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“Luxury on the shores of the world's longest lake”

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Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika
Ranked #3 of 23 Hotels in Bujumbura
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 April 2014

I stayed for two nights at the Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika in April 2014 and very much enjoyed the experience. I was able to take advantage of a package deal (room, breakfast and dinner) for the first night, but had to pay full price for the second night (B&B only).

I was very pleased with my spacious room, which was right on the beach, with great views of the lake and of the mountains of the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) in the distance. The air-conditioning (which I found necessary, as daytime temperatures were in the low 30s) worked efficiently and there was always plenty of hot water. My bathroom came with a full-length bath (with plug), and that was also very welcome. I was able to access the Internet easily from my room (free of charge). The room was attractively furnished, with numerous 'ethnic' touches. Although I didn't make use of it, the large swimming pool looked very enticing, although on Saturdays and Sundays it is very crowded and noisy, as many well-heeled local families spend the day round it. The food at the hotel is generally very good, as is the service. Indeed, I found all the staff I came across courteous, well-trained and pleasant.

There are pleasant walks along the beach in both directions, although I didn't think it was very clean (it is, after all, a public beach). I even spotted some shards of broken glass. It is possible to swim in the lake, though hippos are seen there from time to time. They could do with placing a few more tables and chairs on the beach.

If you turn left when you leave the hotel and head towards the border with the DRC, you will pass the attractive Rusizi Natural Reserve, which is home to hippos, crocs and a range of aquatic birds. I would recommend hiring a launch for 45 minutes - but not during the heat of the day. I hired one with three other visitors and we paid 100,000 Burundian francs between us (just under 10 pounds sterling each). It was a most enjoyable cruise and the guide who accompanied us was very knowledgeable about birds. We spotted hippos, but no crocs, sadly.

On Sunday afternoons, a group of traditional Burundian drummers performs on the beach (turn left as you face the lake and walk along the beach for ten minutes or so until you reach the Keza Hotel on Saga Plage). They are colourful and energetic, but be warned that you have to pay to take photos of them (5,000 Burundian francs for two photos only, 15,000 for as many as you like).

The hotel also offers a free shuttle-bus service to and from Bujumbura, which takes only 15 minutes. The road is in a pretty awful condition, with numerous potholes, some of them rather deep. Bujumbura is quite safe to walk around during the day; however, doing so after dark is not recommended. There really are no 'sights' as such. However, the centre is well laid-out and there are some fine - though crumbling - examples of 1920s and 1930s European architecture. Sadly, the central market was gutted by fire a few years ago. In general, there is an air of neglect. Given that Burundi is considered to be one of the five poorest countries in the world, perhaps this is not so surprising. For a coffee break, I would recommend the splendid Cafe Gourmand (which sells cakes which would not look out of place in a Parisian patisserie) or Aroma Cafe (on boulevard de l'Uprona); and for lunch, the outdoor leafy courtyard restaurant at Hotel Botanika, which is located on the same street as Aroma Cafe, just a few doors down from it. If by chance you miss the shuttle bus back to the hotel, a taxi should cost between 7,000 and 10,000 Burundian francs.

There are signs of wear and tear and neglect, so I wouldn't give the hotel a five star rating. I would also agree with some reviewers that it is a bit overpriced. I would certainly stay there again, but only if I were able to take advantage of one of their all-inclusive weekend packages, which do offer good value for money, in my view.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Cosmo44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 - 51 of 158 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2014

The hotel is kind of run down. We had tape holding up our screen. Other quirks included finding clothes all through the sauna, no chairs on the beach, and the shuttle service not showing up downtown to pick us up. The staff are very friendly though, the rooms are clean, the food is great. The drinks are very expensive for Burundi though. The weekend deal is 2 nights $150 per person with breakfast and dinner included. Which is completely worth it. The regular price for this hotel is not.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Brrrratatat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2014

I was hoping for less than USD 160 per night, but was in no way disappointed. Gorgeous view over Lake Tanganyika; I might have felt differently if I had gotten a less attractive view.

Good connectivity. CNN for the English speakers and lots of French channels for everyone else. Good connectivity. Room service 24/7. Breakfast on the terrace was respectable; the view over the lake was better than the food, I must say.

A large pool for those who don't want to go into the lake.

