If you ever dreamed of having your very own tree house as a child you are going to want to make sure you stay at Chimp’s Nest when you next visit Kibale Forest. While you can find accommodation closer to the chimp tracking in Kibale, staying at Chimp’s Nest is worth the little extra drive to enjoy the serenity and unique accommodation.
Each of the rooms (cottages/tree houses) are built on stilts into the hillside and each comes with a private, hardwood veranda on which you can sit and watch the…well, the wilderness pass by. The array of butterflies alone is breathtaking but you are also sure to glimpse monkeys and an amazing array of birds. There are chimpanzees in the forest around Chimp’s Nest but it’s rare to catch a glimpse of them although you will hear them hooting and screeching in the distance.
All of the accommodation is thoughtfully equipped with the standard mosquito nets, bug spray, and torches. Lighting is solar so can be dim. En suite bathrooms/showers are outside but well concealed and the showers are plenty hot with the water tanks being fire heated.
By far the most interesting room is the “tree house” which is a rather spacious, two-level cottage built high up in the trees and accessed by a wooden ladder. The tree houses are the most remote of the buildings and are approached by a walk on a slightly elevated wooden path that crosses over the damp, sometimes, swampy, forest floor. After climbing the ladder, the first level is a seating area with a viewing deck and the second level houses the bedroom.
The place boasts a number of different types of accommodation – everything from backpackers and campers to the family cottage. The standard cottage cost $80 USD for double occupancy and $60 for single. The tree house is $150 USD for double and $130 for single. You’ll want to add to this the price of food (not a lot of places around elsewhere to take in a meal!) with full board being $30 USD per day and half board being $20 USD per day. Breakfast only is $6 USD.
Most people staying at Chimp’s Nest are there for the Chimp Tracking. It takes about half an hour to drive into the park and get to the Chimp Tracking so leave some time when setting out. The lodge also offers some walks right from the front door if you’re interested in just sticking around including a night walk, forest walk, and community walk. The prices for these vary according to the walk
The food at Chimp’s Nest is good but not memorable and the bar is stocked but limited. Food is served in the inviting communal lounge/dining area where there is also a decent selection of guidebooks to peruse. The view from the lounge area is beautiful making it a great place to sit and read. They also have a few board and card games on offer if you’re inclined to spend the evening hours being social.
To get to Chimp’s Nest from Kampala takes about 4.5 – 5 hours. Follow the road to Fort Portal (Mubende) branching at Fort Portal to follow the Fort Portal/Mbarara Road. You can follow the signs to Chimp’s Nest – starting in Mpanga Market – which is approximately 40 minutes drive through Kibale Forest.
Would you like to know more unique safari lodges in Uganda? Check Out more reviews from the SafariLodgesUganda.com, a collection of the best places to stay while in Uganda’s national parks and remote areas.