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“Poor value for money” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bishangari Lodge

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Bishangari Lodge
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Lake Langano, Langano, Ethiopia   |  
Hotel amenities
Darlington
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“Poor value for money”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed at Bishangari Lodge as bird watchers for one night at the end Dec 2013.

It is about a 20km drive on a rough road to the lodge where new visitors are transported the 200m to the office from the car park via a cart and horse. All a bit unnecessary but all done no doubt to reinforce the lodge's Eco credentials, all cruelly revealed as a sham when you see the plastic in the rooms!

There are two types of 'hut' priced at $200 and $100 respectively. We stayed in the cheaper one which we found basic, clean, small but with comfortable beds and individual mosquito nets.

The evening meal was a five course affair but very pricey at $23 - the soup was poor and tasteless and the main course not much better.

The lodge is close to the shore of Lake Langano and there is excellent bird life in the fig forest which encompasses the expensive huts, office and restaurant. However, this doesn't justify the exorbitant prices charged for both food and accommodation. And the lodge managers need to do much more to justify the 'Eco' than just solar power.

We are well travelled in the African continent and for $200 per night there are much better places to stay with modern lodges and all the facilities. Even at $100 per night did not deliver a value for money experience for us. But this seems to be the Ethiopian way. Put a sub-standard lodge in a good locality and charge the premium. Other countries do it so much better.

Room Tip: We did this review on a mobile device. The lodge does not have a swimming pool or fitness centre.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
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English first
Winchester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

It takes an intrepid traveller to get to this Lodge! An extremely bumpy off road approach is well worth the effort. Situated right on the lake side, the views were stunning. Exotic bird life to see, and one can while away the time in the enchanting tree house bar, watching the Colobus monkeys playing above. Meals are taken in the open thatched roofed dining area. Service is friendly and helpful, and the food adequate - the menus were limited, but changed every day. Accommodation is in self contained spacious ensuite huts, complete with huge mosquito nets and a sitting area. The "grounds" are natural vegetation, with paths cut through to each hut. Though there were slight niggles about the rooms, such as broken lights and missing towels, these were dealt with efficiently and promptly. We would certainly return to this little lakeside paradise.

Room Tip: The dining area is placed centrally in a horizontal line of huts. Choose ones further out for more...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

We finished our group tour of Ethiopia with two nights at Bishangari after fifteen hard days travel. The dirt road into the lodge is certainly testing, and took us over an hour from the main tarmac road. However, the bird life on that drive was superb, ranging from Ground Hornbills to a Somali ostrich.

Having reached our destination we discovered a range of wooden bungalow/chalet type buildings, each set back from the track with jungle to the rear. Each was well spaced, with some having views overlooking the lake. The row of buildings was split by a restaurant and relaxation area. There was also an office/ reception building. Our building was the chameleon, each one being named after a local animal. The bungalow consisted of a reception area with comfy chairs and a third single bed which was separated from the twin bedded sleeping area by mosquito netting. There was a reasonable amount of storage space. To one side of this area was a separate shower and toilet area which was reasonably modern and absolutely spotless. We found the location of this building perfect as we were near the restaurant and meeting area although we couldn't see the lake as bushes obscured the view.

The staff throughout our stay were cheerful, helpful and efficient. Meals were fairly simple but appetising and well presented. Getting drinks, whether alcoholic or soft, was no problem and the cost were added to our bill. It was the only place on our tour where we got some good wine.

The setting was superb. To the front there were paths down to the lake. Some areas had reeds sheltering a few hippo and there was a large variety of birds ranging from waders, to kingfishers and bee-eaters to crowned cranes and birds of prey. A twitchers paradise. To the rear were several clearly marked jungle paths. Again, the bird life was amazing and we saw hornbills, woodland kingfishers and even a trogon. As somebody who loves mammals even more than birds I was thrilled to see Mantled Guereza, Bohor reedbuck, a bush duiker and tree squirrels, although I missed a caracal that two of the group fleetingly saw. Baboon troops were common but be careful. I unwittingly got between a big male and his new lady love and had to give a good impersonation of Usain Bolt! A night walk made the whole wildlife experience even more interesting and several species, including a Genet, were glimpsed with the aid of torches which you need to bring.

The lodge works on eco principles which , for some rooms, cause hot water problems. The power is provided by solar panels so your amount of power per 24 hours is limited. However, a small price to pay for the setting and wildlife.

