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“Probably not what you're expecting and major staff issues”

Tuhende Safari Lodge
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Tuhende Safari Lodge
Ranked #31 of 118 Speciality Lodging in Kampala
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
2 reviews
“Probably not what you're expecting and major staff issues”
Reviewed 20 May 2014

Booked the place over email based on positive reviews here plus their own website's description that mostly focuses on the restaurant. Unfortunately it's closed for renovation and they don't share that fact until arrival.

The single room was bare bones--a bed in a room, small window, no fan, cement floor bathroom across the hall seemingly shared with one other room. Having come from Ethiopia I expected more for the rate of 33 USD but thought maybe this was the local market. But nope, I found a place around the corner with a restaurant actually open, atmospheric restaurant though not the rooms, larger rooms with TV and fans for as little as one third the price.

So I told the manager I was switching accommodation, and... she locked me in the gate. Now I'll admit that I should've looked for new accommodation sooner (this was 10PM), but I'm in a new city and the reason I book ahead is to not immediately worry about this. Her argument, as I understood it, was that I should pay for all 3 nights I booked because they held the room, even though it seems pretty clear that at least some other rooms at the place weren't taken. I offered to talk to the owner if she could call him, and she said he was he was unreachable. She also said the phrase "this is Uganda" in a context that I took as an implication she was threatening to get me in legal trouble where I'd have to pay bribe. I offered to pay for the breakfast order I'd put in for the next day, and she said if she accepted only that amount of the cost of what I'd booked then the owner could call her a thief.

This whole exchange took only 3-5 minutes. She ultimately relented and unlocked the door, after she asked where I was from and I said I'd been living in Ethiopia. Maybe that was a sign to her she couldn't pull this on me? India is actually the toughest place I've travelled in terms of this sort of stuff (though extremely rewarding) and I'd say I've never had a comparably irritating experience.

Anyway, at least as long as the restaurant's closed, the place has nothing going for it--not the rooms, not the staff, not the price, not the location (walkable to central Kampala but little in the immediate vicinity). But it's mentioned in a Lonely Planet that's now (I think) 3 years old, and they're apparently going to use that mention for all it's worth.

I would advise you stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mjk_travelrater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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29 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
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English first
Kigali, Rwanda
2 reviews
Reviewed 24 March 2014

After having read many of the previous reviews, we can say that we can relate to most of the issues described, even the more critical ones.
It all depends on what you expect: The rooms are indeed basic, but they are clean, mosquito nets are present and yes, it's hot, but that's simply how it is in Kampala.
Don't expect your run-of-the-mill 4 star 200$ hotel with airco and a pool, but do expect a hotel in a very nice location with very(!) friendly staff who will help you around with whatever you would like to do in Kampala.
Sadly, the restaurant wasn't open due to renovations, but the balcony made up for it, at least while having a beer at night, with a cool breeze. We definitely enjoyed our stay and would recommend this place to everybody who wants to get a more local perspective on Kampala tourism

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Rwandacouple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 July 2013

The other reviews overrate this place a bit. It was very good for the price we paid--there were 9 of us traveling together, and we got two bedrooms with eight individual beds, though we all had to share one bathroom. So the total came out to be less than $10 a person, which isn't bad for Kampala. The location in Old Kampala is a bit out of the way of the city center, but convenient for those who are interested in wandering to Owina Market or Gaddafi Mosque. There was no electricity for most of the time we needed it, and no Wi-Fi, so it was frustrating not to be able to charge our phones or check our e-mail. There were power outages in the entire area, so we ended up going to cafes elsewhere. But, overall, a solid stay and good price.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joyce Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston
Level Contributor
28 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2013

I wasn't sure what the lodge would be like, but I was pleasantly surprised. It's about the same price as a backpacker's hostel, except that you can have your own private room and it's much quieter and has a local feel. The rooms come with mosquito nets and the beds are comfortable. I've heard the restaurant is really good but I didn't have the opportunity to eat there myself. It's located in Old Kampala and is not too far away from other attractions. You can ask the hotel staff to set you up with transportation at any time, and they can find a taxi or a motorcycle for you.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank mstrniste
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Coventry, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed 5 June 2013

I came there first in 2009 to have a dinner. I had a three course meal with a steak and it was all delicous, the best food I had in Uganda and only for something like $6-7! I came again in 2012 and stayed for a couple of nights. That was also very good and the food was just as delicous. So, at least go there for the food, only 5 minutes walk from New Taxi Park.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Konradgudjons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Iganga, Uganda
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 May 2013

You cannot find a better hide away to relax at the end of the day, in the middle of Kampala. It's a clean and relaxing oasis in the middle of the vibrant city center of Kampala.
It's cheaper than the other back packers in Kampala. It's more central, situated a couple of minutes walk from the old taxi park. It has literary everything you need nearby, a big supermarket if you need something special or just want to wander around to see what is available in Ugandan supermarkets, a small shop for quick-buys if you know what you need, a pharmacy if your health is weak and ceveral cybers if you need to update your facebook status and check up on your friends back home. Everything just on the same block.
They serve excellent breakfast at the lodge. For free you get coffee/tea with toast, add 5000shillings and get some fruit salad, yogurt or cereals to fill up for an active day. They also serve nice lunch and dinner in the restaurant downstairs, and chicken with chips is available on the other side of the street if you feel like something cheap and easy (or just didn't make it in time before the restaurant closed, that's around 10pm).

I tried out a number of other accommodations before I found this one. I've stayed at the Tuhende Safari Lodhe a couple of times now, and will not stay anywhere else in Kampala (unless I have to). It really is as good as it get's, and on top of it all: The staff are super friendly!

Room Tip: The dorms are wonderful, the beds are spacious and mosquito nets acquired. Most of the time they don...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MarieStorli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Essen, Germany
Level Contributor
16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2013

The food was superb! It´s really one of the best deals in town. Nowhere else we have eaten better in Uganda. Staff and the owner are friendly and helpful.
Only the rooms are not so good. The toilet was dirty and the room very hot at night, stuffy and small. At the end, we would give arround three and a half star.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bim_Toeder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tuhende Safari Lodge

Property: Tuhende Safari Lodge
Address: Plot 8 Martini Road, Kampala, Uganda
Region: Uganda > Central Region > Kampala
Hotel Style:
Ranked #31 of 118 Speciality Lodging in Kampala
Number of rooms: 17

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