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“Great location & Staff, Issues with Shower”

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Primate Lodge Kibale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 4, 2014

Location: As previously noted by many, you cannot beat the location. It's right next to the Kibale NP. No hustle in the morning of chimp trekking. Upon arrival, I was greeted by a red tailed monkey and saw many other monkeys during my stay. If you are planning a visit to the Bigoti Swamp, it's also close by (about 15 min drive).

Service: All staff was very nice and they went out of their way to help.

Rooms: I stayed two nights in one of their cottages. Inside was cool, simple yet comfortable. The shower was the biggest disappointment during my stay. Hot water is available only from 6pm (as well as electricity) and that is ok.
But once it became available, the shower alternated from freezing cold to scalding hot. Nothing between. I had to wash up while it went from hot to cold (2min), step out(1.5min), and repeat.
It became especially frustrating after I came back all sweaty and dirty from trekking and other activities and I just wanted to take a good shower. Hope this will be improved.

Food: The food was tasty but their vegetarian menu was slightly lacking. On the day of my arrival, I was served Indian for both lunch and dinner. They also got me wrong sides on both days.

Other: Wi-fi worked fine at the reception area. They have a charging station at the bar.

Overall I had a great stay and would def. come back.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jo K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2014

Dear Jo,

Many thanks for taking your time to share your experience at Primate Lodge Kibale with us. Such feedback act as markers of our performance, where we are doing well and where there is room for improvement (where we say is always the biggest room!)

Blessed with an excellent location we are and very grateful to be a stone throw away from the Uganda’s marvelous chimpanzees. While at the lodge almost all our guests, some from the convenience of their rooms, are always lucky to spot some other primates or forest animals, from the cheeky olive baboons to the large forest elephants and I am delighted to note that for you, the red tailed monkey was ready to welcome you. Topped with the memorable Bigodi swamp walk (an initiative of the local community and is known for its rich diversity of birds and primate)our guests never have a dull moment.

We are even more pleased to note that accommodation and service was very nice and at the same time note it was the showers that let us down. I can totally understand your frustration and would like to sincerely apologize for this. We are looking into this, in every cottage to see how we can better regulate the temperatures, without it taking too long to get the right balance of hot and cold.

We have also noted that we need to definitely spice our vegetarian menu, with more variety. We shall look very forward to hosting you again so we can show what mouth-watering vegetarian menu we will have designed for you- taking your taste buds from India to China and back to Africa for dinner :)

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139 - 145 of 273 reviews

Reviewed April 3, 2014

We stopped here for 1 night on our way from Jinga to the Congo. Amazing location, great room and great rooms! We only had 2 meals here, supper and breakfast.
Electricity is only on for a few hours in the evening to charge any electronics.
I would return to do a chip trek if the opportunity rises!

Stayed: March 2014, traveled with friends
Thank sl_traveller17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2014

Dear Guest,

We are honored to have been your choice for the night and I am delighted we clearly scored 10/10.

The chimpanzees of Kibale Forest and together with Primate lodge, warmly welcome the opportunity to accommodate you again!

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Reviewed March 13, 2014

You cannot beat the location of this lodge for chimp trekking as the access trail is just a few yards down the road in easy walking distance. The lodge is in the kibale forest. The property is charming as well. The service in the bar and restaurant was so-so, which I suspect reflects the fact that the property is owned by the government. We stayed in one of the cottages, which are spacious and simply but nicely decorated. They are a bit musty, which I think they could solve by sealing the stone and concrete work. Not a huge deal for us.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank akdoghouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2014

Dear Guest,

Many thanks for sharing your experience at Primate Lodge Kibale.

Yes indeed, we are blessed with a such an unbeaten location, not only are we just a 5 minute walk from the start point of the chimpanzee tracking point- because of how incredibly close we are to the chimpanzees and other magical creatures that call Kibale Forest National Park home we also wake up to their unique sounds each morning. We are soon going to put our alarm clocks away :)

We have passed on your advice on the sealing of the stone and concrete work to the maintenance team and will observe if this wil reduce the musty-ness in the cottage.

