I (Jessie) recently joined Adventure Consults for an “Ultimate Uganda & Rwanda” safari in East Africa. This is the first installment of my trip report — on the places I stayed in urban Uganda.
This was one of the most educational, amazing trips I have ever been on. I’ve snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef, hiked in the Peruvian rainforest and watched lions mate in the Kruger. But meeting the eyes of a gorilla is simply unexplainable. Chasing chimps through the forest was an absolutely invigorating adventure.
Might I add that that is in large part because of our guide, Eric. Being guided by someone who is passionate about his job and enthusiastic about making sure his guests are 100% satisfied is so refreshing. He was truly incredible and we all cried a bit when we had to part ways at the end of the trip. This was truly the journey of a lifetime!
Boma Guest House, Entebbe
Only 15 minutes from EBB International airport, Boma Guest House is a hidden oasis. This cozy, 1940’s style property is the perfect place to start your journey with Adventure Consults. The food is delicious and the service outstanding. The grounds are filled with flowers and plants, which makes it feel like a tropical paradise. You can follow paths around the property for an early morning birding adventure. I had a wonderful two-night stay.
Notes: 17 rooms, some interconnecting. Currently building four new rooms with air conditioning. Owned by an Irish couple.
Protea Hotel, Entebbe
Quite a difference from the Boma Guest House. This Protea is a nice hotel on the shore of Lake Victoria, which makes for incredible views. Although very comfortable and inviting for anyone, I’d really recommend this hotel specifically for corporate and luxury travelers because the extensive amenities will please high-end clients.
Notes: 73 rooms including 13 new ones. Pool, gym, spa, restaurant. Protea Hotels is now owned by Marriott.
Serena Hotel, Kampala
Serena Kampala is definitely five plus stars — a beautiful, modern, 152-room hotel in the heart of Kampala. But you sure wouldn’t know it because the hustle and bustle of the city seems far away. Again, a lovely hotel, but mostly for business/extended travel.
Notes: Five room categories (standard, executive, executive suite, business and presidential) and seven restaurants. Member of Leading Hotels of the World.
Emin Pasha Hotel, Kampala
Another hidden gem in a busy city. The minute you enter the property, you feel as if you’re in a tropical garden, making for a very peaceful ambiance. Emin Pasha makes you feel right at home. Small, cozy and perfect for your stay in Kampala. And a very nice spa, I might add.
Notes: Mid-range hotel. Garden or other views available at no extra price.
I ( Jessie) recently joined Adventure Consults for an “Ultimate Uganda & Rwanda” safari in East Africa. This is the second installment of my trip report — on the places I stayed in and around Kibale National Park, renowned for its chimp tracking and chances to see more than a dozen other primates in the wild.
Crater Safari Lodge
A beautiful property that overlooks Lake Nyinbulitwa. Rooms and common areas are very spacious. We were only there for a short while, but the property seemed nice.
Notes: Mid-range; all rooms have two queens.
One of our favorites from the trip! Aubrey, the owner, was one of the most welcoming and accommodating people that we came across during our entire trip through Uganda and Rwanda. Not to mention he invited us for lunch, which owners normally don’t do.
This property is definitely for dog lovers. You’re greeted by three of the resident canines as soon as you pull up. Basal, the puppy, runs the show. The property is set on top of a crater rim, which makes for incredible views. And the extensive gardens make Ndali a haven of relaxation.
They are currently building outdoor showers and have just finished the sauna and massage area. Ping pong is a popular activity at the lodge — which Aubrey says has the best view of any ping pong table in the world. Guests also have access to a gym and yoga studio.
The atmosphere here just makes you feel at home in the middle of Uganda. And you can feel good about booking with Ndali, as 2% of the rate goes to sponsoring students at a local school. Lake walks and a school visit are additional activities. Nothing but good things to say about Ndali.
Notes: Opened in 1996; eight cottages including a honeymoon unit.
So many stairs! Although this was one of the most luxurious properties we saw, it’s definitely not for the “unfit.” The lodge is perfect for young, active clients, as there are tons of things to do onsite. Crater lake and forest walks, kayaks and paddle-boards are just a few activities to choose from. And the lake is parasite free, so guests can swim without worrying about getting some nasty bug.
There’s a goat farm nearby that produces cheese for Kyaninga. Also nearby is a ballroom where Kyaninga hosts three large charity events per year, with all proceeds going to local children with disabilities. Weddings can also be held there. Truly a lovely, high-end property.
Notes: Nine regular rooms and two with a mezzanine level for families. Laundry included. WiFi only in the main area. Opened in 2011. Spa currently under construction.
We had a lovely two-night stay here. You definitely can’t beat the location, as the lodge is only a five-minute drive to the starting point of the chimp trek. Our luxury rooms were spacious and comfortable. It was hard to imagine the camp’s main area (dining room, lounge, gift shop, fire pit, etc.) because it was all under construction. But it looks like it will turn out beautifully!
A unique feature of Primate Lodge is The Treehouse. There was a couple staying there during our stay and they had a chimp run in front of them while they were walking to breakfast! The food is delicious at Primate Lodge and the service is great. We really enjoyed our stay.
Notes: Luxury and standard cottages. Honeymoon and family cottages also available. There is also a tree-house for the adventurous at heart; it’s quite a walk from the main lodge though.