Murchison Falls also formerly known as Kabalega Falls are waterfalls on the Nile River between Lakes Kyoga and Albert. The world’s strongest waterfalls! The Falls were formed as the Nile River forces its waters through a 7-meter (23 ft.) gap of rocks and tumbles 43 meters (141 ft.) below what is referred to as the devil’s cauldron. The water then flows westward into Lake Albert. Murchison Falls National Park is found in northwestern Uganda.
Sending around 300 cubic meters per second of water from the outlet in Lake Victoria and pouring over the falls as well as squeezing through a rock gorge only 7 meters wide, this is the world’s most powerful falls. The falls form a water spray that forms a beautiful rainbow when the sun shines on it making such a spectacular view to sight from below or as you hike to the top of the falls.
The name Murchison was given by Samuel Baker and Florence Baker who were the first Europeans who sighted these falls. The falls were named after Roderick Murchison the then President of the Royal Geographical Society that was sponsoring African exploration during the 17th Century. The Falls lend their name to the surrounding Murchison Falls National Park which is the largest national park in Uganda covering an area of 3,893 square kilometers.
In 1862, John Speke and James Grant were the first Europeans to see these falls, however, in 1863 Sir Samuel Baker and his wife Florence Baker explored the area thoroughly. Sir Samuel Baker named the falls after Roderick Murchison the then President of the Royal Geographical Society an organization in the 17th Century that was sponsoring the African exploration.
After then, in the reign of then Uganda’s President Idi Amin Dada, he renamed the falls to Kabalega falls. Kabalega is the cultural leader title of the people of the Bunyoro kingdom, an area where the falls are found. To date, the falls are still referred to as Kabalega Falls by the people in the area. Unfortunately, when Idi Amin was overthrown by President Milton Obote, the name of the falls was revived to Murchison Falls and so did the whole park borrow the name.
The adventure begins with a boat ride down the Nile to the base of the falls at a location known as ‘The Baker Point,’ which is said to be the exact location where early explorer Sir Samuel Baker stood in 1864 as he admired and appreciated the splendor and might of the waterfalls, which he named after the then-serving president of the Royal geographical society. You will have a great time watching rolling hills, vegetation types, hearing the thunderous roar of the falls, and seeing different birds in Murchison Falls National Park after the boat leaves you at the base.
Once at the top, you can see the Nile’s waters make their way through a 7m wide gap in the rocks, forming a 45m fall as it drops down to continue its course. The ground trembles as a result of the immense pressure. The Nile is an offensive roaring giant before the exact spot “Murchison Falls” that sweeps a side everything on its path but surrenders all its youthfulness after tumbling 45m deep of hard rock through a 7m narrow gap – commonly referred to as the “Devil’s Cauldron”. A must see while in Murchison Falls National Park.
Other activities to do in Murchison Falls National Park
If you are visiting Murchison Falls National Park in most cases the activities are wildlife tours, however, the waterfalls alone offer 2 amazing activities to do that you should not miss and these are;
Boat Cruise: A launch trip or boat cruise comes in handy as a great activity to do at the banks of the Nile River. You take a boat cruise to the bottom of the falls setting off from the paraa jetty to have an up-close view of the falls. The boat cruise takes you below the falls where you see the falls clearly and experience the strength of the rushing waters as they tremble down to the devil’s cauldron.