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Volcanoes Safaris, the pioneer of gorilla and chimpanzee ecotourism in Uganda and Rwanda since 1997, is opening its fifth lodge in July 2024. Kibale Lodge will be perfectly positioned for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park in Uganda, one of the best parks to view chimpanzees in Africa, with a community of 1,500 chimps. This expansion complements the existing circuit of Volcanoes Safaris’ four great ape lodges and will offer a seamless safari across Rwanda and Uganda, letting guests experience the unique gorilla, chimpanzee, and wildlife of the Albertine Rift.
Kibale Lodge will comprise eight deluxe rooms and a villa, plus a spa, sauna and pool. Three deluxe bandas will be open in July 2024 and five more by the end of 2024. Hand built by the Volcanoes Construction team, Kibale Lodge will bring out the characteristics of the special 150-acre site dominated by a rocky outcrop with stunning views of the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon) from the main ridge line looking towards the west and the Queen Elizabeth plains and the Kazinga channel to the south. The area is surrounded by lush homesteads of the Kabarole region, with its welcoming temperate climate.
Praveen Moman, Volcanoes Safaris Founder, said “We are delighted to announce the opening of Kibale Lodge in July 2024 and to share with you new images and a teaser from a short film documenting the building of the lodge by our in-house construction team, led by Cyprien Serugero and John-Bosco Tukamuhabwa and supported by Head Carpenter Joseph Nsabimana and Botanist Celine Ishimwe. We are looking forward to sharing the unique experience of our Great Lakes hospitality with guests soon.”
Kibale Lodge is an hour’s drive from the historic hill town of Fort Portal and an hour from the Kasese airstrip, from which there are daily flights to and from Entebbe, and to Volcanoes Safaris’ four other lodges. Kibale Forest, the base for chimpanzee trekking, is a thirty-minute drive from the lodge.
Rates for Kibale Lodge start from $1,200 per person per night and include accommodation and meals, all soft and alcoholic drinks (except French champagne) including cellar collection wines, cocktails and single malt whiskeys, laundry services, lodge activities, massage and spa treatments. A $50 per person per night community fee is applied and donated to Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), which was established in 2009 as a non-profit organization to support long-term, self- sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human- wildlife conflict. VSPT will be developing projects with the Jane Goodall Institute Uganda at Kibale Lodge modelled after the successful long-term community-based conservation projects at Kyambura Gorge Lodge. Guests will be able to visit and participate in community and conservation projects as well as walking safaris through the beautiful landscape.
Bookings will begin in early 2024. As a special introductory offer guests will be able to combine Kibale Lodge with gorilla trekking at Bwindi or Mount Gahinga Lodge and receive five nights for the price of four. For further details please email our sales team at [email protected].
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.