Room Tip: Insist on a room overlooking the beach. In French, 'une chambre qui donne sur la plage.'
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank constanttraveler71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2014

We felt this was the best choice, and my local counterpart agreed as well. The room price included transportation between the hotel and airport as well as breakfast. The lake view I had from my room was excellent and gave me a very relaxing moment. The breakfast had a good variety of choices. The internet in the room worked very well, and the shower's water temperature and pressure were great. I wish they could have coffee/tea in the room. Of course, it's not located in town and I wish the male staff in the front desk could be a bit more charming but I will definitely stay in this hotel if I have a chance to come back to Burundi.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled on business
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Thank Fukuyan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2014

I stayed at Club du Lac Tanganyika after spending some time in really rual, basic areas during work travel in East Africa. I was very pleasantly surprised by the room quality and comfort at this hotel. The rooms are nicely and simply decorated (I enjoyed the painting applied directly on the wall and framed--the artist used kitenge fabric as one of the mediums to portray the hills of Burundil). Sheets and towels were high quality and the internet connections were great at all the locations I tried to access around the grounds. I didn't try the aircon--it was rainy season and I enjoyed listening to the rain and the waves on Lake Tanganyika, which sounded very much like the ocean to me. Water in the shower was hot with good pressure. The breakfast buffet had a huge selection with really anything you could want, including good coffee. I had dinner a couple times here also--the pasta was delicious and the panna cotta dessert was divine. There was live music on Friday and Sunday night which was entertaining (the band just seemed to be having a great time whether or not anyone was paying attention) and my friends saw a hippo grazing just outside the restaurant on the beach during dinner one evening. The pool is nice and big and refreshing. Good location at the front of the property (on the beach) to see the sunset over Lake Tanganyika and the mountains of DRC just beyond. The fitness center was small but fine--really the only hitch during my few days here was that one morning the machines weren't working but when I checked back in the afternoon they were all on. Free shuttle to/from the airport (even at 12:3opm for my 2:40am flight) and reception was friendly and helpful. I will definitely recommend Club du Lac to anyone staying in Bujumbura and I hope to return soon!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled solo
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Thank Stephanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2014

My first trip to Bujumbura, a 3 day peak before heading back to see Gorillas in Rwanda.

I live in China and have visited many developing countries, but was a bit spooked on arriving in Buja due to recent events. Our car arrived promptly and we were at the hotel in no time.

Staff is a bit shy, but responds well in English and some better in French. Amazing grounds and gorgeous, big rooms. Internet very reliable when not raining. Pool is huge and clean, great grounds for eating a variety of local and international foods. Bar keeps good drinks coming. Breakfast buffet is a bit sluggish, but good. Staff is attentive - my friend left his room key sitting around and the staff immediately brought it to the front desk for safety purposes. Quickly retrieved and appreciated. Owner is Italian and very friendly - happy to join us for a quick chat.

Beach is amazing especially at sunset, though there are some kids around who will pester you at times. We arranged the boat trip to see the hippos and crocs, though not many crocs available. The 'guide' on that boat barely speaks English, so a french speaker will help. By all means do not get off the boat tour at the 'park' to see more crocs. This is better done by road, as you need a vehicle at the park to get to the towers for land observation. I think the boat ride, which is expensive, is fun but not for everyone unless you have a good camera to catch the hippos in the river.

Shuttle bus into town was reliable. Do take care in Bujumbura either day or night - there are mostly wonderful people everywhere, but plenty who have very little and may try to relieve you of your iPhone and cash.

The place to stay in Bujumbura, hands down.

Room Tip: Try to get on the second floor, but these rooms are often prioritized for frequent guests by my obse...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Zach F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2014

Stayed in three different hotels in Bujumbura and liked Club du Loc best. My room, modern and cozy with hard wood floors and stunning lake views, made a mundane business trip almost a leisurely experience. The restaurant and bar were perfect as were the service and prices. The place can get a bit loud though, especially on weekends during live music or other shows.

Room Tip: Ask for a second floor, lake view in the A block. I highly recommend room 118.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled on business
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2  Thank PinUpBoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ClubduLacTanganyika, Front Office Manager at Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika, responded to this reviewResponded 26 February 2014

Dear estimated client,

We are very pleased to know that we contributed in changing a mundane business trip in a unique leisure experience. We appreciated your description of our rooms with the woods floors and the view of the lake that make the difference. We are really happy that the foods and service in our restaurant worth the cost.
We are sorry that our live music on Sunday afternoon disturbed you . Such entertainments are organized in order to liven the weekend and change the monotony.

We wish to welcoming you again

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika

Address: Chaussee d'Uvira | Route Gatumba, Bujumbura 6573, Burundi
Region: Burundi > Bujumbura Mairie Province > Bujumbura
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Bujumbura
#6 Business Hotel in Bujumbura
Price Range: £107 - £155 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika 4*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika**** is located in a wide park that ends up on a marvelous beach on the banks of the Lake Tanganyika. The hotel offers to his guests a luxurious and relaxing accommodation in an intimate environment and at only 5 km from the city center and the airport. Noted as the most beautiful resort of Lake Tanganyika shores, it is a four star hotel, that offers a wide variety of good quality services. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Du Lac Tanganyika

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