How Ruparelia Investments Have Changed Uganda’s Tourism Sector

In the last decade, Uganda’s tourism sector has seen a tremendous growth on all fronts. Tourists’ arrivals have improved and grown to about two million annually. This growth, according to industry experts, can be attributed to an improvement in the hotel industry.

The improvement in the hotel industry is largely private sector driven with most, if not all worthwhile hotels belonging to private local and international individuals and organizations.

On such entrepreneur who has played a visible role in improving the hotel industry is Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia through is chain of hotels under the Speke Group of Hotels, under the Ruparelia Group of Companies.

The Ruparelia Group runs some of Uganda’s largest and finest hotels and resorts serving both the luxury and budget market. The Group offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation, leisure facilities and the finest conference and business meeting venues in Uganda.

All Ruparelia Group hotels and resorts are situated in the most strategic locations and offer an array of luxury services, intense hospitality, modern amenities and business facilities. Below we list some of the hotels owned by the group that have facilitated tourism in Uganda.

Kabira Country Club

With 95 luxurious guest-rooms and exceptional amenities, Kabira Country Club is perfect for a relaxing get away and somewhere to hold a special event or an impressive venue for a business gathering.

The Ruparelia family purchased the site from Mowlem Construction and has since established a country club renowned throughout not just Kampala, but all of Uganda.

Check them out HERE

Speke Resort Bujagali Falls

Speke Resort at Bujagali Falls offers banda, dormitory or camping accommodation with superb views and the roar of the rapids to lull visitors to sleep at night.

The green clad islands are home or resting place to many species of birds and the foaming blue and white water is an oxygenated heaven for Nile Perch, Tilapia and Tiger Fish.

Early morning the Nile valley shrouded in slowly lifting mist, fish eagles calling, a small flock of white egrets feeding on the lawns and bedraggled cormorants drying their wings on rocky outcrops, will stir every nature lover's heart.

The pounding rapids bring a rush of adrenaline to the day’s rafters and kayakers. Spectacular sunrises and sunsets reflect orange and purple on the river.

Check them out HERE

Forest Cottages

Forest Cottages are brilliantly designed luxury cottages nestled within a peaceful African forest setting. Situated on Naguru Hill in the Bukoto area of Kampala, Uganda, these lavish accommodations have been carefully landscaped to compliment the huge, shady indigenous trees that surround the area.  

Feel the touch of nature while enjoying the comforts of modern conveniences like, internet, telephone, television and locally made furniture. Selectively planted smaller trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers make Forest Cottages an inspiring destination for nature lovers and eco tourists alike.

The hotel provides a small sanctuary for forest wildlife such as coloured turacoes, hornbills, and an additional 20 bird species. Our friendly and courteous staff is always ready to welcome you with pleasure and serve you the best.

Check them out HERE

Dolphin Suites

Dolphin Suites is a beautiful hotel complex nestled in the peaceful neighbourhood of Bugolobi, away from the hustle and bustle of Kampala. Located only five minutes from the city centre, Dolphin Suites is a well-planned easily accessible hotel with an expansive array of facilities and services that will surely grant you an unforgettable, blissful stay.

At Dolphin Suites you can enjoy a quiet moment to yourself in the secure private grounds, relaxing by the pool or visiting our health club — complete with gym, sauna and steam room — before enjoying a delicious meal in our restaurant with fully stocked bar.

It has spacious accommodation facilities, including one and two bedroom apartments, all at competitive prices, are fully air-conditioned with direct access telephone lines, separate kitchen, living room and satellite TV.

Check them out HERE

Speke Hotel

Speke Hotel is one of Kampala's oldest hotels. Speke Hotel was taken over by The Ruparelia Group in 1996. It was then given a major facelift to add comforts to age and grace.

The hotel interior is a dash of trendy sophistication with an afro-colonial look, reflecting philosophies of the early nineteen-century with modern comfort amenities, consisting of natural materials and neutral tones.

