Primate Lodge: The Lowdown

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Primate Lodge has a fantastic location close to the start of the chimpanzee trekking in Kibale Forest. There’s a very exotic feel here with the trees towering up above and the sounds of birds and monkeys calling around you. Plus, when you’re already starting early in the morning for chimp trek, it’s a simple case of rolling out of bed and taking a quick walk down the hill to the briefing point.

What’s Primate Lodge really like?

The lodge itself is a cheerful, welcoming eco-lodge,refurbished in late 2015 as a comfortable, good value option.  The main area of the lodge is built in a wide, open-sided horseshoe, set around a small lawn and a campfire. There’s a dining area, serving wholesome food (we were especially taken by the warming soups during our stay), a bar serving cold drinks and a cosy sitting area where you can snuggle away from the rain with a glass of wine and a good book. We’d particularly like to mention the friendly staff, many of whom are from nearby to the lodge, so while you may not have silver service here, the local knowledge is second to none! There’s also wifi in the main area, which like much of the rest of Primate Lodge runs on solar power- there is usually electricity in the mornings and evenings, but not during the night or in the middle of the day.

Gravel pathways lead from the main lodge back into the forest to 7 standard and 9 luxury cottages. All cottages are en suite with their own burners to heat the hot water- trust us- you won’t know how important this is till you come in shivering from a torrential tropical rainstorm! Both room categories are perfectly adequate- we stayed in a standard room- however the luxury rooms are a little larger and beautifully done, with gleaming polished wood floors and a lovely verandah looking into the forest.  If you are feeling especially adventurous, there is also a Tree House deeper into the forest- this is very much a basic option with a simple bunk bed- meals are taken in the main lodge and you need to be escorted to and from the treehouse at night.

What can I do at Primate lodge?

The main activity here is chimp tracking in Kibale Forest, and we would particularly recommend Primate Lodge for those participating in the Chimp Habituation Experience. For those with more time to spare, there is excellent hiking in the area, and a visit to the Bigodi Wetlands and Village is fabulous for birders and a really gentle way to experience a little rural life. This can often work as an afternoon activity post chimp trek, as can a visit to the nearby crater lakes.

Giving back at Primate Lodge: As we mentioned much of the lighting here is solar (for expedience there is a back-up generator) and many of the staff employed here are local, so the community sees a direct benefit from tourism to the forest.

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