Yellow Haven Lodge: Rustic and idyllic space

What you need to know:

  • Yellow Haven Lodge review. One is guaranteed a stay in a modern two-storied duplex or a single storied unit albeit with one caveat; no TV, writes A. Kadumukasa Kironde II.

Recently I was chatting with some of my friends from the US who are planning a visit to Uganda in November. One of the first places they had in mind for their stay was Yellow Haven Lodge. They raved and gushed about the place, to which I must admit I had never heard of.

My first instinct was that it was situated in some game park far away from Kampala. For that matter, one would be forgiven for thinking that it was located away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala and was to be found somewhere out in the boondocks.  

By some good fortune it turned out that my old buddy, Peter Wacha of the famous Steak Out restaurant fame that closed in 2003, is the general manager of Yellow Haven Lodge. The place is in Kawuku overlooking Lake Victoria and near Ggaba. I looked him up and he extended an invitation to my wife and I. Recently, we spent a wonderful afternoon with him talking shop and catching up on the latest in and around town.

Yellow Haven Lodge boasts a beautiful sanctuary of verdant pastures and landscaping that are the epitome of tranquility. This is surrounded by papyrus groves on the shores of Lake Victoria. The property is built in the Dutch style architecture and is owned by designer architect Ronald Scheer and his Irish wife Joan.

The place is accessible from midtown Kampala, a matter of 30 minutes by car. The couple had always wanted to have their own unorthodox and breathtaking property where people from different continents would meet and enjoy the magic of nature in relative luxury and comfort without having to venture out of the city to far off places such as Mweya, Murchison or Kidepo, etc which are hours of driving away from Kampala. 

Here, one is guaranteed a stay in a very modern two-storied duplex or a single storied unit albeit with one caveat; no TV. They also have conference facilities and can cater for small weddings. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, they used to offer cooking lessons mainly centred on indigenous food. 

The gardens and water inlets are a labyrinth of a wide variety of birds and aquatic fauna - and boats can be arranged by prior notice for one to paddle along the lovely shoreline or for those who are intrepid enough to fish in the lake; feel free to express your wish and this will be arranged.

As for those in the mood to have a picnic or barbecue on one of the nearby islands, weather permitting, this too can be arranged. Hikers and cyclists can also be catered to and the pristine pool is always available for those wanting to take a dip.  

The Snug Restaurant is The Yellow Haven Lodge’s dining section where head chef Evelyn Nabulime is in charge. Nabulime is a seasoned, dedicated and talented chef who was trained at the African Hospitality Institute in Nakasongola which is awfully competitive and accepts only 10 applicants a year.

She has been at the Yellow Haven Lodge since 2014 and has on offer a menu that is workable and practical being wholly Continental a la carte and featuring favourite runners such as Dutch Bitterballen (meat balls) that are much too good to pass up.

Crispy golden brown on the outside, stuffed with lovingly braised beef make these gems just what the doctor ordered when sipping a frosty lager. 

The mains
For the mains we were bowled over by the supreme honey-based pork spareribs which greatly benefitted from the long slow roasting and were marinated in a concoction of soy sauce and honey and spices and was incredibly tender and tasty and served with a buttered vegetables and jacket potatoes.

The classic English fish and chips is also to be recommended. Chef Nabulime is an enthusiastic and experienced chef who knows what she is doing and her food is tasty and will not disappoint. 

The waiting staff are polite, knowledgeable and serve with a smile and actually appear to like their job. Not commonly to be seen and yet something that is always appreciated by customers.

No write up on this place would be complete without mentioning the amazing cleanliness that abounds everywhere. This is noticeable from the public areas, the loos, the rooms and the cleaning of the large French-like windows; spotless almost to a fault! lt!

If you go... 
Place: Yellow Haven Lodge 
Location: Kawuku
The space: Rustic and idyllic 
Menu: Continental 
The crowd: Tourists and expats as well as locals from the area who relish a quiet atmosphere devoid of TVs and noise.      
The bar: Beer, wine, soda, juice mineral water
The bill : A couple can easily get by with Shs100,000 or less based on whether you are having a starter, drinks and dessert 
Parking: Available and secure 
If you go: Daily 
Rating: Not to be missed 

Ratings: These ratings are purely the reviewer’s personal reaction to food, ambience and service with price being factored into consideration. The menu listings and prices are subject to change without notice.