Murchison River Lodge Image By George Everest
Murchison River Lodge Image By George Everest
The Murchison River Lodge is completely off the grid – and this appeals to us in so many ways. It not only means that the lodge has completely disconnected from the national energy grid and relies solely on the energy generated from solar and battery storage, but it means they care about the conservation of the park, the community around them as well as the fauna and flora.
It is comfortable, peaceful, the staff are friendly, super attentive and the food, well let’s just say its … so damn delicious! If you are thinking of getting away for a 2-3-night stay in Murchison Falls and you are not too sure where to go, look no further than Murchison River Lodge – a delightful lodge located on the southern bank of the river Nile – which overlooks Murchison Falls National Park.
From skidding down muddy roads through a national park in a truck full of building materials to the excavation of spots chosen for tents and cottages to thatching grass delivered from the north to a campsite riddled with orange termite mounds, everyone has played a part in where we are today.
After the 2008 global crash and a personal tragedy, we threw in the towel on everything familiar. We closed our safari company, sold vehicles, kept a truck and started to develop the land we had on the edge of the Nile in Murchison Falls National Park.
In 2010 there were very few lodges and camps in Uganda’s largest national park, so we angled our business to the mid-range market, plotted out the bar and restaurant with string, rigged up an outdoor shower, employed a team of men and women from the community and implemented solar as the preferred option for power.
Having been overlanding in Africa, the Middle East and India we knew a bit about what people wanted in a location, including warm hospitality, cold drinks, a pool and a good pillow – slowly we set about transforming an overgrown river bed into a safari destination.
With everything that’s happened around the world in recent years, we’re still operating by the Nile with a solid team and remain grateful to everyone for their continued support – Georgie Higginson
There are three types of mid-range accommodation options available; en-suite thatched cottages, en-suite thatched safari tents and a private campsite. On both of our visits to MRL we stayed in the thatched safari tents and we could not have been happier. The safari tents are spacious, equipped with a safe, USB charging port, mosquito net, space to hang your clothes, a spacious bathroom which has a shower, wash basin and toilet, standalone fan, comfortable beds and a hammock outside the tent where you can just completely relax.
The lodge has a swimming pool, pool lounge where you have access to their WiFi, a well-stocked bar as well as play areas for children. The pool lounge works on an honesty system for beers, sodas and waters and there are comfortable chairs to relax and read. There are books for both adults and children on the bookshelf and a toilet and basin – everything you need around you to make it a relaxing lounging experience.
Served in the open-sided thatched restaurant the home-made meals are delicious and carefully thought out. Breakfast is served continental style while lunch is a 2-course meal and dinner 3-courses – a meat and vegetarian option is always on offer. Everyone is catered for (be sure to let the lodge know about any dietary preferences beforehand) and you will find yourself feeling content and satisfied. Their beers and sodas are served cold, unless of course you prefer to drink them warm …. I say this because in Uganda, your beer or soda won’t automatically come ice cold, you will get asked if you want your drink to come cold or at room temperature!
They’ve got a wooden deck that overlooks the Nile and this is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a sundowner – and if you are lucky enough you may also see the wildlife drinking from the water’s edge. From the lodge a range of activities can be enjoyed; game drives, fishing, boat cruises, nature and community walks while chimp trekking and rhino walks are options available on the drive to/from Murchison. There is also an abundance of birdlife to be seen and heard – 450 bird species have been recorded at the lodge; did you know that Uganda is blessed with 1090 confirmed bird species and the Vervet monkeys are never too far away and they can be seen and heard all around the lodge.
Whether you are travelling with family, friends or independently, Murchison River Lodge (MRL) really is a wonderful place to stay – it is like a home away from home with all the spoils and I know that we will definitely be returning for a third visit.
4 hr 56 min (299.0 km) via Kampala-Masindi
5 hr 31 min (316.1 km) via Kampala-Hoima Road
Places to stop along the way that offer a washroom, cold drink/tea/coffee, snack or light meal: Kabalega Resort Hoima