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“Back to nature”

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Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite
Kigali, Rwanda
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Back to nature”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013

Very hospitable and friendly staff in a lovely location. The peace and tranquility is perfect for anyone wanting a relaxing stay surrounded by nature. Black & White + Red Colobus monkeys surround the campsite and they're great fun to watch as they swing through the trees and there are plenty of birds to admire too. The accommodation is basic but good value (for the area) and the meals are certainly tasty. There are lovely guided walks with stunning views to be enjoyed, such as the Top of the World if you want to stretch your legs. Overall, it's an excellent place to stay if you don't mind swapping a few luxuries for the beauty and some time in a very natural environment.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank John K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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35 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
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English first
Kampala, Uganda
Level Contributor
407 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 4, 2013

The location of this venue is fantastic. Quiet, on the edge of a pretty crater lake.
Down by the lake, the cottage is idyllic. Up on the hill, the bandas are nice enough, though the beds aren't too fantastic and the pillows are the equivalent of only slightly deflated basket balls.

Staff is friendly. Food and drinks are available. However, the food, Ugandan cuisine, is priced a bit too high and, because there's no electricity, the beers are not too cold.

Thankfully, there is solar power providing light after dark, meaning that you don't have to go to bed as soon as the sun sets.

The walking tour offered by the campsite is affordable, but not as nice as the one that visits the Amabeere cave.

Room Tip: Get the lakeside cottage.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MastaBaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikki P, Ecotourism Consultant at Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite, responded to this review, November 21, 2013
Thanks for your stay with us and for taking time to post a review. I’m really pleased you enjoyed staying in the Nature Reserve and to hear you refer to the venue as fantastic and the Lakeside Cottage idyllic!

Thanks too for your feedback which helps us improve standards for future customers. We’ve now reduced the height of our overly large pillows. I’m sorry you thought our food prices were too high – we’ve made sure our prices are in line with restaurants in Fort Portal. Other guests have also mentioned that they would like cold drinks and we are hoping to install additional solar power and purchase a fridge-freezer. Hopefully we’ll be able to offer you cold beers the next time you visit!
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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
70 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

We booked our chimpanzee trek through Great Lakes Safaris, for a 3 day, 2 night trek. When we learned Primate Lodge was booked, Great Lakes recommended we stay at Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve.

We paid significant money for our tour. When we arrived at Lake Nkuruba, my husband and I were shown to a one room concrete cabin with two twin beds. The bathroom and shower were shared with another cabin. Everything was most minimal: hardly water pressure, basic bed with mosquito net. We had a "view of the lake," somewhere down the hill beyond the thick jungle.

The one staff who greeted us was very kind, as all Ugandans we met were. A representative from the hotel asked if we had brought our own dinner. We said no, our tour included all meals. He proceeded to hand us a long menu (several pages), but informed us they only had the beef or vegetables, which we should have ordered before 3pm (it was now 4pm and we had driven all day from Kampala. We had no control over what time we arrived).

The air was thick with mosquitoes and it was pouring rain, which we understand is outside of the reserve's control. There was not a guest in sight; only one staff member to greet us.

We later learned that Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve had mixed up our reservation, and wasn't expecting us until the next night. Still. this did not explain their total lack of preparation for guests of any kind.

Perhaps this place is for you if you are paying bottom dollar (I would pay $5/night maximum), and you like to spend the night in twin beds with your spouse. If this isn't you, I recommend staying anywhere else. We stayed at Primate Lodge which was gorgeous, and we also heard good things about Chimp's Nest. If those places are booked, then go back to Kampala unless you are prepared to camp.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lauren R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikki P, Ecotourism Consultant at Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite, responded to this review, November 21, 2013
I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy your stay with us in July this year. We do aim to provide our guests with a relaxing experience within the grounds of the Nature Reserve and thankfully most of our guests have an enjoyable time with us. I’m sorry this wasn’t the case for you and your husband. Our site is aimed at the budget traveller, offering accommodation and camping facilities at low cost within the Nature Reserve. As such, we offer basic facilities which granted, may not be to everyone’s taste. You mention that you had paid a lot of money to your tour company so it’s a shame they didn’t recommended you stay in a place in keeping with the amount you had paid them. I think you should take this up with your tour company as they are very aware of standards of accommodation and lodges within the region.

The picture you posted of the cabin you slept in is actually self-contained with the bathroom attached to the bedroom. I’m confused as to why you say you had to share the bathroom facilities with another cabin, especially as the cabin next door is also self-contained. As to your complaint that there was no clear view of the lake – the pathway to the lake is clearly signposted, if you had followed it you would have come to the edge of the lake and had a great view of it. As our site is a Nature Reserve, we do not cut the trees just to provide views of the lake in other areas – our site is one of the few remaining forest fragments outside of the nearby Kibale National Park and the forest habitat is too important for the many bird and primate species reliant upon it for their survival.

I understand that as a married couple you would have preferred to stay in a double bed rather than twins. We do have rooms with double beds: the Lakeside Cottage and Banda no.5. We are looking to change more of our twin beds for doubles as lately we’ve had an increase in the number of couples visiting.

