Editor’s 15 Holiday Picks
Christmas is all but here! This feature gives you the pick of the lot, our recommendations across the entire country that you may want to consider as you plan to unwind with your spouse, the family, the kids and your mates from work. No need to cross the border this year folks. Here goes!
1. BIRDNEST AT BUNYONYI RESORT
Birdnest at Bunyonyi Resort was built in 2009 and it’s known to be midrange and luxury accommodation. From that time, it has been the ideal place for anyone visiting Kabale and Lake Bunyonyi. The rooms are beautifully fashioned and adorned to make you feel away from home. From every corner of the lodge, you can spot the stunning lake and its features.
Rates: Single USD 120 and Double USD 140
Tel: 0758402585 | 0779229870
2. CLOUDS MOUNTAIN GORILLA LODGE
It is remote. It is beautiful. It is intimate. And at over 2,000 metres above sea level, it is Uganda’s highest lodge.Since it opened, this small, remote lodge continues to win prizes, awards and accolades both internationally and locally.
Rates: Twin/Double USD 430 per person | Single USD 610 per person (High Season)
3. CAMEL CLUB
The superlatives come easy when describing Camel Club: it is epic, homely, detailed and magnificent certainly one of the best cocktail bars in Kampala. Located on Kyadondo Road. Plot 18 Nakasero, Camel Club is a newbie on the Kampala cocktail bar scene. Recently opened in February, 2013 Camel Club is already giving other bars in the area a run for their monies.
Offer: Wine Down Monday. Buy two glasses and get the third free!
Jazz Sessions: The Last Tuesday of every month, Live Jazz Music combined with Jazz aged cocktails.
4. MWEYA SAFARI LODGE
Mweya Safari Lodge offers visitors an unforgettable experience. Located on a peninsula within the heart of the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mweya Safari Lodge is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains aptly described as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’. To the east, lie the guardians of the birthplace of mankind, the Great Rift Valley hills, separated from the Mountains of the Moon by the meandering Kazinga Channel. Here the water flows endlessly into two giant lakes – Lake George and Lake Edward.
Rates: Single USD 182 and Double USD 316 (Bed and Breakfast)
5. THE HAVEN LODGE JINJA
The Haven is a peaceful and relaxed River Lodge, rated as one of the best accommodation in Jinja region. Enjoy the tranquility and the breathtaking view over the starting point of rafting at the first waterfall of the river Nile. Leave all the strains of the town life behind you as you relax and gaze at the gently flowing water of the longest river in the world.
Rates: 250 USD for Twin/Double and 150 USD for Single (Full board)
6. HORSE RIDING AT FLAMETREE STABLES
Flametree Stables is owned and run with huge enthusiasm by Miranda Bowser. An accomplished horsewoman, Miranda moved to Uganda from England over 20 years ago and has been keeping horses and teaching people to ride ever since. Nestling in stunning countryside near Gayaza, the stables sit in 20 acres of woodland home to a variety of flora and fauna including the Flame tree which gives the business its name.
Rates: They have a variety of options for this gentle, beginner lesson. A private lesson during the week costs 75,000 UGX for one rider.A shared lesson of two is discounted at 40,000 UGX each rider. A maximum group lesson of 3 riders is discounted at 35,000 UGX each rider.
7. THE RAINFOREST LODGE
The Rainforest Lodge, an upmarket, small ecolodge that provides all the services of GeoLodges Uganda has become known for. It is the third lodge in the GeoLodges Uganda portfolio. The Lodge has been built using local, onsite materials to create a stunningly unique atmosphere for visitors to truly appreciate the beauty and magnificence of the Mabira Forest Reserve.
Rates: USD 105 Sharing per person and USD 150 Single (Full Board)
8. WILDWATERS LODGE, JINJA
Nestled in luxuriant rainforest on its own private island, mid-stream in the mighty Nile, Wildwaters Lodge is breathtaking. Thick riverine forest naturally covers the island and each of the ten timber-floor rooms is nestled amidst the forest with private, breathtaking views over the River Nile and its rapids.
Rates: Single USD 295 and USD 195 Sharing
9. CARPE DIEM RESTAURANT ENTEBBE
Carpe Diem Coffee Shop not only serves the best coffee in town, but does it in a location with panoramic views of the lake, airport and town. Watching the sun setting over the lake whilst sitting on comfy sofas with a drink of your choice in your hand is the perfect end to another perfectly sunny Ugandan day. Carpe Diem also has a healthy and diverse menu of smoothies, juices and light meals to choose from.
Tel: +256 793396832
10. OLIVE GARDEN CAFÉ AND BISTRO
Dining at Olive Garden offers a uniquely satisfying combination of local and international cuisine and dessert. The chef can offer a wide range of traditional cuisine tailor-made to suit guests’ requirements and budget, the choice and quality is set to delight all tastes. The bar will provide you with a range of both local and international drinks. Enjoy the true African wines, beers and spirits like Uganda’s favourite Uganda Waragi.
Offers: Get a free cup of coffee on your first visit!
11. MOUNT GAHINGA SAFARI LODGE
Mounts Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhuvura provide an impressive backdrop to this unique lodge, whose 9 bandas all named after volcanoes in the Virunga chain are based around traditional pygmy huts – albeit with modern comforts. The mature tropical garden setting and rustic style rooms/cottages combine to give the impression of staying in the bygone era of Hemmingway.
Rates: Single USD 420 and Double USD 350
12. HOTEL LE BOUGAINVILLIER, BUGOLOBI
Located only five kilometres away from the heart of Kampala, this hotel offers you a unique Mediterranean flair: surrounding a lush terraced garden with a swimming pool and plenty of private hide-aways to sit and relax, the hotel rooms are accommodated in a number of luxurious bungalows that combine the comfort of international hotel standards with the charm of a village provençal.
Rates: Single USD 111 and Double 131
13. MEZZANINE RESTAURANT, JINJA
Close to town and easily accessible Mezzanine offers a calming picturesque setting to relax with a drink, have a meal, or just enjoy the environment. The restaurant has a shared dining experience where you build your own meal with a wide range of tempting tapas!
14. AMAGARA CAFÉ BISTRO
Amagara Cafe Bistro is relaxed, fun and fabulous and has established itself as a firm favourite in the city given its location. It is a regular haunt for all wanting contemporary African buffet for lunch but a perfect place to start your day with a fair trade coffee and Brood pastry and a perfect place to wind down after work over BBQ and beers.
Offer: Live Lounge Evenings every Thursday. An eclectic blend of musical styles from the Live band. Free entrance with selected drinks on promotion.
15. WHITE CASTLE HOTEL, ARUA
A soothing environment to spend quality time alone or with the loved ones is a desire of everyone. With White Castle hotel, you are sure of the right placement to enhance your relaxation to ward off fatigue from a long days stress.
Rates: Single USD 36 and Double USD 46
Tel: +256772 880 830www.facebook.com/thepearlguide | www.twitter.com/thepearlguideug