Wildlife in Murchison Falls

Animals and Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park Uganda:

Discover the rich biodiversity, the list of Animals and Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park for a guided decision when planning a Uganda safari.

Murchison falls national park is Uganda’s oldest and largest national park located in the north western regions of Uganda spanning over 3894sq km, a habitat to a diverse of animal and plant species making it a famous destination for safari enthusiasts. In this article, we are going to briefly look at wildlife in Murchison falls national park and the different ways to explore it.

Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park (MFNP):

The Big Five African Mammals in Murchison Falls National Park.

Murchison falls national park is famously known for being a habitat for the four out of the “Big Fives” that is leopards, lions, elephants and buffaloes.

Murchison falls Safari Uganda

There once lived rhinos at the park during its opening but the last one was reported to have been killed by poachers in 1983. the park holds big herds of elephants and buffaloes and very healthy prides leopards and lions.

Big 5 animals mostly the lions and leopards are very dangerous to be tracked on nature walks hence one should opt for game drives for splendid views for these dangerous creatures.


Lions are famously known for being the kings of the jungles in Africa. They are normally spotted in savanna grasslands. Murchison falls park lions are called diurnal because they are only active in the mornings on the sunrise and in the evening on the sunset.

An adult healthy lion can weigh up to 250kg with the males normally bigger and looking majestic than the females. Despite of their strength and majestic looks, the females always lead any hunting and the males only come in to assist  if necessary. Morning and evenings are the perfect time for lion game drives in Murchison falls national park.


Elephants commonly termed as African elephants, are known to be the giant mammals in the all world, they can grow up to 14ft tall and 30ft wide, living in herds normally led by a female. They are very peaceful animals if not interfered and the mothers are very aggressive when it comes to protecting their young ones.

Boat Cruise in Murchison Falls

Elephants are herbivores animals eating about 370kg of greenery and also taking about 40gallons of water for adult elephants in a day. They can live up to 70years in the wild and to approximately 45years in captivity.


There are herds of buffaloes on MFNP best seen during game drives. Buffaloes live and move in herds mostly found grazing in the savanna grasslands and rest under big tree shades or cooling off in muddy waters or the fresh Nile waters in the park.

They are giant wild animals weighing up to 1,000kgs. A male buffalo is always bigger than the females.


Leopards are rare animals not found in different game reserves but a good number of them can be spotted in Murchison falls game reserve. A male leopard can weigh up to 60kg and a female to 40kg. Leopards can be found in the savanna grasslands, shrubs and forests unlike the lions.

Leopards are very dangerous hunters in the wild because they are fast runners and also have the ability to camouflage for example in the shrubs as they are waiting on their prey.

These pride dangerous animals can be spotted resting on tree branches in their habitats during day and very active at night with finding their prey. One interested in catching a good glimpse of them can chose to go on a night guided game drive because that’s the best time they are out of their habitats.

Other wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park:

Besides the Big Fives, wildlife in Murchison falls is diverse in other animals and bird species and some of these include;

Nile Crocodiles;

The Nile waters in Murchison falls national park are a habitat to huge number of crocodiles.

Nile Crocodiles
Nile Crocodiles

These are spotted resting on the shores or swimming in the Nile. They are best seen on boat cruises at a distance with help of a tour guide.


These are common figures of the Murchison falls national park. they are believed to be the tallest animals in the wild reaching a height of approximately 5.7m tall. These gentle tall beautiful looking animals  can be seen in the savanna grasslands during game drives.


Murchison falls national park holds large number of hippos seen in water, basking or grazing by the river banks. They are very large semi-aquatic animals and be well spotted during boat safaris.

Uganda Kobs;

These are common figures of the park, most hunted by lions and leopards, most spotted in the savanna plain grasslands.

wildlife at Murchison Falls


These are part of pig family most spotted during game drives in the savanna plains in Murchison falls national park.


Chimpanzees are found and tracked in Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park. They are best seen during chimpanzee trekking in the forest mostly done in the morning or afternoon under a tour guide of the park.

In the forests, you will also find there other primate species such as the black and white colombus monkeys, vervet monkeys and baboons, different plant species and so much more.


The mentioned above are the few, Murchison falls national park is a habitat for a variety of different animal and bird species.

Bird Watching in Murchison falls

The park holds over 400bird species such as the gray crowned cranes, giant kingfisher, pigeons, helmeted guinea fowls, night jars, black billed turaco, black headed lapwing and so much more.

Different ways of exploring Wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park:

There is approximately three different ways of exploring wildlife in MFNP  for splendid views and hence an amazing experiences on your safaris and these include;

Game Drives;

These are common ways of exploring wildlife in its habitats in Murchison falls national park mostly carried out in the morning and late evening  hours when the animals are very active done on a safari vehicle under control of the park guide leaving wildlife enthusiasts with unforgettable experiences.

Game drive in Murchison falls safari

Boat Cruise Safaris;

Boat safaris are guided tours carried out on protected areas of the Nile in MFNP leaving visitors with panoramic views of amazing semi-Aquatic wildlife and other mammals in Murchison falls national park. They are perfect choices for bird watching, exploring semi aquatic wildlife such as crocodiles, hippos, birds and other wild animals that are attracted by the Nile from their habitats to cool off.

Nature Walks;

This is an adventurous guided activity  taking you through various distinct habitats in MFNP with diverse wildlife species such as birds, monkeys, chimpanzees, Amphibians, insects and so much more getting you fully immersed in wildlife, leaving you with unforgettable experiences.

Safari Tips for Exploring Wildlife in Murchison falls National Park:

There are many different ways of travelling to MFNP but if you chose to go explore the wildlife in the park, there are some vital travel tips you need to know on your preparations to your jungle safari and these include the following;

  • Plan ahead; Murchison falls national park is usually busy during the high peak seasons therefore it is usually good for a tourist to make reservations earlier, ensuring that you have all the necessary permits to the park before your due date.
  • Chose the right clothing; light ,less coloured and comfortable clothing are usually recommended. But the choice of cloth to carry usually depends on your travel seasons for example light clothes for dry seasons and heavy clothes for rainy seasons.
  • Carry insect repellents to avoid bites from harmful wildlife insects. Make sure to pack enough insect repellents for your safaris to the wild.
  • Follow instructions from your tour guide. For a safe,informative and effective safari experience in the park, Murchison falls national park will always avail you with a tour guide.
  • It is prohibited to get close or feed the wild animals as this might interrupt their natural behaviour and can also be harmful to you as well as the animal.
  • Keep on your designated trails. Wandering off in the park with out the acknowledgement of your game guide is very dangerous and can claim your life.
  • Bring a good camera and a binoculars to capture and view your soul captivating moments while in the park.
  • Do not litter the park
  • Use eco-friendly products to help preserve the wildlife environment.
  • Carry a portable first aid kit for minor injuries while in the park.

Fulfilling all the above Murchison falls safari tips, you will have an amazing safari experience.


Are there lions in Murchison falls?

In Uganda, lions are mainly found in three major parks, Murchison falls national park being one of them, and then Kidepo Valley National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Are there baboons in Murchison falls?

Murchison Falls National Park is a habitat for different primate species holding over 800 chimpanzees, black and white Columbus monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, etc

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