Ian is an avid writer who loves travelling and seeing new places. He's been on holiday in many places in Uganda and around East Africa.
Your choice of honeymoon destination should be one that makes a memorable and relaxing experience, ideally without putting too much strain on your wallet. If you're looking to get away but want to stay with in a budget, here in the pearl of Africa, we've got you covered with affordable destinations that won't compromise the quality of your experience.
Here is a list of five honeymoon destinations that will make for a memorable experience without stretching your budget. Uganda is richly gifted by nature, which will leave you feeling refreshed. If your idea of a honeymoon is to disconnect from the hassle of city life, these destinations are definitely for you.
Note: The rates outlined here are current as of January 2020 but are subject to change.
1. Victoria Forest Resort
The Victoria Forest Resort is an island paradise located along the shoreline of Lake Victoria in Ssese island, Kalangala. A plethora of birds surrounds the resort on all sides, and there is access to many attractions, including the magnificent Lutoboka forest.
This one tops the list because they have the honeymooner in mind with a variety of packages. The hotel offers a variety of honeymoon packages for different budgets; you just have to choose what suits your needs.
The rooms are spacious, with appealing and comfortable décor. I enjoyed the comfortable bed in my room. Unfortunately, I only got a glimpse into the honeymoon suite, but there is no doubt that the rooms here make an ideal getaway.
What stands out for those on a budget is the $500 package of 4 days and 3 nights. In addition to accommodation for two people in a honeymoon suite, this includes:
- picking you up from Kampala,
- ferry transport to and from the island (with first-class tickets),
- welcome refreshments,
- a gift fruit basket,
- a natural flower bouquet,
- a bottle of sparkling wine from the resort,
- daily full continental breakfast,
- all meals (including romantic candlelit dinners),
- access to health clubs, steam and sauna,
- forest walk in the Lutoboka forest,
- and exclusive room service for the couple.
We took three hours to get from Entebbe to the island on the ferry. The waves in the middle of the lake can get quite strong, causing the ferry to bounce and sway, which can cause you to be sick. If you're new to traveling on water, keep this in mind.
We traveled in the first-class section, which is decent. Meals are available on request. The forest walk in the Lutoboka forest is amazing, and it is part of the honeymoon package, in addition to visiting the ruins of the Speke house, and a boat ride to the virgin islands.
At the Victoria Forest Resort, you are bound to have a memorable experience.
2. Wildwaters Lodge
Located on a private island about 25 km from Jinja city in eastern Uganda, along the mighty river Nile, Wildwaters Lodge is a great destination for honeymooners seeking to spice up their getaway with a bit of adventure. It is only reachable by boat, which makes it a really adventurous place to stay. It is uniquely perched on granite rocks, with noisy and exciting foamy rapids roaring all around.
The site boasts wooden decks with daybeds and romantic, free-standing, open-air bathtubs suited to your privacy needs. With relaxing nature views, these tubs guarantee a memorable and intimate stay for honeymooners. There is also a lovely swimming pool carved out of natural pink granite rocks. The poolside was my favorite spot for cooling off from the sunshine; the cool breeze and the view of the rapids were breathtaking.
Activities for guests include; white water rafting, bungee jumping, jet boating, gentle horse riding, and fishing. It is also a perfect place for lovers of bird watching.
The resort offers two options for accommodation. There are rooms on the calm side of the river, which are great for those who prefer tranquility. Then there are rooms on the side of the river with rapids, where the water roars a bit. I decided to stay in one of these rooms. The gentle roar of the water is a beautiful experience. However, if you prefer silence in order to sleep, it's best to chose the quieter side of the island.
Their standard double full board is at $157 per night in the low season. However, they offer a honeymoon package of 50% for the bride for every night of stay. This includes a private poolside dinner, sparkling wine with the dinner, honeymoon style daily room turn down, among others. There are a variety of activities many of which can be accessed at an extra fee.
3. Samuka Island
Samuka Island is located 9 km from the source of river Nile, in the surrounding of a bird sanctuary, and is accessible by gentle boat trip from the source of the Nile. If peace and tranquility is your idea of honeymoon, this is an ideal destination.
The island is a place for complete relaxation surrounded by a spectacular waterfront setting. With no cars … and not even roads, peace and tranquility is guaranteed. The property boasts an outdoor swimming pool with a stunning view of Lake Victoria.
