Sir Samuel Baker, who in 1864 was the first European to see the falls, named them after Sir Roderick Murchison, president of the Royal Geographical Society. The falls lend their name to the surrounding Murchison Falls National Park.
During the regime of Idi Amin in the 1970s the name was changed to Kabarega Falls, after the Omukama (King) Kabarega of Bunyoro, although this was never legally promulgated. The name reverted to Murchison Falls following the downfall of Idi Amin It is still sometimes referred to as Kabarega Falls.
Ernest Hemingway crashed a plane just downriver from Murchison Falls in 1954
- Murchison Falls National Park