A Hotel with History
Masindi Hotel was built in 1923 by The East Africa Railways and Harbours Company. Masindi was the gateway to the ‘hinterland of Africa’, where goods and produce from the Northern Congo and Southern Sudan found their way to European markets. Cargo was shipped across Lake Albert, trucked from Butiaba up to Masindi Customs Sheds. From Masindi, goods were trucked on to Masindi Port on Lake Kyoga where it was shipped down to Soroti and then by railway to Mombasa. Masindi Hotel became a transit stop and a haven for travelers passing through the area.
The hotel has been host to many famous visitors. Ernest Hemingway made a legendary trip to the district, where he was involved in two plane crashes in the space of a week. The first at Murchison Falls and the second at Butiaba airstrip. Hemingway stayed at Masindi Hotel whilst recovering. Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn stayed at Masindi Hotel during the filming of “African Queen” at Masindi Port.
Masindi Hotel was bought by the Government after Independence and remained a part of the Uganda Hotel chain for nearly 30 years. In the year 2000, The Masindi Hotel was privatised and has undergone major renovations and restoration in keeping with the original colonial design, architecture and recreating much of its former charm.