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“A Safari Centre close to the Magnificent Murchison Falls offering outstanding comfort, service and food”
Review of Paraa Safari Lodge

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Paraa Safari Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“A Safari Centre close to the Magnificent Murchison Falls offering outstanding comfort, service and food”
Reviewed February 7, 2013

My daughter and I were lucky enough to stay two days in the famous Paraa Safari Lodge during a visit to Uganda to re-trace some of the route taken by Sir Samuel Baker 149 years ago. The lodge is situated above the broad reaches of the Victoria Nile as it flows sluggishly down to Lake Albert. For miles around the lodge lie the Murchison Falls National Park, the biggest in Uganda. There one can see graceful giraffes in profusion, herds of elephants, the beautiful Ugandan Kob, the little Oribi, Warthogs, Waterbuck, massive Cape Buffalo, Hartebeest, Baboons, leaping Colobus Monkeys and so much else. Along the river lie lazy, dangerous crocodiles, while hippos splash and gurgle in the water. Lions and leopard's can also be seen in their natural habitat. This area will reward any travellor interested in such wildlife.
TYou must also travel up the river by boat to the Murchison Falls, where the Victoria Nile tumbles through a narrow fissure issuing clouds of spray. Climb beside the falls and experience the power of this huge river from many viewpoints.
The Paraa Lodge is comfort itself. The rooms are beautifully furnished in traditional style with balconies overlooking the great stretch of the Victoria Nile. The staff are immaculate in their attention to one's every needs, and the great buffet offers a range of delicious food. A splendid curved pool lies by the pool bar with its thatched roof and the occasional curious baboon ! At night elephants and baboons come right up to the hotel palisade making dinner not only a epicuean event but one of excitement too. This is a perfect place for a safari holiday.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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1 Thank David B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Isle of Man, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
353 reviews
238 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 415 helpful votes
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We are regular visitors here. I wrote in the guest book many years ago that it had taken me 50 years to visit but I would be back more frequently from then on. I kept that pledge. At first sight the building looks like a cross between a PoW camp and an Iron age fort but it grows on you. Beauty is only skin deep or in this case it starts inside. Approach by car to a porch and you are met by willing hands with drinks and towels etc., Don't misunderstand, I am not swayed by such frippery but if it is going to be done then it should be done well. It is at Paraa.
A large entrance hall leads past Reception to a lounge and then to a pool and outside dining area. The pool is lined with loungers and there is a bar set in the side for swimmers. The view over the Nile and Forest is justly famous. Paraa being north of the Ferry is much handier for exploring the game rich area to the north and west. Launches leave from the Jetty below to the foot of the falls and to the delta on Lake Albert.
Rooms are on two floors, the upper ones are quieter and have the better view. All is well furnished.
The Mosquito Nets make an inner room and are closed at turndown.
Breakfast is buffet style and served from early on to facilitate early departures. Sadly Paraa has reverted to Buffet dinners to on occasion which does lose them marks as I find it unhygenic to know my dessert trays have been poked and breathed and even coughed over by others. Beer prices were the highest of the trip. Come on folks, don't get too greedy. Apart from that minor quibble the food is well prepared and very nourishing. I think I may yet be back again soon.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank mfuwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulvik in Hardanger
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I went for a safari here and the wild life is very very good 5000 square mile of wild life land..
The lodge is on a small hill where you look down to the mighty Nile..
And the lodge give you what yo want great sevice and very friendly staff.
Nice rooms for a fear price and good food..
A nice place I would not mind going back to..

Room Tip: Any room is good
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Vossingen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Paraa Safari Lodge is a solid choice for an accommodation at Murchison Falls National Park. It is an older property but it is also a comfortable place to stay.

Positive Attributes:
Beautiful view overlooking the Nile River
Nice pool with a swim-up bar (overlooking the Nile River)
Decent selection of Ugandan, Indian, and British cuisine at the buffet restaurant
Very inexpensive (and quick) laundry service
WiFi (not turned on until 8am, which is noticed when one has an early morning safari departure)

Negative Attributes:
Not all of the rooms have air conditioning (ceiling fans were adequate, though)
Not all of the rooms have televisions
Service in the restaurant could have been better. My friends and I ordered a bottle of wine and the waiter forgot about us. When we got his attention, it appeared that he did not know how to open a bottle of wine.

Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank NateAlaska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton Keynes
Level Contributor
46 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Wonderful hotel. Relaxing, remote, great safari as well
Rooms are spacious and clean. Good mosquito nets
Excellent food in the restaurant. Helpful staff. The swimming pool outside is very welcoming on a hot day and there is a bar there to sit and enjoy a coke or your choice of drink
We would go again

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank topsy7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level Contributor
45 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

Even though I have traveled a lot since February 2006 - the four days we spent at Paraa Lodge still stands out as an exceptional experience.

