GeoLodges – 20 years and counting


(Posted 21st January 2014)

20 years and counting it is for what is today known as GeoLodges Uganda, a boutique lodge operation which took off – and it seems like yesterday really – in 1994 with their first property on the River Nile just outside the Murchisons Falls National Park, the Nile Safari Camp.

Early in my writing career, back then I provided regular material from Uganda for what was then East Africa’s leading travel magazine, Travel News by Tony Clegg Butt, I visited the camp and wrote ‘if it were any closer to the river it would be in the river’ as the terrace of my tent protruded beyond the bank and allowed for unrestricted views right down into the fast flowing waters of the world’s longest river. The company eventually added the Jacana Safari Lodge on Lake Nyamusingire in Queen Elizabeth National Park, became ‘Inns of Uganda’ before, after the RainForest Lodge had come on line rebranding as ‘GeoLodges Uganda’. The latest addition to their stable was the Equator Snow Lodge in the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains, set just at the edge of the national park and in close range to the newly established visitor centre, from where guests can take hikes and walks or just enjoy the fresh mountain air and sights of the ice covered mountain peaks when the clouds lift.

The 20th anniversary celebrations, extending according to a well placed source across the entire year with the main event likely to coincide with the opening back then of the first camp, will kick off with a special Valentine’s Night at one of my all time favourite lodges, the RainForest Lodge in Mabira where at a cost of a mere 70 US Dollars romance can be fostered under the stars – weather permitting – dinner served with candle light. With only 12 wooden cabins available at the RainForest Lodge it is almost mandatory to book immediately or else the place will be sold out and lovers will have to settle for another weekend visit to enjoy the flair of one of Uganda’s most unique lodges, set in the deep of an ancient rainforest, just 65 kilometres from the capital city of Kampala.

Several past articles published here describe in detail the attractions of Mabira Forest, and the challenges this green lung for the pollution spewing Kampala is faced with, and also narrates the experiences of past visits to the RainForest Lodge, including a spot of star gazing when owner and CEO Zahid Alam was on site one night with his huge telescope, holding fort and launching into an impromptu lecture about the star systems and the Milky Way above us. That night the stars were indeed as close to give one the feeling of being able to touch them and hopefully will the love birds on Valentine’s Night have a similar experience as there is nothing quite like romancing under a star studded African sky.

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