All 50 rooms are air-conditioned, have wooden floors, satellite television and a minibar. Speke Hotel is located in the heart of Kampala, close to banks and business centres and offers all the charms of bygone days complimented by efficient, modern services and facilities.

It offers various dishes, daily entertainment, well-stocked bar and business meeting venues. Speke Hotel has three Restaurants and a Bar: Pizzeria (Italian Cuisine), Khyber Pass (Indian Cuisine), Rock Café (Continental Cuisine) and Rock Bar (Cocktail Bar).

Check them out HERE

Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort

Set on 90 acres in the Speke Resort complex with majestic views of Lake Victoria, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort is Uganda’s leading 5-star resort.

It was specifically constructed to host the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). It is dedicated to providing unrivalled comfort and unmatched services.

Boasting 449 rooms, cottages and Presidential suites, with a unique blend of traditional Ugandan and ultra modern furnishings, which merge into the Pearl of Africa theme carried throughout the décor, the many room features and amenities ensure a seamless transition from pleasure to business and vice versa.

The meeting rooms are designed around your convenience and are the ideal choice for any occasion, all under one roof. The comprehensive wellness and fitness facilities ensure body and mind work in harmony.

Check them out HERE

Speke Apartments

Speke Apartments provide modern accommodations in one of the best residential areas of Kampala. The Apartments are ideal for executives and their families who come to Kampala for a short to medium stay. They are set in their own pleasant grounds a few minutes from the city centre, but away from the traffic.

There are 27 one-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom apartments, all self contained, fully furnished and equipped with all the gadgets required for a home, including: 16-channel remote controlled satellite TV and a fully equipped kitchen with cooking range, cutlery, fridge/freezer, microwave etc. There is a full housekeeping service with cleaning and laundry services.

In the garden, there are bar and barbeque facilities that guests may use, as well as a small swimming pool, Jacuzzi & sauna. Guests may also make use of the facilities at Kabira Country Club & Speke Resort.

Check them out HERE

Speke Resort and Conference Centre

Speke Resort & Conference Centre, conveniently located only 12 km from the centre of Kampala, offers you the ultimate in luxury accommodation and leisure facilities together with the finest conference and business meeting location in East Africa, all situated in an idyllic setting at Munyonyo on the shore of Lake Victoria.

The Resort offers the best conferencing facilities for national and international clientele, providing a professional but friendly ambience that spells "Pleasure & Comfort" while at work.

It also offers you a choice of luxury accommodation to suit individuals, couples, families or groups on long or short stays, in cottages, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments or studio rooms.

Speke Resort & Conference Centre Munyonyo offers 10 state-of-the-art conference rooms including a 1,000-seat ballroom and 9 multi-function meeting rooms accommodating groups of 10-300.

Check them out HERE

Sudhir Takes Flower Farming Business To Masaka

Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia and his family were recently photographed in Masaka district looking at a potential of acquiring land for the expansive flower and vegetable business.

Ruparelia through his flower growing and exporting companies Rosebud and Premier Roses is the Uganda’s leading flower farmer and exporter. A similar trip to Kayunga district made it known that the businessman is turning his focus to expand the floriculture business.

The Ruparelia family didn’t divulge much information apart from the released images of Sudhir and son Rajiv Ruparelia scouting the vast land in an unnamed village in Masaka. Already the family runs flower farms and production centers in Entebbe, Wakiso, in Wakiso district, just outside the capital Kampala.

Rosebud and Premiers are the biggest exporters of flowers in Uganda, exporting over 180 million stands per year to over 10 countries and employing over 5000 Ugandans at the moment.

Based in Entebbe, Rosebud Ltd is the country's largest exporter of roses, commanding around 40% of Uganda's raised export market. The green houses on the farm cover a total of 50 hectares producing and exporting over 12 million stems per month.