We appreciate the time you have taken to give us feedback on your experience at Primate Lodge Kibale and we shall look forward to hosting you and yours again in the nearest future.

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Reviewed March 1, 2014

We stayed in the tents. Excellent lodging, very comfortable and far exceeded expectations. Food was also excellent. Be prepared for the fact that, due to the strong environmental policies of the lodge (which were a positive feature), access to electricity for charging your electronics is limited and wifi somewhat unpredictable. However, this in no way detracted from the experience. Book your chimp trek permits in advance. These are wild animals so, while the trackers and guides are professional and do their best, from time to time they are unable to find the chimps (chimps move fast and travel). We saw the chimp family on the day we were there and it was an extraordinary experience. We also did the not to be missed Bigodi Swamp Walk. Altogether a most amazing stay.

Stayed: February 2014
Thank AHB007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2014

Dear Guest,

We appreciate the time taken to share your feedback of Primate Lodge Kibale. We are pleased to note that we managed to meet and even surpass your expectations! A huge hi 5 we have given each other here. It is honestly feedback such as yours that encourages us to keep delivering our very best to our esteemed guest who we know travel over oceans and continents to be with us- a fact we do not take for granted and aim to make our guests as comfortable as possible, making you think your back home in your living room enjoying a freshly hot home-made dinner by the fire after a long day.

This is true, as our home happens to be the home we share with the cheeky monkeys and olive baboons who often visit the lodge, the forest elephants who are known to pass by as well, the beautiful birds and butterflies and many many more precious forest animals we are very environmentally conscious. But we do endeavor regardless to strike a balance and also meet our guest’s needs. We are looking on ways to extend power and wi-fi to the rooms as well and are hopeful we will make it work.

The chimpanzee tracking experience is out of this world, all guests return to the lodge blown away by how electrifying the experience is. Sometimes when compared with Gorilla tracking some of our guests have found that chimpanzee tracking is the true definition of ‘a walk on the wild side’- it could stop your heart!. They move around so fast from tree to tree- in a flash the one in front of you is the one behind you, the hitting of the tree barks and the loud hooting sounds are sure to get your ad reline pumping. We are so glad you got experience one of Uganda's most precious inhabitants- our very own cousin in the forest, with 98% human DNA.

Many thanks again for you valuable comments and we look forward to having the opportunity to host you on your next visit to the Pearl of Africa.

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Reviewed February 20, 2014

If you're planning to go to Kibale to see the chimpanzees, there is not better location. You can walk from Primate Lodge reception to Kibale headquarters in about 60 seconds. That also means that you're treated to the sounds of the national park from your room (chimp calls, monkey noises, etc.). You can also see great wildlife from on campus, and I especially loved the beautiful butterflies near both of the rooms where we stayed.
As for the rooms themselves, we stayed in two different types of room: cottage (Blue Turaco) and luxury tent (Bush Baby). Both were spacious, and both had some real quirks. The light in the bathroom went out in the cottage (even during hours that power was supposed to be on), the bathroom flooded in the tent, and we found mice/rats in one of our bags. With a sprawling campus, no phones, and no system to contact the front desk, you had to choose between living with whatever issue until morning, or donning your headlamp and walking through the night time forest (which you're not really supposed to do) to get help.
The staff was very polite and definitely tried hard, though we had several communication problems (I think driven by language differences--we had about a 50/50 success-rate).
The hot meals were great, with options of what entree you would like. The boxed lunches were not impressive, but passable.
But, hey, you're in the forest, on the edge of civilization, in a developing country. I imagine this is a pretty nice accommodation for the area.

