The roaring waterfalls on the Victoria Nile are one of Uganda’s top tourist attractions. Locally named the Karuma Falls, a name which arose from a belief that Karuma, a certain great spirit, placed the stones that break the waters in the river. The spectacular Karuma Falls lies on the eastern boundary of Murchison Fall National Park (Uganda’s largest reserve), and one hour drive away from Gulu district, northwestern Uganda.
The falls are located at the spot where the Masindi-Gulu road crosses the river Nile, 110km northeast of Masindi town and 70km south of Gulu town. The two districts are joined by the Karuma Bridge, built in 1963 to help the cotton farmers in west Nile. The bridge crosses the massive waterfall where the sprays of white water run towards Sudan in the north.
This historically falls, in a sense that John Speke passed it on his quest for the source of the river Nile, is one of Uganda important landmarks. The Karuma falls are home to the Karuma Power Station, a 750Megawatts hydropower project implemented by the Uganda government in collaboration with its partners.
At one time, the falls were marked as a danger zone because of the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) rebel attacks. The rebels used to hide in the bush, and attack cars and buses heading both directions. But now, it is safe, since the rebels were pushed by the Uganda army into Democratic Republic of Congo rainforests in 2007.