In conclusion, our group all agreed that the lodge provided a relaxing, friendly and wildlife bonanza end to our tour. We wished we could have stayed another night or two!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

Think East African safari camp directly on Lake Langano. Large, comfortable tents with bathrooms. Well furnished with beds and chairs and lounges. Each are located in a private "jungle" setting .... remember that this is a serious eco lodge with forest walks and other available activities. Dinning, to the light of kerosene lamps (romantic, but hard to see your food) is outdoors with an expensive set menu. You can, however, order only parts of the menu. Accommodating staff. Charge your electronics in the dinning patio. This is a delightful location, so get here early in the day to enjoy it. Since it directly on a high Rift Valley lake it is very cold at night (at least in November) so be prepared .... we slept in our clothes.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jindera, New South Wales, Australia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
236 helpful votes 236 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

This is a fantastic place to stay. Absolute serenity is guaranteed because of the solar power, biogas is used for the cooking and the restaurant and your room is lit by oil lanterns. Best food that we had in Ethiopia, despite being the only people there, they changed 3 items on the menu every meal time. Fresh fish from Lake Langano was a highlight, so were the fresh juices and the salads. Having baboons, warthogs and colombus monkey share your holiday was amazing, and there are so many birds. The Assistant Manager Dekebo is an absolute treasure and made our stay memorable. The horse and cart delivery service to your lodge added to the eco effect. The scale and beauty of the forest isn't to be missed. Massive fig and juniper trees. Hippos in the lake at sunset, what else could you ask for.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Marathon
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

We were the only tourists staying at the lodge the night we arrived. We enjoyed the horse and cart ride. The view of the lake from our bungalow was wonderful. We ate dinner at the restaurant and the food was tasty but expensive by Ethiopian standards. The next morning we did a bird watching tour with a guide which we thoroughly enjoyed. The road to the lodge is a challenge but it only adds to the ambiance.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Top Contributor
237 reviews 237 reviews
67 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

My wife took me to this place for my birthday. Expectations were high based on many positive reviews of the lodge posted here. The price for one night (US$ 205) is by all standards quite high and thus we expected to stay in a very nice eco lodge.

Traveling for more than 250 km by car from Addis especially the last 20 km are very rough and you definitely need a 4WD to reach the lodge. Do not attempt to reach it with a sedan!

Upon arrival a horse cart took us to the reception and then to the room. First shock! We did of course expect a decent room, maybe built traditional roundhouse style (it’s an “eco lodge”), but we entered a simple wooden hut, cheaply hammered together. Not much decoration or anything. Roofs made from corrugated iron with a thin layer of straw on top – nice fake thatched roof! The same standard goes in Thailand for US$ 20 per night, max! The soap bars and water glasses were wrapped in plastic and the lodge had as much in common with “eco” than Gadhafi has with Mother Theresa. It’s just a label to attract and rip-off tourists. Forgot: one of the water bottles next to the bed was refilled, ring-seal removed and a plastic seal skillfully refitted. Welcome to the eco lodge saving on a bottle of water – for 205 dollar per night!

Yes, the location of the lodge is nice but that does not warrant the price and is no license to rip-off guests. We now understood why advance payment in Addis is required. We were even encouraged to pay for the means in advance and a long list needs to be signed with all the dos and don’ts.

Other than breakfast nothing is included in the price and since you are an hour away from any other place you have to take all meals in the lodge. So rest assured that you need to add another 40 dollars to the bill per person per day. Food is basic and absolutely not worth US$ 23 for a “full course” dinner consisting of ready made pea soup, pasta salad (very al dente!), chicken with MSG sauce and crepes with cheap chocolate dressing. Would have preferred to have some decent shiro for 2 $. In summary: the food is extremely overpriced and below standard.

All in all very disappointed and not worth the money. We will definitely come back to the lake but stay in one of the more reasonable priced places and travel to the national park on our own.

Shame on you – Bishangari Scam Lodge – for overcharging your guests in such a hard faced manner!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bishangari Lodge

Address: Lake Langano, Langano, Ethiopia
Location: Ethiopia > Oromiya Region > Langano
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Langano
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A natural retreat of outstanding beauty that combines five unique ecological zones, a secluded setting that is host to over 400 bird species, a diverse range of wildlife, spectacular array of plant life and unspoiled biodiversity. Bishangari Lodge is less than 250kms South of Addis Ababa, situated on the shores of Lake Langano. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bishangari Hotel Langano
Bishangari Lodge Ethiopia/Langano

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