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“Lovely and atmospheric setting in the heart of the National Park.”

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Sambiya River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Winchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
386 reviews
100 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
“Lovely and atmospheric setting in the heart of the National Park.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2012

We stayed as a group of 15 people for one night, and all fell in love with this place. Nestling amidst the trees with wonderful views over the river valley, Sambiya River Lodge is a very atmospheric place. The cottages are comfortable and spacious. Lovely to have hot water. And the food was good. For what you get and the whole ambience of the place, it is not too pricey, and the staff were all friendly and helpful. Location is not so convenient for the north-western end of the National Park, but worth the effort of getting to if you can't afford Para Safari Lodge (this is the more atmospheric of the two, if not quite of the luxurious standard of Paraa!) And it's wonderful that this is only 20 minutes drive from the head of the Murchison Falls, a sight not to be missed and surely one of the wonders of Africa when seen close up!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank AndrewA64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
AndrewA64, it sounds like you had an amazing time at Sambiya River Lodge. Thank you so much for the glowing review. We appreciate the kind words. Our day is made when we know we have done the best we can for our guests. We hope you come back soon!
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173 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
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English first
Dayton, Ohio
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2012

We brought a team of 21 people and stayed at Sambiya River Lodge for 1 night. The grounds and the cottages were beautiful. There was a hot shower which I throughly enjoyed after a day on Safari. The campfire pit was a nice evening activity. Debbie, the owner, was very welcoming and went around to dinner guests to greet them. Thanks for the great time!!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank katie801
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, October 12, 2012
katie801, thank you for the great review! We are so glad you enjoyed your stay and that you had a chance to meet Debbie. She always enjoys meeting everyone who visits the lodge. Come back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Masaka, Uganda
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2012

The Red Chili being fully booked until september we needed another place to stay in Murchison Falls. So I called Sambiya River Lodge, one of the few other places in Murchison, of which they take advantage of course.
The price was 70.000 UGX per person for a twin or double room with shared facilities which include hot water trough solar power.
That means: no sun no hot water for shower. I am a total fan of renewable energy, so I dont really bother, just so you know. We had a very cloudy day so no hot water.
Tonight I am in a hotel in Masindi (Kolping Hotel that is) for the same price for the entire room and it has a GREAT shower and hot water. I just couldnt get myself out of it.
Anyway, Sambiya River Lodge is unspectacular but pleasant, as Bradt describes it. And it is a good alternative if you dont have money to spare on the expensive Lodges.
Very nice personal touch of the owner as well, as she greats every guest at the dining table (until late) and checks (early) in the morning again if everyhing is okay. Very nice.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lenke S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Lenke S, thank you so much for your review. It was wonderful to have you with us. It sounds like you were staying in one of our bandas (shared facilities). Thankfully, we rarely have a cloudy day in the park, but we are sorry that you experienced one of our cloudy ones. Thank you for supporting us in our green efforts and we hope you return soon and can perhaps enjoy one of our cottages!
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Papillion, Nebraska
Level Contributor
78 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2012

Stayed two nights in one of the cottages at Sambiya as part of a group visit. The grounds are beautifully maintained, and it is common to see warthogs and water buffalo roaming the grounds. The cottages are rustic but comfortable. Power is available 7-10 pm and 4-7 am. Solar battery lights are available for other times. Water is heated with solar.

The food was good, and the central lodge has a nice bar area and a large fire pit. There is a small swimming pool.

The setting is very quiet and restful.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank mjmalley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Thank you for your review, mjmalley! It was lovely to have you stay with us. We pride ourselves on being a quiet and restful destination in The Park and we are glad that you could experience that. We hope you will visit again soon!
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Seattle
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2012

We were booked here by our tour company (African Pearl) as part of our "budget accommodation" package. We arrived after a very long trip from Kibale National Forest, and appreciated the friendly staff that welcomed us with fruit juice and smiles.

Pros: Cabins/bandas are not isolated from one another, have electrical plugs for charging (tho' electricity is only available from 5-9 am and 7-10 pm), lodge has reasonably good bathrooms, relatively little noise from wild animals, helpful staff.

