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Primate Lodge Kibale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Stayed here for two nights as part of tour and was very impressed. The room was very comfortable, clean and the nearby forest was fascinating to listen to at night. Food was excellent and staff very friendly and attentive. Very close for chimpanzee treks and also nearby Bigodi Wetlands.

Room Tip: Recommend beef fillets with roast potatoes in restaurant.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank Mike W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 15, 2012

We stayed here to do the Chimpanzee trek in Kibale forest, as the lodge is situated a short walk away from the ranger post where the treks start.
We met other trekkers in the early morning before the start of the trek who had been driving for an hour to get here from their lodge (they had gotten up in the dark with no electricity and were not in the best of moods as a result)! So location is everything here. The lodge itself is adequate, though it lacks a lot of the personal touches that makes other lodges like Mihingo so brilliant.
The ‘rooms’ are tents on raised platforms, but the tents are in need of some maintenance here and there, though everything worked well (the shower had pressure, there was electricity, and the beds were comfortable).
This is an adequate lodge in a fantastic location. If you want luxury and attention to detail then there are other lodges further away; but the tradeoff is the distance. As we did a full day of activities in Kibale we decided that all-out luxury was not so important (as we were only in the lodge early morning and late evening).
The food in the restaurant was fine and filling. Given the remote location of the lodge the chefs did quite well in fact. The drinks were cold and the food was hot so we had no real complaints.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank BillCT1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012

We went to Primate Lodge towards the end of our trip and the location is excellent to see the Chimps. We also did the swamp walk which was really good. The Chimpanzees were excellent value and this lodge is well placed for this. We were a fair away from the central area of the lodge and it is very dark at night in the camp. We had our own spotlights which were very necessary. The accomodation was good but not as high a quality as other lodges we stopped at. The food was fine but not as good as in other places we stayed. I would agree with other reviewers that some of the staff were very good and others need training. I certainly felt that the lodge did not have to try that hard due to its location. A minor point but it was very difficult to find a spare socket to charge up batteries and phones at night.

Room Tip: Make sure your tent or cottage is near the central area
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Birdman44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Primate Lodge was ideal for us and I'm glad we stayed there. The raised tent was very comfortable although the screening was not in perfect condition and I asked that the front be taped after being told that it was important to close it fully and use a little lock on the zipper to keep critters out. It was efficiently taped within a few minutes. The beds were very comfortable and the colorful spreads on them made it feel cheerful and pleasant. The proximity to the chimpanzee trek was ideal. We chose to do an all day habituation which was really something! Fortunately, we had been warned by our driver that it wasn't necessary to keep up with our forest guide. The all day guides are there to study the chimpanzees and not to "hold our hands", but, if we fell behind, he would not leave us in the forest! So, for the first hour or so, we kept up with his pace which was that of someone who does it every day and is familiar and in shape for it, but then we fell behind and often could not see him at all. We found the pace and the density of the forest to be somewhat grueling and thorny and hot and difficult but so worth it! We found it to be more challenging the the Gorilla trek we did in Bwindi! We began at a group of trees that offered plentiful fruit and many chimpanzees found their way there. We spent a good long time watching the group and enjoying the different behaviors and the babies. We then followed one individual and watched him for several hours. He was beautiful and rested near us so we could enjoy watching him. He was named "Orphan" in Swahili (I guess) as he was raised by other males in the troop following the death of his mother. How interesting to learn that the males were willing to do that. I have never seen more butterflies and the beauty of them enhanced every moment we spent in Kibale Forest. We gave up at about 2:00 in the afternoon and headed back to our tent filling satiated and happy and hot and tired.
The food at Primate Lodge was good and plentiful. The service was friendly and responsive. We had decent water pressure in the shower although less in the sink but it was certainly usable. Without hesitation I would recommend it.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank kelnaples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

On a recent Uganda overland traveling with a group of family, friends & business associates, my wife & I stayed at Kibale Primate Lodge. This was our second time here, the previous time in Sept 2009. Very little has changed at Primate Lodge, in fact in several key areas it seems to have gone markedly backwards in standards, service & product delivery.

On the positive side of the ledger, you can`t beat the location. Primate Lodge is situated within 75m walking distance of the Park assembly headquarters which is the mandated start point from which groups of trekkers start out accompanied by Uganda Parks guides on the chimpanzee treks.

On arrival you are greeted with cold towels & a cooling drink & the lodge staff act as porters / concierge to ensure your luggage is taken to your assigned chalet; the guest chalets are set out in the forested are up a pathway. Ours was approx 80m from Primate Main lodge, on a pathway that had lantern lighting for the evening.

Despite this being a totally open environment, no fences & inside the Kibale National Park, there were no escorts taking guests to rooms after dark, whereas in 2009, we were escorted to our chalets en-route to turning in for the evening. Whether the policy has changed & it is felt guests don`t require a lodge staff member escort, or whether it just didn`t happen in ours & our traveling companions case for the two night stay & it is actually still is policy to escort guests, we were`nt told; we were however given a torch (a sort of torch with a beam that went at best 5-6m ahead of you) nor did we ask, but for folks who have not previously been in the African bush, let alone a rainforest environment where they are told there are forest elephant, big pigs & buffalo as well as the primates one is there to get up close to on daytime treks, it`s probably an uneasy feeling finding one`s own way back to your chalet in the pitch dark.

The furthest-most guest chalet has to be 140m from Primate mainlodge & on a pitch black night, with the lantern lighting on the pathway 10-15m apart & not that effective we feel it is a deficiency to leave folks to their own devices at night, on a densely covered pathway walk.

Our chalet, like most all others is built on a raised deck, almost a meter off the ground.

