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From the blog

Home Stays in Uganda

A Home stay provides traditional accommodation for visitors to stay at a family home. At Ngoni safaris we carried out our research and noted that these are the major Home stays in Uganda;

1. Tom’s Homestay on Lake Bunyonyi

photo: Marcus Westberg

Tom Karemire is a character! After a long career of a prison warden and guard, he now hosts visitors on a remote Bunyonyi island. You can camp on his compound (in a spacious tent with mattresses, blankets and sheets) or just come for dinner and a bonfire with traditional music. A full-blown tour with a professional guide.

Edirisa‘s trekkers have been coming to Tom’s since 2005 and over time he developed a brilliant campsite. In 2013 Habukomi Island finally became accessible to guests who might not opt for hiking but still crave for a unique island experience. On the other hand, you can nicely combine it with two activities: half-day Culture on the Crest or 1-day Islands of Miracles.

 

Highlights

• become a cherished guest of an island family
• enjoy a traditional dugout canoe ride to Habukomi Island and back
 tour a beautiful island that is completely off-the-beaten-track
 gobble down a delicious local dinner enriched by crayfish, Lake Bunyonyi’s specialty
camp on the island — or return by motorboat by night

Facts

duration: one night; difficulty: easy
area: Habukomi Island, Lake Bunyonyi
departures: daily at 4pm

Price
: USD 55 per person
Includes guiding, all activities, dinner and breakfast, tented accommodation and water.

Itinerary 🛶👟

photo: Marcus Westberg

Your starting point will be Edirisa on Lake Bunyonyi or any of the lodges and hotels nearby — if you don’t see Edirisa in the beginning of the trek, we will show it to you at the end, as it is an attraction by itself. This picturesque site that mixes simple life with advanced technology is the birthplace of the Gorilla Highlands initiative. A short tour around the forested peninsula will show you an ingenious submerged swimming pool built for teaching life-saving skills, grass-thatched huts erected for volunteers, a rural primary school and many other things.

At 4pm our guide will take you by dugout canoe to Habukomi Island (45 minutes) where Tom will show you around. This is an intriguing island that is fast becoming two islands; the rising level of the lake is making its thin bottleneck centre increasingly marshy. For reasons unknown, Habukomi is the island of pelicans. That doesn’t mean that the pelicans are extremely many, all pelicans of Lake Bunyonyi just seem to reside on the island.

photo: Marcus Westberg

A long dock will help you enjoy a swim in Bunyonyi’s safe waters, there are simple sitting toilets available but no showers. On request the family can heat up some water for you to bathe in.

The tents pitched for you on a substantial meadow under Tom’s house will have ample blankets, fresh sheets and mattresses.

The dinner will be served around a bonfire. In addition to crayfish, there will be typical local dishes served: beans, sweet and Irish potatoes, ground nuts and dodo (local spinach). Tom also has a couple of crates at hand, to sell you some beers and sodas.

photo: Ash Dumford

Next morning, Tom will prepare you breakfast with local honey, bananas and chapatis before you return to the mainland by canoe (the timing will be adjusted to your preferences).

There is also the night motorboat option, for those who wouldn’t want to camp. 

2. Amasiko Homestay

At Amasiko Homestay we provide an excellent service and do our best to make you feel at home. In addition, we can take you for a cultural hike, introduce you to our projects and much more! Our accommodation includes full board and our cottages have been built in an eco-friendly manner. We believe that eco-tourism can facilitate the development of this region, and we use all our profits to fund our community focused projects.

Whether you come from Kigali or Kampala or anywhere else, Amasiko Homestay is the perfect place to recharge in a beautiful natural environment!

Surroundings

Amasiko is located on a peninsula with stunning views over Lake Bunyonyi, a natural reservoir in the far Southwest of Uganda. It is 20km from Kabale, the capital of the district. Lake Bunyonyi is situated in a mountainous region, with peaks reaching 2500 meters altitude. There are fertile valleys, and there is a pleasant temperate climate.

Lake Bunyonyo is a fresh water lake and one of the few lakes in Africa that is sufficiently clean to swim in. This also makes it very attractive place to stay. Not only can you relax and unwind with us, but there is the possibility to explore the surroundings and to do several sporting and cultural activities. You can also use our accommodation as a base for Gorilla tracking!

Activities

During your stay there is plenty to do here!

Bamboo Forest Hike and Visiting the BATWA

Not far from Amasiko lies a large jungle with mostly bamboo vegetation. This was originally the natural habitat of the Batwa. These pygmy people originally lived in the forest; however, they now inhabit agricultural land on the side of the mountain next to the forest. Nonetheless, they have not forgotten their traditional way of life. If you are interested, we can arrange with our village chief to guide you during a hike through the woods in order for you to visit the local Batwa community. Throughout the tour he will translate for you, so you can gain an insight to their customs and traditions. Watch out on the walk for birds and animals such as chameleons!

Bird Watching

The surrounding area of Lake Bunyonyi is renowned for bird watching. There are a large variety of birds living on and around our property. For example, two cranes – which are the national bird of Uganda – live in one of our tall trees. Because of this, Amasiko is an ideal spot for bird watchers. Bring your binoculars with you!

