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“Just what we needed”

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Lukuba Island Lodge
Reviewed February 25, 2013

My wife and I are volunteer missionaries living in Tarime, which is about 50 miles north of Musoma. We were looking for a place just to get away after being here for two months. However, we didn't want to travel very far as we don't have our own transportation. Then I ran across Lukuba Island Resort on Tripadvisor. It was just what we needed. We were only planning to stay one night but we weren't there for more than one hour when we started talking about the second night.

I kicked off my sandals and didn't put them back on until it was time to go, except for when we took a guided tour of the island or walked to the top of a rock to watch the sunset. The beach was beautiful and clean. The water perfect for swimming. And the food ... WOW! ... the meals were great. My only complaint is that the cooks don't know how to do eggs "over easy" but that was minor. I can't say enough about the staff. Any request was granted. John who owns the resort would show up at every meal to inquire of the group (there were only two other couples on the weekend we were there) when we would like our next meal and suggest activities we could engage in if we wanted to.

The rooms were clean and nicely laid out with the bed facing the lake. There was plenty of hot water and good water pressure. The staff is fine with coming by in the morning with a wake up knock on the door and freshly made coffer - real coffee made in a french press.

My wife and I used the peace and quiet to journal and reflect on our mission work. It was a much needed break before going back to Tarime. Before we left the island we were talking about when we would come back before leaving Tanzania in June.

Oh I marked the pool as terrible, but who wants a pool when there is beautiful Lake Victoria. I think they should just fill in the pool for what it is worth.

Room Tip: We stayed in room #5 which provides most privacy. It is the only one with steps leading up to it an...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Yournesnah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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17 - 23 of 45 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2012

What an idyllic spot - beautiful views, beautiful scenery, beautiful location, beautiful people, am I using beautiful a bit too much here!
My husband and I spent two nights at this wonderful place. From start to finish it was fantastic. We were picked up by John (manager) at Tembo Beach Resort as planned. We left our vehicle there for the 2 nights and it was perfectly safe to do so (we did have to pay a small fee for parking but we didn't mind). We were whisked across the lake in no time - the weather was great so the crossing was a breeze both going there and coming back. The boat is well maintained and there are ample life jackets (all in good condition). The crossing itself is lovely as one gets a real sense of how big this lake actually is and the birdlife is prolific. Also interesting to get close to the fisherman and the floating islands.
The island is a fascinating spot with fantastic rocky outcrops which are like huge fingers pointing up to the sky and makes for interesting photos. The pool is cleverly positioned on a deck nestled amongst some of these rocky outcrops which makes it a lovely viewing spot as well as a good location for taking pics of the sunrise - we loved the pool - it was small, clean and albeit a little chilly it was refreshing.
The dining area has big glass windows lending to panoramic views of the lake and was a convenient place to sit when it started raining every now and then - great to see how the landscape changed with storms rolling in and rain falling - within 30mins it all blows over and the sun comes out again.
We had 3 meals a day and the food was abundant - delicious, tasty, home-cooked style meals which we ate heartily (eg : breakfast you always get cereal, an array of fruit, choice of eggs, bacon, sausages, toast and you can have as much as you want. Lunch was salads, fish (FRESH Nile Perch caught that very day), chips and dessert. Supper the most DIVINE soup and freshly baked rolls, beef cordon bleu, salads and veg, mash potatoes, dessert). Tea, water and coffee (perculated and instant) is on tap and always readily available.
We stayed in a bungalow which was spacious, clean and comfortable. There was always hot water and flushing loos. Previous reviews mention insects which there are plenty of but there is insect repellent readily available as well as mosquito nets and really one just has to remember that insects are part of the deal here - none of them are particularly big or threatening - and this is Africa so it's all part of the experience. We didn't see or hear one single mosquito, neither did we suffer any stings or bites from anything - if in doubt though, wear protective clothing, take your meds and spray, spray, spray!
The staff are friendly, accommodating, cheerful and very welcoming. We received a warm reception and on departure we had a whole entourage wave us goodbye - even the resident cat came to give us a furry wave.
There is also mention of the cows and goats on the island - which we did see but didn't find them problematic - apparently getting them off the island is a "work in progress" as is the removal of the fisherman's village which has set up on one side of the island (we found that more problematic than the animals!).
The "sunset" walk is highly recommended. It is a bit of a climb to get to the spot but it is a gentle, slow and easy ascent which is perfectly safe and very interesting. The views from up there are breathtaking.
Birdlife is prolific and the call of the Fish Eagles makes the heart sing!
Whether you are traversing Africa and need a respite, safaring and need a rest from all that driving and looking out for animals, a resident who needs to "get away from it all" or just looking for somewhere different to visit then this is the place!

Room Tip: All rooms and tents have superb views of Lake Victoria
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SonzieTanzania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2012

Had stayed at Lukuba before, back in 2002 and WoW, the place has moved on in leaps and bounds.

Still as peaceful as it was but the cottages are much nicer, more open and lighter. The new dinning room is great, though I did mostly eat my meals outside on the beach front.

