Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison River Lodge
Price: $85 – $185 pp/night
Sitting on the Victoria Nile southern riverbank 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.
Located in one of Uganda’s remotest regions, the concept and design of Murchison River Lodge encourage gentle engagement with nature without compromising safari comfort. From the vantage point of the lodge bar and restaurant, guests can relish the spectacular panoramic views of the park and the early journey of the famous River Nile as it flows downstream between papyrus islands and hippo pods.
Murchison River Lodge’s accommodation rooms are spread out within 30 acres of natural bush with views from the main bar and restaurant across the Nile River and over the expansive Murchison Falls National Park’s savannah plains. Wild animals often make surprise visits on the lodge campus, and especially at night. Guests are escorted between buildings at night to avoid wild animal attacks.
Murchison River Lodge’s very informal setting makes it a preferred safari accommodation choice in Murchison Falls National Park. It allows families to relax and will enable the proximity to wildlife to open a child’s eyes to the wonders of the African bush – something you can’t put a price on!
Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda’s largest wildlife reserve, is a well-known but relatively remote savannah park in the Northwest between Lake Albert and Lake Kyoga, 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 giraffe, buffalo, crocodile, 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.
The Lodge is located a 5-hour (305 km/189 mi) drive from Kampala via Masindi, Kichumbanyobo Gate, 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 small chartered flights from Entebbe International Airport, the nearest airstrip is Bugungu Airstrip, about 25 minutes drive to the lodge. So you can connect a gorilla safari adventure in Bwindi with the northern savannah plains via a small chartered or scheduled flight. Bugungu Airstrip is about a 25-minutes drive (13 km) from the lodge.
Murchison River Lodge provides accommodation in 4 ensuite cottages, 13 ensuite classic safari tents, 3 comfortable tents, and camping grounds with facilities.
The thatched cottages are open-plan styled with 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. They’re great for families traveling with up to 4 children of 4-12 years or 4 adults traveling together.
The ensuite classic safari tents are set up under a thatched roof and nestled amongst the trees and bush around the lodge grounds. The classic tents can be set up for twin, double occupancy, or a family with at most two children. They have a porch with a table and chair set.
The view from our twin shared river tents is what sets them apart from the rest of the rooms at the lodge. They are located close to the River Nile in a beautiful setting with a private porch area to enjoy the Nile River views.
For more adventurous guests traveling with their own equipment, the lodge set up a campsite where one can set up a tent under the milky African stars. The campsite is located in an area of natural habitat, with plenty of places to pitch your tent and unwind. Campers have access to bathrooms and other facilities.
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. In addition, the 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.
After long hours on 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. In addition, the lodge’s main bar is fully stocked with a selection of wine, beers, and spirits, including sodas and juice.
For the summer afternoon after an adventurous Uganda Safari game drive, dive into the cool waters of the pool or busk on at the poolside with outstanding sounds and views of the Nile River waters.
You can have this lodge on your Uganda Safari Itinerary and get great rates with Nkuringo Safaris, taking advantage of our excellent partnership with Murchison River Lodge.
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
The Lodge’s vantage point provides access to a wide range of guided safari activities. Please check with your booking manager or safari operator to make sure you understand which ones you have to pay for.
Motorboat safari to the base of the waterfalls
The motorboat safari up the Victoria Nile to the base of the Murchison Falls, a three-hour round trip, is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Murchison Falls National Park. You’ll, most probably, catch sight of the hippos, crocodiles, buffalo, Rothschild’s giraffe, elephants, and lions along the Nile banks.
Motorboat safari to the Nile Delta
A 3-hour motorboat safari in the other direction, downstream towards the delta at Lake Albert, is a tranquil trip to find the 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
The richest savannah wildlife for great game drive safaris lies between the Victoria Nile and the White Nile. Guests can access it through the Paraa Vehicle Ferry, a motorized pontoon that usually offers crossings every couple of hours in each direction. The most entertaining areas are the savanna grasslands of the Buligi area, around the Victoria Nile delta on Lake Albert.
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.
The nearby Kaniyo Pabidi Forest (268 sq km) is 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 and available for chimpanzee trekking. Other primates you could watch in the forest include black-and-white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, and olives baboons.
The forest also 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. There are fewer visitors to this forest, and sightings are likely to include a similar range of wildlife, but without the habituated chimpanzees.
By far, the most popular hiking option is the 45-60 minute trail to the top of the waterfalls, from where you can view the mighty cascade from a range of angles and elevations. In addition, guests can reach the trail as part of a game drive safari or a motorboat safari up the Paraa stretch.
Dream Balloons operates at a take-off Balloon Safari site on the river’s north bank, around 18km from the River Lodge, and tends to fly either east towards the Murchison Falls or west towards Lake Albert, depending on the prevailing wind conditions. The balloon uses an 8-passenger basket with a pilot. Flights last 45-60 minutes and include a bush breakfast wherever the balloon lands.
Murchison Falls National Park is a wildly endowed birding destination in Uganda, with over 450 recorded species. Specie 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.
Unfortunately, the sanctuary lies over 100km south of most of the lodges in Murchison Falls, making it a long day trip and probably out of range for most people. However, if you happen to be driving out from Kampala, it is close to the main road and a great place to break the safari journey.
Our Uganda safari experiences in Murchison Falls National Park are entirely customizable with the help of an expert safari planner. We can show you these and more for inspiration to put together an incredible trip to Africa.