Murchison Falls National Park is probably the most unique National Park in Uganda. It’s not only Uganda’s largest National Park, but also one that allows visitors to combine a safari experience with a journey along the mighty Nile, the longest river in the world. While passing through the park, the Nile is forced through an 8-meter gap in the Rift Valley escarpment, creating the incredible 40-meter high Murchison Falls – an unmissable sight for any visitor to Uganda.
It’s hard to believe that we almost missed Murchison Falls! The park was far (some 5-6 hours from Entebbe) and we weren’t sure if the visit to the area was going to be worth it, but after meeting some fellow travelers in Western Uganda who wouldn’t stop raving about the area, we decided to extend our time in Uganda and pay a visit to Murchison Falls National Park.
Our home base in the park was Baker’s Lodge, a premier eco-lodge located in the heart of Murchison Falls National Park, set along the southern bank of the mighty Nile River.
We can’t think of the more perfect setting to experience Murchison Falls National Park than Baker’s Lodge. The lodge offered safari-style accommodation with ten luxury cottages on decks with beautiful views of the riverside. The lodge was perfectly positioned amidst beautiful natural setting, and the grounds were frequented by hippos, elephants, monkeys and other wildlife and
The thatched restaurant on site was raised with wooden decks and offers 180-degree views of the Nile River. It was here that we enjoyed breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout our stay. The area also had a bar and a lounge area, where every evening we met with our guide to discuss the itinerary for the following day.
The on-site swimming pool was an ideal place to escape the heat and cool down in between safari drives. While the campfire by the river offered a place to meet other guests and exchange stories from the day’s adventures.
It felt like we got incredibly lucky in our choice of the safari cottage at Baker’s Lodge, which was located just 5 meters from the river, beside a massive hippo hangout spot. Dozens of hippos were chilling in the water just outside of our cottage, keeping us entertained not just during the day, but also at night time.
The hippos spent most of the day in the water, but as soon as the sun set and darkness fell, they would make their way out of the water to feed on the grass.
The tents were a true low impact accommodation option.
Built with careful consideration for the natural habitat of the wildlife, the tents were elevated from the ground with supporting pillars, which allowed us to overlook the hippos from our deck without disturbing them or interrupting their natural behaviour.
The windows of our cottage were netted which allowed for continuous hippo viewing from the comfort of our bed! Every night, we’d leave the blinds wide opened and cozy up in bed for the nightly hippo show. As soon as we stopped moving around, the hippos would come out of the water right in front of our tent. If we moved even an inch or made the slightest noise, they would dash back into the river. It was impossible to snap a photo, but luckily, the memories will stay with us forever!
In addition to the amazing hippo experience, our tent had everything necessary for a comfortable stay. It featured custom build wood furniture and was decorated with locally crafted accessories. The en-suite bathrooms were spacious, equipped with flush toilets, solar heated water showers, and eco-friendly toiletries.
As with all lodges in Uganda, Baker’s offered its guests a full-board package with a hot breakfast, and multi-course lunch, and dinner. We loved that their water bottles and even glasses we made out of recycles wine bottles!
Lunch and dinner menus changed daily depending on the availability of local ingredients, but there was always at least one vegetarian option. The staff was really attentive and happy to care for any type of dietary requirements.
Every meal was delicious and the bar was always fully stocked with local and international spirits and beers.
Activities at Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls offers a number of great activities and we really wish that we had extended our stay for a few extra day to give ourselves some more time to enjoy the National Park and the surroundings.
In our short 2 night stay at Baker’s Lodge, we managed to squeeze in 2 safari drives, a boat ride safari along the Nile River and a hike to the top of Murchison Falls.
Despite having already experienced a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Western Uganda, we thoroughly enjoyed on safari in Murchison Falls National Park, as we finally spotted giraffes (it was our first giraffe spotting in Uganda) and a few other unique animals like the topi (a type of antelope).
A boat safari along the river offered a completely different perspective on the wildlife in the area. We saw hundreds of hippos, some crocs, beautiful birds and even an elephant having a bath in the river.
But the highlight of our time in Murchison Falls National Park was without a doubt the waterfall itself. We arrived at the waterfall in the boat at the end of our boat safari but opted to extend our time at the falls by taking a hike to the top of the falls.
We were dropped off on shore and followed another group and their guide up the trial. It wasn’t so much of a hike, but more of a gradual and pleasant walk with spectacular views of the Victoria Nile and the waterfalls. We walked slowly, taking in the beauty of the area. We were in absolute awe once we reached the Murchison Waterfall itself. It was powerful and mesmerizing and the best part was that aside from us, there were only a few others admiring the views.
It was a trip definitely worth taking!
Disclaimer: Our stay at Baker’s Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park was provided courtesy of Wild Frontiers Uganda, but all opinions expressed in this post are our own!