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Volcanoes Safaris, the pioneer of gorilla and chimpanzee eco-tourism in Uganda and Rwanda for 25 years, is to open its fifth lodge in early 2024.
The new property is located close to Kibale National Park in Uganda, home to over 1,500 chimpanzees, one of the largest chimp communities in Africa. This expansion complements the existing circuit of Volcanoes Safaris’ great ape lodges. It will offer a seamless safari across Rwanda and Uganda, letting guests experience the unique gorilla, chimpanzee, and wildlife of the Albertine Rift.
The lodge will be sensitively built to bring out the characteristics of its special 150 acre site, dominated by a rocky outcrop with stunning views of the Queen Elizabeth plains and the Kazinga channel. It also has a lake in its grounds. The site has outstanding panoramic views of the snow-covered peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon) from the main ridge line, looking towards the west. The area is surrounded by the lush homesteads of the Kabarole area, with its welcoming temperate climate.
Praveen Moman, Volcanoes Safaris Founder, said “Like other Volcanoes properties Kibale Lodge has been a long time in the making. Although we had wanted a lodge there for many years, there were no attractive large sites available. So five years ago we started assembling this site centred on the breathtaking ridge above Lake Lugembe. Finally it has come together.
“We have been assessing the topography, light, and weather patterns. The design and build style will ensure the lodge remains consistent with our ecological principles as well as retaining our Afro-chic ethos. We are currently finalising the concept stage of the new property, with Stuart Forbes, our architectural consultant, of SFA in London. The lodge will fit into the landscape in a seamless way, as if it always existed and just grew out of the earth.
“Our style of building boutique lodges develops informally and in a fluid way so as not be over formal. We like to bring out the natural essence of buildings. We will be releasing concepts and sketches shortly. We expect the lodge to comprise 8 deluxe rooms and a villa. Three deluxe bandas are expected to be open by January 2024.“
Kibale Lodge will be perfectly positioned for chimpanzee trekking in Kibale, visiting community projects and walking safaris through the beautiful landscape to visit local homesteads. The site 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 other Volcanoes lodges. It is about a thirty minute drive from the chimp tracking base in the Kibale Forest.
Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust will be developing projects with the Jane Goodall Institute Uganda in Kibale Forest modelled on the long-term successful community based conservation projects at Kyambura Gorge Lodge.
As a special introductory offer guests will be able to combine Kibale Lodge with gorilla trekking at Bwindi Lodge and receive 5 nights for the price of 4. For further details please contact our sales team at [email protected]
6 June 2023
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.