Be sure to take a "cruise" on The Nile where you will see both crocodile, elephant and the gigantic Hippos.

Room Tip: Overlooking the pool and the Nile
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UBLissau
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Napanee, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

My husband, adult daughter and I thank Paraa Lodge, Chobe Lodge and Kabiza Wilderness Safaris for our recent "once in a lifetime" experience in Murchison Falls National Park. Each contributed to our experiencing to the fullest, all that this extraordinary Park has to offer. We hope our comments may assist others in planning:

We write this “open letter of thanks” to all of the Staff, Management and Owners of Chobe and Paraa Safari Lodges, and to Jon Blanc and Geoffrey Mugambwa of Kabiza Wilderness Safaris, for an absolutely marvellous 4-day safari to Uganda’s Murchison National Park over Christmas 2012, which absolutely met, and exceeded, our expectations after almost a year in planning! To put our comments into context: We are Canadians with a passion for nature. I am a 60-year-old lawyer, my husband the same age and an investment and insurance broker/agent, our daughter a BSc graduate working as a contract analyst. We have travelled widely throughout the world, and have stayed in outstanding accommodations (Fairmont hotels and resorts, Starwood hotels and resorts, “boutique” resorts recommended by Rick Steeves) in many beautiful places.

The planning by Kabiza was outstanding in every respect, and the plans were carried out flawlessly! Jon Blanc, in the planning of these four days many months beforehand, and Geoffrey Mugambwa, in his constant care of us throughout the safari, really did everything possible to make this one of the most memorable experiences of our lives! I had written to Jon beforehand, about what we hoped to experience, and his planning and the trip itself were highly responsive – including with respect to our choice of accommodation at Paraa to which Jon added the recommendation of a night at Chobe. The best use was made of every moment of the trip, with every possible need anticipated and attended to. The cost of the flights, the cost and difficulty of arrangements for my handicapped daughter's care while we were away - all was worthwhile even had we travelled to Africa for purposes of the safari alone. At the same time, given how busy wedding events in Kampala kept us (kwanjula on 22nd, civil wedding on 29th, and numerous related events etc.) we really benefited in body, mind and soul, from our time in the Ugandan wilderness!

I learned about Chobe and Paraa Lodges from the Internet, and heard very positive feedback from friends who had visited there, and from fellow travellers on another trip who had also stayed there. Both lodges were strongly endorsed by Kabiza Wilderness Safaris, when we sought Kabiza’s advice.

Accommodations at Chobe and Paraa Lodges were quiet and lovely, clean and restful and comfortable given our very busy two-week schedule in Africa and at home before and after our trip. Pleasantly and with tastefully understated elegance, each of these unique lodges fits in with the spectacular surrounding natural beauty of Murchison Falls National Park – each overlooking the Nile River with indescribable views. Beds were comfortable, bedding and linens of good quality, and bathrooms very clean, rooms very attractive and well-kept. Food at the both lodges, and at the Masindi Hotel on the way back to Kampala, was also absolutely first-rate. Employees of Chobe and Paraa Lodges were outstandingly pleasant, welcoming and accommodating in every respect. They know how to deal with tourists from afar! It would have been easy to have spent another night or two in the "luxury tents" at Chobe (on the upper level to the left of the main building as one approaches the latter) where we could hear the rapids and hippos all night long and also have fresh air. In this regard we thank Kabiza for its recommendations and organization. Unfortunately, our short trip to Africa did not allow this additional time! Our 24-year-old daughter felt very safe and content on her own in her tent, next to ours - although I had expected I might need to share with her! Nature walk as sunset approached, with the Ranger George, was lovely and informative, and coming from cold wintry Canada it was also an exceptional experience to relax at the pool and on the dining terrace so close to, and with such spectacular views of, the Nile River. Accommodations were similarly pleasant at Paraa, where Kabiza had thoughtfully booked two adjacent rooms at the far end on the second story of the row extending to the left as you enter the main building. We could still see the river from the balconies, and it was very quiet. Kabiza’s recommendation that we not bother with air conditioning, in favour of ceiling fans, was a good one: It was comfortable sleeping under the ceiling fans in the quiet rooms. The food in both lodges was astonishingly superb, for such relatively small lodges in such remote locations! There was absolutely nothing more one could have desired, whether in the natural and unspoiled beauty of the location, atmosphere/ambiance, comfort, food, services.

