We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“beautiful lodge, beautiful setting” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Katara Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Katara Lodge
Save
You added Katara Lodge to your Saves list
Mbarara - Kasese highway, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“beautiful lodge, beautiful setting”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

We traveled here after staying at Mahogany Springs. We were welcomed by super friendly staff and taken to their warm and cosy main building where we enjoyed a drink and some nuts before being shown our room.

The rooms were spacious and homely and we were very comfortable throughout our stay.

The boat ride on the Kazinga channel was certainly the highlight of this area. We took a boat with around 8 other people for around 1 hour and saw lots of wildlife including cros, hippos, elephants, buffalo, and I am pretty sure I saw a Leopard up a tree! amazing experience.

At Katara Lodge the food was very tasty and they have a lovely little bar with a variety of drinks.

We even managed to find time to have a dip in the swimming pool (luckily we bought swimwear just in case!).

All in all a great place to stay and lovely experience.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

145 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    117
    21
    4
    3
    0
See reviews for
35
65
5
4
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

Katara Lodge has a spectacular view looking down on Queen Elizabeth Park and is set in a beautiful garden. The accommodation is in cottages located down a large number of steps. They are very spacious and have wonderful views of the park with a small deck. If you care to, you can wheel a bed out on the porch for the night and stare at the heavens. The water is heated by solar, which really sucks when it is cloudy. The second day we had no hot water. The hotel does not have a backup system. When I talked to the manager, Axel, a typical French man, he made all sorts of excuses. By contrast, Kyaninga Lodge uses, as a backup, a Tanganikya boiler fired by wood, which makes the water really hot. Why does Katara not use this solution? The cottages have loads of space and a beautiful bathroom with a tub. It was disappointing that we had no hot water to fill the tub after a long day trekking chimps in nearby Kyambura. I notified the manager about the broken waste pipe on the sink . The fix - join the two pieces - next time we used it the water exploded on to the floor.

The food was mediocre with few real protein sources for vegetarians. The barbecued chicken and pork were inedible.The desserts were good.

The biggest failing at Katara is shockingly bad management which maybe due to the high turnover. Axel, the current manager had only been there three weeks. On checking in, we wanted to go over our itinerary for the next two days. Instead of talking to us, Axel handed over the job to his Assistant Manager, a local, who said he would talk to us about it later. As it approached nine p.m. and time for bed. the assistant Manager had not approached us. We had to have Axel summon the assistant manager, who proceeded to tell us out itinerary was wrong. We demanded a meeting with Axel. At this point the assistant manager admitted his error.

We requested coffee with our wake up call. We did get the wake up call but no coffee!

Katara charges $400 a day car and driver and is over the top expensive. We talked to many people who were able to hire a car and driver for less than $100.

We would not recommend this hotel. Instead we would recommend Kyaninga Lodge (see my review) near Fort Portal, from where you can get transportation for a lot less and visit Queen Elizabeth park, Kyambura Gorge and the Kazinga channel. The setting of Kyaninga is more spectacular and the nightly charge is about the same. It is also convenient for trekking with the Kibale chimps.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katara, Owner at Katara Lodge, responded to this review, January 19, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback on your stay.

We fully admit that a few mishaps occurred during your stay, and we sincerely apologize for that. Specifically, while the solar system generally works well, providing even warm (though not piping hot) water during cloudy days, upon request our staff bring hot water to the rooms in jerry cans to fill up the bath tubs. Unfortunately, this apparently wasn't explained to you.

The leaking sink must have been very annoying; we just reconstructed the cottage you stayed in after it had burned down, and it turned out that we got some fake Chinese parts for some of the plumbing, which unfortunately is a rather common occurrence in Uganda. The replacement parts had to come from Kampala, so our assistant manager tried to temporarily fix the problem in the meantime, but unfortunately the temporary fix was only very short lived.

It is rather embarrassing to note the other things which you report. Any one of these issues may happen every once in a while, but it was rather unfortunate for you to experience all of these things during your stay. Again, we apologize for that.

Regarding the rates you paid for transport and your itinerary, we would advise you to raise the issue with your travel agency, as we are only at the end of the value chain. For such issues, our staff can only follow instructions, and in this case it took some time to verify that indeed you had been charged a fairly steep amount for relatively limited services. I do believe however, that we managed to help in finding a reasonable solution.

Vincent
Director Katara Lodge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
104 helpful votes 104 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2014

The hotel is really nice. The rooms are beautiful and looks like you are in a nice resort; however, the location is far away from the park about 40-50 min). If you like changes then this hotel is good for you, otherwise, try to stay close to the park. The service is average but not bad. The food is very good.

I highly recommend this lodge if you want to enjoy Queen Elizabeth view from the mountain.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2014

Service was terrible and slow. The location was beautiful but very far(about an hour from the park) away. The food was nice but the packed lunch was very basic and the staff's attitude was very off putting. It felt at times as if they honestly couldnt be bothered at all.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Melbourne
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Arriving via a bumpy 2 klm road, perhaps intensifies the magnitude of the arrival experience at Katara lodge; pure joy. The stay lived up to its first impressions. We really like Axel and his wife and their personalised interactions with all the guests. Nicholas a local, is a character, full of life and knowledge and happily pointed out a couple of elephants on the savanna below when he found out we were interested! We would not have picked them- especially without the binoculars. I recommend this place as a bucket list experience!!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BKK
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2014

Stayed for two nights at this lodge, and it is really wonderful -- the best place I've stayed in in Uganda. The staff were extremely helpful and accomodating, the food was good, and the rooms were amazing. The new managers are professional, welcoming and very accomodating. The fact that you can sleep on your balcony under the stars was a real treat. And of course, the lodge has a million dollar view. I would highly recommend this place. The lodge is located down a fairly bad road, you drive through a village for 2km. It's also about 1 hour from the main gate to Queen Elizabeth.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2013

Excellent location with amazing views. Love the beds on wheels that can be moved outside. The food was pretty good and the staff went out of their way to help us out and set everything up for a large group.

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Katara Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Katara Lodge

Address: Mbarara - Kasese highway, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Queen Elizabeth National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Katara Lodge offers accommodation in eight luxurious cottages on a beautiful stretch of hills overlooking the open savanna in a serene and relaxing atmosphere. Each spacious cottage was hand crafted using locally available materials and combines wooden floors, grass thatched roofs and canvas that can be folded away for uninterrupted views of the park. A romantic roll top bath or invigorating rain shower provide a perfect way to unwind after a thrilling day on safari. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Katara Hotel Queen Elizabeth National Park
Katara Lodge Uganda/Queen Elizabeth National Park

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Katara Lodge, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.