Have you been considering a unique road trip or get away from the City? We found a serene spot, with views of the Albert Nile, at Pakuba Safari lodge where antelopes, impala, giraffes and kobs occasionally drop by to graze next to the lodge.
Back in August, we had the pleasure of visiting Pakuba Safari lodge while exploring Murchison National park. This I must say was an ultimate adventure in the park, as we managed to explore the park, with our lodge not too far away from the gates of Murchison National Park. Pakuba is the closest lodge to the national park with an intimate feeling for guests.
After a smooth 5 hour drive, we arrived in Pakwach where the network got shaky. As we turned onto the road leading to the park, we stopped to admire two elephants lazily grazing and crossing the road.
Getting into the park on a Friday evening was easy, seeing as this was a busy day. We arrived at Pakuba Safari lodge through the Pakwach Tangi gate.
Idi Amin’s Favorite Hangout
Before we approached the lodge, we drove to the Pakuba Ruins, where Idi Amin spent most of his time relaxing over the weekends. During the Amin era, Murchison Falls was officially re- christened Kabalega falls, after the former king of Bunyoro.
The Story of Pakuba Safari Lodge
Pakuba Safari Lodge is situated on the Eastern Bank of the Albert Nile in Murchison Falls National Park overlooking the Albert Nile.
On our first night, we had an early dinner with three other groups of guests. We feasted on the wide spread buffet, as one of the groups shared their adventure with finding a family of lions on their safari.
Pakuba Safari Lodge is family owned business with excellent local knowledge. The manager and staff are mostly from the area and have worked together for a while.
On our last night, all the staff and some invited guests attended the managers’ birthday party by the pool.
I stayed in cottage 42, which had a view of the terrace,with a large sausage tree making me feel like I was right in the park.
The rooms are clean and spacious and I would highly recommend the ones closest to the gardens as you might get to see some animals walk up early in the morning or in the evenings. The staff are also open to assist with you with anything, so always ask…
I was happy to learn that Pakuba Safari lodge is working with the local community here, by sourcing the fish and food locally. The local council receives a contribution from every guest that stays at the lodge.
Explore Murchison Falls National Park
Our safari started really early, as we planned spot the leopard that apparently sometimes resides at the ruins. We had been there the previous evening to check, but ended up appreciating the sun set with giraffes grazing and getting ready to retire. I could imagine Idi Amin sitting with his cold glass of Bell Lager his feet up enjoying these exact views of giraffes in love!
Driving towards the park now, open roof top, morning breeze and sun slowly rising, I was getting into safari mode. You never quite get over this feeling on being in the wild, with miles of Savannah, being amongst the animals. Pakuba is ideally located to the animal grazing sites giving guests unparalleled wildlife views even when compared to the more renowned resorts in the area.
We saw a herd of buffaloes grazing and decided to stop by and watch them.
Then elephants, who guard their young ones fearlessly. Two elephants started to go at it, but later seemed to resolve their beef… I could watch them for hours; especially the way they flap their large ears in and out.
We also saw several topi, Ugandan kobs and warthogs, which apparently are the delicacy for lions. According to our guide; warthog is the equivalent of pork for lions. Speaking of lions, we our tireless hunt was rewarding.
A Minute with the King of the Jungle
At around 3 pm, we spotted two cubs with a lioness after patiently tracking them for a few hours. They were playful and found a shrub to protect them from the sun. One male cub that was probably in his teens walked right passed us into a tree resting on a branch within a thicket, still in our vicinity. We now had to be really quiet and watch. It felt rewarding to finally be only a few feet away from the king of the jungle and have him stare back at me.
Relax at the Top and Bottom of the Falls
On our last day, bright and early in the morning, we set off to make it to the ferry that would help us cross over to the top of the falls.
The ferry leaves once or twice a day and is punctual. We made it in time for the sun rise with the rainbow to the top of the falls.
In the evening, we also took a private speed boat out to watch the animals cool off and admire some birds on the shore as we made our way to the bottom of the falls.
All in all, if you are looking for an affordable and unforgettable safari experience, Pakuba is the perfect, as nature and the wild be right at your feet!
Are you planning any trips for the holiday? Let me know your plans.
Photos By: @ShotbyMu