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Uganda – 10 great days in Entebbe, Kampala and Murchinson National Park

For the flight to Entebbe, I got to Schiphol early because i had a Business class ticket and wanted to have breakfast in the KLM lounge – what a mistake – it was horrible. Breakfast was mediocre at best – big queue at the coffee stations – ehm not exactly what you are expecting. The old lounge had a separate smoking area with proper seats but this has now been removed and instead they have a big fish tank.

The chairs looked warn down and dirty, and i reealize that KLM says the lounge is under renovation but there were no signs of that at all. At around 7.30 AM it was now so crowded that it felt unconformtable so even though i had more than an hour before boarding time, I decided to leave – on the way out, a loooong queue to get in – better off not going in at all.

Anderista Beach hotel, Entebbe
The hotel as such is OK and the driver was waiting at Entebbe to pick me up even though flight was delayed about half an hour. The room was quite basic – did not even have a drinking glass – but had a great view over the lake – very dissapointed though that when checking out the following morning, the credit card machine mysteriously didnt work – apparently typical of Uganda – claim to accept credit cards but in reality hate it so will come up with all sorts of excuses why you have to pay in cash. The breakfast was OK but nothing fancy.

Transfer to Red Chilli, Kampala
Anderita arranged a taxi for me to get to Kampala – standard going rate should be UGX 100.000, but once again by a miracle price suddenly went up to 150.000 – not a huge amount of money, but still..

The road to Kampala is pretty good, but traffic as you get closer to the city is a nightmare so the drive ended up taking about 2 hours (its a 45 KM drive)

Red Chilli Kampala
Room was very basic – again no drinking glass, no toiletries, no nothing. Room was clean though, and they do have a nice pool. Only reason i stayed one night here was because the safari to Murchinson Falls National Park started from here the following morning.

I went on the 3 days/2 nights tour to Murchinson falls.

Departure around 7 am with arrival by the falls at 2 pm so prepare for a looong drive.

There was only 6 people in the van so we had a fair amount of space. There was a very brief stop along the way, but we all just wanted to get going so this was fine.

The falls as such are not really that spectacular (if you have been to Victoria, Niagara or Iguazu then you will be dissapointed).

Murchinson Falls, Uganda

Arrival at Red Chilli in the park around 5 pm where i got my private banda. It was very basic but fairly clean – only complaint i have is the lighting – it was so weak that i couldnt read unless i went to the bathroom – so put in another lamp or 2 and it will be fine.

I had ordered a roll for breakfast but it turned out to be bone dry so threw half away – same thing next day but at least i got a cup of coffee.

The game drive across the river was great with a fair amount of wildlife to be seen – but not nearly as plentifull as other parks such as Masai Mara or Tsavo but still it was a good drive. In the afternoon we went on a boat ride towards the falls. It last about 3 hours and it was a great trip with lots of hippos, elephants and crocs to be seen.

The last day we were supposed to go back across the river for another game drive but the ferry had broken down so this was no longer possible. Instead, we went for a drive on the south side which turned out to be quite dissapointing – nothing much to look at. On the way back to Kampala there was a brief stop for a quick lunch at Kabalega Diner before proceeding on to Kampala with arrival at Red Chilli around 5 so prepare for another long day in a van.

Back at Red Chilli, my room was not ready so instead i was given one of their apartments. Pretty basic but clean. There was a TV (lovely, can catch up on news) but turned out that pretty much all of the channels were blocked – its being advertised as having satelite TV so if you book this, you would expect to have something like cnn, bbc world available – instead there was pretty much nothing. On the morning I left i could not find a single channel which was not blocked. So either fix your channels or stop advertising – didnt bother me but others might complain.

Breakfast was mediocre and it took 35 minutes to get 1 cup of instant coffee, 2 fried eggs and 2 slices of toast.

Bottom line: Red Chilli in Murchison Park is great value for money – its very basic, but just 500 meters from the river – perfect location.

Kampala though is not worth the money – its basic, its clean and it does have a lovely pool area but you can do much better for the same money.

The trip to Murchinson was great – driver was lovely – staff at Murchinson and Kampala very nice and friendly – accomodation in the park good value – accomodation in Kampala not worth it – i would only stay if going on another tour with Red Chilli (as tours start here)

It can often be a pain in the ass (meaning overpriced) to go on a tour when travelling solo, but Red Chilli were great in accomodating me so a big thank you for that.

I would recommend Red Chilli for the tours they do at very reasonable prices but only stay at the Kampala accomodation if you have to.

K Hotel, Entebbe

K Hotel is a great place to stay in Entebbe just a 5 min walk from Victoria Mall. If you (like me) likes to check out the surroundings in Google Street view, dont bother – the view is from 2015 and the hotel wasnt built by then so you wont see it. The hotel doesnt actually look very impressive from the outside, but inside its a very different story. Hotel is lovely and most of the staff are all very accomodating and helpfull. Room was lovely and you can get a bit of world news from CNN or BBC. There is a great view over the lake although at a bit of an angle.

The view from the rooftop is even better. There is a gym which looked well maintained and clean (didnt use it though). Wifi is excellent throughout the hotel.

I arrived around 11 am and found it a bit strange that they wouldnt give me a room until 2 pm. On their own website, general terms and conditions, it says check in is from 3 pm but that guests can move in earlier if room is available, but apparently they dont do this. On checkin is from 12.00 so a bit of confusion here.

The room was ready when i arrived (I know this, because I was offered the room straight away if I had accepted extra charge). I have stayed in hundreds of hotels all over the world and cannot remember this ever happening anywhere. Over the next 4 days i saw hardly no other guests.

First 2 days, I was the only one in the restaurant for breakfast and the max number of guests i ever saw on the rooftop terrasse was 4 (four) On the last 2 days i stayed, the breakfast buffet had dissapeared completely – probably due to the lack of guests. They did not have any kind of breakfast menu card so you have to ask for whatever you fancy which then has to be prepared – should you wish anything more, ask again, which is fine, but takes time so a bit annoying.

I asked if it was possible to get a late checkout (flight was at midnight) but once again, no problem, except that will be USD 50. Hotel still pretty much completely empty !! – However they did give me until 2 pm so a few hours at least. Of course I am not entitled to early/late checkin/out but most hotels I have stayed at would be happy to provide this – if possible of course – afterall, it will costs the hotel nothing and they will have a happy guest.

Despite this, I would still recommend the hotel – must be one of the best in Entebbe, and if i ever return, i will be happy to stay here again.

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