Lake Victoria is the largest tropical lake in the world and the largest freshwater lake in Africa, with a surface area of 26,560square miles. It is also one of the most beautiful features that make Uganda stand out of the crowd as a Pearl. If you have a strong preference for waterfront beaches, meet some of the most beautiful hotels you should visit before the year ends. By Solomon Oleny & Andrew Kisamba.
Imperial Botanical Beach Hotel Entebbe
From the start, we could tell our two day stay at this hotel was going to be pleasant (when we visited it for a residential meeting last January). We made reservations via their website and WOW, the entire booking process was never a pain in the wrong spot. Imperial commands an electrifying view of Lake Victoria and has astounding greenery. The rooms have sort of flaps to let in all sounds of the lake. This has a healing effect to the body and soul.
Botanical beach hotel is equally awesome for small meetings as it has lots of spaces, each with comfortable seating facilities.
Location wise, it is a bang and close to the heart of everything worth exploring in Entebbe: Uganda wildlife education center, Ngamba, cafes and even Airport. It is also perfect if you want a long night out. It is within walking distance from some of Entebbe’s most vibrant nightclubs like Knight Riders Discotheque.
Nyange Resort and Marina
What makes a honeymoon resort unforgettable? Some say it is how astounding its architectural design is. Others believe the answer lies in its location, level of tranquility, and sense of privacy. Regardless of whether you agree more with the former or the latter, Nyange resort and marina will sweep you off your feet. It is within 30 minutes drive from Entebbe, at Bwerenga village. It features a collection of modern-style African cottages. Nyange is a great place to take in the refreshing breeze of Lake Victoria. When you breathe it in deeply (the breeze), you will feel the life you have inside you.
Nyange’s beauty is complemented by astonishing sunsets. It will swamp over your worries and leave you gulping back tears of joy. Then there are the saintly birds like the great white egret, a species after which the hotel is named. The Baganda associate it with peace and blessings, this is exactly what Nyange offers.
This resort will blow you off your thrown with its white sand beach, as fenced in by a relaxing forest ambiance. It is located on Bugala Island, the largest of the Ssese Islands. If you love less crowded hotels, its location alone will glow up your cheeks and light up your eyes.
Its beds and showers are a perfect place to relax after a long day. They are warm and cozy. On the other hand, its breakfast offers a great start to a good day. It is easy to confuse Victoria’s breakfast for a brunch. See, it features a wide variety of offerings, with an emphasis on organically grown produce.
Among the things that keep travelers coming back here is that it is easy on the budget. While its executive cottage costs $30, deluxe costs $45, tent $15, and millennium $55.
To others like Ronald Ross Ochoo though, the hotel’s serene environment and its welcoming and warm staff make it worth a star recommendation to anyone planning to stay on the Bugala Island.
It sits on the edge of a peaceful jungle at the shores of Lake Victoria, near Kampala. To be more precise, it is found in Mukono District, Mpatta Sub-county, Butere. It is a well-conserved ecological getaway that is perfect for honeymoon or family holidays.
Apart from a lake waterfront, Serenada is also comprised of two tropical forests, four flowery gardens, a jungle of papyrus, and a beach. The buildings here are nothing short of Eco-friendly. They are built of materials that are dearer to the Eco-system such as softwood, bamboo reeds, smooth murram and thatched with grass. This naturally attracts lots of birds with soothing calls that are as sweet to the ears as serenade music. For a more fulfilling experience, you could head out for a guided bird-watching excursion around the lake and its shores. You stand high chances of seeing the 220 species to which Serenada is paradise.
In no exaggeration, Serenada is the kind of getaway you would want to stay in forever.
Speke resort Munyonyo & Conference Centre
By the time a president stays in a given hotel, you know it is a five star hotel in the real sense of the word. Over 50 Presidents have stayed at this luxurious estate found in Munyonyo, a litter free shore of Lake Victoria.
The property which is widely spread over 100acres has it all; we are talking about state of art amenities you can expect of a 21st century-star-hotel: A fully fledged gym, Olympic sized swimming pools, flower gardens that are colourful all year.
It has a variety of accommodations rooms (335), each with décor and ultramodern furnishings that are themed along Uganda’s heritage. Regardless of which one you chose, you will be treated to sweeping panoramic views of an environment that is beautiful and relaxing; swimming pools, marina, flower gardens. What amazes us the most about this hotel is that though it is always busy, its staff do not compromise when it comes to offering really high standards of services.
Regardless of whether you are a honeymooner or business traveller, Speke is a beautiful place to spend a night in Kampala. The bonus is a live band performance. Loved it. Great songs and fabulous performance by an array of talented Ugandan artists inclusive of performers of traditional dances. Gorgeous costumes and creatively designed stages. Absolutely worth a watch.
Pineapple Bay Bulago
This resort is always missed because it is hidden, but it is worth visiting anytime of the year. Happiness will start roaring through you at the sight of Bulago.
