Game Viewing in Uganda’s largest National Park

1043 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2022

Product name

Murchison Falls National Park

Product country


Product city


Travelled with


Reasons for trip


Murchison Falls National Park, the largest in Uganda, is located on the banks of the River Nile, downstream from the falls it was named after. The reserve is said to have been favoured by Winston Churchill.

We stayed in the park for three nights at Paraa Safari Lodge and as well as visiting the falls, enjoyed three game drives, one in the morning and two in the afternoon. All began with a short drive on what was the relatively wide red-dust road which bisects the park, before turning off onto narrower tracks, passing the Pakuba airstrip.

Drive 1 – starting at 4pm our first sighting was almost immediate: five elephants roaming around the lodge’s staff quarters hoping for treats. Entering deeper into the park, we found the wide, open plains of the savannah grassland made animals easy to spot, with cloudy ominous skies providing a good background for photos. Antelopes abounded and ranged in size from the small, gazelle-like oribi to the large Jackson’s Hartebeest, with its dark coat and long thin face. This was also our first, but certainly not last, sight of the Ugandan kob, the national animal which features on the country’s coat of arms. We also spotted elephant, Rothschild’s giraffe with the males being identified through darker markings, warthog running with their tails in the air and herds of African buffalo. Birdlife was similarly prevalent and included: the Abyssinian ground hornbill (the male having a red face and the female blue), marabou stork, and guinea fowl. However, our favourite moment was watching, at a relatively close distance, a male and collared female lion, with the latter laid on her back and feet in the air.

Drive 2 – starting at 6.15am our first sighting was a giraffe on the main track, distracted by the lights of the three vehicles surrounding it. Whilst Ugandan kob, giraffe and elephant continued to dominate our drive, new animal sightings included a side-striped jackal, baboons in trees and the patas monkey, found in northern Uganda. Vultures circled the remains of a kill hunting for a final scrap of meat, and whilst not an avid twitcher, I became so fascinated by the variety of birds being pointed out, I began checking them off against a beginners birding list featuring 100 of the countries key birds. Two that were particularly striking due to their black and red feathers were the black headed gonolek and black winged red bishop, but there were also several species of owls, eagles and storks to identify. After a picnic breakfast at Delta Point on the shores of Lake Albert, we drove along searching for shoebill, said to be Africa’s most keenly sought bird, but were sadly unsuccessful.

Drive 3 – setting off a little earlier than the previous afternoon for our third and final drive, we took a different direction passing a building which was going to become a museum of some type, an education centre, ranger barracks, army post and the old airstrip. Then back on familiar territory, we began spotting familiar animals, but new birds – the black bellied bustard, cori bustard and woodland kingfisher. Again, we headed for Lake Albert and found a magnificent sight greeting us: at least 40 giraffe, African buffalo, hippos on the land and in the water and many, many birds. We were mesmerised by the sight of so many giraffe in one place, and at the water’s edge, watched how they spread their front legs wide to get their neck to the ground to drink. We were the only vehicle, and it felt a very special moment to finish our time in the park.

Helen Jackson

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.