Premier Roses Ltd is the largest exporter of Sweetheart cut. The farm has steel structures and a 100% Hydroponics system supported by a fully automatic centralised irrigation system. Premier Roses Ltd is in the process of expanding up to 65 hectares of green houses for the targeted export of 15 million stems per month by 2014.

The two firms were last year granted a free zone developers license by Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA). “The new status means that both companies won’t have to pay taxes when importing inputs for their production process,” Richard Jabo the Executive Director of UFZA said last year.

Kabira Country Club In April Special Discounts

Clients who love to spend time and merry at Kabira Country Club in Bukoto have a reason to smile after the luxury hotel announced that until end of April regular and new customers will enjoy special rates and discounts on accommodation.

Kabira Country Club provides luxury accommodation, with 86 suites, apartments & cottages furnished in an elegant contemporary style. “Kabira Country Club is perfect place to call your home for a few days or even long term,” Vismay Maniyar, the General Manager of the hotel said.

He added: “With our personal mission to deliver unparalleled service and experiences, you never have to settle for anything less than extraordinary. Book today & get over 20% discounts on accommodation with our April Rates.” Below we present the promotional rates.


Promotion Ends at the end of April 2018



Deluxe Studio (SGL/DBL)

US $100

One Bedroom Suite

US $130

Two Bedroom Suite

US $190

Two Bedroom Cottages

US $200

Three Bedroom Penthouse

US $280

Extra Bed Charges

US $50

All tariffs are exclusive of 18% VAT, 5% Service Charge & $2 Local Hotel Tax (LHT) per night International & Local or American Express credit cards are charged 5%.

East Africa Property Development Ripe For Business Tourism

According to the recently published Hotel Valuation Index Africa by global hospitality consulting firm HVS, which benchmarks hotel markets for risk assessment and future developments, of the 23 major African cities measured last year, 5 of the top 7 cities are based in East Africa.

Kenneth Oigo, Associate Director of Profica East Africa, a leading property and construction solutions company that has been operating in Africa for over a decade, says that hotel brand expansion and development is a big-ticket item on the agenda of international investors.

With Profica's strong track record in Kenya and Rwanda, as well as fast-growing portfolios of work in Uganda and Tanzania, Oigo notes an interesting aspect to hotel investment and development.

"Not only are we seeing the major, already-entrenched brand names actively seeking expansion opportunities, but there is a new wave of non-mainstream, niche operators that are investing in the region.

These operators are providing flexible boutique offerings that include short- and long-stay options combined with serviced workplace venues, ideal for both business and leisure travellers."

"Profica is providing comprehensive project management services to one such hotel development in Kampala," says Oigo, "from ground-breaking through to completion of construction, furnishing of the hotel and final handover of the project to the client.

Our team in Uganda enjoys a close working relationship with the client representative who is based in Kampala and who oversees the day-to-day activities and approvals."

Another flexible development that Profica is involved in is located on the outskirts of Nairobi in Kenya, within the United Nations/ diplomatic zone. Oigo says, "The placement of this particular development is astute, catering for international aid workers and diplomats who may be required to stay for extended periods. The upmarket, fully serviced development consists of flexible daily guest stays and monthly tenancies which are also available for sale."

Profica is no stranger to working with large hotel groups and project managed to handover Nairobi's iconic Radisson Blu hotel. Oigo says that the large hotel groups, combined with less mainstream operators who are offering adjustable stay options, bring tremendous value and flexibility to the East African hospitality sector.

"Not only in meeting the business tourism that is growing in the area due to renewed investor interest, but also in catering for an upswing in leisure tourism as the region's economic prospects continue to grow along with political stability, providing an alternative to traditional European destinations."

He adds, "Due to Profica's on-the-ground presence in the region and specialist project management capabilities and experience within multiple sectors, we are well situated to support both major and new-entrant hotel operators, new build and redevelopment."

Profica, long-committed to the East Africa region, is one of the sponsors of the East Africa Property Investment Summit (EAPI), which will be focusing this year on driving investment in the region. Oigo will be speaking at the event, which will be held on 24 and 25 April at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi, Kenya.