Its rooms are wide, with fairly large windows that let the lake into the room. The comfy king-sized beds, coupled with the marble bathrooms come across as a great choice for lovebirds.
On the whole, the island is so quiet that one can hear only their thoughts. Bulago appeals to travelers in need of an authentic experience, as opposed to artificially air-conditioned settings. The rooms are decorated with nature’s colors, something which makes Pineapple a great place for meditating. The fish fest here is a must-attend. It is a succulent grill that is delicious to the last piece.
Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
I (Solomon) first saw this awe-inspiring Island five years back and instantly fell in love with it! I’ve been back to it six times, and would go back again! Each of its stilted tents is as spacious as a small house, with a roomy deck whose feet are firmly anchored into the lake shores. While standing at the decks, your eyes will be taken on a relaxing journey. A journey to the surrounding Islands with their busy fishermen.
There’s not a dull moment at this facility which turns 20years mid this 2018. I would say it’s a “Must visit!” for friends or family. Friend, it is home to 49 orphaned chimps rescued from throughout Uganda.
If your heart beats for migratory species (birds), the best time to visit Ngamba is September-October. During this time, the island comes alive with over 10 gorgeous species that fly from as far as Italy. Needless to say, the fun and attentive staff here also deserve special mention.
Lake Victoria Serena Golf resort and spa
If you are exploring Kampala or Entebbe and don’t mind being spoilt with luxury, I definitely recommend this hotel with an always inviting beauty. From a distance, you are bound to mistake it for a castle due to its traditional Mediterranean architecture.
Thanks to its pastel color palettes, this hotel has taken the beauty of Lake Victoria to a new level. It is located in Kigo, a suburb in a quiet environment with clean air.
Serena is beautiful and has everything you can expect from a 5-star hotel, from the rooms, amenities, ambiance, bars…..the list goes on. It also has a multitude of arenas for recreation inclusive of vast swimming pools and a well-maintained golf course. The views of Lake Victoria from here are spectacular, and so is the atmosphere. The cottages are ideal for those wanting privacy and solitude. This makes it a great place for both honeymooners and families with small children. Serena is also a remarkable venue for a conference as it is away from the city’s confusion.
The road leading to it seems a little rough as it is not rehabilitated, but rest assured you will have no trouble getting to the hotel as it is easy to find. As is typical of hotels belonging to the Serena Group, Kigo has a multi-cultural feel and many options of cuisines.
Buvi is a hidden Gem in a remote part of Entebbe that is still undisturbed. The 23kilometer journey here from Kampala will leave you wondering if there is anything fancy in your destiny, Buvi village. You pass by poor shacks and a dusty road. The area is building up and this lodge is one of the architectural marvels that will help it succeed. Buvi is largely fashioned from fully baked bricks, well polished wooden floors, and furnished iron sheets. On the inside, they are decorated with exquisitely carved furniture. This place is easy to get to from the heart of the Capital, even when using public transportation. The staff never find it bothering to make your stay memorable.
On the other hand, the swimming pool is not the poshest there is in Uganda, but it has its own charm. It is a great place to relax and meet new people with whom you share a lot in common. An overnight stay here costs less than UGX 300,000 per person.
Brovads sands lodge
Brovad is exactly what many looking for in Kalangala, a quiet and clean place that is all about romance. It is well located in a less busy part of Bugala in Ssese Islands, Lake Victoria.
This beachfront hotel offers a sense of living in a tastefully decorated modern African village. Its rooms have simple yet elegant artistry. If you want to treat her to a romantic experience she won’t forget, the candlelit dinner at the beach will do wonders. We can bet on that.
Among the simple things that make Brovad extra-ordinary is that its meals give you the flexibility of eating when you want. Imagine the possibility of not being limited to having meals at scheduled times, as is the case with most hotels.
In related news, the quad biking experience at Brovads is unhurried. Alternatively, you can go for a guided nature walk. It is a great way to learn about the islands endearing flora and fauna. Better still, you can sit at the powder-soft beaches and meditate on the sounds of the lake. The stillness here is a delightful contrast to the busy life in Kampala.
You cannot forget to carry your camera when coming to visit this sweet paradise. It is built atop the same Hill where John Speke stood in 1858 before declaring Jinja as the source of the world’s longest river. It is such an eye catchy family run Eco-resort, one that is full of picturesque views of the source of the Nile and Lake Victoria.
Looking at the cottages of Living Waters Resort from the outside, you are bound to think of it as a luxury tent. On entering inside though, you will be blown away by the realization that it is a safari lodge. One with colorful decor that is themed along with African Heritage.
During your visit, you will love the sound of the wind as it sways trees back and forth in the night. It feels like it is raining.
The other reason that makes Living Waters worth your visit is that it is as attractive as a newly established property, yet it is over five years old. I guess this is because it is very well maintained. The bonus is that staff are very pleasant, and the food is heavenly.