Nestled on the southern bank of the majestic Nile River, as it gracefully traverses Murchison Falls National Park, Bakers Lodge stands as an upmarket, intimate, and safari-styled retreat. This exquisite lodge is cocooned within an expansive private area, meticulously cleared of dense undergrowth to unveil beautifully manicured grassy landscapes, shaded by towering trees and surrounded by wetlands teeming with an array of birdlife along the water’s edge. The views from the lodge onto the river are nothing short of breathtaking, with islands serving as nesting grounds for graceful egret birds, elephants indulging in leisurely baths, and pods of hippos making frequent appearances.
The lodge’s privileged position affords guests direct river access, ensuring that boat excursions along the Nile become an undeniable highlight of your stay. These boat trips can take you to the iconic Murchison falls themselves, downstream to the delta area, or on serene sunset and sunrise cruises. For those seeking a more traditional game viewing experience, 4×4 safari vehicles and expert guides are readily available for excursions through the National Park. Additionally, you can explore the nearby Budongo forest, known for its captivating forest walks and remarkable chimpanzee trekking. Special meals, including enchanting bush breakfasts and dinners, are also on offer, adding to the extraordinary experiences awaiting Bakers Lodge guests.
Bakers Lodge takes its name from the renowned English explorer, Samuel Baker. In the late 1800s, Samuel Baker and his companion, Florence, spent considerable time exploring this very region during their expedition along the Nile River. Samuel Baker, often credited as the first European to lay eyes on and subsequently name the Murchison Falls, did so just a short distance upstream from the lodge’s location.
The lodge itself boasts a charming thatched central lounge, bar, and dining area elevated on wooden decks that encircle it entirely. These vantage points allow guests to savor the splendor of the morning sunrise during breakfast and bask in the glory of the evening sunset with remarkable 180-degree river views. The lodge also features a swimming pool, strategically positioned to provide guests with not only a refreshing dip but also stunning views of the river—a perfect setting for enjoying the evening sunset.
Each individual accommodation cottage at Bakers Lodge is elevated on supporting pillars and features its own private deck overlooking the river. Great care has been taken to ensure that each of the existing eight (with plans for expansion to ten) cottages offers privacy and excellent views of either the upstream or downstream river. The cottages are spacious, airy, and elegantly designed, featuring netted windows with multiple opening options, bespoke solid wooden furniture, canopy beds adorned with mosquito nets, and locally crafted items thoughtfully selected to enhance the ambiance. The en suite bathrooms follow an open-plan concept, featuring solar hot water showers and, in select units, baths with a view. Solar lighting further underscores the lodge’s commitment to eco-friendly excellence.
Murchison Falls National Park, the largest among Uganda’s ten National Parks, is located in the northwestern part of the country. Its historical roots trace back to the explorations of John Speke and James Grant in 1862, the same year it was visited by Sir Samuel and his wife, Florence. Sir Samuel’s exploration led to the renaming of the park to Murchison Falls National Park, in honor of the geologist Roderick Murchison.
One of the primary attractions drawing tourists to the region is chimpanzee trekking in Budongo forest. Budongo forest reserve, located south of Murchison Falls National Park, offers one of the finest opportunities for tracking chimpanzees in Uganda. The trek typically begins with a briefing at the Budongo Eco Lodge’s information center. The forest boasts well-established trails that facilitate spotting not only chimpanzees but also other smaller primates and an array of bird species.
Murchison Falls National Park is an ideal destination for game drives, offering opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, leopards, giraffes, Uganda kobs, waterbucks, and Jackson’s hartebeest, among others. The park is also home to over 450 bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers.
Guided nature walks in the lush Budongo forest reveal the park’s diverse flora, including fig trees, mahogany trees, Albania trees, Alstonia Bonei, as well as captivating wildlife, such as velvet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and chimpanzees.
Murchison Falls National Park is surrounded by several tribes, including the Alur, Acholi, and the Banyoro. Visitors have the opportunity to experience the rich African culture of these communities, learn about their unique way of life, and purchase locally crafted souvenirs made from indigenous materials. Moreover, sport fishing enthusiasts can indulge in the adventure of Nile fishing, with the best months being December, March, June, and October. Expert tourist guides, well-versed in this activity, are available to ensure a rewarding fishing experience.