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“Could do better”
Review of Chimps' Nest

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Chimps' Nest
Reviewed July 18, 2012

This was one of our least favorite places in Uganda. The staff/management were generally unfriendly, the food was over-priced, there were no screens on the windows, and the shower didn't work properly. On the plus side, the location is good - although there are so many places to stay in this area,I'm sure one could do better. Great banana cake.
Another note is that this is the only place that our driver complained about, saying the management was rude to him. That definitely didn't sit well with us.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Monika M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 - 91 of 164 reviews

Reviewed July 4, 2012

This could be a wonderful place but it just wasn't that good. The resaurant was under costruction so we ate mediocre food in the reception area. Should be a lot nicer once the building is complete. Service was was spotty and unpredictable but the people were warm and charming.
Needs a little more hands on management.

Room Tip: Only book the tree house if you are ready for a long walk in the dark over a rickety bridge. It was...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Maggie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2012

We came from Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison, an upper scale property, before we came to Chimps' Nest. As we had already read a few reviews on it, we knew we couldn't count on much. Even though we were used to a completely different type of accommodation during our previous stays in Uganda, the experience was great.

The conditions are rough, as in many other identical located in the wilderness: limited hot water and electricity. Electricity sockets can only be found at reception/ restaurant.

They were building a new restaurant that seemed very nice. By the time we stayed there (May 2012), the reception was simultaneously the restaurant, but I had the feeling that the restaurant would be ready really soon.

It was cosy there, given the fact that you are in a tropical forest. Never separate yourself from insect repellents/ garlic tablets and that stuff.

The cottages are spread out through the forest and they are well signalised. However, it might be hard to go on your own to the Tree Hut at night. When you go from the restaurant to the hut, you will have to walk a considerable distance, and then it begins to be swampy and tricky. You will have to walk over a wooden platform, and some of the planks are not in their best condition. There is no illumination whatsoever. They will explain you that there is a chance of getting lost and of finding forest elephants, which might be dangerous. My opinion is that you don't really need help to go to the cottages at night, but I wouldn't refuse a guide to go to the tree hut.

We slept there 2 nights, one at a cottage and the 2nd one in the Tree House. The cottage is nice. Nothing out of the ordinary, really, except for the nice surroundings and the bathroom and shower, which are outdoors. It's extremely difficult that someone may be able look at you, but I guess there may be people who won't feel completely relaxed that way.

Now, the Tree House is a great experience. It's on a very tall tree, it's lovely inside and it also has an outdoor shower on the very top of the tree. The environment is stunning, it makes you really feel like you are in the middle of the wilderness. Having a shower and getting tropical rain at the same time here was one my best experiences in Chimp's Nest.

In the Tree House, I also guess you have nice odds of seeing wild life from a very close distance. We saw 3 grey-cheeked monkeys early morning when we went outside, just a few meters from us.

The food is nice and the staff was also nice. They have activities such as nightly walks, but we didn't go for that one. I strongly recommend the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary walk there, though. It's inexpensive and lovely. You can see some rare species of monkeys there and the Great Blue Turaco, a beautiful bird species.

Overall, we had a really great time there.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Rui H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

On one hand I had been really looking forward to staying here as we had specifically requested the treehouse, on the other I had been concerned by recent reviews - too many one glowing one post wonders and quite a few negative ones by multiple posters.

Our experience was mixed - some very positive, some not so positive.

Our experience was partly marred by the fact that there had been a mix-up with our booking. We had specifically requested a treehouse from our tour operator but it turns out we had been booked into a self-catering cottage. We were extremely disappointed in this as we had planned 7 months in advance and also in the attitude of staff at the time. Although it seems it was not their fault, staff at Chimp’s nest were to come back to us to see if we they could rejuggle things and get us into a treehouse on our third night but this didn’t happen. In fact, we didn't see any sort of managerial presence at all during our stay which is unusual in a lodge this size. It would appear though that this was due to the ongoing renovation work which was consuming their time when we were there. The upshot of this lack of communication meant that every morning we were left not knowing whether or not to pack our bags or not. Finally on our third day, our driver told us that we wouldn’t be getting a treehouse. This was at 6pm so we had known by that stage that there was no hope.

But onto the positives, I haven't seen this mentioned before but we did an excellent nature walk with Johnston. I would highly recommend this. He was absolutely lovely with a great knowledge of local wildlife. After this tour we started noticing things we hadn't seen before and recognising a couple of birdcalls. He also took us to see inside the treehouses as guests had checked out so at least we got to see them. We also did a night walk with him but unfortunately the weather was not on our side so we didn't see as much as hoped but we still enjoyed it.

In terms of the facilities, the outdoor toilet and shower may not be to everyone's taste but it was a fun experience for us and the flip flops provided were a nice and very useful touch - not good walking out to the outdoor shower in your bare feet as we had to in another lodge. The heating system for the shower was also excellent.

The view from the verandah into the forest was also good and we were able to sit watching black and white colubus monkeys in the distance. Our cottage was comfortable and spacious.

