Budget accommodation in Murchison at a glance
There are several places to stay near the Victoria Nilein the southern area of the Murchison Falls National Park, or further north in the Budungo Forest Reserve or overlooking the White Nile near Pakwach.
Masindi, the closest town to the main entrance, has various lower-priced accommodation choices available too, though it is a long 85 km from the main park entrance at Kichumbanyobo.
You can set up a tent at one of the many campsites, or decide between safari tents, thatched roof bandas or backpacker lodges.
A Banda is a Swahili word for hut, shed or thatched house, and they are a popular budget accommodation option in Murchison.
Why Choose Budget Accommodation?
Budget accommodations are an excellent way to meet like-minded travellers as the facilities and social spaces are usually shared.
Lower priced lodgings are often near or within native communities, so they are a great way to learn more about local life and culture.
For the eco-conscious traveller, budget accommodation is often a great choice as these accommodations often make use of solar power and local materials and ingredients, and they are often community-run and locally supplied.
Places to Stay
Red Chili Rest Camp
Located in the heart of the park at Paraa, Red Chilli Rest Camp is superbly positioned to explore Murchison National Park.
It is just 500 m away from the ferry, where you can cross for an early morning game drive on the Nile delta, or head straight out on a river cruise.
The on-site bar is open until midnight, and there is a communal campfire and barbecuing area, which is great for socialising.
DIY camping with shared access to modern showers, toilets, cooking facilities and basic twin safari tents are the lowest priced options.
Murchisons River Lodge
This stunning and friendly family-run lodge offers a very pleasant campsite for budget travellers. Although it doesn’t have views of the river from there, the swimming pool, restaurant, and deck do.
While the lodge itself is mid-range, you can DIY camp here on a budget and have access to showers, toilets, and cooking facilities.
Free afternoon tea and cakeis a welcome bonus. This camp is one of the most beautiful budget options available.
Sambiya River Lodge
Situated only 20 minutes from the top of the falls, Sambiya offers a fantastic location in the heart of the park.
It is best known for its peaceful atmosphere and friendly staff. Though most of their accommodation doesn’t fall into the low budget category, 12 lovely well-priced bandas overlooking a beautiful acacia woodland do.
A swimming pool, restaurant and veranda are available to all guests with game drives an optional extra.
Mama Washindi Lodge
To the north of Murchison Falls, set in Pakwach East, overlooking the White Nile, Mama Washindi Lodge is a pleasant and comfortable budget stay.
Guest can choose between self-contained rooms, furnished safari tents and a family banda with a separate dining area.
All are equipped with double or twin beds, flushing toilets and private balcony.
Continental breakfast, Wi-Fi and private parking are included.
Budongo Eco lodge
Hidden under a canopy of trees, Budongo Eco lodge is perfectly positioned to enjoy the wonders of both the Budongo Forest, where approximately 700 chimpanzees live and the Murchison Falls, further south.
They have several dormitory-style bedrooms in large wooden cabins, perfect for families and backpackers.
They also have many self-contained rooms, five private cabins and an on-site restaurant.
Boomu Women’s Group
Boomu, meaning togetherness, is a brilliant budget accommodation choice with a social purpose, on Murchison National Park’s edge by the southern gates.
It was formed by a group of women looking to improve their livelihood and give back to the community by creating a community tourism project.
Boomu is ideal for backpackers as they offer several dormitory-style rooms, they also have a restaurant on-site, and breakfast is included.
Built-in 1923, Masindi Hotel is one of Uganda’s oldest hotels and has some very interesting history.
Catherine Hepburn stayed here during the making of the ‘African Queen’ and behind the old colonial hotel is a beautiful campsite with fabulous hot showers.
Despite being close to town, the area is green and quiet with abundant birdlife, and the nearby market is great to stock up on fruits and veggies.
New Court View Hotel
Located in Masindi town, New Court View Hotel is popular with many travellers on a budget.
They have various room sizes, which all have a private bathroom, electricity and Wi-Fi.
It is also a great option for families, as there is a swimming pool and playground to keep the children entertained.
Excursions to the national park for game drives and boat cruises can be pre-arranged.
Named after the rare shoebill stork that visits the Albert Delta in Murchison National Park, this campsite is a great spot to unwind.
Set up your tent overlooking the Nile, and enjoy a sundowner listening to the calls of the hippos other creatures that visit the riverbank below.
Shoebill is ideal for DIY camping so bring your tents and cooking facilities. However, if you do not fancy cooking yourself, the adjoining camp under the same management, has a restaurant available and welcomes Shoebill Campsite guests to use their swimming pool.
UWA Public Campsite Site, Northern Bank
The only public campsite in the northern park is a simple affair with a wonderful view of the river and good chances to see wildlife but little in the way of facilities.
Be prepared with everything needed, including water. Fees are paid at the office by the ferry where firewood can also sometimes be purchased.
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