Hiking is a typical hard adventure activity that is quite interesting to involve oneself in, at Murchison Falls National Park it gets even better!
After the 2 hour long amazing Boat Safari along the River Nile reaching at the base of the Murchison Falls the group which is set to do the top of the falls hike will get off the boat to meet the waiting ranger at the set off point!
The hike starts right off at bakers point, here Sir Samuel Baker, a famous explorer of the time, stood on a huge rock (that you will also stand on) to declare the beautiful falls in 1864 as Murchison Falls, like they are famously known to be today.
You will begin to be so inquisitive walking in his shoes and for a moment imagine what was going through his head as he took a stroll through nature’s untouched beauty amidst the most amazing scenery.
A tour guide is always provided for the hike to explain certain features and answer all your questions.
One of the things that intrigued me almost immediately was the white form that these falls make. For a long while since, I had been ignorantly believing that the force at which the water comes through the narrow space between the rocks was the cause of the form , but the tour guide clearly brought me out of ignorance by explaining that; Leaves fall into the water and decompose and as they mix with some rock mineral, they form that white form as water comes gushing out of the narrow plum. Standing at that point you can see clearly the Murchison falls and take lots and lots of great pictures.
After of course, a few minutes of briefing and the endless clicks of the camera, you will begin the hike, which may take from forty five minutes to one and half hours, depending on how big the group is, and needless to say, how fit everyone is.. Ha-ha. Having gone for a hike myself not too long ago, I know exactly what it takes.
Hiking to top of the falls in Murchison falls national park, could be best described as, running a huge marathon that gets you a gold medal when you do win in the end, like any other hike, you have done before , it’s no easy one . There is a long stretch of steps that you will keep ascending until you reach the top, you will feel like crawling at some point from exhaustion and yet with every step you ascend, the fall’s view gets even better and better. Even its sister fall called, “Uhuru fall” suddenly comes into clear view.
Uhuru fall was formed as a result of a breaking away of water from the Murchison falls, forming another fall right at the time of Uganda’s independence in 1962 hence giving it the name “Uhuru”, a Kiswahili word that means independence. The scenery at this point, is simply spectacular.
Finally, you have made it! Top of the falls. Here you will forget all the pain and toiling through the endless steps, as the cool fresh air blows away the exhaustion and the beautiful music ,quickly reaches your ears, from the falls as they join hands with huge rocks in a loud clap , and the soft splashes, almost like little drizzles from heaven fall on your face. It’s so refreshing, so beautiful. You can stay here forever!
The entire River Nile squeezes through a tiny space of 7 meters between the rocks, emerging with a powerful explosion and plunging 42 meters to the bottom. This is also the world’s strongest waterfall!
How difficult is the hike and what level of fitness do I need for the top of the Murchison Falls hike
The hike can be categorized as easy to moderate, literally anyone can do it without needing much fitness.
It is short distance from the bottom to the top but has some steep sections which can be challenging for the elderly and those with leg injuries, so it may not be easy or even doable for them.
Luckily it is a slow paced hike with frequent stops made along the way to enjoy views of the falls.
The hiking trail which runs along the cliff is safely farther enough from the raging water, while there are guard rails in some dangerous spots.
How to prepare for the top of the Murchison Falls hike
To better prepare for the Murchison Falls hike carry the following with you:
- Closed shoes, such as sneakers will be just enough. No need for tough hiking shoes, but shoes with good traction will give you an extra advantage
- Sunscreen to protect from sunburn as you walk under direct sunlight
- Insect repellent to keep away Tsetse flies which are present at the top of the falls.
- Waterproof bag to protect your electrical devices from splashes of water
- Light clothing to keep cool as it gets quite hot during the afternoon.
Take a tour to Murchison Falls National Park and hike to the falls
Would you like you to experience this wonderful adventure in Murchison Falls National Park, you can book one of these trips to Murchison Falls National Park;
UPDATE: MURCHISON FALLS HIKE IS CURRENTLY (2022) NOT AVAILABLE
In 2021 the region received a lot of rain resulting in the increase in the volume of water in the Nile which expanded and burst its banks in many areas. In Murchison Falls National Park it also resulted in submerging part of the trail rendering it inaccessible. The hike is therefore closed until further notice. The park management is waiting for the water levels to drop so that another trail can be created!
In the meantime you can drive directly to the top of the Murchison Falls on a smooth paved road. Starting from the top you can hike down to a certain point along the trail and then return back to the top of the falls.