Kabiza’s recommendation that we use the drive from Chobe to Paraa as a "game drive" was also an excellent one. It was a thrilling experience to drive for four hours, through such stunning landscape, seeing a multitude of animals and variety of landscapes at every turn, and meeting only I think about two other vehicles - apart from which we saw no one until quite close to Paraa! Geoffrey is of course an outstanding safari guide as well as driver, and gave us a wealth of information about the animals, the vegetation and the geography. Rain and thunderstorms kept us indoors that evening but Paraa is a pleasant place to relax and talk about one's ongoing adventure! Christmas Day - from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm - was a day to remember for sure. We had spectacular game drives in the morning and late afternoon/early evening, driving down to and around the delta area. Obviously it was quite something, for us, to be able to see the famous Victoria and Albert branches of the Nile as they meet at the top of Lake Albert and with the hills in the background across the water. Even more exciting was the sight of two lions, resting on the grass near the river, close to one elephant (with others across the trail) and deer (Jackson Heartbeast) also quite close to the lions - quite a scene! On the two drives on Christmas Day, we were joined by Ranger Sarah, who was extremely informative and very helpful in supporting Geoffrey as a guide. She was able to assist in locating the wildlife we only dreamed of seeing, and she gave so much information about the behaviour of the animals, and about the vegetation. We felt privileged to have been able to have experienced both sunrise, and sunset with the moon coming up, in this stunning environment. Our trip up the Nile to the base of Murchison Falls during the afternoon of Christmas Day, was also an unforgettable experience, and an opportunity to see so much more wildlife! The "African Queen" was very clean and comfortable, and the staff very helpful. Boxing Day's drive to Murchison Falls, and our time there, was equally memorable. There were so many different spectacular views of the Falls, and we were sorry to leave. Geoffrey made the best of the long drive home, too, taking us through the forested area of Budongo I believe. He was kind enough to lend his "sim" card to my daughter, so that she might copy photos he had taken with his own camera including numerous photos of the three of us - for which we are particularly grateful since we had purchased new equipment the day before travelling to Africa and we had a hard time figuring out how to use it properly! He took some wonderful pictures of all the highlights of the safari. It is obvious that he knows and loves the natural beauty of his own country!

We felt that the cost was very reasonable, for such individual planning and attention, for such a full and rich itinerary, and for the lovely accommodations. We are glad that we had the opportunity to have had an individual safari, for we were able to maximize viewing opportunities - and there's so much to see!

We know, realistically, that this may well have been our only opportunity to visit Africa and if that turns out to be the case, we are certainly lucky that we were able to have this experience in Uganda, and that our son and daughter-in-law had told us about Kabiza! The Kabiza website also certainly appropriately engendered well-placed confidence and left us so well-informed about all aspects of Uganda that we were really as well-prepared as any North Americans or Europeans could have been. We are also very grateful, that friends, and fellow travellers, told us about Paraa and about Chobe! We do hope that circumstances might permit our return in the not too distant future, and that we might be able to be accompanied by other family and friends. If such a trip may be again possible, we will certainly be in touch with Kabiza again, with a view to planning, once again, such a rewarding experience individually tailored to our situation and interests – but a longer safari, hopefully. Furthermore, we will return to Chobe, and to Paraa, and will plan to visit the third “sister” property which we understand to be in Queen Elizabeth Park.

I should add, that our son and (now) daughter-in-law were very happy with their more modestly priced safari two years ago, and that our son, his friend and his mother were similarly delighted with their safari in December 2012 prior to our trip. Thus, as noted, ours was the third wonderful safari planned and carried out by Kabiza.

From cold and wintry (but pleasant) Napanee, Ontario, Canada - rather missing the Ugandan sun!

Martha

Room Tip: All rooms seem to have an equally pleasant view. As noted in the review, we were happy with ours...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MJandCAL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paraa Safari Lodge

Property: Paraa Safari Lodge
Address: Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Murchison Falls National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Murchison Falls National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Paraa Safari Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 55
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Established in 1954, Paraa Safari Lodge is located in northwest Uganda in Murchison Falls National Park overlooking one of nature's best kept secrets, the River Nile. Paraa Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Each of the rooms is a haven of style and serenity, complete with balcony and private bathroom. The safari decor of the lodges still reflects the bygone era of early explorers, enshrined with a modern touch. The luxurious pool overlooks the winding River Nile below, which was the setting for the classic Hollywood move, The African Queen". ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paraa Safari Hotel Murchison Falls National Park
Paraa Safari Lodge Uganda/Murchison Falls National Park

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