Sunday February 2 2014


By Kadumukasa Kironde II

Too bad the majority of Ugandans tend to be generally complacent and indifferent and lack a sense of adventure. One only has to visit our game parks or lodges to understand what I mean. Alas, Ugandans remain notably conspicuous by their absence.

As good fortune would have it Mabira Rain Forest Lodge, which is a mere 90 minutes drive from the capital on a first class tarmac road, has found a way to tap into this vast potential market of consumers; many who have the bucks but have never had the inspiration to seek out non-conventional pastimes. Hopefully, Mabira Rainforest Lodge will set a new trend by offering unbelievable offers to nationals who would otherwise never have afforded the former tariffs that favoured dollar earning expats.

This past weekend, we decided to take up a wonderful offer, and all that one can say is that, not only are we sold lock stock and barrel, but this place will have to feature more often on our itinerary of dining out and visiting in terms of overnight stays.

Fancy our surprise when we arrived and Lynda, the Lodge Manager informed us that our reservations had been upgraded to the super VIP suite known as the Delevouet suite (it has two complete suites). Ours boasted of a queen size bed and a huge ante room as well as gigantic shower that is cast in mason and painted earth brown to blend in with the wooden cabins and with an individual forest viewing deck that could hold a good dozen or so chums for a soiree.

We arrived in time for a leisurely lunch and the arranged table ’hôte
menu was just what the doctor ordered for weary travellers. For starters, we each ordered two vegetable samosas. Each came hot, fresh and crispy as one would expect with the perfect filling. The second course offered a cream of beetroot soup and tomato which I ordered while fellow trencherman went for the egg devil salad with mayo topped with gherkins on crispy lettuce. The soup was of the right and desired consistency with the perfect harmony of the beetroot with tomatoes. I had a glance at the egg devil salad and judging from the look on her face and plate it was winner.
The main course offered pan roasted chicken on bone toasted with fresh cilantro and red onion and served with béchamel sauce. It was obvious that the chef had been influenced by French cuisine and indeed that particular dish features prominently in classic French cooking. I was absolutely happy with that choice as my main entrée while she chose the beef tri-color which consisted of delicate and tasty morsels of beef tenderloin marinated overnight and doused in a gentle and mild peppercorn sauce.
The service at is discreet and efficient without being servile.

If you go
Place: Mabira RainForest situated between Kampala and Jinja and set on a hill a mere two kilometers off the main road.

The space: Located in 50acres of priceless Mabira Forest
The setting: Rustic, quaint and homely with lovely wooden cabins and wood paneled walls including parquet floors.
Noise level: Perfect and inclined for those who hanker for amours settings and televisions are non-existent at the lodge.

The crowd: Expats and the like but thanks to a sensible pricing policy from the powers that be, Ugandans are given a special concessional rate .
The bar: Beer Shs 5,000, soda Shs 3,000 diet soda Shs 3,500, water Shs 2,000 wine by the glass between Shs 7,000 and Shs 7,500.
The type of food: Generally continental with a bit of Asian thrown in for good measure.
The check: Menu is table d’hôte that are rotated on a regular basis