I had my halfway safari break here and it was a great place to catch up on my diary, sort pictures and just chill before heading back into the Serengeti, only a couple of hours drive away, for more wildlife adventures.

I did a bit of fishing, caught a nile perch, had it for dinner, had a great sundowner from the Island high point and enjoy the tranquility of the place. The manager and staff were great and attended to all my needs.

Happy travels
Peter

Room Tip: All the rooms look out over the lake
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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Thank Peter P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

It was great to be welcomed by the manager when we arrived . He is new and certainly making improvements. New dinning room is great with an extensive sea views great for sunrise. We were the only 2 there for 2 nights and got great service from the friendly staff. The Chef cooked us beautiful tasty meals both days. It will be good when the cattle and goats are off the island. which is to happen soon. Its a pity the lake is not suitable for swimming in and the pool wasn't really clean but it was too cold for swimming when we were there. The accommodation is clean and tidy and new permanent fronts have been put on the tents. The manager John has got lots of ideas to improve the place and will slowly do that. We had a very restful time there and were just having a new boat built for the resort.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Johntreanor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2012

l've been in Lukuba island for two full days.
Watch the sun rising up in front of my bungalow, exploring the place trough the lake by canoa, wild animals, wonderful sunset and, of course, very good food.
I really think that It's so hard finding a piece of paradise like that mixed with a delicious service to guest by the staff of Lukuba island lodge.
I think it is an experience to giving to yourself

Enjoy

Renato

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Renato M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2012

Lukuba was peaceful and serene - not the choreographed serenity you see in so many 5-star hotels, but genuinely beautiful. The boat that takes you there is no yacht, but it is charming and allows you to enjoy the being on the lake. When we arrived, the staff welcomed us with warmth. The rooms were clean and the few bugs that were in the room were not threatening or overwhelming - you can't expect to enjoy the expanse of nature in Lukuba without dealing with a few of its non-harmful pests, can you? I'm definitely the kind of person who jumps at the sight of a regular house fly, but at Lukuba, I simply wasn't bothered with the few bugs that were hardly as big, loud or annoying, and I slept in the extra bed that didn't have a mosquito net!

The dinner was flavorful and delicious. We had drinks at the bar and spoke to the staff, who are friendly and filled with fascinating stories to tell about animals, life in Africa and life in general. The sunrise and sunset is to die for. The small library where you can take and leave books and board games adds an extra touch of whimsy. The pool did look a little shabby, so I wouldn't recommend a swim, but sitting by the lake is good enough (and the new management is working on making the lake swimmable, which should be complete by the end of the month!). You know those high-tech machines that play the sounds of nature, for one to fall asleep to? Lukuba makes those machines sound like ad jingles.

I am aware that the management of the resort changed about a month ago, and I can see how, if managed poorly, Lukuba would not be as wonderful as I experienced. But the new management has really done a great job with keeping bugs to a minimum and fostering a true paradise.I would recommend it to anyone looking for rest within the hustle-bustle of long and bumpy game drives, or a place to contemplate and think. It's like a Beach Boys song embodied.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank NhaNghi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2012

We were told by staff not to bother putting on the life jackets. There was a pile of old, dirty, torn-up life jackets on the bottom of the boat.
A storm started after we left shore. I noticed patches on the inside of the boat. The crew then started bailing out more water than was being splashed in.
Because of the storm, the trip took 90 nervous minutes.

The hotel advertises nature walks. They fail to mention that the island is used for cattle grazing. We walked through cattle poo and flies so thick that we could not talk to each other without getting flies in our mouths. Couldn't exercise in the pool either, as it was dirty.

The screens of the dining tent had large holes that let in the flies as well as moths and other assorted insects. We had to cover our glasses with our napkins. In a few minutes my cup of tea was covered with dead bugs. To finish a meal, I had to scrap dead moths to the side. Disgusting! However, the service in the dining tent and the food was good. The monkeys that hang out around the facility are cute.

The tented rooms were equally buggy. Yes, it's tented. However, we stayed at 9 other tented camps that we excellent. Only Lukuba was buggy, and it was buggy beyond belief. I noticed at least 5 spiders under each sink in the bathroom. So I checked under the bed and saw at least 10 under each bed. There were more in almost all corners of the room. I switched rooms only to find a spider the size of a small plate emerging from the space between the ceiling and the wall. Later that night 2 more small tarantula-like spiders emerged from the same space. The spiders and lizards appear to live in the reed roof and come out in the space between the ceiling and wall at night. Cozy!

Lakuba is a horror story and the only way off the island was in the same leaky boat.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Lynne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Lukuba Island Lodge

Address: | Lake Victoria, Musoma 1508, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Mara Region > Musoma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Musoma
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set just off the eastern shores of Africa's greatest lake, the Lukuba Island is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the quiet beauty of sea meeting land. The Lodge is the perfect place to relax. Whether you've just finished a week-long safari in the Serengeti or just arrived in Africa, Lukuba provides everything you'll need to unwind, to take a deep breath and let the sounds and visions of Lake Victoria overtake you. ... more   less 

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