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Primate Lodge Kibale, Kibale Forest Reserve

Primate Lodge

Set right in the heart of the Kibale Forest, this simple lodge will give you a real sense of adventure, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the primates and birdlife that live in the forest. The main open lounge area features comfortable armchairs and sofas, making it a lovely spot to unwind after a day in the forest while listening to the red-tailed monkeys in the surrounding trees. Fires are lit on cool evenings, creating a cosy atmosphere, while colourful traditional dance performances give you a real insight into the local culture. The highlight of any stay here, however, is heading into the jungle to track and spot chimpanzees as they swing through the trees.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

All accommodation has a private veranda and en suite bathroom with flush toilet and hot water at certain times of day. Superior Safari Tents are on a raised wooden platform and blend into the surroundings with their grass-thatched roofs. They offer queen sized beds, large windows and African-style décor, including local stone, bamboo and paintings.

Forest Cottages have a homely feel and are spaced apart from each other to ensure privacy and uninterrupted forest views. They feature twin beds and a sitting area and are decorated with local artwork.

A ten minute walk away is the Sky Tree House, where adventurous guests can stay up in a tree overlooking the elephant wallow.

Location

The lodge is situated in Kibale Forest National Park, 36 kilometres from the town of Fort Portal and a two minute walk from the park headquarters. Spanning 560 square kilometres, the forest is home to 13 different species of primate, including more than 1,000 chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys and bush babies. There are also around 325 bird species, as well as buffalo and forest elephant.

Food and Drink

Meals are served in the spacious main dining room, consisting of both international and traditional African dishes. There’s also a bar located adjacent to the restaurant where you can enjoy a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, including coffee, while taking in views of the surrounding forest.

Facilities and Activities

Free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas. The lodge has a fire cave where you can keep warm during cooler evenings while listening to the calls of forest animals. Cultural dances are regularly performed by locals from nearby rural villages, giving you a flavour of the area’s rich culture and traditions.

Environmental and Social Responsibility

To minimise its environmental impact, the lodge has been constructed using local materials and is powered by solar energy. The local community also benefits from the lodge, with many employed here and locally-grown products used in food served in the restaurant. Villagers also provide hand-made arts and crafts and engage in cultural performances at the lodge to gain an additional income.

Local Excursions

A variety of forest experiences can be enjoyed with the guidance of knowledgeable rangers, including chimp tracking, educational forest walks, birdwatching trips and night walks in search of nocturnal animals. The nearby village of Bigodi gains revenue from offering Bigodi Swamp walks and village walks to learn more about the local culture.

En route from Fort Portal to the forest is the Crater Lakes region, where you can enjoy wonderful scenery, hike around Lake Nkuruba or visit Mahoma Falls, meeting local people as you go. The forest is also surrounded by green tea plantations, so you can visit tea estates to see how it is grown and processed and try some at the end.

Our opinion

This simple but charming lodge offers comfort without any luxury frills. The location is fantastic – we loved being able to awaken to the sound of the forest, and chimpanzee tracking is a very rewarding experience.

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    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Kyaninga Lodge,Fort Portal

      Kyaninga Lodge

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      This impressive lodge is full of character and charm, perched on the rim of a crater lake with views out to the Rwenzori Mountains. Spacious log cottages offer privacy, comfort and sweeping views, while Kibale Forest is under an hour’s drive away, renowned for its chimpanzee inhabitants.

    • Main area at Ndali Lodge

      Ndali Lodge

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      Ndali is a charming, delightful lodge with magnificent views over one of the most beautiful areas of Uganda. It has the feel of a family home, and you'll be very well looked after by the friendly, cheerful staff during your stay.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Uganda

      Chimpanzee Tracking

      Kibale Forest National Park

      You enter the forest and following signs and chimp calls your guide leads you to the chimpanzees. Chimpanzee sightings are not guaranteed, however the odds of encountering them have greatly increased in recent years, now standing at 90% or over.

    • Crater lake views

      Exploring the Crater Lakes Region

      Kibale Forest National Park

      This area is characterised by rolling hills, vanilla plantations, pretty forests and of course the crater lakes. For some of the crater lakes, the views are actually best from the viewpoints, accessed by roads.