Such a nice place to visit, I had a great time.
Good sign posting on the road. Lobby had space and soft chairs after a long day. Room was clean, tidy with everything working in it (such a change from most places I'd been). Bed soft, shower warm with an excellent view over the river.Pool was a great palce to unwind and relax. Views down over the river were good with assorted birds and animals coming down for a drink or graze.
Food was well presented and tasted wonderful. (Much better than many places I'd been to. Good location for drives to Budongo, ferry and Murchison Falls.
Owner was very helpful with all sorts of things.
Sad I only spent 4 days there. It was the best place I stayed in after 13 months in Uganda
Me and my friends had a terrible experience there. We arrived at the hotel after a long day visiting the park, and what did we find? There was not hot water, the rooms were really basic with no windows, full of insects and the rooms provided were not the ones we booked (despite of calling two days in advance to confirm the reservation was all right).
The people in charge didn’t give us any solution at all, so we just had to stay in the hotel because there was not other options. I understand it is inside of the Natural Park and all that stuff, but paying $150 per room per night is not acceptable for the service and quality they offer.
I STRONGLY NOT RECOMEND THIS HOTEL AT ALL
This is a great place to stay. Close to Murchison Falls and lots of opportunity to see wild animals, even at the lodge itself. The accommodations are comfortable, if not a little rustic. Power is available only from 7 to 10 pm, so no hot water in the morning. WiFi is available only in the bar and it is intermittent and slow. But seriously, this is a great place to stay. At night they recommend being accompanied by a staff member to and from your cottage after dark because herds of cape buffalo wander the grounds, however, there is no way to contact the front desk because there are no phones in the rooms, so twice my husband and I took our chances and walked to the dining room alone. We made it. The food, especially the soup, was really good. We totally enjoyed our experience here, but be prepared, because it's not luxurious.
RIPP OFF. Terrible, avoid. Electricity ONLY FOR 4 HOURS A DAY SAME AS WIFI.
We are very regular travellers around the world and never ever felt so ripped off as we felt in this hotel.
A very dirty room and toilet welcomes you!
We paid over £100.00 per night and this is what we got:
1. An extremely outdated cabin with terrible beds and mattresses likely to be 15 years old and we are not exaggerating;
2. A pair of towels that were probably 20 years old and I am not exaggerating;
3. Electricity does not work but from 7PM to 10PM which they never tell you in the website. It does make a difference because wifi does not work and you have to observe curfew times.
4.Food of very poor quality if not terrible.
5. Staff tired, overworked and frankly fed up. Probably underpaid;
6. The shower was probably 50 years old and in a terrible condition. We had an oxidised shower head. I mean common! I am paying nearly 170 USD per night. Can you bot buy a new shower head for 3 USD in Kampala? or clean it? (see attached pictures); obviously because of this, we couldn't have shower during three days because the smell of the water was awful. It was like we were oxidised ourselves!
7. Breakfast included is of a very poor quality;
8. The bar has a very poor selection of spirits and drinks;
9. Mice inside of our room were peeing all night and I could hear them seeing and splashing their wee on the floor; I get it we are in the middle of the jungle, and we did stay in many other places but the other places had the attention to detail required and the maintenance needed.
10. There's a family of Buffaloes living inside of the hotel or around. It is very exciting and quite cool, but not if you have to wait for someone to come and pick you up and drop you off your room because no torches are provided by the hotel.
In sum, the hotel is a rip off, outdated, archaic.
I will never comeback again and I certainly recommend TRIP ADVISOR to explain why is it that this hotel has a "certificate of excellence" because it is a laugh!!!
I will never recommend to a friend and I would certainly recommend the reader to stay away.
In sum, this hotel has its happy days back in the 80's. It is now left down, archaic, very updated. It is IMMORAL to charge what they charge for the kind of hell you get. A cheap, HOSTEL in a very poor country can be better that this Lodge. We would actually want to ask for a refund and will find out how soon.
Lastly, the toilet brush in our room has been there for probably 10 years. I mean, this is just attention to detail!!! a real rip off I hope the reader does not experience.
For over 5 years, I had been working closely with the Sambiya River Lodge offices in Kampala, recommending friends heading to Murchison Falls National Park to stay here, without myself visiting the game park and the lodge. This year in March over the International Women's Day weekend, I decided to pack my bags and head to Sambiya River Lodge.
Right from the point go, my trip was filled with lots of beautiful expectations and I must say, I never went wrong. First and foremost, our driver Mr. Asio made sure that we leave Kampala by 1:00 pm in order to reach the park before 6:00 pm ( park gate closing time). Along the 5 hour journey, we discussed a range of national and international tourism related matters. The scenic drive through Luwero, Kafu, Masindi into the Park, was very remarkable with sights of rural villages Uganda, market stalls selling all-you-can eat fresh fruits and food.
When we entered the park, we were welcomed by newly paved road running through the Budongo Forest with sights of troops of olive baboons and black and white colobus monkey grooming or the playing by roadside.
When we arrived at the lodge, Francis - the lodge manager and his team had been informed about our coming, so were ready to receive us. Picked our luggage and led into the huge lounge area and offered hot towels to clean the face and hands. Welcome drink was served.
When this was done, Francis gave a brief about the lodge, the do and don't - It's a jungle so we must respect the animals who call it home. We were advised not to walk alone after sunset or if you wish so, one of the security personnel is on call and must accompany you between your lodge and the restaurant/lounge area in order to avoid bumping into the buffalo or any other animal.
Dinner, Breakfast and Lunch are served in the restaurant area with a large space to lounge and relax or take a drink after a safari. There's also a fire place just outside the restaurant facing the valley.
Internet connection is available onlyat the lounge area between 6-9pm and 5-9am. When asked why the managed took a hard decision like such to limit internet usage, Debbie (the Owner) answered that this move is meant to allow their guests to socialise more.
My room was one of the cottages facing the Sambiya River Valley (at the time of my visit, the valley was dry so no much to see; but on rain season, buffaloes and other animals, frequent the valley for water)
The room is powered by both generator and solar. The generator runs between 5-7 am and again at 6-9 pm. When generator is off, guests are advised to use solar for lighting.
The comfy spring bed, the large bathroom area with high pressure shower fixed with grab rail - I had been to hotels but, Sambiya River Lodge experience was a special African jungle experience.
Please note that at the time of posting this review, the rooms had no intercom connection, so does the telecom network connection.
The lodge helped me reserve the afternoon boat cruise on the Nile River which stops a few metres to the Bottom of the Falls. The cruise takes 1hr:50mins and after reaching the bottom of the falls, guest can get off the boat and take a 1hr hike to the top of the falls. I strongly recommend anyone visiting the Murchison Falls National Park, to include both boat cruise and hike to the top of the falls to their itineraries. The thunder and the mist when you get up to the top of the falls is one experience you will never forget.
The rest of my evening was spent partly doing community service - we collected empty bottles thrown away by visitors to this part of the park. Antelops, Giraffes, Uganda Kob, Waterback, Jackson Hartebeest and numerous species of birds were seen during the game drive.
Just imagine a place on turning off the car engine, no phone signal, no internet, no thinking about your problem - sit back enjoy the different bird calls, and watch different game animals go about their day-to-day business. Thank you Sambiya River Lodge team for making my weekend away from Kampala a memorable one.