Cultural hike

Take a walk of about four hours in the area of Amasiko – you will meet representatives of the local community and you will get a good impression of the living conditions of local farmers. Our guide will take you to a peasant family where the woman of the house shows how the local drink -“obushera” – is produced and brewed from sorghum. You are invited to participate in the brewing process and you can try a freshly brewed cup. The trip also includes paying a visit to an old lady who can tell you much about the local Bakiga culture, and the many changes the recent decades have brought.
On the return journey we will pay a visit to a women’s group who demonstrate how baskets and mats are being woven traditionally. They also offer great products for sale as souvenirs.

Hiking

Find your adventurous spirit and explore the beautiful surroundings to your hearts content! There are plenty of paths through the local lands, so why not discover where they lead you. You can also combine hiking with a canoe or motorboat tour – take the boat to the other side of the lake and explore at your leisure. We are happy to advise you about our own discoveries or take you on a hike!

Canoe or Motorboat trips on the Lake

Amasiko has a wooden dug-out canoe which fits four people. Our neighbour is a good boatman and likes to take visitors on canoe trips. On request we can also arrange a larger canoe or motorboat.

Visit Amasiko Green School

The classrooms of Amasiko Green School are located on the plateau above the lodge and guest houses. Visitors can attend the school, play games with the children, or help preparing the lunch in the afternoon. We are in need of educational toys; if you have any you would be willing to donate we would be very grateful!
The school hires local teachers to teach the children of the village and surrounding areas. At Amasiko Green School we are very keen to introduce modern teaching methods which emphasise practical education and interaction between the students and the teacher. Traditional teaching methods in Uganda often lack this practical aspect, where children can learn by doing and seeing. Here at Amasiko Green School we want to provide a space where children can experiment and play, and thus have a more thorough, rounded, and fun education.

Swimming

Amasiko is situated on Lake Bunyonyi. The water of the lake is very clean and is one of the few lakes in Africa where it is safe to swim. You can take a dive from our jetty where the water is immediately six meters deep.

Dance with the local community

The parents of the school have set up a traditional dance group to allow visitors to experience the “Bakiga” culture. Participation is allowed and is highly valued. Keep in mind that this is an intense aerobic workout!

Accommodation

During your stay with us you will sleep in a cottage. You can also rent a tent or bring your own and stay at our camping site. All our cottages have been built by local craftsmen men using organic materials from the surrounding area.

Lion Cottage

There are two single beds in this cabin. It has a covered veranda from which you have a stunning view over the lake.

The lion cottage has been built according to a traditional construction method in which a wooden structure is filled with clay.

Prices

Cottages

$ 35 per person per day;

Amasiko tent

$ 30 per person per day;

In your own tent

$ 25 per person per day;

Full board is included in all prices.

Forest hike and visit the Batwa: $45 per visit (A part of the fee goes to the Batwa community, a part to the Batwa guide, a part and the remainder is a service fee).
Guided Canoe or Motorboat hire:
Canoe: $10 per trip
Motorboat: $50 per trip from or to Rutinda Bay near Kabale
Cultural Hike: $40 for the tour

We accept Dollars, Euros and Ugandan Shillings as payment. Please pay in cash.

3. Tinka’s Homestead

Spend a night living the Kitooro way and stay at the best homestead of Uganda! A community member’s home that provide rooms and traditional organic meals. Including in the price is a full board service, you will enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner with the family. The vibrant Tinka family will also let you experience stories and local dances. Tinka’s Homestead is a perfect balance between comfort and traditional life.

One traditional thatched roof banda is available for guests and can accommodate 3 to 4 persons. The banda consists out of two levels, the lower level has a living space and a comfortable single bed, the upper space has a comfortable double bed and a balcony with an incredible view over the Rwenzori Mountains. All beds have mosquito nets. Clean toilets and showers are also at your disposal!

In addition, two rooms are also available in the house. One double-bed room and one twin room. Each room can accommodate up to 2 persons and each of these rooms have a private bathroom with western toilets and hot-water showers.  All the guests are free to go up to the balcony to enjoy a magnificent view over the rainforest shadowed by the Rwenzori Mountains and enjoy a delicious cup of African tea. 

For reservations or questions feel free to contact John Tinka:

BOOK YOUR TRIP WITH US NOW

 

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Michael T 06/June/2021

TripAdvisor
Above & Beyond
Review of: 3-Day Gorillas trekking and Batwa Experience
Sedrick went above and beyond to accomodate our request for an itinerary alteration due to our compressed time in Uganda. He also compeltely took care of scheduling our covid 19 testing and drove us to the site on arrival.

Our driver/guide Ben was also outstanding!

**We highly recommend using a porter during gorilla trekking as their are some complex parts to the trail/terrain. This also benefits the local people by providing them work.**

David 24/June/2021

TripAdvisor
Seeing Lots of Animals and Uganda
The schedule suited my time in Uganda exactly and was a great opportunity to view some of the top wildlife and natural wonders of the country. Lodgings range from mid-range to near upscale and are in beautiful locations. Food is good and ample. My driver, Stanley, was expert at spotting wildlife and, very importantly on the Ugandan roads, a careful and skilled driver. You see various parts of the country on this tour, and due to distances, be aware you'll spend quite a few hours on the road. One thing they might add is an itinerary going into more detail ahead of time on each day's activity and suggested things to bring. I was concerned about the needed COVID test for return home, but they took care of arranging that, and it turned out successfully. Overall the tour was a real highlight and is highly recommended.

Justo Nov 18, 2019

Safaribookings
I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .
 
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