Murchison Falls National Park Uganda

Kaniyo-Pabidi Ecotourism Site
Rubongo Forest
The Karuma Falls
Bugungu Wildlife Reserve

¦ MFNP Access ¦ Accommodation ¦ Location ¦ MFNP Best time to visit ¦
¦ The Nile River ¦ The Murchison Falls ¦ Wildlife ¦ Bird Life ¦

All National Park tariffs indicated below are effective 01 January 2009 through 30th June 2010
UWA New tariffs document Jan 2009 – June 2010 (148KB)Adobe Acrobat Document

Visitor Entrance Fees Non-Resident Foreign Resident East Africans
Class – Category A Visitation Fees US$ Visitation Fees US$ Visitation Fees Ush
Adult 1 day/night – $30- 1 day/night – $20- 1 day/night – Ush5,000-
Child (5-15 years) 1 day/night – $15- 1 day/night – $10- 1 day/night – Ush2,500-
Child (0-5 years) Free Free Free
Foreign Students with valid international identity cards are allowed 25% on entrance fees.
One days entrance is valid for twenty-four hours from the time of entrance.
All visitors will be required to produce valid ID’s in order to determine their resident status.

Vehicle Entrance Fees Foreign Registered Uganda Registered
Motor Cycles US$30- Ushs10,000-
Saloon cars US$50- Ushs20,000-
Mini buses (private) US$50- Ushs30,000-
Pick-ups & 4-WD (private) US$50- Ushs30,000-
Tour Company vehicles US$100- Ushs40,000-
Buses, lorries plus 2 tonnes US$150- Ushs150,000-
Vehicle Entrance is paid only once per visit

Camping Fees Camping sites
Wilderness Campsite US$210- minimum charge per campsite per night, above 7 people each pays US$20- per person per night
Category A site (Exclusive)
Maximum 20 persons
Requires advance booking Minimum charge per campsite per night US$240- for 12 people. Above 12 persons each pays USD15- per night
Category B site (Public) Ush15,000- per person per night
Category B camp sites include a pit latrine, firewood, rubbish pit, water, fireplace and a thatched shelter.
Those camping at the Head of the Falls the only water available is direct from the Nile River.

Red Chilli Rest Camp Paraa Prices per unit effective Sept 2008
Family self-contained Ushs120,000-
Twin self-contained Ushs70,000-
Twin (shared bathrooms) Ushs45,000-
Safari tents (4 x Single beds) Ushs70,000-
Safari tents (2 x Single beds) Ushs35,000-
Camping with own tent Ushs10,000- per person
Red Chilli Hideaway Hostel and Campsite in Kampala have taken over the management of the National Parks Paraa Rest Camp. It has now been renamed the Red Chilli Rest Camp Paraa.
Red Chilli offers a 3 day Murchison package form US$240- per persons. This trip includes transfers to and from Red Chilli Hideaway in Kampala, park fees, game drive, ferry crossing, ranger guide fees, launch trip, visit to the top of the falls, shared accommodation (safari tent). Items of a personal nature and all meals/drinks are not included.

Student Centre (North bank) Dormitory – style accommodation
Ushs10,000- per person per night

Hostel (Rabongo Forest) Dormitory – style accommodation
Ushs10,000- per person per night

Game drive Ranger / Guide fees Day Drives Night drive 19.00 – 23.00
US$20- per vehicle US$15- per person
NB. A Ranger/Guide is recommended for those considering a game drive on the north bank.

Sport Fishing Permit 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day Extra Day
US$70- pp US$70- pp US$70- pp US$150- per person
NB. Children below 12 years of age can do sport fishing free.

Launch Trip Daily at 09.00am, 14.00hrs
Adult US$15- per person
Citizen Ushs20,000- per person
Exclusive launch/boat trip US$150- for up to 5 hours. Over 5 hours US$300-.
There two private operators conducting launch trips at Murchsion Falls.
Parra Ferry Scheduled crossings one way
Saloon cars, 4WD’s, Mini Buses, Pick-up’s up to 2 tonnes Ushs20,000-
Pick-up’s, small lorries, omni-buses 2 – 5 tonnes Ushs30,000-
Buses, lorries 5-10 tonnes Ushs60,000-
Heavy Vehicles 10 tonnes plus Ushs80,000-
Passengers Ushs2000-
Paraa Ferry
The ferry operates on a schedule between south and north banks
07.00, 08.00, 09.00, 10.00, 11.00, 12.00, 14.00, 15.00, 16.00 17.00, 18.00, and 19.00hrs
Crossing Fees include vehicle and driver.
*For vehicles with visitors resident in the park the vehicle may make any number of return scheduled crossings at the advertised fee per day.
Unscheduled crossing are at the discretion of the park management at the minimum crossing fee of Ushs100,000-
Bicycles and motorbikes can cross for free at scheduled crossing times.

