Savannah and Nile River Wilderness – Four Day “Fly-In” Safari
Depart Entebbe Airport on a scheduled charter flight to Bugungu airstrip where your personal driver guide will be waiting for you. Drive to Baker’s Lodge, check in and sit down with a cold drink for a briefing on the safari details. This is also a chance for you to ask any questions.
Murchison Falls National Park, in the north-west of the country is home to elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as a healthy population of hippo and huge crocodiles on the River Nile. The park is well known for its bird life – the Shoebill being a sought after rarity. The 3 893 km2 Murchison Falls National Park forms the core of Uganda’s largest protected area. Together with the adjoining Bungungu and Karumu wildlife reserves, it forms a vast wilderness covering 5 072 km2 and containing a wide variety of wildlife including big game, forest primates and 450 bird species. The mighty Nile, the longest river in the world, flows through the heart of the park for a distance of 120 km, on its 6 500 km journey from Lake Victoria to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. The park’s centerpiece is the explosive, 40 m high Murchison Falls where the Nile is forced through a 6 m gap in the Rift Valley escarpment. The Falls separate two very different rivers. Upstream, the river races down a turbulent 80 km channel punctuated with rapids. Downstream, the Nile flows quietly towards Lake Albert which it enters through a large papyrus delta. It is this peaceful 40 km stretch of river which provides the park’s prime wildlife spectacle and which our boats explore.
Overnight at Bakers Lodge
Baker’s Lodge opened in January 2015 and currently boasts eight beautifully appointed safari suites on decks, overlooking the majestic River Nile. Located on the south bank of the Nile, the lodge takes advantage of the cool breezes from the river and the spectacular views. The site has a good number of shady trees and is home to a large array of birds.
As with all our camps, Baker’s is eco-friendly using the most up to day technology available for solar power and efficient management of resources. Local materials have been used wherever possible to build the lodge and it hasa feeling of ‘Africa of olde’ – that of the explorers era, when Mr. Samuel Baker first came to the region.
This intimate, up market safari lodge is situated on a large private area that has been cleared of all the dense undergrowth to reveal beautifully trimmed grassed areas, large shady trees and wetland areas hosting abundant birdlife along the water’s edge. The views onto the river are vast and magnificent with islands hosting nesting egret birds, elephants bathing and pods of hippos regularly viewed.
The lodge provides a thatched central lounge, bar and dining area which is raised with wooden decks all around allowing guests to savour the morning sunrise for breakfast, sunset in the evening and 180 degree river views.
Each of the individual accommodation cottages is raised from the ground on supporting pillars and has its own deck overlooking the river. Care has been taken to ensure each of the current eight (up to ten in future) cottages has privacy as well as excellent views either up or down stream. 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.
Following breakfast at the lodge, Depart with your guide and safari vehicle to the northern sector of Murchison Falls National Park, an area rich in wildlife including lions, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, oribi, hartebeest, and countless reptiles and birds, including one of the park’s more difficult species to spot, the rare shoebill stork. Crocodiles are also plentiful in this park.
This afternoon, embark on a three hour cruise from park headquarters to the head of Fajao Gorge at the base of Murchison Falls. The park’s most popular attraction since the 1950s, here is where the force of the mighty Nile River narrows to flow through a seven meter gap, cascading down a forty meter cliff to the vast gorge below. The power of the falls and the scenic views from their base are breath taking. Large resident populations of hippos float in the water along the way, groups of crocodiles bask on the shore, and herds of elephant, buffalos and other antelope can be seen moving along the riverbanks searching for food. The river offers a spectacular opportunity for bird watchers, with a wide range of water birds and vibrant bee eaters nesting in the cliffs along the river’s banks.
Overnight at Bakers Lodge
Embark on a half day boat trip into the Victoria Nile Delta, a 20 km cruise downstream from the park’s headquarters. Home to a wide variety of wetland and papyrus endemic bird species, including the elusive shoebill stork, this three to five hour cruise offers a unique opportunity to spot rarely found birds and animals such as hippo, elephants and large crocodiles. Travelling through the centre of Murchison Falls National Park, guests can experience the constantly changing scenery of the Nile River as it winds its way to Lake Albert.
In the afternoon we have another chance to explore the wilderness in our safari vehicle on a game drive.
Overnight at Bakers Lodge
Depart Murchison Falls National Park and travel to Entebbe. End of our services.
If you plan to spend additional time in Uganda, this safari can be tailored to your wishes to include some of the many activities available in Entebbe and throughout Uganda. You could explore Kampala; visit Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary or the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre; have a luxury sunset boat cruise on Lake Victoria or take a short trip to Jinja, the Adventure centre of East Africa, offering grade 5 white water rafting, quad biking and bungee jumping!