Murchison Falls National Park is a national park in Uganda that is managed by Ugandan Wildlife Authority. The park lies in north western Uganda, spreading inland from the shore of Lake Albert around the Victoria Nile. It is named for the Murchison Falls waterfall, itself named for a president of the Royal Geographical Society. The park is known for its wildlife which has partly recovered from a massacre by poachers and troops under Idi Amin. Together with the adjacent 748 square kilometres (289 sq. mi) Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometres (280 sq. mi) Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park forms the Murchison Falls Conservation Area.
The park is sometimes referred to as Kabalega National Park. Kabalega 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. Kabalega died in Jinja, in 1923 en route to Bunyoro from exile.
Murchison Falls National Park is located in Masindi District in western Uganda and in Nwoya District in northern Uganda. The park is situated approximately 300 kilometres (190 mi), by road, northwest of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. The coordinates of the park are: 02 15N, 31 48E (Latitude: 2.2500; Longitude: 31.8000).
Murchison Falls National Park is Uganda’s largest national park. It measures approximately 3,840 square kilometres (1,480 sq. mi). Together with the adjacent Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the Karuma Wildlife Reserve, the park is part of the 5,308 square kilometres (2,049 sq. mi) Murchison Falls Conservation Area (MFCA). The park is bisected by the Victoria Nile from east to west for a distance of about 115 kilometres (71 mi). The park is the location of the famous Murchison Falls, where the waters of the majestic Nile River squeeze through a narrow gorge, only 7 metres (23 ft.) wide, before plunging 43 metres (141 ft.) below. Also in the park, adjacent to the Masindi-Gulu Highway, are the Karuma Falls, the proposed location of the 700 MW Karuma Power Station, Uganda’s largest hydropower station, expected to come online sometime around 2016.
In Murchison there are four of the “big five”. Buffalos, elephants, lions, leopards are best to be seen in the northern part (above the Nile). Due to excessive hunting and poaching, Rhinos became extinct by 1983, but were re-introduced into Uganda in 2005 by Rhino Fund Uganda. White rhinos are now being bred again in the 7000ha Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which is located 70 km south of the park; their mission is to reintroduce small herds of rhinos (around five at a time), whilst retaining a nucleus breeding herd in the sanctuary.