With regards to our menu, we do not have a fridge-freezer to store food and in keeping with our focus on supporting the local community we purchase the majority of our food locally. This means that meat, chicken or fish is always fresh from that day. I’m sorry the only meat option was beef on the day you visited but this was due to the aforementioned confusion with your tour company. We have many other options on the menu so I hope you were happy with the meal you chose. We do aim to install solar power in the near future which will allow us to purchase a fridge-freezer and stock an increased variety of meals for our customers.

I thank you for your feedback and again, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy your visit. It seems you arrived at Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite without knowing it was budget accommodation and have judged us on that fact. I do wish you had taken your concerns to the staff at the time of your visit rather than rate us so poorly after the fact.

That said, I hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday in Uganda and had a safe journey home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bruges, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2013

It is the second time we came here, and it was just as we remembered it.
A lot of monkeys and birds, very lovely staff, beautifull nature, and quiet, very relaxing.
Just like two years ago, we come from Belgium, with all the stress on our schoulders, and then we arrive here and we loose all stress, we feel so good here.
The staff is really lovely. They make good food, they are so friendly and helpfull.
Two years ago, because Kenneth was sick, Adeline helped us to find somebody else to guide us, so we meet Brian. This year, when we arrived at the Lake Nkuruba Campsite, we talked to Adeline about Brian, if she remembers him. And yes, when we finished our souper, there was a big surprise for us, there was Brian, with a very big smile. This was a special moment. So again, Brian was our guide, our driver, our friend, for the next five days.
Thanks to the staff of Lake Nkuruba Campsite, you made our stay special. Everybody, Adeline, Good, Kenneth, Adolf, Dasinta, and even little Ebo.
There is only one remark we want to make. We prefer to stay in the self containg cottages, but the bathroom needs to be taken care of. It is a little bit scruffy. If this would be better, you would receiven an "excellent" from us. So maybe, next time we come back ???
Kale kale,
Sergie Kakuru and Sophie Mahoro

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MahoroSophie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Skofja Loka, Slovenia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2013

This campsite is a beautiful, relaxing and peaceful with the idyllic bandas. Stuff is nice and helpful. Delicious food. If you are looking for a calm place away from noisy and crowded cities, you should visit this place in the countryside.
Without showers or running water but it doesn't matter :)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank eSkatja
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2013

This is one of my favorite places in East Africa. The accommodation is affordable-50,000 UGX for a double self-contained banda. The bandas are pretty typical for that price level, there's two single beds with nets, solar lights, a flush toilet, and a cold shower. Non self-contained bandas and camping are also options and are even cheaper. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Plus, the food is delicious. To avoid long wait times for food (as mentioned in other reviews) simply place your order ahead of time and it will be ready then. The best part though is the setting, it doesn't get much better! The lake is right there and the SC bandas over look it. The grounds are full of primates. We saw five different species, including the hard to spot nocturnal potto that you can really only see on night hikes in Kibale. There was one at eye level outside our SC banda! Bring your flashlight and go looking for eye shine at night! The bird species here are also exceptional and a bunch of hard to see forest species were easily viewed in the reserve. Even if you don't stay you can visit for the day for only 5000 UGX per person as compared to over $50 US for a guided nature walk at Kibale. I have one warning though-you may go for a day visit and find yourself still here a week later, it's that wonderful!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ChimpChic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikki P, Ecotourism Consultant at Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Dear Corey M,

Many thanks for taking time to review Lake Nkuruba. It's great to hear how much you enjoyed your stay in our nature reserve. Most of the primate species are habituated to humans and so they're often easily seen within the camp. I'm glad you had the opportunity to see all five species along with other wildlife. I hope you managed to get some good photos of them to take home with you!

Thanks again for your positive comments, they're really appreciated and I'll pass them on to the staff. Hope to see you again sometime in the future...

Best regards,
Vikki
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Level Contributor
155 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013 via mobile

How is it possible that one night a campsiteowner about 20km of Fort Portal tells you that 150k for a room is cheap and the other day you find this piece of Heaven for 50k a night.
Beautifull place to stay. No hot water direct available. No electricity. No working shower. Takes long to get your orders.
LED Lights in the rooms. Very friendly personel. Very quiet peacefull place. Many friendly monkeys, 3 different sorts spotted. Walk in forest and through mountains from campsite possible

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Bulamu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vikki P, Ecotourism Consultant at Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Dear Bulamu,

Many thanks for your positive feedback on Lake Nkuruba and referring to it as a ‘piece of Heaven’! I'm really glad you had such a relaxing stay with us and enjoyed the monkeys!

We hope to see you again sometime..

Best regards,
Vikki
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite

Property: Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve & Community Campsite
Address: Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated just 19 km south of Fort Portal, Lake Nkuruba Nature Reserve and Community Campsite is home to a beautiful crater lake and ancient forest. Set amidst this tranquil environment, our resort offers guests the chance to unwind, relax and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Our rooms are clean and spacious and camping facilities are available all year round. We serve excellent food and our restaurant often affords views of colobus monkeys relaxing in the nearby trees. ... more   less 

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