Cons: Lodge food was fine but not noteworthy. Choices were fairly limited (two entrees) compared to our other lodging on our trip (Chimps Nest in Kibale that had 6 entree choices each night) but one entree option was always vegetarian. We did not explore the pool or walk around the grounds because we were always out doing something in Murchison during the day.

Room Tip: We were a family of four (two adults, two teenagers) and would have preferred one large room but thi...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank travel_w-o_travail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
travel_w-o_travail, thank you so much for posting your review. We appreciate all of our patrons' comments. It sounds like The Park kept you busy during your visit, which is great. We are glad you were happy with the staff and the accommodations. The bandas are indeed a budget friendly way to go. We do keep dinner options streamlined so that we do not promote waste and always ensure that our food is fresh! We hope you visit us again soon and hopefully our menu will redeem itself.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2012

The self contained bandas are great, the food is very good and the staff are very friendly and helpful. As a lover of nature, I particularly loved the songs of the weaver birds and a variety of other birds making their melodic calls late in the evening and at dawn. However, travellers should know that they will have to leave their hotel much earlier to catch the 7:00am verry to the nothern bank of river nile as they head for the morning game drive. The distance from sambiya to the ferry is not that great but sometimes the road is so bad that it takes a longer time to get there. However, keeping all other factors constant, the lodge is a wonderful place for relaxation in the wild!

Room Tip: The self contained bandas are more omfortable and covenient. I also advise potential guests to somet...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Patrick O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
Patrick O, we are so sorry for the delayed response! We are thrilled that you had a nice stay and do appreciate your tip on leaving earlier for the ferry. That is always a great idea since the ferry waits for no one! Please visit us again soon. We look forward to it.
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West Chester, Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2012

Sunrise creeping over the horizon exposing well maintained grounds, fresh hot coffee/tea waiting for us on our veranda, and a very exciting schedule facing us was the start to our first morning at the Sambiya River Lodge in the Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda.

We were visiting the park for two full days as part of a week-long Ugandan safari put together by Afri Tours and Travel (sister company with Sambiya). While we were indeed in the “middle of nowhere,” we were centrally located to the areas we wanted to visit. We requested that Afri Tours plan a safari that was filled with activities so we had a chance to experience each area to its fullest. By staying at the Sambiya River Lodge we were able to experience a game safari (45 minutes away…across the Nile River…via the Paraa Ferry), take a Nile game cruise, hike to the top Murchison Falls, trek through the chimpanzee sanctuary, and take a walking game safari in the vicinity of the lodge escorted by the on-staff Park Ranger. We also got to “meet” the local herd of Cape buffalo, with their very own pond close to the lodge. A nice touch was the checklist of the local wildlife provided by the staff which allowed us to keep a record of our sightings.

At the end of each busy day we were able to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at the lodge, take pleasure in dinners that featured regional cooking served by the polite local staff, and then go to sleep in a clean and well appointed room. We were surprised and pleased to find this level of accommodations and service in such a remote area.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank WCRambler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
birdlover94, Public Relations Manager at Sambiya River Lodge, responded to this review, August 24, 2012
WCRambler, what a beautiful review! Thank you so much for recounting your stay for others on Trip Advisor. We are glad that you had a successful trip through Uganda with Afri Tours & Travel and what sounded like a great visit to Sambiya River Lodge. We hope you visit again in the near future.
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Additional Information about Sambiya River Lodge

Property: Sambiya River Lodge
Address: Central Reservations Office | 1 Kafu Road, Kampala, Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Murchison Falls National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Murchison Falls National Park
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sambiya River Lodge is a family run eco lodge in the Heart of Murchison Falls National Park, a twenty minute drive from the top of the famous Falls. Situated on a bluff over looking the Sambiya River valley, the property is home to numerous birds, bushbucks, waterbucks, Cape buffalo, leopard, as well as visiting lions & elephants. We have a resident UWA ranger guide to take guests on walking safaris, as well as game safaris on the new circuits recently put in on the southern side of the River Nile. Pleaser see our website for further information. We look forward to welcoming you to Sambiya River Lodge! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sambiya River Hotel Murchison Falls National Park
Sambiya River Lodge Uganda/Murchison Falls National Park

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