BAD CHIMP: 46 Year Old Man Attacked By Chimpanzee

By George Busiinge

A 64-year-old man is nursing deep wounds on his hand after he was attacked and bitten by a chimpanzee in Kihomboza III village, Bujumbura division in Hoima municipality.

Sylvester Isagara whose right hand is still swollen with visible deep recovering wounds says he was attacked by the Ape on 2nd this month.

Isagara explains that while he was attending to his tobacco garden, he heard children screaming for help, when he intervened, only to be bitten by the chimpanzee several times.

He says although he managed to rescue the children and saved his life, he has not resumed work since then due to severe pains.

Speaking to Earthfinds today on his sick bed, Isagagra has asked for support from Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA.

He says he spent all the monies seeking for treatment at Hoima regional referral hospital. Isagara who looked exhausted expressed worry that he may not easily recover since he sometimes feverish.

Reports indicate that Apes are destroying people’s crops in the area especially near water streams throwing more panic to women and children.

Moses Semahunge, the project manager for Bulindi chimpanzee and community project says they brought the issue to the attention of UWA and a positive answer may soon be communicated.

Semahunge says due to increased forest destruction, chimpanzees and human beings are competing for space, food and shelter. He said they have registered several cases of crop destruction and human attacks by chimpanzees. Two weeks ago, a chimpanzee was killed by a farmer in Bulindi for destroying his gardens.

In September 2013 a two year boy was snatched away by achimpanzee in Mabale village Bwikala sub-county in Kibaale district when two children were sent by their parents to buy ropes to tether their animals.

Environment Minister Blames Lower Local Governments

By George Busiinge

The State Minister for Environment Mary Goretti Kitutu has blamed environmental protection agencies in lower local governments for failing to utilize their mandate to protect forests, wetlands and other ecological sensitive areas from destruction.

Addressing a regional dialogue on the assessment of the underlying issues affecting environment at the Hoima district headquarters in Kasingo Thursday afternoon, Kitutu said the environment act empowers local government officials to protect forests and wetlands but this is not being done.

She directed the district environment officers to work with district leaders and environmental police to evict forest and wetland encroachers in the region. She warned leader’s against settling immigrants in forests and wetlands saying Bunyoro risks turning into a semi-arid area in the near future if trees are not protected.

Meanwhile, the executive director of NEMA Dr. Tom Okurut appealed to the district leaders to take special interest in administering express penalties to those carrying out illegal activities in wetlands and forests. He said the authority is working with the ministry to enact a revised environmental act which will address the weak penalties in the current law.

Joseline Nyangoma, the Hoima district senior environment officer said limited funding, uncoordinated operations and limited political will was to blame for forest and wetland destruction. The leaders resolved to embrace their roles in management of wetlands, noise pollution, waste and fragile ecosystem.



Speke Resort Munyonyo Named Best Luxurious Hotel

With each passing day, Speke Resort Munyonyo and Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort are tightening their grip on the hotel business market leadership.

The lavish resorts were yet again named the Best Service/Luxury Standard Hotel in the country at the annual Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards which happened in Kampala. This is the third time in a row that they are winning this award.

Speke Resort Munyonyo general manager Greg Petzer speaking to this website shortly after the victory said they are inspired by their customers to keep at the top. “We want to give them the best. We work as a team to achieve this.” Petzer said.

Ekkula Tourism Awards recognizes and awards key Stakeholders in Uganda's Tourism Industry. It is the biggest Annual Tourism Event which celebrates the best players in the tourism industry. This is the third year the Awards are being organized in the same spirit.


Ruparelia Group Named Top Tourism Investor In Uganda

When you do good things, you get rewarded as an appreciation a job well done. And Ruparelia Group is receiving just that for it mammoth investment in the growing tourism sector in Uganda.

The Group owned by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia was crowned ‘Top Tourism Investor’ in Uganda at the annual and prestigious Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards.