From intimate weddings to honeymoons, romance is a top priority here. We were welcomed by warm, friendly staff, right from the short boat trip to the island. The quiet, cozy rooms and special dinners from the onsite restaurant make a great experience and a perfect getaway. The restaurant specializes in African and international cuisines.
A standard double bed and breakfast goes for $80. However, they offer a negotiable honeymoon package that includes boat transport to and from the island, a bottle of sparkling wine and a special dinner from the Samuka island restaurant. You will enjoy a romantic boat cruise to the serenity and tranquility of the island. Life jackets are available for the boat ride, and I didn't see any dangerous animals. Generally, I felt safe during the cruise.
Activities that may interest guests include rafting, bungee jumping, quad bike and horseback riding. This is a place worth checking out.
4. Heritage Safari Lodge
Heritage Safari Lodge is a destination full of adventure and wildlife in an authentic African setting. The lodge is located approximately 5 hours (370km) from Kampala by road and 3km from the Tangi gate of the Murchison falls national park. It is located on the northern side of the Murchison falls national park, where you stand a chance to view the ‘big five’ in their natural habitat.
With accommodation in African-style huts and elephants walking by in close proximity, you are guaranteed a fairy-tale honeymoon experience. Despite being a Ugandan, this was my first time spending the night in a hut. The experience was remarkable. The rooms are comfortable and the staff are friendly and eager to be at your service. Delicious dining is guaranteed, and special dietary requirements can be catered for.
I got an opportunity to take a walk in Pakwach town. This is a place for cultural tourism. You will have an opportunity to learn about the friendly local people and their culture.
Accommodation consists of luxurious cottages, standard cottages and tents. The camping site is popular with budget guests. A standard ensuite double room and breakfast goes for $80 a night, while a tented cottage goes for $50. You can even choose to camp in your own tent at affordable rates.
More activities can be accessed at an extra fee. They include scheduled game drives to Murchison falls national park to see a rich variety of wildlife. We paid approximately $5 for a guided hike to the top of the Murchison falls itself (the world’s most powerful waterfall). I highly recommend the hike, because the falls are spectacular.
The evening sun-downer starts approximately 3 hours before sunset and cruises along the Albert Nile. Along the way, expect to encounter a variety of wildlife like birds, fish, hippos and elephants. Thereafter, you'll end the day with an assortment of house wines and soft drinks as you enjoy the sunset over the hills of the west Nile.
5. Top of the World (Fort Portal)
This is another destination for those who love the serenity and tranquility that nature can richly provide.
It is located approximately 10km out of Fort portal town along Mbarara highway. Fort portal is itself a small, serene city in the western part of the country and is a popular tourist destination, especially for those seeking to escape the noisy capital.
The city is about 5 hours (300) km from Kampala by road. Pubic transport is available in the form of buses and minibuses for about $7.
Accommodation consists of well-tended cottages overlooking three crater lakes, in a peaceful quiet environment. For approximately $82 a night, you enjoy comfortable accommodation with friendly staff at your service.
It is accessible through a winding dirt road along the slope of the hill with scenic views of the surrounding hills, crater lakes and misty valleys below. The views give a feeling of literally being on top of the world.
The road is in good condition. Any car can be used with no difficulty. I was riding in a Toyota Isis. It is important to add that this was a dry season with very little rain.
The environment is serene and relaxing, with cool mountainous breezes, breathtaking views of the beautiful landscapes and flora surrounding the crater lakes.
Make your honeymoon memorable with guided nature walks to the shores of some of the crater lakes, bird watching, and some of the best sunsets in Uganda. I paid $2 for the guided walk to the crater lakes, but non-Ugandans are charged approximately $5 or more depending on the guide.
The onsite restaurant offers a wide variety of meals that are affordable and delicious.
If you would like to add a little adventure to your honeymoon, this place offers a campsite at very wallet-friendly rates. It can also be the perfect base from which to visit and explore Fort portal city, drive through the Rwenzori mountains, as well as visit other tourist sites like the Tooro kingdom’s Karuzika palace.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Ian Batanda
Ian Batanda (author) on May 25, 2020:
Thank you Carrie. Uganda is a beautiful place for lovers of nature. You should visit us sometime
Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on May 24, 2020:
Interesting and simply beutiful :) Thank you for sharing the special gems of Uganda.