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“Lots of efforts but the place is not up to standard” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sambiya River Lodge

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Sambiya River Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Rennes
Level Contributor
40 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Lots of efforts but the place is not up to standard”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2012

We book two bandas for one night during a four day trip in the Murchinson park. When we arrived we were advised that the bandas would not be availble and that upgrade to family cottage was offered to us for the bandas price. This was a very nice gesture from the management and we thank them for that.
Unfortunately the place is not what we expected. The fact that electricty is not available before 7 at night is quite disturbing: no hot water (night and morning, this was reported to the front desk), the bar is really loom...
The food would need a real make-over, it was very fatty and did not have any distinctive taste.
The team of waiters is nice and trying to be helpful but they seem to be at lost with no real of sense of drive.
The place is full of potential and the environment it is in is really beautiful, however it seems to have been stuck in the 90s without make-over.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MarieRennes
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, January 8, 2013
MarieRennes, thank you for your review. We are in the process of updating and renovating our "look". We hope to have this completed in the next few months. As for the electricity, we are an eco-friendly operation and therefor choose not to run our generator 24-7 in order to reduce our carbon footprint. That said, the generator should have been turned on by 6 pm and we will look into this. We are also working with the kitchen and waiters to improve our guests time in the main lodge.
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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)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

This lodge is not near the Murchison Ferry, however it is in the park and if you want a quite getway, this is the place to be. The lodge is heated by solor power so no sun means no or little electricity and this means that you will be taking cold showers. In our case it was 5:00 am in the morning in the dark. It got us up and out as soon as possible. We were lucky to charge our electronic items when we had limited power in the day. The dinner menu is limited and you will get a choice of 3 items that are listed for that day. I did find out that you could order other items (provided that had this in supply. My son wanted a hamburger and chips). They have a section where you can sit outside and they have a firepit where if you request the night watchman, he wil light the pit and show you the water buffalo’s that wander in to drink at the Sambia River(I could not see anything, however could hear them moving around). Breakfast time, we did get what we ordered. The bread is not what you expect however goes with the way this country makes their bread. Thank goodness for coffee. We did pack a lunch to eat on route. The eggs have white yolk so looks weird but takes very good. We did meet the owner who is native to Michigan, USA and she is very friendly. What was nice was that she walked around tables and took the time to talk to everyone. She also ate dinner in the dining room. They also have a small sovenier room, however had limited items. Maps would be nice. They did have some postcards.
Overally, the place was fine other than the electricity.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank OHumble
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, November 9, 2012
OHumble, we are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and so glad that you got to meet the owner. She does add an amazing touch to everyone's stay! Our bread is actually home made in a brick oven so it is certainly different than processed bread. We hope you enjoyed it. For other guests knowledge, the lodge's is run off of a generator that is run early in the morning, in the middle of the afternoon and in the evening. Unfortunately, we must adhere to the National Park guidelines of when and for how long we can run our generator for so it is a little less flexible than we would like for our guests. Our water is heated by solar energy (part of our eco-friendly/green initiative) and so if there is not sun hot water is precious! OHumble, we are glad you were able to be so understanding about it all. We hope you can come back and visit soon!
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
125 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2012

Stayed for one night in one of the cottages. The roof leaked when it rained. Electricity only available during restricted hours, even in the Hotel building itself. About 50 minutes drive from the Nile River crossing. Average food.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rerp
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, November 9, 2012
rerp, we are so sorry to hear about the leak in your cottage! As you know, Murchison Falls National Park has been experiencing very intense rain storms and we unfortunately do not always know where roof replacements need to happen until a storm. Because our roofs are made from thatch grass, we must truck all the supplies in from local suppliers (part of our local and eco-friendly initiative). We are working diligently through this rainy season to fix all the roofs that need it so that this does not happen to future guests.

We do hope you can return one day to experience the park when it is not so rainy.
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2012 via mobile

Very helpfull staff both in Kampala and at the lodge!! Me and my team were well looked after and all was as we had been promised at booking.
I definitely recommend it to anyone traveling to the Kabalega national park. U need to allow yourself a lot of time to get to the ferry crossing point though as it is quite a distance.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MambaRoyale
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, November 9, 2012
Thank you for the great review, MambaRoyale. We are so glad that your experience was a positive one and that you felt looked-after. We hope you visit us again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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Kamapala
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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