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“Unique; well worth experiencing”
Review of Chimps' Nest

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Chimps' Nest
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
32 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Unique; well worth experiencing”
Reviewed March 30, 2011

Maybe there are other establishments like this but I've never encountered them. Cabins and treehouses built on the edge of a forest. Good restaurant; friendly, helpful staff. Truly unique experience. You really do feel like you're sleeping in the middle of an African forest. The cacophony of insect and creature sounds at night is amazing. A little out of the way but well worth it.

Room Tip: Sleep in a treehouse for 1 night at least.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank DuaneKelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (31)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Riethoven, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
96 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2011

Originally we planned to put our tent at the Chimp's Nest campsite. However we found the campsite quite exposed (hardly any shade) and the setting (in the fields) a bit unattractive. They are doing a good job to regenerate trees in these fields, but it will take some time still for the trees to grow.
Fortunately we also checked out the cottages that are very attractive and we decided to stay in one of these for two nights. Some of the cottages (and especially the tree houses) are at a fair walking distance from the main building/restaurant. No problem for us, because it also means a very quiet stay, but something to take into account if you are less fit.
The cottages are quietly located and positioned very far from each other with a lot of privacy. They are not within the forest but close to the edge of the forest on which there is a very nice view. The tree-houses are really within magnificent forest. The beds are good and long (!) and the cottages are nicely decorated. They offer good value for the rate.
The staff was very helpfull and the food in the restaurant was really good. One small improvement could be made w.r.t. the begging dogs and cats. Not everyone will appreciate this.

NB. We can recommend a guided community walking tour through the Bigodi swamps, it's really close to Chimp's Nest and makes up for a very nice half-day tour with a lot of birds and monkeys. This initiative is a real community based activity and worth your support.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Frank_Astrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2011

I had to change my travel plans, which caused me to only need the first of my 3 night reservation. After explaining this to the staff at check in, I was told that I could only stay that first night if I paid for all 3 nights. The staff told me that, while it had a 24-hour cancellation policy, I was already within the 24 hours of the start of my 3-day stay and therefore couldn't cancel even the 3rd night (48+ from then). To avoid conflict and to compromise, I offered to pay for 2 nights (even though I'd only be there 1 night), noting that, with any luck, they could rent my room for the 2nd night and thereby collect twice. I also indicated that I was 48+ hours out from the 3rd night, so the hotel wouldn't have a claim for this night in any event. The manager was called by phone by the front desk staff, and he was so loud and emotional that his screaming voice could be heard from the other end of the reception area. The manager refused my offer, and reiterated that I must pay all 3 nights to stay just the 1 night. I declined, and left.

The manager then contacted my tour company, demanding payment for all 3 nights, forgetting to mention that he rejected my offer to pay for 2 nights (so his loss was at most 1 night, which was 48+ hours away). At this time, Chimps Nest published for the first time a complicated and restrictive cancellation policy (without claiming it was referenced at the time of booking) that essentially makes any and all changes impossible. Again, this policy was not distributed upon booking. The unfortunate Uganda tour company then had to deal with the manager, who continued to threaten to report the tour company to the local tourist officials if full payment for 3 nights was not made.

I spend 75+ days a year in hotels, about half in North America and 1/2 elsewhere. This is the most restrictive and unreasonable cancellation experience I've had. This experience, plus the responses the manager has made to another negative TripAdvisor report, suggest that this staff believes there is only one right answer to any question--their answer.

I didn't see a room so I have no opinion. The reception area seemed quaint and clean and peaceful. The drive from Fort Portal is a painful 75 minutes.

Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
2 Thank Wanderlust011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MynameisnotMuzungu, Owner at Chimps' Nest, responded to this review, February 18, 2011
First of all I would like to thank this reviewer for giving me the opportunity to explain more about our cancellation policies. We have these cancellation policies to protect ourselves as a business against certain tour operators and guests that think they can do anything they want, even if others have to suffer for it. These cancellation policies are no different from other cancellation policies of other lodges in Uganda, we actually used them to make our own. In the past three years we never needed to use these rules as we always try to find a reasonable solution for both parties as many of our guests and tour companies have experienced.
This case however forced us to be strict. The reviewer booked a room for three nights in the high season and on arrival simply said he was only going to stay one night. This was not due to sickness, car trouble etc. but because he wanted to change his itinerary. We are not bad people and if a company or guest has a good reason for cancelling or changing his booking we make no problem of it. Normally we ask for payments upfront so that, in case of last minute cancellations we have a stronger negotiating position. We accepted the tour operator to pay on arrival, because in most cases tour operators in Uganda are trustworthy. Unfortunately it turned out that this tour operator and his client were not.
Our only mistake was that the reviewer was informed wrongly by our new manager who was not well aware of our policies yet. He should have called someone who knew, before answering questions of which he didn't know the answers. On the other hand the tour operator this reviewer was travelling with, could and should have been aware of our policies that have been on our website since the opening of our lodge three years ago. We have decided not to do business with this tour operator any more to protect our business and our good name.
We invite customers to go to our website and read our terms. I advise travellers that want to be flexible during their trip to Uganda regarding their itinerary, to bring a tent and look for accommodation on arrival.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Kibale National Park hotels

Kampala
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2011

This 'lodge' is a wonderful collection of simply constructed (from locally available materials) cottages and a couple of tree houses that are up in the canopy of the forest. The accommodation is simple but spotlessly clean. The bed is comfortable but the noise of the Forest and things that go 'bump' in the night might keep a person awake at night. There is a friendly restaurant and bar area that serves 'home-cooked' dishes that are tasty enough. Drinks are reasonably priced. Staff are very attentive and amazingly friendly, efficient and you'll be treated as an equal - with refreshing respect but not in a subservient fashion - it's a great mix and a mark of how well they have been trained by the Dutch owners of the 'lodge'.
We were impressed with what we felt was brilliant value for money. Chimps' Nest is situated close to numerous breath-taking activities: (1) a community managed 'swamp walk' - the best half a day's ramble with a local resident guide who'll show you primates, flora, fauna and abundant bird-life and half of the fee you'll pay (approx. $15) goes to a community project in the village; (2) Chimp tracking with the Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kibale Forest - $90 per person and arrange through Chimps' Nest; (3) Walking around crater lakes in the vicinity - breathtaking views and amazing bird life.
If you want to get as close as possible to nature without being in a tent, this is the place (although there is space to put up your own tent as well!) - especially as the impact that Chimps' Nest has on the environment is minimal - in fact it inspires you to leave as better 'environmental citizens' - so it could be said to be a tourist project that enhances rather than detracts from the environment - loads of benefit to the local economy too! You'll gather that we are very impressed!!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Smithyian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Entebbe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2011

Just back from a lovely trip to Kibale. We especially enjoyed the nature walk with Johnson and Africano. Lots of interesting information about the forest trees and flowers, and they were very kind to Granny, helping her on the slippery places! Thank you very much Chimps' Nest for a refreshing break.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank AlisonEntebbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
513 reviews
157 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 331 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2010

Fantastic two night experience in exclusive design two storey treehouse. Literally in the middle of a green swamp and palmtree forest, with in every large tree around us monkeys and birds. Lots of early morning bird sounds and some midnight grunts.
Tranquility and relaxed with splendid views all around, also from the bed.
The warm shower needed some pipe unplugging but worked fine the next day.
Illumination minimalistic but emphasizes remoteness of a 15 minutes walk from the reception, partly over a board walk.
There were also cottages with terras, but we did not look at these.
Friendly staff, but the kitchen had trouble with our diet requirements, and restaurant area had some begging dogs and cats.
Evening entertainment with local village dance group.
Community walk organised by this hotel is not developed and NOT recommended.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank huys25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arnhem, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 12, 2010

If you ever go to see the Chimps in Kibale forest, make sure you stay in the treehouse at Chimps' nest. Located in de forest with the sounds of birds, monkeys and other unidentified species it is an adventure. The lodge itself is also beautiful. Friendly people, good service (they walk you to your cabin/treehouse at night) and good food.

  • Stayed August 2010
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ilsevds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Chimps' Nest

Property: Chimps' Nest
Address: PO Box 611 | Fort Portal, Kibale National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Kibale National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Kibale National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Chimps’ Nest is built on a beautiful piece of land with a splendid view of Kibale Forest and the snow capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. As the name implies, Chimps’ Nest is often visited by chimps, but also other monkeys and habitats of Kibale Forest. It is a true birder's paradise; virtually all 350 bird species of Kibale Forest and the bordering Bigodi Swamps can be observed on the premises. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chimps` Nest Hotel Kibale Forest National Park

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