Victoria Lake Views and Amusing Staff
If headed to Ukerewe Island, you will find out soon enough there is not exactly a variety of places to stay on the island. During my trip to Ukerewe Island, I spent four days in only hotel that has access to the beach on Lake Victoria. Monarch beach resort despite the name is not exactly literally a resort by standards you would have imagine: has no spa, has no pool, but it has a nice compound with access to the Victoria Lake beach.
Monarch beach resort on Ukerewe Island is close to Nansio town, but far enough it offers serenity and tranquility. Its 2 minutes by bike, 10 minutes by foot and a minute by car from the small ferry terminal in Nansio. It is typical Tanzanian run hotel. It means the staff is easy going and things are slow sometimes but all are friendly and attentive at all times. During my visit I was the only guest for a couple of days, staff most of the time didn’t have any work and we ended up hanging out together at the hotel beach.
Monarch beach resort is one of the cheapest places I have been in Tanzania so far. Price for a double room costed me 7 euros per night, including breakfast. No matter one or many guests, breakfast was surprisingly generous, serving coffee, tea, pancakes, toast, sausages, eggs, etc.
Rooms In Monarch Beach Resort Ukerewe Island
I stayed in double room, overlooking the garden. All rooms are spacious and come with private bathroom. Sheets were clean but mosquito nets had holes, which is the biggest minus I give to the resort. Ukerewe was full of mosquitos in the night. Being so remote (on an island) I expected there would be problems with water supply as it sometimes happens on Zanzibar, but water was available 24/7 while they suffered some electricity power cuts which happen all around the island.
In late afternoon and evening hours they would use generator, other times during the day, there was no electricity, which delayed meal orders and problems with recharging cameras and other technical equipment. Security wise, hotel is locked when the night falls and has security night watch, so despite being solo in low budget place I felt safe during the night.
Wifi:I had my local sim card, Vodacom was the only mobile operator that worked for me great on Ukerewe Island, while Airtel had no signal on the island. Monarch beach resort had Wifi in the reception area when there was electricity. Warm hint to anyone travelling to Ukerewe island is, pack a solar charger and head lamp.
The best part of Monarch beach resort is the beach, of course, but not for travellers with high standards. Looks like resort is catering mostly to local Tanzanian residents that come for a weekend visit from Mwanza, and (rare) frugal backpackers that dont care about the luxury.
I found it sad, that management doesn’t do more with such a lovely beach side garden. Unfortunately one will find cramped seats, a plastic table and thats it. So much of unused potential here! But at the end of the day, mainly due to stunning Victoria lake views it is still great place to have a drink in the evening and relax after an active day of biking around the Ukerewe Island.
Although shores of Lake Victoria might be alluring for swimming, it is not recommended to swim in the lake due to bilharzia.
To sum it up: It was a pleasant stay. I think anybody on a budget will enjoy their stay at Monarch Beach Resort mainly because of great location and amazingly funny, always smiling staff! For those interested to stay in Monarch Beach resort, here is the phone number as this place has no website: +255 754 873 138
Not bad and definitely a rare find of a place. I guess they would spruce up the place if more people came?
Although it must have been nice to have it all to yourself, must be a bit lonely at night especially. I need a bit of crowd at places I go, otherwise I can’t sleep. lol
Funny to hear that! I am totally opposite – cant sleep with noise.
Eeek I would have been eaten alive with holes in my mozzie net! I get bitten here in Guatemala through my jeans! Great and balanced review 🙂
I have to say i am not mosquitos favourite, so thanks god despite the holes in nets i dont get bitten most of the time.
That’s lovely you get to hang out with the staff when they’re not working. It’s such a shame about the beach side garden. Did they have comment/feedback cards that you could have left your suggestions for the garden?
I talked to the manager but they dont understand, its Africa:)
At first I had no idea where this place was until I read further along to find out it was in Tanzania. I have never been to a resort where I had the place completely to myself for 2 days. What a fun experience to hang out and getting to know the locals that work at the hotel. I definitely would want a mosquito net without holes over electricity. I hate mosquitoes! Great tips on bringing a solar charger and head lamp 🙂
To me it happens quite a lot being the only guest sometimes:) Its good in a way since i am more on a loner side and crave for tranquility most of the time.
I like places with character. Even though this isn’t a resort in a typical sense, I would say that the location is prime. I love being right outside by a beach and the fact they gave so much food is even better! Tanzania sounds like an awesome place!
This stay was a real bargain, thats why i dont complain:) The location on the lake is picture perfect!
This looks like an idyllic place to spend some quite time, amazing views and lovely amenities.
Had a wonderful stay:)
Sounds like a good place to stay. but totally agree that a beach side garden is an asset that should be made the most of!
Sounds like a great place for people on a budget. I often find budget hotels and hostels have so much “unused potential”. But then, it would probably cost more to stay there if they do those things!! This sounds like it’s in a prime location. I’ve never been to Ukerewe Island or Victoria Lake for that matter. I’d love to visit!
I love how honest your review is. 7 Euros a night is that considered budget or luxury in the area you were staying at? The holes in the mosquito net was not good!
For me was cheap for locals is normal Tanzanian price.
Thanks for the honest review … it sounds like a pretty decent place to stay, and Im glad you had a pleasant time 🙂 You bring up a good point about the mosquito nets … I highly recommend traveling with one of your own for anyone hittin up Tanzania. Ive been through a few hotels where there were holes in the netting too, so have since learned not to rely on those which are hotel supplied. But looks great othetwise!
I would travel with mosquito net, but it takes so much space in the backpack, so i use duktape instead:)
Thanks for the very nice and honest comment. There are alot of untapped potentials along the shore of Lake Victoria in Ukerewe Island and Monarch Beach Resort is typical. The resort is a very serene and tranquil place. While the holes in the net poses a very great shortback especially for the visitors, the management want to be responsible! I have been to this palce several times everytime I visit my mom though haven’t had a night there! Being Ukerewe born, I find this place one among the very few places along the shore of lake Victoria where one can have a fresh breeze supplied by the fresh water lake and having a very great view of the lake as well!
I would recommend this place to every person on a tour to the Island, the United Kingdom of Tanzania as we name it!