By Solomon Oleny
Most dictionaries define a haven as as peaceful place of refuge. Somewhere off the beaten path in Jinja town is the Haven Lodge, a hidden gem that offers refuge to travelers running away from the anxieties of the city. It is perched on the crest of a hill that overlooks some of the Nile's most thunderous rapids, and small islands with thick forests.
This makes the lodge a superb vantage point for two fascinating things that ebb away stress; taking in the beauty of the river, watching adrenaline junkies as they dare the wrath of the rapids.
I stayed here for two days as I explored Jinja, a fast rising town renowned for having the source of River Nile. When leaving, it felt like I was bidding goodbye to loved ones. The people who staff the lodge are always smiling and happy to ensure every aspect of one’s stay is a sweet memory.
The lodge features both Eco-friendly cottages and camps, as lined up on either sides of the restaurant. Each room is fitted with huge windows that allow one to take in views of the river even from their bed. At its front is a cozy verandah with a hammock where you can lie and read a book, or meditate as you listen to the sweet songs of birds.
Like the other cottages, mine had a room that was just incredible with all the comfort one would need, and a quiet to match. It was decorated tastefully in safari attire. On the other hand, the camping tents have a full en-suite with running water. Of course they are less romantic and rustic compared to the diner. Beautiful Congolese masks adorn it's walls(diner). Here, breakfast and lunch is served buffet-style, with quite a variety of choices. On the other hand, dinner is served a la carte style.
If you love watching beautiful sunsets, I highly recommend you get here before 6:30pm. On the other-hand, if you are a solo traveler, don't worry about feeling alone here. You will find over lots of travelers to mingle with. On the day of my visit, I found over 20 guests from different corners of the earth. Most of them had come to recharge their batteries at the start of their visit to Uganda.
On the low, the WiFi was pretty good by African standards. The problem is that it is only accessible while in the restaurant/diner.
Al said, I highly recommend this lodge to travelers seeking to reconnect with nature, especially honeymooners and family travelers. For details, visit here
Ooh, I almost forgot one thing. Among the activities you can pursue while here include horse riding, canoe rides, quad biking, community walks, rafting, kayaking, bungee or jet boats.