Murchison River Lodge
Murchison River Lodge at Murchison Falls National Park
Price: $85 – $185 pp/night
Nestled on the southern riverbank of the Victoria Nile, between the Albert Delta and Paraa jetty, Murchison River Lodge offers a mid-range priced magical family escape in a tranquil and eco-friendly setting in the heart of Murchison Falls National Park.
Designed to encourage gentle engagement with nature without compromising safari comfort, Murchison River Lodge provides spectacular panoramic views of the park and the early journey of the famous River Nile flowing downstream between papyrus islands and hippo pods from the vantage point of the lodge bar and restaurant.
Spread out over 30 acres of natural bush, Murchison River Lodge’s accommodation rooms offer breathtaking views across the Nile River and the expansive Murchison Falls National Park’s savannah plains. It is not uncommon to find wild animals making surprise visits on the lodge campus, especially at night. To ensure guests’ safety, they are escorted between buildings at night to avoid wild animal attacks.
Murchison River Lodge’s informal setting makes it a preferred safari accommodation choice in Murchison Falls National Park, allowing families to relax and enjoy the proximity to wildlife, which can open a child’s eyes to the wonders of the African bush.
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest wildlife reserve, is a well-known but relatively remote savannah park in the Northwest, bisected by the meandering Victoria Nile. The park is centered on a powerful Nile River waterfall, the Murchison Falls, and has a reasonable amount of wildlife, including elephants, hippos, Rothschild’s giraffes, buffalo, crocodiles, and lions. The Paraa stretch boat safari cruise along the Nile to the waterfall base is one of the most popular ways to see the park’s vast richness. Downstream from the River Lodge, on the Nile delta, is where birdwatchers will find the most sought-after shoebill stork.
How to get there
Murchison River Lodge is located a 5-hour (305 km/189 mi) drive from Kampala via Masindi, Kichumbanyobo Gate, and Mubako Gate through the park. For the more adventurous, one can also access the lodge via the escarpment road passing through Bulisa and Wanseko.
For those looking for a more convenient option, small chartered flights are available from Entebbe International Airport, with the nearest airstrip being Bugungu Airstrip, located about 25 minutes drive from the lodge. This opens up the possibility of connecting a gorilla safari adventure in Bwindi with the northern savannah plains via a small chartered or scheduled flight.
Accommodation at Murchison River Lodge
Murchison River Lodge provides guests with a variety of accommodation options to suit their needs. There are four ensuite cottages, 13 ensuite classic safari tents, three comfortable river tents, and camping grounds with facilities.
The thatched cottages are open-plan and feature two single beds downstairs and a double bed on a mezzanine floor. The wide veranda overlooks the bush and includes a sofa and hammock for guests to relax and enjoy the bush life. The cottages are perfect for families traveling with up to four children between the ages of 4-12 or four adults traveling together.
The classic safari tents are set up under a thatched roof and nestled amongst the trees and bush around the lodge grounds. The tents can be set up for twin or double occupancy or for a family with at most two children. Each tent has a porch with a table and chair set.
Located close to the River Nile, the river tents offer a unique view of the Nile River waters. These tents are perfect for adventurous guests and are set up for twin-sharing.
For guests traveling with their own equipment, the lodge offers a campsite where they can set up their tents under the milky African stars. The campsite is located in an area of natural habitat with plenty of places to pitch a tent and unwind. Campers have access to bathrooms and other facilities.
Food & Dinning
The lodge’s kitchen team offers daily homemade meals and alternative dietary requirements as requested. Fresh produce is sourced locally, including fish from the Nile and nearby Lake Albert. Two-course lunches and three-course dinners are served in the wide-open thatched building that lets you enjoy the outside air, bush life, and riverside wildlife.
After a long day of safari game drives in the park, guests can enjoy complimentary drinks and bites in the main area, including tea, fresh coffee, homemade cake, and evening bar snacks. The lodge’s main bar is fully stocked with a selection of wine, beers, and spirits, including sodas and juice.
There’s Swimming Pool
For guests looking to relax after a day of adventure, they can cool off in the pool or bask in the sun poolside while enjoying the outstanding sounds and views of the Nile River waters.
When you embark on a Uganda Wildlife Safari at Murchison Falls National Park with Nkuringo Safaris, you can stay at Murchison River Lodge. We have an excellent partnership with the lodge and can connect you with a safari specialist who can help you plan a tailored tour in Uganda.
