Mihingo Lodge is a luxurious, family-owned lodge adjacent to Uganda’s Lake Mburo National Park and we stayed for two nights on our way back to Entebbe after trekking gorillas.
The park is not only the smallest in Uganda, it’s also the closest to the capital, Kampala and is said to be a popular weekend break for those wanting to escape the city. Although our visit coincided with a weekend it wasn’t full, although it was one of the busier places we stayed during our trip.
The lodge has 12 deluxe tented rooms which are spread all over the vast grounds, and some can attract significant walks and steps. Our tent, number 2 and called Kacheera, overlooked the lake of the same name and was set atop a huge rocky outcrop. The relatively long trek from reception involved shallow steps, a well-marked concrete path and a clamber over rocks, but thankfully, unlike some of the places we stayed, it was relatively flat.
Two large double beds, complete with mosquito net which was unfurled at turndown, were pushed together and there were bedside tables and lamps, two ornamental chests, space for two open suitcases, table, safe, a couple of shelves and hanging. They also provided a large flashlight, two umbrellas, and it was hard to miss the two large fire extinguishers.
Only mobiles could be charged in the tent, and there were no sockets so no hairdryer. We were told not to leave any food in the room as monkeys or baboons could negotiate the zips or in extreme circumstances break through the mesh tent ‘windows’. However, we struggled with the stiff zips which had to be padlocked and thought they would have to be very clever.
A passage led to a large non tented bathroom with open shower and a loo in a separate area. On arrival, we found the loo wouldn’t flush properly, despite their being two laminated signs telling us how to do it and not to be disturbed by the colour of the water. In the absence of a telephone in the room, this meant a long trek back to reception. I won’t bore you with the details, but having arrived at lunchtime, the flushing wasn’t fixed until after dinner and then we discovered a significant puddle formed overnight. However, the manager removed the drinks from our bill to make up for this.
The large wooden deck, with seating, had a few steps leading down onto a large rock and it was pleasant to sit out, and enjoy the cool lake breezes. Bearing in mind the remote nature of our tents, we had to be accompanied by a ranger after dark.
The food on our full board package was spectacular, if a little fulsome, and the best of our trip.
After a 6am alarm, we watched sunrise from our balcony with a delivered wicker basket, containing flasks of coffee, a jug of milk and shortbread biscuits.
Breakfast was a feast with chopped fruit, juice, home-made yoghurt and a range of cereals including granola. One morning we followed this with simple toast and jam, which unfortunately attracted several bees. The only disappointing meal was the following morning when our eggs benedict swam in a rich hollandaise sauce.
Lunch was a three-course affair, starting with a chilled soup like avocado or gazpacho, served with warm bread and butter. We then had a meat or vegetarian option and generally opted for one of each so we could share. Whilst we’d often skipped puddings, here it was hard to resist light offerings like hibiscus and ginger jelly with passion fruit sorbet. Water was always provided in an environmentally friendly carafe rather than in a plastic bottle.
At dinner (served from 8pm to 9.30pm) we had things like tomato and goat’s cheese salad to start and Swahili fish curry and vegetable lasagne with salad for mains, and when passion fruit souffle was on the menu, it was hard to resist.
Tea and coffee were available throughout the day for you to help yourself to.
As well as the restaurant, there was an atmospheric bar for pre-dinner drinks and another lounge area which had the Wi-Fi router and communal charging points.
An infinity pool overlooked the valley below where, with binoculars, you could just see animals at a waterhole in the distance. Several loungers were dotted over the surrounding rocky outcrop, and it was an ideal spot for post lunch snoozes in the shade.
This was the final safari destination on our trip, and it provided a lovely way to wind down.