Amuka Lodge is the only lodge actually located within Uganda’s Ziwa Rhino and Wildlife Sanctuary. We stayed for one night and, on arrival enjoyed chilled lemon tea over paperwork, and learned that ‘amuka’ means rhino in the local dialect.
There are six standard, and four family chalets, each named after a rhino in the sanctuary. As they are dotted around the surrounding woodlands, we were told what to do if we met a rhino on our way to dinner!
As there was only one other couple staying, we were upgraded to a family chalet, Moja, with large double bed and two singles all with mosquito nets and cushions with appliqued rhino. Apart from a standalone fan, the room only had a heavy wooden bench at the foot of the bed. However, behind the bed was a dressing area with shelving, mirror and open plan wardrobe. This led into the bathroom with large walk-in shower with reasonable pressure and hot water, basin and loo with a pull across curtain. Apart from being allowed to charge mobiles in the chalet, no other electrical appliances were permissible. Wi-Fi with good strength was available in the communal area. There were complimentary water bottles, but no fridge, TV, safe or hairdryer, and the bathroom came with resident geckos. We had a large terrace overlooking bushes and trees with a coffee table made from a cut piece of tree trunk, a director’s chair and a day bed. It was a haven of peace and tranquillity
The communal areas which included bar, lounge, dining area and open plan kitchen were all under an open sided corrugated-roofed building. Next to it was a small plunge pool with tables and chairs, a fire pit with wall area for seating around it and a small play area for children.
Our package included full board and we found the food simple but fulsome. For lunch we enjoyed a small garden salad, before moving on to BBQed beef, with rice, vegetables and a large jug of mushroom sauce. Fortunately pudding was light with pineapple and watermelon. For dinner we were served pea soup with homemade bread, chicken supreme, with sauteed potatoes, squash and a BBQ sauce followed by milk pudding.
Breakfast was ordered for the following day using a pre-prepared form. We had both chosen juice over fruit followed by very good, scrambled eggs and two pieces of toasted home-made bread. Jam was served in mini jars and butter cubes in a ramekin, and all was beautifully presented along with a cafetiere of hot, strong coffee.
Whilst we were on a slow-paced trip, it is possible to visit Ziwa Sanctuary for the day and have lunch in the lodge.