’s rule back in the 1970s, the name of the Murchison falls was changed and they were named after the king (the omukama) of Bunyoro kingdom; King Kabalega to the Kabalega Falls. However this name was not legally disseminated in Uganda. after the collapse of Idi Amin’s rule, the name was changed back to Murchison Falls. However it should be noted that the name Kabalega Falls is still being used by some people.
There is a launch cruise that starts every day from 1400hrs from Paraa landing sight to the the bottom of the falls this gives visitors to enjoy a ride on the great nile all the way to the foot of these 43 meters high falls. The launch cruise is a very exciting experience that rewards you with opportunities to see some of the wildlife living on the banks of river Nile among which are the giant crocodiles, hundreds and hundreds of hippos, buffaloes, elephants plus other animals that come to drink water and also cool off the heat of the day. In addition you will be able to see various bird species on this launch cruise as you sail to the falls among which are: the shoebill, herons, bee-eaters, comrants, fish Eagles, king Fishers, Egyptian plovers, red-winged grey warbler, the Secretary bird, Pels fishing owl, Vinaceous dove, bruces green pigeon, Night jars, Denham’s bustard and the white crested turaco. This exciting water cruise takes about three hours and it is one of the best ways to experience these waterfalls.
Alternatively you can experience the falls by driving to the peak of the falls. This point of view will offer you a wholesome view of the beautiful Murchison falls. As you drive to the falls you will drive through the large Murchison falls national park. Along the way you will come across a variety of wildlife among which are the Uganda kobs, buffaloes, giraffes, lions, large herd of buffaloes plus numerous solitary buffaloes, antelopes, hartebeests and elephants in addition to a profusion of birdlife.
Accommodation around Murchison Falls
There is a variety of accommodation alternatives around the Murchison fall including the luxury facilities, mid-range facilities and the budget facilities. Among these are: Nile Safari Camp. Paraa Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Masindi Hotel, Red Chilli Rest Camp, Global Village guest house among many others.
How to get to the Murchison falls
The falls can be accessed after entering the Murchison falls National Park. This can be done by road, and it takes about 5 hours drive from the capital Kampala .