The interior has ample space, a queen sized double bed (mattresses could do with changing / renewing as in our case, the bed in our chalet had two very distinct dips, so they had been subject to many guests sleeping there) - fresh linen, good pillows.

The en-suite bathroom is large, with a flush loo , vanity & basin & a walk-in shower. However shower it is not - despite a generous sized shower head, a two year old would pee at greater pressure than that which dribbles out of the shower despite both hot & cold water faucets being full open. That`s not changed in 3 years since our last visit & we note many such comments from other past travelers. A good hot shower is essential so in this respect Primate Lodge gets a big minus in the ledger

The electricity is on only during the night time hours but camera batteries need to be charged at main lodge not in your rooms. Some of the staff are friendly, others stand-offish & from the time we arrived until we departed, if there is a lodge manager, we certainly didn`t sight one , nor did any `management`make themselves known & we were a group of 10 persons. Another minus mark in the ledger. It was nigh on obvious staff training is not a priority as the meal service was somewhat shambolic. Individual guest orders mixed up, other orders although taken, forgotten until a reminder was given, etc.

In summary, location can`t be bettered, but value-for-money - no, not when considering the deficiencies of absent supervisory / management persons & most certainly their showers which are all but non-existent due to the water dribble pressure.

Would we return here - no, not unless significant upgrades are made to the things one expects at an African safari lodge, given the costs involved in being there. We are bringing another group of friends in 2014 & will stay at an alternative lodge & still do the Kibale Natnl park chimp trek (which is a wonderful experience)

Allan & Muriel
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Room Tip: If you have any qualms about being in a bush location, then specifically request the chalet closest...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Echeverria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
simbasafaricamp, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2013

Thank you for your input. We are sorry to hear that you were not escorted to your tents. It is our normal policy to be escorted to your tent and as you read in other trip advisor reviews that other reviewers have posted postive reviews about how great it was to be escorted to their rooms at night.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2012

If you are considering staying here, it is almost certainly because you want to come to Kibale to see the chimpanzees and various other primate species. Without comparison with other lodges in the area, this is surely the place to be if that is the case - you can walk from the lodge to the chimp tracking base in a couple of pleasant minutes, and the lodge sits in the heart of the forest which plays home to such a variety and concentration of primates. In other words, can't fault the location!

The rooms are raised tents with porches overlooking the forest (think there's a treehouse somewhere too? we didn't see it) all located on a circular trail that runs behind the dining/reception area and bar. The trail is worth a wander during daylight hours as you will probably see some nice birds, butterflies and, of course, monkeys! From the trail, and even from the porch of our tent, we saw plenty from a range of species - baboons, colobus and red-tailed in particular. We heard chimps screaming at each other from not too far away, didn't see them while in the camp though they do apparently pop in on rare occasions

We did see plenty of chimps on the actual tracking walk though, which was fantastic. Also highly recommend the Bigodi Wetlands walk as an additional local activity - should see lots of birds, and a variety of the other primates living in Kibale Forest. The Wetlands Walk affords you the best opportunity to see these, as when tracking the chimps you are really focused on seeing one thing only. We saw five species of monkey in the wetlands (red colobus, black-and-white colobus, red-tailed, L'Hoest's and grey-cheeked mangabey), and seven primate species in total in Kibale

The rooms are fine - comfortable and spacious. Not quite as luxurious as some other tented camps we stayed at on our tour but, aside from a broken zip to the bathroom, nothing you could really fault. The important thing is you can get a good night's rest and wake up somewhere totally wild to the chorus of birds and monkeys! Staff are friendly, service is great and food is tasty and plentiful

Room Tip: Rooms 7 and 8 (bush baby and baboon I think) are closer to the central building and less of walk bac...
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank OL_london
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for one night in the treehouse. This was a great experience and a little exiting. you can find the treehouse in the forrest near the lodge. About a 10 to 15 minutes walk. At night you can't walk alone to your treehouse, you have to take someone from the staff. The treehouse is simple just a bed and a very simple toilet, but you have a great view over kibale forrest and there is a chance to see forrest elephants and chimpanzees. The staff was really friendly and we had a great dinner!To get there we took a bodaboda from Fort Portal. A little scary in the beginning, but you see a lot, ones you get in the forrest and you can ask them to pick you up the next day. We paid them for both ways when we got back to fort portal!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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3  Thank Monika156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Primate Lodge Kibale

Address: Kamwenge District, Kibale National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Kibale National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Kibale National Park
Price Range: $53 - $68 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience the world renowned Ugandan hospitality amidst unrivaled nature, scenery and serenity in the heart of Kibale rainforest National Park, Uganda’s primates’ paradise; Primate Lodge Kibale’s principal edge is our location, right next to the starting point for Chimpanzee Tracking excursion as well as the incredible Chimpanzee Habituation experience, really, two of the most genuinely breathtaking wildlife experiences on the planet. Primate Lodge Kibale Offers a range of options to accommodate all our guests. Our most recent addition, the brand new 9 luxury cottages of a superior design are bound to blow your heart away. Far more spacious and airy, with luxurious bathrooms, really huge glass windows and full size glass paneled sliding doors- they let in a lot of natural light and affording 180 degree views of the beautiful rainforest surroundings from your bed. Our seven mid-level forest cottages are en-suite with spacious bathrooms, 2x twin size beds or 1x king size bed, lounge chairs and a spacious verandah overlooking the rainforest. For our adventurous guests, we offer a secluded Sky Tree House (not self-contained) about 200m deep in the forest. Elevated about 18-feet above ground and overlooking a meadow, it enjoys excellent views over the forest canopy and is regularly visited by black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, forest elephants, even chimpanzee sometimes. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Primate Hotel Fort Portal

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