Commercial Filming Fees:
Commercial filming in this Category ‘A’ Protected Area is US$200- per person per day plus a refundable fee of US$1,000- when you provide UWA a copy of the film.

The fine for those caught driving off track without permission will be fined US$150-.
Over speeding fines Ushs100,000- per offence.
Accident fee for killing animals US$500-.

Paraa ferry crossing
Paraa ferry crossing

MFNP Access:
By Road: A 3 hour drive from Kampala to Masindi, 217 km on tarmac and 40 km on high grade murram. The Masindi-Paraa road through Kichumbanyobo gate is the direct road to Paraa Rest Camp. All the roads in Murchison Falls National Park have been recently upgraded as have the park access roads. The scenic approach from Masindi to the park is to use the escarpment road along Lake Edward.

For those proceeding to Murchison Falls without their own transport, there are a number of people now offering vehicle hire with driver from Masindi. Contact Yebo Tours, New Court View Hotel or the Masindi Hotel.

By Air: Bugungu airfield is located only a few kilometers from the park headquarters at Paraa on the Southern side of the River Nile to cater for safari tourists visiting the park and staying at Nile Safari Camp, the Red Chili Rest Camp and Sambiya River Lodge. It is the second major field in the park after Pakuba airfield, which is partly tarmacked located on the North bank providing access to Paraa Lodge.

Kampala – Paraa via Kichumbanyobo gate 303km, via Bugungu gate 353km
Masindi – Paraa via Kichumbanyobo gate 86km
Masindi – Paraa via Bugungu gate 136km
Paraa – Top of Falls 35km
Paraa – Kichumbanyobo gate 65km
Paraa – Bugungu gate 13km (Rift valley)
Paraa – Tangi gate 25km (North bank)

Access to the north bank is possible through Tangi gate. From Kampala proceed to Karuma Bridge on Gulu road. 1 km after bridge is a left turn direction Pakwach. This is a very poor marum road. This road has a curfew after 16.00hrs. Do not leave Karuma or Tangi gate after 13.00 on this route. Camping is not permitted at Tangi gate. Basic accommodation and camping is available in Pakwach. Allow 3 hours to complete the distance between Karuma and Tangi Gate.

Tangi Gate
Tangi Gate

En-route to the Park:
Masindi Hotel: Butiaba Rd Masindi.

Karuma Falls Campsite: Gulu Road. The site is located on the south bank of the Nile roughly 1km from the trading centre up river from the bridge crossing the Nile at the Karuma. See detail above of curfew on the Karuma-Pakwach road. The site is rarely used and permission should be sort from the LC in the trading centre at Karuma.

Busingiro Ecotourism site: 41km from Masindi on Butiaba road. Camping only. Ideal for those wanting to enter park via Lake Edward if coming from Fort Portal/Hoima direction.
See content on Budongo Forest.

Kaniyo-Pabidi Ecotourism site: 29km from Masindi on the Paraa road. Forest cottages.
See content on Budongo Forest and details at the foot of this page.

Accommodation in/adjacent the park:
Paraa Lodge: Tel. +256 (0)31 260260/1,,

Paraa Lodge room rates per night valid till 31st December 2009.

Suite: US$280- two adults sharing, per night full board or US$230- per night bed and breakfast only. A suite has one big bed and a living room.
Twin/double room : US$220- two adults sharing, per night full board or US$170- two adults sharing per night bed and breakfast only.
Single room: US$140- per night full board or US$115- per night bed and breakfast only.

Nile Safari Camp: Tel. +256 (0)41 4258273 or email: Located on the parks western boundary close to the Bugungu gate. Access is possible via the escarpment road via Butiaba saving a days parks fees. 24 bed Tented camp with swimming pool located on the bank of the nile with views over the delta.

Rack Rates 2009
Twin Share( per person per night)/Single( per night)
Fullboard: US$140- / US$160-
Private camping US$10- ea.

*Children’s Rates: under 5 years are free.
Children ages 5 years to 12 years pay 50% of the adult rate
NB: Rates are subject to change without notice.

Sambiya River Lodge: Operated by Afri Tours, tel. +256 (0)41 233596, email: Located on the south bank of the Nile on the Sambiya River. This is the closest accommodation to the falls. Accommodation in self contained cottages. Budget accommodation available in Bandas

Rack Rates 2011
Cottages: Non resident rates per person – Double/Twin US$90-, Single US$135- FB, Double/Twin US$80-, Single US$95- HB, Double/TwinUS$70-, Single US$85- B&B.

Cottages: Resident rates per person – Double/Twin US$85-, Single US$95- FB, Double/Twin US$75-, Single US$85- HB, Double/TwinUS$65-, Single US$75- B&B.

Bandas: Residents & Non resident rates per person – Double/Twin Ushs55,000-, Single Ushs70,000- B&B non self contained unit. Add Ushs20,000/25,000- per person for a self contained unit. Half board and full board is also possible.

During the high season Christmas, New Year and Easter a US$10- supplement per person will apply to accommodation in the cottages.

