Kyaninga Lodge Near Kibale
Set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Kyaninga and the Rwenzori Mountains beyond, Kyaninga Lodge is the spectacular result of one man’s vision and six years of unwavering commitment to creating an experience of Africa’s beauty unlike anything else.
You can experience its surrounding unexplored region’s beauty and romance while staying at the height of luxury and elegance. Nine exclusive cottages made from hand-carved logs, superb dining and a wealth of adventures await.
The edge of a spectacular crater lake, Lake Kyaninga, where the lodge sits, provides the perfect start for guests to explore the Fort Portal region’s hidden natural amenities when they step out of their cottage. Kyaninga Lodge’s beautiful gardens are the creation of London-based landscape designer Imogen Jenkins. The gardens provide a stunning setting for relaxation, reflection, and space for games. There is even a lawn tennis court for the joyful stretching of holiday muscles. A guided walk around Lake Kyaninga would put you in the path of some exciting wildlife sightings like colobus monkeys and baboons.
In the dining suspended high in a wooden cabin, fine 3-course cuisine is served by a specialty chef. His menu is based on classical European cuisine and tweaked to make use of local ingredients, many of which are hand-picked from Kyaninga Lodge’s own kitchen garden or the neighboring markets. After dinner, head through to the Lounge, where you can relax by the fire with a drink from the fully stocked bar. During the daytime, head out to the terrace and relax on loungers while enjoying the view of Lake Kyaninga. In this equatorial paradise, you will feel a thousand miles away from the bustle of daily life, and you are; with wireless internet access in the Main Lodge, you can still share your adventures with your loved ones.
Accommodation at Kyaninga
Set apart and raised on platforms, the Lodges’ nine cottages offer guests privacy and tranquility. Each spacious cottage comes with a choice of twin or double beds made up with the softest bed linen and feather pillows. An indoor seating area leads out to a private deck where you can enjoy morning tea or coffee with views over the lake and the Rwenzori Mountains.
The en-suite bathrooms boast marble countertop basins set atop crafted Elgon olive pedestals, claw-footed freestanding baths, and glass-walled showers. With modern solar power, you will always have hot water and electrical charging points.
Amenities at Kyaninga Lodge:
- Laundry Services
- En-suite bathrooms
- Swimming Pool
- Guided Walks
- Wi-Fi Available
- Restaurant & Bar
- Daily housekeeping
- Mosquito net
Kyaninga Lodge’s terrace leads down to the swimming pool looking over the lake. Lined with pavers cut from the local volcanic rock and featuring two wooden decks, the swimming pool provides the perfect space for guests to relax and unwind. At the poolside guests can soak up the peace and tranquillity of Lake Kyaninga and the mountains beyond. The more adventurous can walk down to Lake Kyaninga itself. With its blue water and ‘land that time forgot’ rainforest, it offers a unique opportunity to experience a wilderness rarely encountered in real life. The lake is one of the few in Uganda that are safe to swim in.
After an hour’s drive from Kyaninga Lodge, guests can join guided chimpanzee hikes from Kanyanchu Park Headquarters into the forest jungle, searching for the chicky chimp bands. Usually, the chimpanzee tracking walks last 2-3 hours and are restrictive to eight people. The experience of viewing wild chimps up close can be incredible, but it has to be said that here in Kibale, the chances of really intimate.
Bird lovers will be interested to know that there are 325 species of birds recorded in the national park. The list includes the six species endemic to the Albertine Rift region, like the black-capped Apalis, collared Apalis, purple-breasted sunbirds, blue-headed sunbirds, dusky crimson wings, and red-faced woodland warblers.
There are some lovely walks in the area, including the walk in the small Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary in hopes of meeting more primates in the east of the park. A network of trails in Sebitoli Forest provides further opportunities for viewing various primates and birds on the forest’s northern side.
Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru Caves is a renowned cave system located near Fort Portal, around 15km from Kibale Forest, and is considered to be one of the seven wonders of Uganda and great to visit.
Kibale Forest National Park, Chimpanzee park
Kibale Forest National Park
Kibale Forest National Park contains one of the loveliest and most varied tracts of tropical forests in Uganda. Forest cover interspersed with patches of grassland and swamp, dominates the northern and central parts of the park elevated plateau. It covers an area of 795 square kilometres. The park is home to a total of 70 mammal species, most famously 13 species of primates including the Chimpanzees. It also contains over 375 bird species. Kibale adjoins Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south to create a 180 kn long corridor for wildlife between Ishasha, the remote southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, and Sebitoli in the north of Kibale National Park.
The Kibale-Fort Portal area is one of Uganda's most rewarding destinations to visit. It lies close to the Ndali-Kasenda crater area and within half a day's drive to Queen Elizabeth, Rwenzori Mountains and Semuliki National Park as well as the Toro-Semliki Wildlife Reserve.
Kibale is one of Africa's foremost research sites. There are several research centres in the park like the Ngogo and Kanyawara research centres for chimpanzees. While many researchers focus on chimpanzees and other primates found in the park, others are investigating Kibale's Eco Systems, wild pigs and fish species among other topics.
Activities in Kibale Forest
Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale Forest is the main activity. It lasts for 2 to 3 hours and start from Kanyanchu interpretation centre at 8:00 and 15:00 hours daily. Success rates are 90%. The tracking is easy going by comparison with the Kyambura gorge or even Mahale, definitely it is a lot easier than Gorilla Trekking.
Chimpanzee Habituation Experience
In addition to the short chimp treks, full day chimpanzee habituation experiences is available for about US$250. This entails most of the day's tracking with researchers and habituators from about 5:30 am to 19:00 hours when the chimps got to sleep. This activity though is only available on selected month of March, April, May and November. This is exceptionally good value for people with a real interest for chimps and the forest!
In addition to chimps, Kibale Forest is home to the following Primates; dwarf bush baby, easter needle bush baby, bosman's potto, dwarf galago, black and white colobus, red colobus monkey, red-tailed guenon, lhoesti or mountain guenon, vervet monkey, grey cheeked mangabey and olive baboon.
Night Walks in the forest - Start at Kanyanchu and run from 20:00 - 22:00 hours, aimed at sighting nocturnal primates especially potto and bush baby.
Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary
This is a community run initiative that protects the Magombe swamp. It is good for primates and butterflies but the 4.5 km trail is one of the best guided bird trails in East Africa. Local guides are especially good, keen birders. The swamp is home to 138 bird species.
Ndali - Kasenda Crater Lakes
Western Uganda from Albertine Rift to Rwenzoris and Virunga mountains has one of the world's densest concentration of volcanic crater lakes. There are 4 main groups of these crater lakes: Crater lake in kibale Kasenda cluster west of Kibale, Katwe cluster not far from Mweya Lodge in Queen Elizabeth NP; Fortportal cluster to the north and Bunyaruguru cluster south East of Queen Elizabeth NP.
The Kasenda cluster is the most extensive and easily accessible from Kibale. These lakes offer lots of possibilities for exploration with verdant bush, great landscapes and lots of birds and butterflies and other wildlife. Ndali lodge is probably the best spot from which to explore the lakes and surroundings.