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“Murchinson magic!”

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Murchison River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Murchinson magic!”
Reviewed January 26, 2014

This is a beautiful place – the setting overlooking the Nile is stunning.
The lodge is well laid out with thatched roof covered tents carefully nestling into the partially wooded site and an attractive central reception area/restaurant.
Our tent looked out directly to the river. We loved sitting outside under the canopy with a sun-downer. You go to sleep with the sounds of the African river night; crickets, frogs and hippos - perfect!
The food was delicious.
The team are friendly and helpful; Lizzie the manager does a great job.
There are more fancy lodges in the park if you want something swankier, but for us this place was perfect and offered good value.

Room Tip: Try to get a view of the river
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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287 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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English first
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2014

My husband and I like to explore new adventures and don't usually go back to places, particularly hotels, we've visited before. MRL is an exception. Ever since our first visit in June 2012 we've been regaling friends with stories about Uganda, and especially MRL with the close-by National Park. After friends took up our recommendation to visit MRL last year, we got so tempted by their reports on the new swimming pool and excellent thatched safari tents, that we decided to go back last December. We were a little anxious that the improvements might have affected the quiet magic of the lodge's settings, but on the contrary, we found that our stay was even more enjoyable than last time.

Our holiday started with a hiccup at arrival in Entebbe, as our luggage hadn't made the connection in Istanbul. Things move generally slowly in Uganda, and services are not always reliable, and as we were due to spend our first few days at MRL we called the lodge for advice. The very experienced owners, Chris and Georgie, recommended that rather than waste a day, we start our trip as planned and thanks to their help we managed to get the luggage sent up the following day.

However, all luggage trouble was forgotten as soon as we arrived. The new managers, Lizzie and David, went out of their way to make us comfortable. The swimming pool area, with view of the Nile, is extensive with lovely sunbeds and a big cushioned sitting area. We arrived in time for lunch at the pool (various grilled meats, salad, all very fresh) and spend a lovely afternoon relaxing in the shade. On our first visit we used the lodge mainly as a base for boats trips/safaris, but with the pool it made great sense to spend another couple of days at the lodge enjoying the sunshine.

Our thatched cottage provided all we need. Everything is very practical, the owners clearly know what they are doing. We enjoyed the simple, but lovingly decorated bedrooms, bathrooms and terrace, and had no problems with hot showers. After an early morning trip I happily retreated for a bit to the big, comfy sofa on the terrace to read in piece and quiet. The 4 cottages are only a short walk from the restaurant/pool area, and a guide offers to walk you back if it's dark.

Chris gave us the excellent tip to hire a UWA ranger for our safari. Our ranger Dennis provided us with the most outstanding experience due to his constant telephone connection to fellow rangers in the park. He was informed that lions had just attacked a Jackson wildebeest on one of the routes, and as we were nearby we rushed to that location. We were only the third car to arrive, and came from the other side, so we had a prime view of a small lion family helping themselves to a very fresh lunch. Not for the fainthearted, but it is reality and it was the experience of a lifetime.

Finally, big praise for the lodge's chef. The food is extraordinarily good, offering variety and catering for special requirements whenever possible. The breakfast buffet is complemented by the offer of a fried breakfast (I had excellent poached eggs on fresh toast!), and the coffee is nice, more than I can say for a lot of other (top) hotels I've stayed in! A board in the restaurant area advises what is on offer for lunch and dinner, and we particularly loved the fresh fish and the variety of vegetables.

We heard that one of the fellow guests was a travel writer for a major UK newspaper, interesting to see that the lodge had attracted his attention.

We spent lovely, warm evenings at the bar (before and after dinner), and enjoyed the atmospheric music at the fire pit. The whole feel of MRL is so friendly and relaxed. Our thanks go to the lovely staff, David, Stephen, Rose, Fred, Brian and Annette, who looked after us so well, and to Chris and Georgie for helping us with any problems. And good luck to the new managers, Lizzie and David !

Room Tip: The lodges offer all the necessary comfort, with nice bathrooms, and are the best option if your bud...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Voyageuse99_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rosemount, Minnesota
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2014 via mobile

Great location, wonderful staff, excellent facilities and food. We stayed in a safari tent and enjoyed two great nights, hearing tons of animals. Priced right for middle of the road budgets. The only drawback: the outrageously rough last 2 miles of road to get there. Bring a good 4WD and plenty of patience. Once you're there, though, expect it to be a great experience.

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank daspangler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014

The lodge is situated on the banks of the Victoria Nile. The Lodge areas command a lovely view of the Nile. However the four cottages are set well back in the scrub lands. It is a very long walk from the Lodge area to the cottages. We would advise people to request a guide after dark because of the nightly migration of the hippo from the banks of the NIle.

In addition there are camp sites and tented camps on the property. The hotel therefore does not command the privacy of the other properties we stayed in. We feel this property falls between two stools, but with a price tag of $250, it is much cheaper than the other hotels.