Room Tip: The tent gave me more of a "feel" of being in the forest, and more of a sense of atmospher...
See more room tips
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Jenny_in_Palo_Alto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded June 4, 2014

Dear Jenny,

Many thanks for taking your time to share your experiences at Primate Lodge Kibale with us. We do appreciate all our guests’ feedback and go out of our way to ensure we learn from their experiences to give our next guests always a better experience.

We very pleased to know you got to experience the true African rain forest, a true feast of the senses- waking up to the beautiful sounds of the forest from the unforgettable primates calls, the melodious tunes from the array of birds to the sighting the colorful butterflies and the distinct earthy smell of the damp earth combined with forest and old fallen leaves- an element of the experience that cannot be photographed or capture by recording. This combination is truly one that remains in all of our guests memories forever. We are indeed blessed with an excellent location and do consider ourselves very fortunate to be in the heart of all these remarkable jungle experiences.

Primate lodge Kibale accommodation is flexible in that way and we are delighted that you got to experience both accommodation options i.e. Forest Cottages and Superior tents – for our more adventurous guests we even have a tree- house, located 15 minutes from the lodge reception, in a beautiful canopy of thick forest, 19 feet high. I have noted however that the power, bathroom and forest rats let us down- I do sincerely apologize for this.

We really do not have mains electricity at the lodge and for both conservation as well as practice, we run the lodge on generator supported by solar power and firewood for the boilers but which whole system runs for the guests between 5:00 Am and 9:00 am and then again 6:00 pm and 10:30 Pm. Being in the rain forest does give us sufficient sun for the solar panels and in fact sometimes when it’s cold and cloudy, we might not be able to charge the solar batteries which we need even during the day to run necessary items like freezers and so on. Our maintenance team were not able to confirm to me exactly what time they switched off power that night. I do know however that sometimes we switch off the generator much later than they should which could give the guests the wrong impression for subsequent night. Never the less I do apologies for this and the flooded bathroom- i have asked them to make me a report and I assure you I will take care of it so we have no repeat complaints in this regard. I do hope the flashlight provided in each room came to the rescue.

Apologies for the inconvenience caused to you by the Thicket rats. For your information please note this are forest dwelling creatures- smaller and quite unlike the common house rat. In that their not house dwelling rather forest loitering creatures and also not in any way an indication of poor hygiene or dirty environs; They happen in the tents just by accident, only as a function of our being deep in their natural habitat. Of course they are a significant inconvenience, especially since being in the heart of the park where conservation of species is the theme is the theme on which we too strongly believe in, we are not allowed to exterminate them. Just as we do with scavenging monkeys and baboons, our staff work very hard to keep them away by other means and we are quite successful at this although they have once in awhile cheated their way around all our efforts like happened in this case.

In one method of keeping them away, all our guests are briefed to keep their bags shut, tent flaps down and fasten all the zipper shutters at all times including the one between the bathroom and the sleeping room. But I can understand if guests should misunderstand this, and misconstrue the zipper between the bathroom and the sleeping room as really being inside and not really necessary to fully sip down and a forest rat found its way in. We shall make sure are making our briefing more clear in this regard.
We have generally managed communication between the tents and the reception, principally by our stand by sentries who are always around in the vicinity of the guest’s accommodation. However, I do think it would be a good idea that we have some sort of communication alert tool in the tents and cottages and our procurement team will source for this and implement for future guests.
I am pleased note that the staff were very polite. We love and have always worked with the local communities to create a sort of livelihood for them, by hiring some members of the local community and professionally train them to meet the standards of international service. This however comes with the challenge of the language barrier, however more and more they are continuing to learn and will soon have mastered it in no time. We are confident on your next visit they will have many stories to tell you about their experiences as majority of our staff have been born and raised in and around Kibale Forest National Park.

We are highly committed to our guests and deeply appreciate feedback both positive and negative in order to better our services and improve on the areas our esteemed customers point out, without this feedback we would not continue to grow like we have and surpass our guests experience. We, together with our special forest friends,do look forward to hosting you again in future Jenny.

