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“Nice trip with bad end”
Review of Byoona Amagara

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Byoona Amagara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We were a group of 6 people we really enjoyed Byoona Amagara this is really a fantastic place with an amazing view out of the Geodomes and Cottages. But in the end we left the island without our backpacks!!

The food is in our opinion well-price and good and you can get a beer for 4,000 UGX, what you barely find in other touristic places. We made a trip with a boat what is also a good fun even if need some time to learn how to do it.

So I would really recommend this place, but unfortunately someone stole our backpacks in our last night. We left our Geodome Cottage to have dinner and some drinks with our friends in the restaurant, after we came back the backpacks where gone. Luckily we had the most worthy things like laptops, cameras with us. The other backs where too big for the locker, so we ask if we can leave things at the reception. The manager said this locker should be enough and a night guard is also around, so we didn´t mind to leave this bags behind.

After a troublesome night was the manager helpful and went with us to the police and also took care that we get the report, because we had to return to Kampala. The police officer told us that the guards on the island are too few for the size and that it´s the fault of Byoona Amagara so they have to refund us for the lost things, if the thief cannot be caught.

From our side we didn´t want to make the burden on them to big and we tried to get the money for the insured things from the insurance. The other not insured things we told the manager that we want Byoona Amagara to refund this. In the beginning he said he understands and the police as well said that they have to pay all, so we thought they can at least pay the uninsured part. After we send the list with the things we were demanding, the owner of the company just replied per mail and said he is sorry and it is our fault. So now we have to go the long way with the police.

So it is a beautiful place but we really felt unsecure in the last night, if you sleep in open cottages and you cannot be sure that anytime someone can stand in front of your bed.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Tom_Travels99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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115 - 121 of 204 reviews

Reviewed 27 January 2014 via mobile

We stayed 3 nights in a deluxe dome in this amazing place. You pay so little for what you get. The food is great as well! The island and views are beautiful, and it's great fun to walk around with all the small paths you can follow. We also met two brothers called John and Gerard living in a small village at the island, you easily find them when you just leave the byoona amagara premises while walking around. They do a community project for orphans and Gerard wants to start a small cafe with local food and drinks in an outside hut to earn some extra income for the project. I bought some colorful selfmade bracelets of them. Worth checking out!
The kitchen staff wasn't very friendly with me, instead of helping me when I had a question, they talked about me in their own language right in my face and laughed at me when I asked them what they were talking about. They also wanted to overcharge me for laundry. When I told another staff member, a very kind man called Friday, it stopped.
Still I give this place 5 stars, because it's absolutely stunning and unbelievable value!

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank T_Koomen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2014

Warm, friendly and welcoming staff. AMAZING location and views from the lake. Perfect for relaxing and a romantic get away for couples, especially the deluxe geodomes. Food is incredible! Must try the crayfish avocado dish. To die for! No complaints whatsoever, amazing place to stay.

Tour company, also very good. Helpful, friendly and efficient. Great value for money. Our tour to see the gorillas was very well organized at a great price. Staff will go out of their way to ensure clinets are happy and safe. Two of the staff members were happy to wait with us for approx 2 hours at the bus station for an overnight bus to ensure we away safely. Very impressive.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank KatieJayne27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2014 via mobile

I traveled here with my friends who rented one of the basic geodesic huts while I stayed in the dorm room. The dorm room was comfortable with skylights and warm blankets but I would say it's worth it to splurge on the huts. The porch is gorgeous looking out onto the water. The swimming dock has three lounge chairs and while it was rainy most of our trip we still sat out on the dock every day. The staff were friendly and attentive. New Year's Eve they had traditional drummers play and sing which was lovely. We also had a small dance party in the dining area. The food was delicious and they have non instant coffee, wine and even sell chocolate bars for those with a sweet tooth. A wonderful stay and a great retreat from Ugandan travel.

Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Sarah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2013 via mobile

The place is beautiful, in a beautiful setting, and if everything was okay, I'd be giving it five stars, BUT, the food is over rated, it's really not that good, though you'd think it would be, and more importantly, somebody snuck into my room and searched through all of my belongings... Luckily, I had locked my valuables in the office safe, still dodgy anyways though. Again, the place is beautiful, and the geodomes are really nice, plus it's all solar energy which is a plus, and I'd love to give this place five stars, but getting my room searched is not acceptable. Oh, and the 'tours' are really not worth it. The outdoor showers at the geodomes are really nice though :-)

Stayed: November 2013, travelled solo
1  Thank AaronLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2013

An idyllic and peaceful spot on an island in Lake Bunyonyi. We looked into a number of the places around the lake and this was comfortable the most picturesque and relaxing and it is astonishingly good value. Byoona is also an eco lodge and respects the local environment and supports the culture (rather than just paying lip service to these ideals). A no-brainer to stay here while at Lake Bunyonyi.

Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank JakeTheodoreLevy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

This was booked thru Amagara Tours which arranged everything from airport pickup in Kigali to my stay here at this beautiful rustic site as well as the amazing gorilla trek in Bwindi Inpenetrable Forest. Byoona is absolutely lovely, totally relaxing and there are tons of birds. I was thrilled to see 2 crested cranes, the national bird of Uganda. Everything is self-sustaining on the island, including composting toilets and solar heated hot water. I had a nice hot shower in the late afternoon after returning from the gorilla trek, don't know if that would be the case in the morning. I stayed in the geodome that was completely open to the deck with a stunning view of the lake. There are blankets available, the nights can be cool. Bring a headlamp and a towel and your camera! The specialty of Bunyoni is little crayfish and the lodge has a special dish with them. The crepes with bananas and sprinkled chocolate were also quite good.

Room Tip: All the geodomes have decks that look out over the lake.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank edieinmpls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Byoona Amagara

Address: Itambira Island | Lake Bunyonyi, Kabale, Uganda
Region: Uganda > Western Region > Kabale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 29 Speciality Lodging in Kabale
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Byoona Amagara Island Retreat is a one-of-a-kind traveler's paradise located on an island peninsula at the heart of the lake. We cater to independent travelers and backpackers looking to get well off the beaten track. We have a gorgeous location overlooking a protected island cove, perfect for swimming, canoeing, hiking or just about anything else you can think of. We also have creative and comfortable lodgings, famously fresh and delicious food, sweeping views of the lake's islands and hills, and a variety of fun and interesting tours and activities... Not to mention some of the most affordable prices in all of East Africa! We also have Internet service available, as well as an amazing library and cinema with hundreds of great books and films. What Byoona Amagara does NOT have is noise, dust, overland trucks, mosquitoes (very few anyway!), or prices that insult your intelligence (or empty your wallet). Come stay in one of our beautiful geodomes and experience Lake Bunyonyi at its very best! Byoona Amagara is a staff-owned, not-for-profit establishment dedicating 100% of proceeds to support education and sustainable community development at Lake Bunyonyi. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Byoona Amagara Uganda/Kabale

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