The rooms are very plain and relatively small - masses of concrete. However there is a nice seating area in front on a concrete deck with no safety railings. The safes do not have locks for some insurance reasons we did not understand - so bring your own lock. The bathrooms were grim - the conrete walls were overpowering. The bathroom was small and the towels so skimpy you could not put one around your whole body. There is no backup for the solar powered hot water. Lizzie, the manager will cheerfully tell you that in the rainy season it's cold showers all round.

The service was attentive and friendly and the property is well managed by Lizzie. She made a point of greeting us on our arrival and explained our Itinerary to us. This was in marked contrast to the other hotels we visited.

The food, even though it was simple was the best we had on the trip - well considered vegetarian option include vegetable lasagna. My wife reported excellent Tilapia and excellent beef.

The property has no email and charges for water. They also do not have a vehicle, so our travel agent arranged a charter from Wild Frontiers for $500 a day. Tis charge was clearly exorbitant. We heard from other guests that they were paying $125 a day.

The lodge is what it is - average.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Cheersfornow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
M_R_L_01, Owner at Murchison River Lodge, responded to this review, January 18, 2014
Dear Cheersfornow

We have received your comments about Murchison River Lodge from your UK travel agent as well as having noted them on our Trip Advisor page.

Your overall comments made for interesting reading and we are sorry that your experience at Murchison River Lodge was only an average one. Fortunately for us this is not a view shared by the vast majority of our guests.

Our intention in creating Murchison River Lodge was to design and build a lodge and camp that our friends and family would enjoy and cherish and it has evolved from there. Hence our mid-range accommodation varies in price from $55 - $110 per person per night twin share full board, so is not the kind of place that gives away free water.

We have not compromised on what we charge with what we offer. Our staff, our managers, our location and our enthusiasm are second to none, but for clients such as yourselves it seems you would have been better matched staying at one of the high end lodges in the park who offer air-conditioning, 24 hour power and an ice machine.

On receipt of your comments we have been in contact with your agent and requested that they remove us as an accommodation provider from their Uganda itineraries. One of the reasons is due to the fact that we are not a ground operator and so consequently do not provide either transport or logistics which we state clearly on our website and in our literature. As noted should the guest’s safari expectations fall short this invariably rests on our shoulders which we feel is unfair.

Finally, we hope on your return visit to Africa in 2016 you take more pleasure in the overall experience and not dwell on the small stuff, we guarantee this will make for a much happier trip!

Kind regards
Mr Chris Higginson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2014

Special thanks to Chris and Georgie and on-site managers Lizzie and David for a fantastic few day’s stay. Our group of 28 had a fantastic time. It was a wonderful introduction to Africa for many of our party. The local instruments, music and dancing round the fire were a magical start to our trip. Our Ugandan friend Moses even got to play the Udungu for his new in-laws!
Everyone loved the food and enjoyed seeing the baboons throw your carefully laundered towels into the swimming pool!!!
We stayed in the lazy camping, which was excellent value for money. The shared shower facilities are spacious and well organised. We really appreciated having a member of your staff ready to lead us back to our tent every night. The staff couldn’t do enough to help us. On the first night, one of your staff patiently held a torch for 15 minutes while we put a friend’s tent up in the dark.

Room Tip: Accommodation at MRL is very flexible. In addition to the family cottages, river Safari tents and la...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CharlieBeau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 24, 2013

We stayed in a thatch roofed tent for 2 nights. The camp is very picturesque, located right next to the Nile. The staff was very friendly and after our day long drive to reach it, the staff met us at the gate with watermelon juice. Our stay included 3 huge meals a day with a very nice bar/relaxation area overlooking the Nile. Velvet monkeys roam the area and hippos can be heard all the time. Our tent was very, very nice with a wooden door that locked to the outside and an attached bathroom. Mosquito netting is provided and with running water and a hot shower, I have no complaints. This wasn't even close to budget accomodation and was a great way to relax after a long, dusty day of safari!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Katie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briarcliff Manor,N.Y.
Level 5 Contributor
66 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

I have seen Niagra and Victoria Falls and both are awesome but Murchison Falls in Uganda are in another category.
There are two reasons for this. For starters, the falls are very narrow and so the water gushes down in such sheer force and falls almost 150 feet down that one is awestruck at the amount of water hurtling down.
The second reason these Falls are so special is the beautiful, wild surrounding. One can take the launch that cruises up and down at the foot of the falls and you can see Hippos, Crocodiles,
Elephants and Lions on the shores a few feet away . Seeing all these wild animals in such a serene and stunningly beautiful surroundings is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. The lodge itself is total luxury and indulgence!
You will discover the hospitality of Africans that surpassed all others' hospitality.
Mind you this trip will cost you a good penny but go see the pristine wilderness before it all disappears.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jeelaylone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Murchison River Lodge

Property: Murchison River Lodge
Address: Murchison, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Murchison Falls National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Murchison Falls National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Murchison River Lodge 2*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A relaxing mid-range lodge (with its own campsite) directly on the south bank of the River Nile with breathtaking views over Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Murchison River Lodge Uganda/Murchison Falls National Park

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