Hotel Review: Marasa Africa, Uganda

When you are out travelling, the place you stay can have a big impact on your overall experience. Especially when you are out in the wild in Uganda.

During my recent visit to the country, I stayed at four lodges run by Marasa Africa. It is impressive how a brand can maintain high standards and boast the best of locations for all its properties. There is an old world charm to all their properties, a welcome change from the technology-driven, fast-paced lives that we lead. How would I review their offerings? Here goes…

* Paraa Safari Lodge – Murchison Falls National Park
* Chobe Safari Lodge – Murchison Falls National Park
* Silverback Lodge – Bwindi ImpenetrableNational Park
* Mweya Safari Lodge – Queen Elizabeth National Park

What is special about the settings of Marasa’s lodges?
You cannot beat Marasa here. The lodges are all either inside or overlooking forests teeming with wildlife. Surrounded by mountains, lakes and rivers, these properties can be destinations in themselves. Paraa and Chobe lie on the banks of the Nile river full of hippos; in case of Chobe, they can often be spotted crossing hotel lawns and even grazing by the poolside in the evenings. The Silverback lodge overlooks the hilly Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas. Mweya stands on a hill along the Kazinga channel teeming with birdlife, elephants, hippos, crocodiles and many other species. 

The service
Ugandans come across as very hospitable people, especially those employed at Marasa. The staff is highly efficient in addressing anything that guests require, and always serve you with a smile. They know how to make your stay pleasure and memorable.

Design and quality of the rooms
All of Marasa’s lodges have well laid out and comfortable rooms; the housekeeping is of the highest standards. Everything feels clean, fresh and hygienic.

While Silverback has simple yet comfortable rooms, other lodges can spoil you with different categories of rooms including suites. You could stay in luxury tents at Paraa or even the Queen’s Cottage – this was built specially for a visit by Queen Elizabeth in the 1970s.

The chefs at Marasa love their job and know a thing or two about cooking. They can pamper and spoil you with the daily spreads – and even cook to your specific tastes and needs. They are adept at many cuisines – local, European, Italian, Chinese and Indian. And yes, I loved the coffees and the cakes.

Game drive experience with Marasa
You stay in a jungle lodge for the game drives – your hosts have to ensure they are good at this service. Marasa comes up tops here. They have a team of fine naturalists who know the jungles and the ways of its inhabitants well. No one can guarantee any sightings but they do their best in showing you around. They have their own vehicles and drivers that makes for a consistent experience.

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