Finally on our last morning staff were at our door to carry our luggage up for us which we appreciated.
Others have commented on dirty bed linen. Ours did have orange stains on it but seemed clean – in other words the stains seemed to be ones which just wouldn’t come out.

Similarly other reviewers have commented on the rustling noises overhead. We believed this was due to creatures, probably lizards up in the rafters. We experienced this in several other places so we learnt to expect this and it didn't bother us - except when it woke us up until we realised what it was! This is not uncommon in Uganda!

We found the food to be fine ranging from ok to good.

A few minor negatives - staff seemed to have trouble taking down food orders. Our guide even got involved in one hilarious incident (so bad we had to laugh) - and we still got the wrong order - although at the end of the day, we managed with what we got and laughed it off as we knew she was really struggling. This wasn't a one-off. I'm not sure if it was a new member of staff or what but ordering was not easy! Another time when I asked for milk for coffee, I was told that coffee was already extra and if I wanted milk it would be too. Seriously? You’re going to charge me for a drop of milk for coffee? I suspect the truth of the matter is that she couldn't be bothered walking back to the kitchen which is a walk away due to the renovations.... anyway I can take my coffee black so it was ok.

This place has great potential but based on our experience, needs hands on managerial involvement and some staff training/mentoring.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ponaire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2012

We stayed in one of the tree houses for two nights and we can definitely recommend it. The tree houses are located in the rain forest, about ten minutes walk from the main hotel facilities, giving you a unique experience. The staff is very friendly and helpful (you are always accompanied on the walk to and from the tree house and you do not have to worry about getting your luggage upstairs). The restaurant offers a nice view and good food (especially the soups are superb). Of course you cannot expect all amenities of European or American high end city hotels in the middle of the jungle, but if you are looking for a special experience and an ideal starting point for chimp trekking, bird watching and community walks (the latter two organized by the hotel and highly recommendable), Chimp’s Nest is an excellent choice and we hope to stay there again soon.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank FtPortal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2012

We stayed here for a couple of days and we liked the place very much. Unfortunately they were still busy with renovating the restaurant so we were not able to have our dinner from there. From the restaurant you have a stunning view and when it is finished (owner told me that it must be ready by June 2012) I think the building is going to look really fantastic.
The service was excellent and the food was ok. The waitresses are having a tough job now walking with all the plates etc. from the kitchen to the temporary restaurant which is about 40 meters away. But they kept on smiling in a genuine way. Not those forced smiles that we usually get here in Europe.
We slept in the tree house where we were visited by monkeys and squirrels. I’ve read a lot of reviews here from people complaining about animals inside or on top of the tree house but nobody is writing about the absolute breathtaking experience of monkeys all around you at eyelevel! I think that people appreciating this will not complain about rats or mice. They understand that they are in the middle of the rain forest where it is simply impossible to eradicate certain things, even if management of Chimp Nest tries as hard as possible. Others should stay in the city and drive to Kibale Forest for a short visit to the chimps.
If you leave most of your stuff in the lodge where they also have a vault, nothing can happen to your clothes etc. The few things you do need to bring with you into the tree house can be stored in a steel suitcase that is inside the bedroom. Mosquito nets and beds are in good state. The tree house has got a bathroom with flush toilet and warm shower although the water coming from it was more like a trickle. But that would be my only remark towards the management. Looking at the location they couldn’t have done a better job!

Room Tip: Get the renovated tree house (tree house number one) if possible!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alrik P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chimps_Nest_Ltd, Owner at Chimps' Nest, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2012

Thank you for your great review. Appreciate your understanding. The restaurant is about to be finished. If everything goes well it should be ready within two weeks from now. Tree house number 1 is ready and the trickle you are mentioning in your review has been solved and is now actually the best shower we have, and it is right on top of the tree house at 13 meters high!! Am going to put pictures of the renovated tree house as soon as possible.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Much has been said already, so I will sum up the good and the bad as briefly as possible.

Positive:
- A 'normal' toilet and a warm shower
- Decent food most of the time
- It's a treehouse! Enough said.

Negative:
- The last part of the walk up to the treehouse is slippery and dangerous in the dark
- Lumpy matresses and terribly uncomfortable pillows - not a good recipe for a good night's sleep.
- The finishing of pretty much everything could be a lot more polished.

Advice:
- Treehouse is not for the fainthearted, those scared of heights and/or bugs better go for the normal rooms!

Conclusion:
- Lovely concept, but the steep price of 150 USD per night raises too many expectations that were not met in our case. For the same price you can stay in a very luxurious room elsewhere. The experience makes up for a lot, but the current price/quality levels do no invite me to return to Chimp's Nest in future.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jenny W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chimps_Nest_Ltd, Owner at Chimps' Nest, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2012

Hi Jenny, thank you for your review. It is true that the tree houses have been the talk of the day lately. We as management also knew that the tree houses did need renovation. This has been finished for the first tree house now. The one you slept in is going to be renovated after this high season but I will look into your complaint about the mattresses and pillows. The price is higher because building and maintaining a tree house in the middle of a rainforest is simply very very costly. So you pay for the experience in the tree tops. I hope you understand.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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 #7 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Kibale National Park
Price Range: $8 - $200 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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