Papaya Lake Lodge: The Lowdown

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Papaya Lake Lodge is one of the newer additions to the Ugandan safari scene. Run by owners Magdalena and Sebastian (who are accompanied by their large and friendly dog) it’s light, pretty, and modern feeling, with glorious views out over a crater lake and the surrounding countryside.

What’s Papaya Lake Lodge really like? 

Guests enter Papaya through the main house, a pretty building with huge windows looking out towards the lake. Here there’s a crackling fire- a real essential in this part of the world as it can rain torrentially at any time. Up here there’s the lounge and sitting room, and a distinctively Sandi feel that carries on throughout the lodge- plenty of natural materials, light walls and stylish black and white photos. Fairly steep brick pathways lead down from the main lodge to the rooms, meaning this would probably not be our first choice for travellers with serious mobility issues. The nine cabins are all spaced out along the lake shore-eight with a double and a single bed, and one 3-roomed family cottage. These are simple, but pretty, with sweeping white drapes, lots of natural wood and a simple ensuite shower room. Outside, there’s a verandah overlooking the lake, which your reviewer thought would be a great spot for curling up with a book and a cold drink after a day in the forest.  Please note that in common with many lodges in Uganda there is electricity for charging and wifi only available at the main lodge, and water is heated by donkey boilers so you will need to give some short notice before your shower. Tucked back up above the main lodge, there’s also a swimming pool- it’s up some steep wooden steps and over a small bridge across the entrance track, however your short climb makes for some spectacular views out over the lake- a setting that’s stunning even when we saw it in the middle of a torrential thunderstorm.

What can I do at Papaya Lake Lodge?

Most guests who come to Papaya spend time with the chimps in Kibale Forest, around 45 minutes away, either taking part in the chimp trekking or the chimpanzee habituation experience. However, the lodge also has a couple of boats you can take out on the lake, and there are some lovely walks you can take around the crater lakes.

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