Fort Murchison Lodge
Fort Murchison Lodge
Price: $35 – $200 pp/night
Fort Murchison Lodge is a unique African safari lodge that reflects the well-maintained Arabic architecture of a nineteenth-century isolated Arab traders’ outpost. The lodge is located on the eastern banks of the meandering White Nile as it makes its way towards the northern Ugandan border into South Sudan. The massive tower and earth-colored walls of the lodge are reminiscent of the legendary explorers who based and led expeditions from here in search of the source of the Nile. The Swahili-inspired style and decor are pretty impressive, making it a perfect place to experience historical travel bliss.
The lodge offers a selection of comfortable rooms from mid-range to lower-range markets in their Swahili-styled rooms or the comfortable grass-thatched bandas. The property has 12 rooms, each with an ensuite bathroom, living area, outside area, and access to solar power. The main building has a restaurant on the main floor where all meals are served and a rooftop terrace perfect for sundowners with spectacular views over the Nile and the vast savannah plains.
Fort Murchison is situated in the former Aswa Lolim Game Reserve, just outside the northern park boundaries of Murchison Falls National Park. The lodge’s location just outside Murchison’s northern entry gate offers a great start to Uganda safari game viewing drives in the park’s north game tracks, including Pakuba track, Queen’s track, Te’bito track, Chobe track, Victoria track, and Albert track. In addition, the north section of Murchison Falls National Park has incredible wildlife species like Rothschild’s giraffe, leopard, lion, buffalo, and elephant.
How to get there
Murchison Falls National Park is a well-known but relatively remote wildlife reserve in northwestern Uganda between Lake Albert and Lake Kyoga, bisected by the Victoria Nile. The park forms a major part of the very substantial 5,308 square kilometers of Murchison Falls Conservation Area, which contains a wide range of forest, savanna, and riverine landscapes and is particularly pretty in parts.
The Lodge is located a 6-hour (305 km/189 mi) drive from Kampala via Karuma, a 6 km (12 mins) drive from Tangi Murchison Falls’s northern gate. One can also access the lodge via the southern side through Paraa crossing on Victoria Nile for the more adventurous Uganda safari guests.
Pakuba Airfield, just 20 km (1-hour drive), provides an easy small safari flight connection to Entebbe International Airport and other inland airfields. So you can quickly join the gorilla trekking expedition and be on the northern savannah plains the next day without expending a lot of energy between the far-flung safari destinations. Fort Murchison Lodge is a great base for exploring the park and experiencing the unique African wilderness.
Accommodation at Fort Murchison
Fort Murchison offers comfortable and stylish accommodation to its guests. There are 12 spacious room units, each with an ensuite bathroom fitted with solar-heated water. The rooms are decorated with African Swahili styled decor, including a reading desk and a private balcony with a sofa. The rooms offer a perfect blend of modern comfort and traditional African charm, allowing you to relax and enjoy your stay in style.
In addition to the main accommodation, Fort Murchison also offers tents with shared bathrooms. The tents are furnished with two single beds, mosquito nets, a bedside table, and a power outlet for charging your electrical equipment. They are placed under a grass thatched roof, creating a private outside terrace for intimate evenings. They all share a communal ablution block with showers and flushing toilets. No need to worry about linen as all bedding and towels are provided, ensuring a comfortable and hassle-free stay.
Food & Dining
The dining experience at Fort Murchison is one of the highlights of the lodge. The rooftop terrace is the perfect spot for your sundowner drink while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Albert Nile. The 4-course dinner is served in the restaurant downstairs, which is decorated with colonial drawings and pictures from the first explorers and adventurers, transporting guests back to classic safari travel while maintaining the modern Africa safari sanity.
The chef at Fort Murchison sources fresh fruits and vegetables like citrus, mango, pawpaw, jackfruit, passion, and avocado from the lodge’s private gardens. The chef bakes fresh bread for every meal, and the fixed menu provides for special dietary requirements, ensuring everyone gets good care. After an adventurous Uganda Safari game drive, guests can dive into the cool waters of the pool or bask on the poolside with outstanding sounds and views of the White Nile River, making for a perfect way to relax and unwind.
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Restaurant & Bar
Activities at Fort Murchison
Fort Murchison Lodge’s location offers a great starting point for a wide range of guided activities that allow guests to explore the beauty of Murchison Falls National Park. While some of the activities may be included in your room price, it’s important to check with your booking manager or safari operator to confirm.
One of the must-do activities is the motorboat safari up the Victoria Nile to the base of the Murchison Falls. This three-hour round trip provides an opportunity to see hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffes, elephants, and lions along the Nile banks. Another motorboat safari option is a tranquil three-hour trip downstream towards the delta at Lake Albert, which offers a chance to spot rare shoebill storks and other papyrus endemic bird species.
Game Drive Safaris
For a closer encounter with the wildlife, guests can take a game drive safari through the savannah grasslands of the Buligi area, around the Victoria Nile delta on Lake Albert. The Paraa Vehicle Ferry provides access to this area. On the southern side of the Victoria Nile, guests can explore the trails to the Top of the Falls.
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kaniyo
Chimpanzee tracking is another popular activity, with the nearby Kaniyo Pabidi Forest being home to over 800 chimpanzees, about 90 of which are habituated for tourism and available for chimpanzee trekking. The forest is also home to other primates, such as black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and olive baboons, as well as a range of bird species.
Guests can also opt for hiking to the top of the waterfalls, a 45-60 minute trail that offers breathtaking views of the cascading waters. Other activities include balloon safaris, bird-watching, and a visit to the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, which offers guided walks to get up close and personal with the last of Uganda’s white rhinos.
Fort Murchison Lodge offers a great base for exploring the beauty of Murchison Falls National Park and experiencing the unique African wilderness.