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Reviewed November 13, 2013

I really tried to find something positive to say about this place when I read about the fact that it is apparently run by a church and it supports the local communities...but I couldn't find anything. It is obviously in a good location, Lake Bunyonyi is a beautiful place, but our experience at Bushara was nothing but negative.

I went there with my partner and some friends. My partner and I stayed at the Tree House for one night but our friends decided to leave after they heard about our experience at the tree house. The tree house was filthy, as if it had not been cleaned for weeks. The toilet and shower were directly connected to the room but they were outside. There was no roof in the shower area and it was raining quite heavily for most of the time we spent there, so not very pleasant to have a shower. There was no water, not even cold water in the little tank they had for the shower. The door connected to the outside shower could not be locked which made us feel quite unsafe. When registering at the hotel, by chance the receptionist heard me saying to my friends that I'd like a hot shower. She asked me if I wanted hot shower and I said yes, she said when and I said now. She did not reply but the hot water did not come to the room until two hours later, when we were having lunch -a sandwich they offer to full board clients, which takes one hour to be made.

It took them half an hour to come to clean the room after we complained and we asked for a second towel -despite having booked a double room and seeing a number of members of staff around, diligently waiting around clients for tips, and will look surprised and unhappy if no tip is given.

My friend's driver and guide came to the island and sat with us at the restaurant and he was bombarded with rude questions about whether he would have some food and what was he doing in the island when it was obvious he was with us. After lunch, my friends decided to find alternative accommodation as they were not impressed with the place, the fact that there was no electricity and the service. My friends were treated in a rude way too when they informed reception that they were leaving, they were accused of having had drinks they hadn't had and asked for payment.

When our friends left, we told the receptionist that we were not happy with the room nor the service and would only stay for one of the two nights we had reserved. From then, some of the members of staff tried to be friendly and helpful whilst others were rude, for example the waitress who brought the dinner menu and threw the menu at us on the table.

The menu is varied, but the quality of the food we had was really poor, particularly considering the price we were paying for the accommodation and full board. We also heard the people sitting at the next table were complaining about their food. The oven was broken, but they only told us after inviting us to have a look at their long menu and once both my partner and I had chosen dishes that required baking. This category included around 50% or more of the menu and in my opinion it would have made sense to warn us before we started looking through it.

After asking for our final bill before leaving and settling it, the receptionist came to the table to say that we ought to pay a bottle of water we had last night. Again, this should have been part of the bill, in my view.

I imagine this place will be a better experience for someone who would enjoy having a hot shower from a hot bucket and no electricity, but this was not what we were looking for during our stay at Lake Bunyonyi. It would have been helpful to have this information on the website, in advance.

Room Tip: Keep in mind that there is no current water and hot water service is not immediate and that there is no electricity in the rooms nor the restaurant. The first and last boat trip to/from the hotel are free but trips to visit the mainland are charged A head torch would be handy
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LepAar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

We stayed in Bushara for 2 nights in the treehouse. It felt like you were in the middle of nowhere and on your own island. We were unfortunate with the weather (it was pretty cold and raining) but we still managed to take out a dug out canoe and go swimming in the lake (belharzia free). The food was good although you have to give them some warning. The room was clean and comfortable and it was actually made more special by the lack of electricity and one of the members of staff bringing down your hot water for a shower! Overall a lovely place to get away.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank BeciE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Amazing tree house accommodations, wonderful views and attentive staff. A wonderful retreat after an exhausting safari. We absolutely loved our stay at Bushara Island! The privacy of the island and each of the rooms is amazing - it feels like you have the entire island to yourself. We also thoroughly enjoyed the evening fire in the restaurant area. There were only a few other guests and it was truly an amazing experience. It is also a wonderful place to star gaze and enjoy bird watching. Food is excellent!

Room Tip: Highly recommend staying in the "tree house!" It was truly the treat of our entire trip!
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank JVDocs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2013

Spent a couple of very enjoyable days relaxing here after climbing the Rwenzori mountains. Arrived by boat on the tranquil lake and did nothing for 2 days except walked the island (approx 15 mins round), sat on our balcony watching birds and spotting otters and wondering up to the Swallows restaurant for crayfish!!! Basic but very comfortable huts with a fabulous hot outdoor shower. The staff were wonderful waking us with morning coffee and pre-ordered pancakes (huge portions!) Seems to be a one night stop after the gorillas but definitely worth longer.... If you like birds - an absolute paradise (240 species confirmed sightings).

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
Thank Joanna E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2013

We had a lovely time here. From the moment we arrived at the jetty on the lake shore the staff took care of us. They immediately transported us to the island in one of their boats. The tents are spacious with proper beds and good bedding. The tents are well spaced out. Each tent is down it's own separate path and we never heard anything from the other tents.
The showers had hot water (although you sometimes need to let the water run a while for it to get through from the hot water tank further up-hill.) The food was excellent, several choices and provided you ordered it in advance was always ready on time. It is mainly a place to relax, but we enjoyed wandering around the island and hiring one of the dug-out canoes and some quick dips in the lake.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ruth G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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