Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Entebbe Arrival and Lake Victoria Hotel

Switching gears from a few mid-trip posts on Murchison National Park (see Paraa Safari Lodge, Nile tour by boat, and Nile Safari Lodge), let’s start at the beginning of my November 2011 Trip (full trip report here):

After clearing customs and immigrations (USD$50 for visa paid on arrival, post-2006 dated bills only), we were met in the arrivals hall at EBB by our guide, Denis Erabu, one of CAS’s senior guides.

Since just three of us arrived together, Denis picked us up in one of the new 5-seater Toyota Land Cruisers that recently arrived from Tanzania (we will be making a few modifications to the new vehicles, including lowering the seats slightly to increase front visibility). The new vehicles are quite nice and will be ideal for 2-4 pax.

I flew in to Entebbe after spending the previous night in Nairobi, but was still tired from the previous day’s long-haul flight and it was nice to have such a quick (10 min.) transfer to the Lake Victoria Hotel. Entebbe is quite pleasant, relaxed and green – very different from hectic Kampala.

One of the first things that struck me en route to the hotel was how green the countryside was. The Lake Victoria Hotel is a big colonial-style hotel near the president’s house and very close to the CAS office, airport and Lake Victoria. It is nice to arrive and go straight to the hotel rather than sit in traffic for over an hour and a half getting into Kampala.

The hotel certainly isn’t anything fancy, but the rooms were clean, had A/C and the bathrooms were quite nice. The swimming pool and gardens are lovely and the food was good (although there was a cheese and cracker platter served, sans crackers –- they were apparently out of stock -– to someone in our group!).

The rooms (I was in the new wing and was not able to see the old wing) included a writing desk, TV and well-appointed en suite bathrooms with shower/tub. Linens were crisp and white, which is always a plus. After seeing other options in Kampala, I do have to say that the LVH is the best option for travelers who spend just one night in Entebbe on arrival – it is close to the airport and has everything most travelers require. A more luxury-minded traveler would likely find the boutique hotel, Emin Pasha, preferable. The Kampala Serena is also available.

Photos by Lyndsay Harshman/The Kusini Collection and Lake Victoria Hotel/Laico Hotels.

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