River Lodge Rack Rates (2021/22)
|Twin/Double Occupancy||$150 pp|
|3rd or 4th guest in cottage||$100 pp|
|Single Occupancy||$185 pp|
|Family, 2 Adults, 4 Children (4-16 yrs)||$330 pn|
Thatched Safari Tents
|Twin/Double Occupancy||$115 pp|
|3rd or 4th guest in cottage||$85 pp|
|Single Occupancy||$135 pp|
|Family, 2 Adults, 2 Children (4-16 yrs)||$260 pn|
|Twin/Double Occupancy||$115 pp|
|Single Occupancy||$135 pp|
Comfortable camping tents
|Twin/Double Occupancy||$70 pp|
|Single Occupancy||$85 pp|
Private Camping with own equipment—$50 pp
Shaded campsite area with excellent ablution facilities including flushing toilets and solar lighting.
Restaurant & Bar
Drinks at the bar
USB charging points
Activities at Murchison River Lodge
Murchison River Lodge’s exceptional location provides access to an array of guided safari activities that offer guests a chance to explore the rich wildlife of Murchison Falls National Park. Please check with your booking manager or safari operator to ensure you understand which activities require an additional fee.
Motorboat Safari to the Base of the Waterfalls
A must-do activity for anyone visiting Murchison Falls National Park is the motorboat safari up the Victoria Nile to the base of the Murchison Falls. This three-hour round trip often guarantees sightings of hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, elephants, and lions along the Nile banks.
Motorboat Safari to the Nile Delta
Guests can take a tranquil 3-hour motorboat safari downstream towards the delta at Lake Albert. The trip is a perfect opportunity to spot rare shoebill storks and other papyrus endemic bird species. Guests can take an early morning ride and have breakfast onboard or a late sunset ride.
Game Drive Safari
For an unforgettable game drive safari, guests can access the richest savannah wildlife between the Victoria Nile and the White Nile through the Paraa Vehicle Ferry. The savanna grasslands of the Buligi area around the Victoria Nile delta on Lake Albert offer the most entertaining areas. On the southern side of the Victoria Nile, where the landscapes are more heavily wooded, wildlife is not so easy to spot, but the trails might be worth exploring on your way to the Top of the Falls.
Chimpanzee trekking is available in the nearby Kaniyo Pabidi Forest, a beautiful natural forest dominated by giant mahogany and ironwood trees. The forest is home to over 800 chimpanzees, about 90 of them (6 troops) habituated for tourism. Guests can also watch black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and olives baboons. Additionally, the forest has many bird species, including such highlights as chocolate-backed kingfishers, white-thighed hornbills, and the exclusively endemic Puvel’s illaposis.
Another place to watch primates and bird species near Murchison River Lodge is the Rabongo Forest, an island of tropical river forest set in a sea of grassland in the southeast of the conservation area.
The most popular hiking option is the 45-60 minute trail to the top of the waterfalls, where guests can view the mighty cascade from a range of angles and elevations. Guests can reach the trail as part of a game drive safari or a motorboat safari up the Paraa stretch.
Guests can book a balloon safari with Dream Balloons, which operates from a take-off site on the river’s north bank, around 18km from the River Lodge. Flights last 45-60 minutes and include a bush breakfast wherever the balloon lands.
Murchison Falls National Park is a birding paradise with over 450 recorded species. Highlights include ground hornbills, secretary birds, black-bellied bustards, open-billed storks, weavers, swallow-tailed bee-eaters, red-throated bee-eaters, woodland kingfishers, francolins, grey herons, martial eagles, African fish eagles, papyrus gonoleks, lesser flamingoes, greater flamingoes, white-tailed larks, Verreaux’s eagle owls, and shoebill storks.
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
The 70 sq km Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route to Murchison Falls National Park offers guided walks to get up close and personal with the last of Uganda’s white rhinos. It is a project well worth supporting, although it is over 100km south of most lodges in Murchison Falls, making it a long day trip and out of reach for most guests. However, if driving out from Kampala, it is close to the main road and an excellent place to break the safari journey.
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If you have any inquiries about customized Uganda Safaris or need assistance in planning your ideal African wildlife safari, our safari experts are available to assist you. Contact us to get in touch with them.