Tilenga Safari Lodge: Where nature offers you pleasure

From the balcony of each cottage at Tilenga Safari Lodge, guests can spot wildlife. 
PHOTOS/ TOBBIAS J. OWINY

What you need to know:

Over breakfast, you will be treated to sights of monkeys playing in trees. Guests camping at the lodge do not have to take hours on game drives because they can watch wildlife from the comfort of the cottages

After a four-and-half hours’ drive from Kampala to Karuma Bridge and another two hours of navigating the worn-out and padded 102km tarmac stretch from the bridge to Pakwach Town, the captivating sight of Tilenga Safari Lodge welcomed us.

As the sun set over the horizon of River Nile, herds of elephants and hippopotami can be seen in the water-logged creek, adjacent to the lodge. Our day’s guide told us wild animals usually take shelter under shrubs and trees, assemble and match back into the Murchison Falls National  Park.

While the same creek is also a mating arena for the antelopes, warthogs, and Jackson Hartebeests, it offers a full view of key animal species in the park.

In the neighbourhood, sits the thick tropical undergrowth through which tourists clamber to access the jungle. At the lodge, luxury and adventure are a guaranteed experience.

Left: A crocodile basks in the sun at the Nile delta. 

Breathtaking views

The lodge’s seats by the roadside offer a full view of wildlife in the park.   From the balcony of each of the cottages, a guest will spot giraffes wandering about to snack on the acacias and catch a glimpse of elephants feeding on tropical palm leaves dotted all over the lodge’s terrace.

The facility epitomises contemporary architecture, with unique lighting installations. Built with eco-friendly materials such as grass, bamboo stems and eucalyptus poles inspired by the surrounding wilderness, the design draws nature to your doorstep. It is spacious and offers the best safari experience.

Seating on 36-acres of land, which is part of the Murchison National Park ecosystem, the lodge’s location is ideal for wildlife spotting.

In the cottages, king-sized beds made of bamboo shoots and stems to the high thatch ceilings and raised wooden decks, overlooking the glistening River Nile, nature is incorporated into every inch of the lodge’s space.

 The calming atmosphere is enhanced with authentic African décor, made of granite and stone, while stylish, modern furnishings blend to create an inviting opulent view. Over breakfast and dinner, you will be treated to sights of monkeys playing in trees.

While warthogs take turns chasing and playing in their company, the antelopes and their families march in the compound to quench thirst from nearby streams.

The location of the facility guarantees an intimate stay with fantastic game viewing. “The lodge offers privacy, game viewing and great services,”David Kambere Thembo, the manager of Tilenga Safari Lodge, says.

Guests camping at the lodge do not have to take hours on game drives inside the park because they are privileged to watch wildlife from the comfort of the cottages.

Inside the lodge’s kitchen is a set of professional personnel and their magical hands can bring any basic dish to life as well as continental cuisines. For one and a half years now, the lodge has been receiving a wide range of guests both domestic and international.

“We are not yet connected to the power grid and it is very expensive to run the facility on a generator every day, considering the high costs of fuel,” Kambere shares some of the challenges.

 “Guests get irritated whenever the place gets dark, once the generator goes off. He, however, says plans are underway to install a solar power facility.   

A couple enjoys a meal at the lodge

Close attractions

At the lodge, you will get an opportunity to visit the Ramsar site in the greater Nile Delta, while enjoying the scenic view of the Congo mountain ranges with their infinite but swelling forested horizons.

This area is one of the park’s best birding spots; it is an expanse of the low land, where the Victoria Nile enters Lake Albert as a sluggish stream in a swampy delta.

Located in southwest of the Murchison Falls National Park, the delta is home to a number of bird species and also a bird-watching site.

The delta’s neighbourhood has magnificent scenery of varying vegetation and the view of the flow of the Nile as it splits to form small islands and tributaries, at the point it joins Lake Albert.

Besides the delta, guests can also enjoy boat cruises to the Murchison Falls inside this park. Along the drive to the delta, is the vast collection of rolling savanna grasslands.

Activities

Through the 17km ride from the new Paraa Bridge, animals such as baboons, chimpanzees, Nile crocodiles, waterbuck, hippos, elephants, giraffes, antelopes and bird species, will offer you a unique experience on your trip. Guests to the park can enjoy game drives, boat safaris and a waterfall hike.

The falls are both stunning and offer picturesque moments- an opportunity to experience nature in the plains of the national park.

The park has a variety of striking landscapes and it is also home to an abundance of wildlife such as lions, elephants, giraffes, and leopards and bird species such as the grey crowned crane and shoebill.

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