The announcement and recognition was made at the award giving ceremony which took place at Pearl of Africa hotel in Kampala. Hon Kiwanda Godfrey, state minister of tourism wildlife and antiquities was the guest of honor.

Ruparelia Group investments in Uganda's tourism sector has seen it inject money in setting up resorts, hotels, restaurants and residential classy apartments in and around the country.

Some of the officials who run Ruparelia Group hotels

Some of these include Kabira Country Club, Speke Hotel, Speke Apartments, Speke Resort and Conference Centre, Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, Dolphin Suites, Tourist Hotel, Forest Cottages and Speke Resort Bujagali Fall.

The Group offers the ultimate in luxury accommodation, leisure facilities and the finest conference and business meeting venues in Uganda, along with related businesses including a rafting company and a radio station that has for years rocked the airwaves in Uganda.

The Ekkula Tourism Awards recognised key players in the tourism industry at Pearl of Africa Hotel. The organizers used accolades made out of images of Kanyonyi which was a lead silverback gorilla of the Mubare group (bwindi’s first habituated family) who died towards the end of 2017.

Kanyonyi first fell off a tree, but while he was recovering after treatment, a lone silverback fought with him because he wanted to take over his group. He later succumbed to the injuries.

Victoria Café Wins Best Cuisine Award

Victoria Café, a new property under Ruparelia group, was won the Best 2018 Cuisine Award at the Ekkula Pearl of Africa Tourism Awards due to its delicious “Local, Indian, International and its own made Cuisines”

The fancy café located in the heart of Kampala at the Victoria Tower on Jinja road, according Vismay Maniyar, a manager, has a rich menu in the most conducive environment.

“We serve breakfast, pastry’s, yummy wraps, light bites, salads, burgers and sandwiches, classic big meals, thirst quenchers, hot beverages, desserts and so much more, Maniyar, who also manages Kabira Country Club said.

“Victoria Cafe’s layout also provides the flexibility for you to entertain any theme you have in mind, be it for a private party, birthday, bridal shower, baby shower or any other party (no venue charges).

The vibe here is young with a strong student influence from Victoria University; it’s both an easy going daytime spot and a party place after sunset.”

Our 2017 cuisine campaigns at Victoria café grew with new cuisine developments and innovations in the food industry which have really pushed the levels of our recognition and good food service to the final stage of winning the mentioned award.


Little Hands Go Green Ambassadors Selected Ahead Of Kids’ Climate Conference

The build up to this year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference to be held on Friday 20th April 2018 at Ntinda School for the Deaf is taking shape and getting the needed momentum.

Little Hands Go Green, the organizers of the climate change conference targeting children in Uganda and East Africa, on March 26th, joined their partner Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) at the Environmental Champions Award Ceremony which was held at Kitante Primary School.

At the ceremony, outstanding children were selected and crowned as Little Hands Go Green Ambassadors in their Schools. And 10 of the best school exhibitions highlighting this year's conference theme of End Plastic Pollution, Restore Wetlands and Protect Nature will be showcased at this year's conference.

The Director Education Services at KCCA commended Little Hands Go Green for their continued partnership with KCCA ‘in greening up’ schools and fostering sound environmental practice in schools.

The CEO of Little Hands Go Green Joseph Masembe thanked the environmental patrons of the schools for ‘continuously helping to drive and support the children in environmental conservation education even when it is not part of the formal education curriculum.’

This year's International Children's Climate change conference in April will be   Uganda's main celebration of World Earth Day and is organized in proud partnership with NEMA the Earth Day Network, KCCA, NFA and the ministry of water and environment.

This year’s International Children’s Climate Change Conference will look at curbing pollution of the environment using plastic wastes, restoring of wetland and planning for and protection of the environment for future use.

Masembe says the theme and the conference are timely and comes at a time when stakeholders are trying to enforce some of the country’s laws to safeguard the environment.

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