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“Better than the reviews by far!”
Review of Akagera Game Lodge

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Akagera Game Lodge
Reviewed 8 February 2014

We are from the U.S. but living in Kigali for the year with 2 small kids (age 3 and 1) so are somewhat used to what to expect in Rwanda. That being said reading the reviews we almost cancelled our weekend plans for Akagera because Ruzizi was full and the reviews on here were abysmal. But after talking to a few friends who reassured us we decided to give it a try - and were so glad we did!

If you are expecting luxury safari accommodations you will be disappointed so should probably go elsewhere. But if you are looking for a comfortable, pleasant place to sleep for a great weekend at Akagera seeing the amazing animals this place definitely does the trick. The hotel is a bit run down but on a beautiful property, with nice and helpful staff and good food.

The lobby was very nice and they welcomed us with an easy check-in and mango juice for all which was delicious. There is a gorgeous property in the back on a hill overlooking the lake with a nice pool that when we were there looked clean and swimmable, a small playground (rare in Rwanda - my kids were thrilled) and poolside seating.

The restaurant upstairs feels a bit like a camp dining room but has windows on all sides to look out at the lake. The service is a bit slow as usual in Rwanda but they were pleasant and helpful. The food wasn't amazing but was good enough and the omelet bar in the morning was a hit with everyone. The packed lunches were pretty simple sandwiches and overpriced but what do you expect when you are a captive audience with no where to buy supplies for miles and miles of bumpy dirt road. Next time we go I'll definitely pack sandwich fixings and skip the box lunch.

The rooms were slightly old but ours and my father's (who they kindly put right next door to us) were totally acceptable. There was a king sized bed with decent pillows (don't get me wrong nothing fancy at all but totally acceptable). They brought us a crib quickly that wasn't in the best shape but was safe and worked. The bathroom was pretty standard for Rwanda and even had a shower curtain (which is unusual for around here) and the hot water and water pressure was good. Things were certainly clean enough - nothing gross at all and we were totally comfortable. Hot water, clean towels, reliable power and water. There wasn't a mosquito net in our room but we asked for one and they put it up quickly while we were at dinner, plus brought us two more to put over our kids's cribs.

The baboons are everywhere so I wouldn't let my kids run around too far away from us given that they are small - but we never had any trouble - and the kids thought the baboons were great built-in entertainment. Just don't leave your hotel room or car door open! We even had one open the door of the restaurant and run across the room while we were eating lunch (quickly chased away by the attentive waitstaff) - which my kids are still talking about with glee.

All in all a great stay and we will definitely be back. Don't miss the boat trip on the lake while you are there. The animals are amazing!

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Samantha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 - 71 of 143 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2014

We are an expat family staying in Kigali for the year. Based on the excellent reviews we were hoping to stay at the new Tent Lodge but it was full. After reading the mostly dismal reviews for the Game Lodge we booked with some trepidation. Admittedly, it looks a bit run down when you drive up but from that moment on our expectations were exceeded. We had a family room which was perfect for our needs, very clean and comfortable and well-furnished. No it isn't new and modern but perfectly comfortable. The check-in was fast and friendly. The pool was great and clean- perfect for the kids after a game drive. Food service beside the pool was surprisingly quick. The location is fantastic with great views over the lake. Breakfast was a buffet and they happily packed lunches for us for the day out.
We will definitely be back.

Room Tip: Tip- Dinner service doesn't start until 7 pm but we were able to pre-order so that it was ready...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank kvm2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2014

Yes, Akagera Game Lodge isn't new, and this shows. But on the whole it is clean, staff is very friendly and helpful. Food is quite good; breakfast omelettes are excellent, and the fruitsallad (dinner desert) superb.
The location in the southern part of the park is good, with nice views. There is a large, round swimming pool and the grounds (fenced in) are large, and you can spot quite a few birds there. Yes, there are baboons there and when sitting outside with your lunch your are quite likely to have a baboon wathman nearby. However, the baboons don't come to near you (or they smelled biologist from me and decided to give med space;). And actually they are quite fun to watch. I wouldn't mind coming bak.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Sitta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2013

