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“Such a disappointing experience.”

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Sambiya River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 7, 2012 via mobile

This was to be a special birthday celebration but what a huge disappointment! Normally go to Red Chilli but they were full. This was more expensive. The room was very basic and smelt damp and musty. Vermin in the roof kept us awake. The packed breakfast was incomplete. The evening meal took 1.5 hours to arrive and then one main course was completely missing, so I was served a few thin slices of overcooked courgettes with tomato and onions under a mound of cold mashed potato, garnished with a few shredded vegetables and charged 35,000 Ush. Miserable,unfriendly and incompetant staff who didn't speak good English and absolutely no atmosphere. Camp fire was promised but never happened. Very expensive bar. Generator switched off at 10 and we plunged into pitch black whilst still in the bar. Then we were both stung by tetsy flies at the camp causing extreme swelling and pain for some time after.
The owners should visit here and develop some customer service and satisfactiob instead of just milking the business.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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Thank sueandsunday
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 reviewResponded October 11, 2012

Thank you for your review of Sambiya River Lodge. We feel horrible that you had such a bad experience. Our owner does in fact visit at least once a month for over a week to work with the staff and make sure standards are up to par. Unfortunately, it seems that we need to check in with the staff and see what happened. We do hope that you did let the manager know about all of this so she could rectify the problem immediately. Rest assured these issues will be looked into. If you are able to return to Sambiya, we will gladly offer you an incentive to do so. Thank you again for bringing this to our attention.

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111 - 117 of 185 reviews

Reviewed October 3, 2012 via mobile

I was disappointed with my time here. We had no hot water in our room and the food was not great either. The drive to the ferry for game drives was a bit far. It's too bad since the feel of the place and the gardens are nice. It has potential but missed the mark for me.

  • Stayed: December 2011
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1  Thank miss_giraffe
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 reviewResponded October 12, 2012

miss_giraffe, we are sorry that Sambiya River Lodge was not for you. You most definitely should have had warm water and hope you reported it to the front desk. Please feel free to reach out to us directly at info@afritourstravel.com if you are able offer more insight into what we could have done differently or what might have appealed to you more. We hope you can return and try us again.

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Reviewed September 30, 2012 via mobile

Lovely hotel, bear in mind that it will take you the best part of half an hour at least to get the national park, the roads are very bad and therefore it will take you a while.
There are ALOT of biting insects in this area so ENSURE you use your mosquito net and use plenty of Deet.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank rising_dawn2004
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 reviewResponded October 12, 2012

Ahh, the joy of travelling in Africa! Bugs! rising_dawn2004, you are right. It is best to use the mosquito nets, which are provided in every room, and keep your screen door closed! On the flip side, we are thrilled that you thought Sambiya River Lodge was lovely! Hopefully we made up for the bugs!

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Reviewed September 11, 2012

We spent three nights at Sambiya River Lodge in Murchison Fall National Park in August 2012. There was a group of 9 we were traveling with. The place is so peaceful and beautiful. The River reference in the name is a bit deceiving. There is no view of a river and the Paraa crossing on the Nile is probably 35 minutes away. It was a bit of a drive to anywhere we were going. The bungalow we stayed in is a round building with two rooms. You can hear everything that is going on in the connecting room. We did know the folks in the other room so we just made fun of it. You could lay in bed and carry on a coversation with anyone in your room and the other room. The bathrooms were the same. Could be akward if you didn't know the people next door.....or could be a good way to meet them.

The food at the property was very good. We enjoyed all of our meals. This is an old historic property with an extensive notable past guest list. The rooms are well furnished. There is solar hot water that was very nice after a week of cold showers. The generator at the property is run each day from about 5:00 am to 6:30 am and then in the evening from 7:30 to 10:00. There are solar powered lights in the room that provide a bit of light after hours.

There is a pool that was a welcome retreat after a long hot day. The heat in this area is very intense at times. While driving to the property from the Paraa crossing we encountered a lot of teetsee flies. It turned into a game of who could kill the most flies in the van. At the property there did not seem to be many. There were traps around the property that may have handled them.

We did a animal view drive one day in the park and saw soooooo many animals. Lion, Giraffe, Hippos, Elephant, many deer, wart hogs, birds, monkeys, water buffalo. It was an amazing day. We also did a Nile River cruise to the base of Murchison Falls on the African Queen. Again we saw soooo many animals and crocodile. We booked at the Paraa Lodge. Buy the way, if your looking to purchase some items to remember your trip the gift shop at the Paraa Lodge had a fantastic selection with prices that were less than anywhere else we found. The gift shop at Sambyia River was nice but very small and more expensive than at Paraa. There's a craft center at the Kichumbanyobo Gate but the prices there were almost double what we found at the Paraa Lodge.

Sambiya River Lodge is a fantastic place. Pros: Setting - Rooms - Food - Pool Cons: Distance to many things in the park

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Mark B
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 reviewResponded October 12, 2012

markbenn, Thank you so much for your beautiful review of Sambiya River Lodge. We are so glad you enjoyed your stay. You are correct that the tukus (or bungalow) that have connecting doors are used for families and groups travelling together. All in all it sounds like you had a great trip! We hope you come back and see us soon.

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Reviewed September 3, 2012

I stayed here in August 2012 (I'm the super tall Mzungu ;) )My first trip to Africa. This place is stunning! I was in Uganda for two weeks. I visited everything from the Super Slums of Kampala and Masaka, playing Soccer/Football with the kids to this amazing Safari at Murchisan. Staff was waiting for us upon arrival. Very very friendly and welcoming. Through my stay here I was constantly commenting on the art/decorating. The outdoors is breathtaking. I chatted with the owner for a bit. I forget your name, forgive me. The food was great! The shots of Cognac were Very small compared to California... Staff and owner waved us farewell as we left! I would highly recommend this place to anybody in the area! I hope to make the trip back sooner than later.

  • Stayed: August 2012
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1  Thank Hukfin
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 reviewResponded September 27, 2012

Thank you for your review of Sambiya River Lodge, Hukfin! We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our owner's name is Debbie (or Debra). Please find us on Facebook as she is often updating our page with news from the Park and we would love to have you post some of your photos from the trip! Until the next time, cheers!

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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
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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 reviewResponded 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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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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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 reviewResponded 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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Additional Information about 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
Price Range: $94 - $228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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