The roaring Karuma waterfalls found on the beautiful Victoria Nile are another amazing site that you should include on your must-visit tourist site on your Safari in Uganda. The impressive waterfalls are found not far from Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park along the eastern boundary of the park and just one hour’s drive from the northern district of Gulu.
There is a local tale that the rock formations that form these waterfalls were arranged by a traditional spirit known as ‘karuma’ and it’s from this that the falls derived their name.
Today the Karuma falls hold a 750-Megawatts hydropower station known as Karuma Power Station, a project that was done by the government of Uganda together with a couple of foreign partners and today it generates some of the electricity that is consumed by the people of Uganda.
Location of the Karuma Falls
These falls are situated at a point where the Masindi – Gulu highway crosses over river Nile, and it’s about 110 km driving northeast from the town of Masindi or just 70 km driving south from Gulu town. Actually these two districts are joined by the Karuma Bridge which is over the falls. This bridge was constructed back in 1963 primarily to help cotton growers within the west Nile region to transport this agricultural produce.
The Beauty of the Falls
The beautiful Karuma Falls comprise of a number of naturally cascading interlocking rock- formations that appear like a series of steps all the way to the bottom of the calm Victoria Nile. The art and order in which these rocks are arranged is very impressive and you will be fascinated at first sight.
When the calm waters of the Nile reach this point, they flow down wards splashing and hitting the cascading rocks with a roar. They swellnging volumes of water result into a white form as they eventually reach the bottom of the falls. The entire area is encompassed in a refreshing water- spray that comes from the splashing water. It’s a breathtaking sight!
Wildlife around the Karuma Fall
During your visit to this hidden tourist site, you will not fail to see a number of wild animals within the surrounding areas. Among the commonly seen animals include: Uganda kobs, different monkeys, giraffes, elephants, baboons, buffaloes and lions plus leopards occasionally. There are also various colored birds you will see flying about.
Who has visited these Falls before?
It’s believed that early explorer John Speke during his legendary search for the source of River Nile (the world’s longest river) walked past these falls making it one of the early yet important landmarks in regards to the ancient history of Uganda. He was among the first explorers to come to Uganda.
Accommodation around Karuma Falls
There are a number of accommodation facilities around this site including luxury, mid-range and budget facilities. Among these are: Karuma Falls Campsite and Red Chilli Rest Camp both perfect for camping trips.
When coming from Kampala the capital using public transport; board the buses to Gulu. The bus station in Kampala city center is found at Nakivubo bus terminal.
You may also book through your travel agent or tour operator to organize for you a memorable experience.