As I wrote in a previous posting and as others have noted, the location is exceptional. The hotel is average as we knew before we visited, but they continue to surprise us with new problems. This time, they gave away the baby crib, that we had booked in advance, to another client. After informing us that there were no other cribs, the reception guy continued doing his own thing and only after insisting on some sort of a solution did he offer to add a mattress in the room. Unfortunately, that was not a good solution and our daughter did not sleep so well...and neither did we. In addition, the workmen decided to start working in the garden outside our window at 06.30 and the cleaning ladies were having a conversation in front of our door at 07.30. After asking them to please be quiet, they continued to make noise.

In the room, we had a little lake in the bathroom as the sink was leaking all night. The toilet did not flush. The pool was also greenish as opposed to the nice blue that you see on many of the pictures here.

Knowing that the hotel regularly forces you to take an overpriced buffet for dinner, I asked if we could order from the "A la carte" menu that is available at lunch. They said not to worry as they have a new fixed menu system at dinner, where you can decide what and how much you would like to order. Well, surprise, surprise, we had to "enjoy" the dried meat, overcooked vegetables and stale bread of the buffet. The explanation was that the fixed menu is only when they have few guests and during our visit it was busy.

We were also disappointed by the fact that the hotel was out of fish as that is normally the best food on their menu.

As we usually travel with foreign guest, the Tented Camp is too expensive for them. I think that next time, I will make staying at the Tented Camp a condition for visiting Akagera.

Room Tip: Second floor is definitely better and quieter.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Suur_D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 December 2013 via mobile

This is a place to boycott! It's old, dirty and needs complete renovation. Bathroom are dirty and old. We were given room 222 but had to change for a less terrible one due to a big stain on the tub and heavy smell. Moreover it's expensive for what it provides. The people working there are trying to help despite inaction of the owners. Worst hotel I have been to.

Stayed: December 2013
1  Thank Hussein D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2013

There is little question this hotel has been badly damaged by series of well-intentioned investors who walk away from the property during the recession. The property is currently controlled by Rwanda's equivalent of the Social Security Administration. it is clean, pleasant, and more than adequate for a trip to Akagera Park. The staff, of which there seemed to be plenty, were more than helpful. Rwanda began teaching English as the primary language in the school system in 2009, before that the language was French. Talking louder, getting angry, acting disgusted, are not ways to communicate with a country very new at its English language. The park is unbelievable, the animals were plentiful, and we have the advantage, on a Sunday at the beginning of October, that there was only one other car the park.
So I would say to my fellow traveler, if you ever stayed in a Travel Lodge in the Midwest, an old Sheraton Motel in Indiana, or any place in the New York City area under $100 a night you know exactly what to expect from this hotel. So suck it up, and enjoy the most beautiful experience you've ever had.

Room Tip: All the rooms look out across the pool and toward the lake. The overly friendly baboons looking for...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank DesignNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2013

It’s a bit faded glory but still a great location and wonderful views

So there are some pretty bad reviews of this place and I can see why. However if you aren’t looking for anything too flash and not expecting 5 star luxury this is good enough.

Pros:
• Great views, this is up on the hillside and has amazing views of the lakes
• Good food, the Rwandan buffet we had in the evening was very tasty and the best we had on our 10 day trip in Rwanda
• Friendly staff, they are welcoming but not intrusive
• Room was clean and had hot water
• The pool was clean but did look like it had seen better days

Cons:
• If you are expecting a flash game lodge you are going to be disappointed
• The décor is fairly old and 70s ish
• Rooms feel a bit dated

I’d also like to thank the staff for helping us with our rental car which has a bit of a break down when we were there.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank thegreenbook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Akagera Game Lodge

Address: Akagera National Park, Rwanda
Region: Rwanda > Eastern Province > Akagera National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Akagera National Park
Number of rooms: 17
Also Known As:
Akagera Game Hotel Kigali

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