Uganda's largest National Park acts as a conservation area to untamed wilderness and savannahs, split through the middle by the dramatic river Nile.
Murchinson Falls is the name that was given to the point at which the world’s longest river, the river Nile, is channeled through a narrow gorge within the Rift Valley, descending almost 50 metres below. Sir Roderick Murchison (1851–1853), was President of the Royal Geographical Society, which was the catalyst for many explorations within ‘colonial’ Africa, most notably the search for the source of the river Nile.
Wildlife populations have largely recovered from the poaching during the Idi Amin era of the 1980s. Together with the adjacent 748 square kilometres (289 sq mi) Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometres (280sq mi) Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the entire area is known as the Murchison Falls conservation area.
The park is sometimes referred to as Kabarega National Park. Kabarega was the Omukama of the Kingdom of Bunyoro, around the end of the 19th century. He resisted colonization by the British, was arrested and was exiled by the British to the island nation of the Seychelles. Kabarega died in Jinja, in 1923 en-route to Bunyoro from exile.
Murchison is Uganda's only National Park which has all "big five". Buffalos, elephants, lions, leopards are best to be seen in the northern part (above the Nile). Rhinos were sadly extinguished but are now being bred again in the rhino sanctuary south of the park; 40 to 50 rhinos are planned to be released into the wild in approx. 30 years
In the southeast, Rabongo Forest is home to chimps and other rainforest creatures. The Nile itself hosts one of Africa's highest hippo and crocodile populations, and an immense variety of birds including the world's most accessible wild population of the rare shoebill stork.