Baker’s Lodge, Murchison Falls National Park
Located in Murchison Falls National park, Baker’s Lodge is the luxury and the newest accommodation facility in the Uganda Exclusive Camps and Lodges family that opened its doors to the guests in the late 2014. The lodge is strategically situated on the South bank of the mighty Nile River which transects Murchison Falls National Park downstream from the falls and about 3km from the main ferry crossing at paraa. The views onto the river are vast and magnificent with islands hosting nesting egret birds, elephants bathing and pods of hippos regularly viewed. Baker’s Lodge derives its name from the historic English explorer Samuel Baker. In the late 1800’s he and his companion, Florence spent some time in this area during his expedition along the Nile river, where he was the first European to view and consequently name the Murchison Falls a little further upstream.
As you pass through the gate, you are ushered in through the main building (thatched central lounge) with the restaurant, lounge, well stocked bar with an extension of the kitchen. It (and all other cottages) is raised with wooden decks all around allowing guests to savor the morning sunrise for breakfast, sunset in the evening and 180 degree river views. The location is perfect, overlooking the river and hearing those sounds of the hippos at night gives someone that sense of the wild.
The lodge currently has 8 cottages (up to ten in future) with each of the individual accommodation cottage raised from the ground on supporting pillars with its own deck overlooking the river. They have been inter-twinned to have canvas that open to give the great views of the river. Though they are partly open for better views, care has been taken to ensure each of the current eight cottages has privacy. The large, airy en suite thatched cottage have netted windows with opening options, customized solid wooden furniture, hanging mosquito nets and especially selected locally crafted items for the accessories. The en suite bathrooms are open plan with solar hot water showers and baths with a view in some units. Environmental considerations have been also considered in the use of solar lighting.
Forget all other places that you have visited, you will find this different, and you will love art and creativity that was put in the construction and design of the lodge. This will give you a different experience. This is exhibited in the use wood and stones in the pillars supporting the cottages, loved those lampshade. Bush breakfast is lovely and a great location is selected for you to enjoy your meal.
If you love reading, trust me you will not feel bored even in this far place from home. Apart from the books that are available in the lounge, there is important information in the rooms for someone to get more details of what they missed during the briefing like the lights, sockets for emergencies etc. There could be information about the Camp, the lake, national park etc. I loved those creative ‘bed-time stories’
Ask, and they will make it your way, in the restaurant, your room or in the bush! It was amazing, timely and delicious are the words I can use to describe the experience!! The chefs there know how to do the magic!! In keeping with standards expected of an establishment, full multi course dining with choices are offered as well as a good selection of wines and other bar items, all served by our well trained and experienced Ugandan staff team.
There is security at the lodge that is provided by the tourism police of Uganda to make sure that everyone enjoys the stay. It has been done to the detail starting from the rooms by making sure that each cottage has fire extinguishers and the alarm horns in the rooms in case of emergency, safes are provided in the rooms in case of valuables like cash, cameras, lenses etc while you are out.
While out on the activities like sundowners and river cruises, floaters/life jackets are provided and details gives on the conduct by the experienced guides.
The direct river access ensures that boat excursions along the Nile are definite highlight including visits to the Murchison falls themselves, downstream to the delta area and scenic sunset or sunrise cruises. While on the cruise, no matter the time, special meals including bush breakfasts and dinners are an additional treat available. For the more traditional game viewing 4×4 safari vehicles and guides are available for excursions through the National Park as well as to the nearby Budongo forest where forest walks and chimpanzee trekking is possible.
GPS co-ordinates of the Lodge are: N 02 15 566′ E 031 31 896′
There are mainly two ways on how you can reach the lodge, by road and air.
By Road: From Kampala drive approx. 3 hours northwards on Kampala – Gulu road, turn off to your left to Masindi at the Kafu River junction. From Masindi turn right opposite the second Shell fuel station on a murram road to the National Park Kichumbanyobo gate. Drive through the Kanyo-Pabidi section of the Budongo forest, down the escarpment past the turning to the Top of the falls and onwards towards the Paraa ferry point.
Shortly before reaching the river Nile (approx. 90 – 120 min from Masindi, depending on varying road conditions) there are 2 left hand turns. The second of these hosts a large Uganda Wildlife Authority sign as well as signage for Baker’s Lodge and various other facilities in the area. Turn left here and drive past the park offices, through Mubako village and pass out of the park gate (approx 2.5km). The entrance to Baker’s Lodge is approximately 50 metres on the right hand side, after the park gate.
By Air: Scheduled and Charter flights land at Bugungu airstrip 20 minutes’ drive away on the south bank and at Pakuba airstrip on the North bank of the river approximately 90-120 minutes’ drive away, depending upon road conditions and ferry timings.