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“Nice outdoor character in great setting”

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Jacana Safari Lodge
london
Level Contributor
120 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“Nice outdoor character in great setting”
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Stayed here 3 nights with a small safari group. What made this lodge special for me was the outdoor feeling in the cottages: first thing I noticed before even unpacking, were the hippos playing around right in front of my room!
During the day it feels cool inside thanks to natural air flow in the cottages, surrounded by trees - at night the screened-in windows are closed by heavy blinds.
The small pool - not used much, feels a bit neglected, but with monkeys playing in the trees nearby.
Service was friendly, laundry returned promptly (depending on weather conditions) and good food choices at dinner.
Yes, the rustic character has it's drawbacks: noisy birds/frogs at night, electricity only for a few hours in the mornings/evenings, long walk to most of the cottages (lined up around the lake), constant smell of the wood fires burning outside (for hot water) and the smelly water in the showers, long drives to the park entrances on pretty bad main road.
However I would not have wanted to miss the experience in exchange for a more luxury accommodation.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Thank uxj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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70 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
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English first
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 September 2013

My wife and I booked two nights in Jacana to take our family (son, daughter, daughter's boyfriend and both our mothers) for a short break while visiting relatives in Kampala. When we left we were sad that we had only been able to spare the two nights. Jacana is something special - so long as you remember to get torches from reception before heading off to your cabin.

On our first night, we were almost the only people there, on the second it filled up with a large group - but this is not a big lodge, only around twelve cabins altogether. Most are single room, two person, we put the grandmothers in a family cabin which was also the easiest to access - and had, from what we could tell, the best views of the lake (and hippos grunting in the lake right below it!).

The hotel arranges lots of activities that we didn't have time to use, so can't comment on. We were really just using it as a base for game drives, which seriously undervalues the place itself.
Although the lodge is in the Queen Elizabeth Park, you leave the park itself and drive on the main road to go back in for any game drives, so it's about an hour added on. We didn't really feel that was too much of a disadvantage, though it did mean an earlier start than we would have had at Mweya.

Quirks:
- the water does smell of sulphur, but to be honest you don't notice it after the first shower, and my wife says her skin felt really great after
- access to rooms can be tricky if you have limited mobility
- the electricity is only on for restricted times - make sure you get a torch

Room Tip: All rooms involve sloping stone paths which can be a bit tricky after dark. Be aware if you have peo...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KeithAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kampala
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 15 August 2013

We had great time with my family, the place is quite a distance off the main road, surrounded with nature and clean air, we were the only guests at the lodge on the first night we spent there, the pool and lounge was entirely ours for the evening and night. we slept peacefully in our family banda overlooking lake nyamusingira and we woke up quite early not to miss out on the launch drive and wild animals in the park. Service was the best and on our last day on checking out we were given a snack pack each that made our day. our next stopover was in mbarara. I would definitely go and visit again with family

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Julize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
52 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 June 2013

My family stayed at Jacana Safari Lodge for three nights and we couldn't have been more pleased with our experience. For anyone who enjoys the outdoors, this place is magical. The lodge itself has so much character and charm, the staff are incredibly friendly and willing to accommodate requests, and the food was delicious. There were ten of us, spanning three generations (ages 7 to 72) and everyone loved Jacana. The lake is literally right outside your door. Generator power provides adequate hours of electricity, and I'd venture to say that most people don't need it for much other than getting ready for an early-morning game drive. We only swam once (we were too busy taking in the amazing views and animals), but the pool is nice with a great view of the lake. I would call Jacana "rustic luxury": yes, there are animals around; yes, there is limited electricity; yes, you might meet a gecko on the inside of your window screen. But to us, this was part of the fun of safari. If we wanted The Plaza, we wouldn't have come on safari! Try the evening dinner boat ride on The Captain's Table (you and the chef on a boat floating around the crater lake--beautiful!). I highly recommend Jacana. Safe, clean, remote, friendly, and for us the best complement to our safari adventure.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are great, but for a small group, the cottage by the pool is the best location and...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank rebecca7894
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 April 2013

Wow! After a long and very rutted track we passed a small crater lake and then soon after came to Jacana. Far from anywhere. Providing you find frog and cicada noises restful, it is a very relaxing place. On a very short walk from the hotel (unwise to go too far) we found colobus and vervet monkeys, along with a huge variety of birds. Watch out for very slippery paths to the further lodges.

Room Tip: To avoid slippy paths in the dark (electricity goes off at 10pm), get a lodge near the main area
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank NSTP81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reading, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 28 February 2013

This is the worst lodge we have ever experienced. Electricity was only on for a few hours in the morning and evening and was turned off without warning at different times than advertised. Water was disgusting and smelled of something like sulphur. Bathrooms were horrible and when electricity was off pretty well unuseable for showers and washing. Cabins were filled with smoke from the external wood fires used to heat the water. Electricity wiring was just pinned around the walls. Corrugated Iron roofs were unbearably noisy in the rain. Blinds were torn, soft furnishing was stained including bedding. Swimming Pool was green, so called swim up bar was out of use and dilapidated, umbrellas and sun lounges near pool were filthy and bar and restaurant was out of stock of some items. I have complained to our tour operator who described this lodge as "luxury". It most certainly is not. The lodge was empty for 2 days and had one other guest on one day. There were four of us staying, we have all travelled extensively world wide and in Africa

Room Tip: As far as we could see there were no good rooms. We tried three different ones
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank MS-JH-JH-MC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bishops stortford
1 review
Reviewed 17 January 2013

Jacana is a wonderful experience. From the moment of arrival, having driven past Black and white colobus on the road and walked past a cloud of butterflies into the reception you know that this is paradise! The cabins are large and comfortable, lots of hot water. The environment is alive and lush, the staff are delightful and the food is excellent. I have taken 2 groups of around 20 here and all have been really impressed. The walk through the forest to the bat cave is well worth doing. Look out for the magnificent giant kingfisher beside the lake.

A genuinely fabulous experience.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ann f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Jacana Safari Lodge

Property: Jacana Safari Lodge
Address: P.O. Box 2288, Kampala, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Region: Uganda > Western Region > Queen Elizabeth National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #21 of 32 Speciality Lodging in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the edge of Uganda’s largest crater lake, this tree house lodge grew out of the forest, peacefully at one with nature. The delicate use of rock, poles, wood, rope, organic furniture and rich textures blend perfectly with the smells, sights and sounds of this tropical hardwood forest. A cracking fireplace combined with a magical atmosphere creates an unforgettable experience. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jacana Safari Hotel Queen Elizabeth National Park
Jacana Safari Lodge Uganda/Queen Elizabeth National Park

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