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Reviewed February 19, 2014

Just returned from a brilliant 12 day tour with Great Lakes Safaris in Uganda. Our 3 guides were cheerful, polite, well organised and extremely knowledgeable on wildlife and all aspects of Uganda. Our close encounters with the chimps and mountain gorillas surpassed our expectations. This was one of the best trips we have ever done.

Stayed: January 2014
Thank JWA22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Dear Guest,

We sincerely thank you for choosing to travel with our mother company Great Lakes Safaris and for taking the time to share your time to share your valuable feedback with us. Among the leading Uganda Safari operators and the choice of many international operators of high repute and hundreds of tourists every year- A fact confirmed by our guests like yourself and the various awards we proudly boast, including recently being recognized as Number 27 in the Top 100 Mid-sized businesses in Uganda awards, November 2013. Primate Lodge Kibale too, independently won the 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. Extremely humbled and sunny smiles from the team on our success thus far, we only aim to find more new innovative ways of improving our services – raising the bar to elevate our guest experience at each and every stage of our service delivery.

Kindly feel free to leave comments on our Great Lakes Safaris Trip Advisor page: (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g293841-d3916042-Reviews-Great_Lakes_Safaris_Day_Tours-Kampala_Central_Region.html ) we really thank so much for your lovely comments and look forward to being your guide into the wild on your next safari. I am happy to report that Great Lakes Safaris now has a Kenyan office if ever you wanted to have a cross- border safari, combining Uganda; the ultimate Primate’s Paradise and Kenya without a doubt the home of the African Safaris. The Great Lakes Safaris team of experienced tour consultants (both in Kenya and Uganda) are always on stand- by to tailor your safari to your individual needs, taking into account your special requirements and never lose sight of even the smallest details.

On behalf of the entire team I cannot thank you enough for sharing your experience- to have had the honor of serving you and playing a role in making it one of your best trips you have ever done has got us all doing the happy dance here– we are just short of hooting and screaming like the famous chimpanzees of Kibale Forest National Park when they spot the alpha- male, “Magezi”, swaggering in. Needless to say we look very forward to your next visit- whether in Kenya or Uganda or both, we have got you sorted from start to finish.

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Reviewed February 17, 2014

Great location, friendly staff and an amazing food. I stayed in one of the tents and it was lovely. More like a small house! Tonight some of the local villagers came round and sang and danced to some traditional music for us. It was very entertaining and all the donations goes into the local villages so its a good cause too.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled solo
Thank jo l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UgandaLodges, Guest Relations Manager at Primate Lodge Kibale, responded to this reviewResponded March 3, 2014

Dear Jo,

Thank you for sharing your warm and valuable comments with us. We do pride ourselves in the location of the lodge and consider ourselves very fortunate to be located next door to these majestic creatures that inhabit this African rainforest.

We are very pleased to note that you had a memorable stay with us and enjoyed the lodges facilities, the meals and friendly staff. It is indeed feedback such as yours which motivate us in delivering services to our best. We genuinely aim to provide absolute comfort in the wild for all our guests, to be your home away from home in every single way possible. We love and have always worked with the local communities to create a sort of livelihood for them, by hiring some members of the local community and professionally train them to meet the standards of international service and as much we would love hire all of them we have found different avenues to help those we cannot permanently employ. For example calling on them to entertain our guests with traditional dances, sell their crafts directly to our guests and we also in the background continually sourced our fresh produce from their fertile farms as well.

We are very pleased to hear that you got to experience Primate Lodge Kibale in its warm and welcoming ambiance to our esteemed guests and our hospitable staff and to all members of the local community in which we operate.

Again we deeply appreciate you feedback and the time you have taken to share this with us. We look forward to the opportunity of accommodating you again on your next holiday and leave you with only more lasting memories!

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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: $234 - $317 (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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