The Red Chilli Rest Camp Paraa: Banda accommodation with twin beds, bedding and mosquito nets. Camping site. Clean ablution facilities are on hand. A restaurant/bar available for meals. Order meals in advance.

Rates 2011
Pitch your own tent Ushs10,000- per person per night
Large safari tent with 2 single beds Ushs40,000- per tent per night
Bandas accommodation:
Twin (2 beds, shared bathroom facilities, electric lights and fan) Ushs60,000- per night
Twin self-contained (2 beds, en-suite bathroom, power, lights and fan) Ushs100,000- per night
Family self-contained (2 bedrooms with 4 single beds, en-suite bathroom, power, lights and fan) Ushs160,000- per night
There is a National Parks campsite at the top of the Falls which can be used by those with their own camping equipment.

Mechanical Emergencies:
At Paraa the National Park has a large workshop.

Medical Emergencies:
There is no confirmation of qualified medical personal on hand at Paraa. At Pakwach (28km) there is a clinic and at Masindi (86km) there is a hospital. There is an airstrip on the north bank at Pakuba (19km) from Paraa. Charter services are frequent from Entebbe. Contact the lodges to find out when they are next expecting clients by air.

Murchison Falls National Park (3840 sq km) was gazetted in July 1952. Muchison Falls is a magnificent spot where the mighty 50 metre wide Victoria Nile squeezes through a 6 metre cleft in the rocks to drop 43 metres (141 feet) in a cascading thunder of water. The conservation area includes Bugungu (748 sq km) and Karuma Wildlife Reserves (720 sqkm).

Fishing the Nile below the Murchison Falls
Fishing the Nile below the Murchison Falls

MFNP Best time to visit:
Any time of the year is good, the rainy seasons are April to May and October to November. Long grass in the wet season is a problem for game viewing and Tsetse flies are a constant hassle. Include a game drive to Victoria Nile Delta on the north bank in your visit.

The Nile River:
The River Nile is the most prominent feature of the park, bisecting it from east to west for 115km in the northern most part of the park. The area is extremely well watered and fertile.

The Victoria Nile
The Victoria Nile at Paraa

The Murchison Falls:
A boat cruise upstream to the falls from the Paraa Rest Camp provides an unforgettable experience. The falls can also be viewed from their top which gives a completely different impression.

Elephants, buffalo’s giraffes, lions, hippos, crocodiles, several antelope species including Uganda Kob, Oribi and Jackson Hartibeast. Leopard is also present especially in the Delta area.

Bird Life:
Shoebill Stork may be seen on occassions on reed islands in the Nile during the launch trip to the falls. Regular sightings of Shoebill are more common on special request boat trips to the Victoria Nile delta. Other Murchison specials include Red Fronted Bee Eater, Silverbird and Blue Mantled Coucal.

Chobe Sector:
This sector has no tourist infrastructure as yet. The road from Karuma Falls to Paraa north bank has been completed but an escort is recommended for the journey. The old Chobe Lodge is derelict. The lodge is located 8 km from Karuma Falls/Pakwach junction. Ask directions from the military on the junction.

Karuma Wildlife Reserve:
The Karuma Falls:
The falls can be viewed from the main Kampala – Gulu road. Stop on the Kampala side of the Karuma bridge and get permission from the military to take photographs. There is a campsite near the falls set up on a ridge. There is an access road from the trading centre. Get the military to point out it’s location. You need to obtain permission for the LC in the trading centre at Karuma to camp here.

The Karuma Falls
The rapids at Karuma Falls

Bugungu Wildlife Reserve:
Access on the escarpment road from Masindi.
Accommodation : Only camping possible.
Activities: Walking

Rabongo Forest:
Located in the southern sector of the park, this is one of the most extensive forests in Africa. It also provides shelter for tropical rain forest primates, and has a cool atmosphere. The forest is a home of chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, and baboon. Accommodation at Forest Cottages Hostel or camp at Waringo River camp.

Budongo Forest:
Kanya Papidi Ecotourism site: An undisturbed tropical forest of Ironwood and Mahogany trees within the boundaries of MFNP. Activities include Chimpanzee tracking and birding. The birding special is the Puvel’s Illadopisis found nowhere else in E.Africa.

At the begining of 2008 in co-operation with the Jane Goodall Institute a new education centre was opened and new accommodation for visitors. Crepes, sandwiches and cappuccinos are available in the cafe where a craft shop also sells locally produced merchandise. The venue has been taken over by Uganda Lodges who also manage Primate Lodge in the Kibale Forest and Simba Camp at Queen Eilzabeth National Parks.

Chimp Tracking/Forest Walk
All advance bookings for activities at Kanyio Pabidi should be made through Lets Go Travel in Kampala details below. A surcharge of US$5- will be levied for ‘walk in’ visitors wishing to undertake an activity should they not of made an advanced booking.

Chimp Tracking Non Resident US$40-, Foreign Resident US$30-.

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