Self Drive Guide To Murchison Falls National Park

Murchison Falls National Park is one of Uganda’s most popular national parks, known for its scenic beauty and diverse wildlife. The park is located in the northern part of the country, about 300 km from Kampala, the capital city. If you’re planning a self-drive trip to Murchison Falls National Park, here’s a guide to help you plan your journey:

Renting a Car

You can rent a car in Kampala or Entebbe, and there are many car rental companies to choose from. Make sure to rent a 4×4 vehicle, as the roads in Murchison Falls National Park can be rough, especially during the rainy season.

Getting to the Park

From Kampala, take the Kampala-Gulu Highway until you reach River Kafu Bridge. From that point, you will leave Gulu Highway and continue to Masindi Town. Once you reach Masindi town, you will drive through the town in order to find the signpost that will lead you to Murchison falls national park.

The journey takes about 5-6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

The park can also be accessed from the north side near Pakwachi. It is possible to sleep outside the park and spend the night at lodges such as Fort Murchison.

Entrance Fees

The entrance fee to the park is $45 per person per day for non-residents and $30 for foreign East African residents. You’ll also need to pay for a vehicle permit and any other activities you want to do in the park. The park entrance fee only allows you to enter the national park, other activities such as the boat trips have to be paid separately.


There are several accommodation options inside the park, ranging from luxury lodges to budget campsites. It’s best to book in advance, especially during peak season. If you prefer to camp within the check out our list of lodges and campsites around Uganda.

Safari Drives

The park is divided into two sections, the northern section, and the southern section, and both offer amazing game drives. You can either do a self-drive safari or hire a guide at the park gate or at the lodge where you will be spending the night. Be sure to follow the park rules and guidelines to ensure your safety.

The speed limit in the national park is 40km/h

Boat Safari

A boat safari on the Nile River is a must-do activity in Murchison Falls National Park. The boat ride takes you to the base of the falls, where you can see the water cascading down from a height of 43 meters, creating a stunning waterfall. During the boat ride, you’ll also see hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and a variety of bird species.

Boat Cruise to the Bottom of the Falls

It is highly recommended to car an insect repellent for a smooth sail on the boat. There are a number of insects that might bite you during your boat trip, and carrying a strong insect repellent will always come to your rescue.  If your only intention is to see the stunning Murchison Falls, hiring a speed boat will save you more than an hour of your time. The other boats usually take around 2 hours.

Chimpanzee Trekking

The park is also home to a chimpanzee population, and visitors can go on a chimpanzee trekking expedition in the Budongo forest. The trek takes you through the forest, where you can see the chimps in their natural habitat. The trek can take up to 3 hours, so be prepared for a longer excursion.

Budongo forest is one of the most recommended chimpanzee tracking destinations in Uganda second to Kibale forest national park. The main difference is the fact that the temperature in Budongo is slightly higher than the temperature in Kibale forest national park.


Always follow the park rules and guidelines to ensure your safety during your self-drive trip. Make sure to stay in your vehicle during game drives, and keep safe. All animals in Murchison fall national Park are wild. Always keep your distance and respect animal space.

Observe the speed limit of 40km, do not drive off track, and do not try to scare off animals in case you find them rested in a place that does not give you clear views.

The most dangerous animal in the national park is not the lion. It is the elephant. Always maintain a good distance from the elephants. Always have an exit plan in mind once you set out to stop and observe the elephants.

Other Activities

Murchison Falls National Park also offers other activities, including fishing, birdwatching, Visiting the top of the falls, and cultural visits to the local communities. All these activities can be done on a self-drive safari with 4x4uganda.