Rating: Upmarket retreat
The family-run Ndali Lodge is one of Uganda’s most widely praised exclusive retreats. It has a stunning location high on the rim of lake Nyinambuga, offering panoramic views across lake Rukwanzi and steep slopes lined in banana and tea plantations to the Rwenzori peaks. The airy and tastefully decorated lounge and dining area, set in colorful flowering gardens, have something of an English country-house ambiance, an old library, and superb candlelit, home-cooked four-course dinners.
Ndali lodge’s style is a mix of rustic romanticism and post-colonial luxury. Indoor lighting is strictly the warm glow of a kerosene lamp, muted by gauzy mosquito nets. Guests take tea in the afternoon and evening drinks with other guests before an English-style meal. The style feels almost Spanish mission, with the main building commanding breathtaking views of lakes on either side.
The Lodge is about 45 minutes from the chimpanzee tracking trailhead at Kanyanchu. The world’s densest concentration of volcanic lakes embraces the hilly landscape area around, giving the lodge an enchanting distant palace feel. It’s a perfect base to hike around the region and go primate tracking in the nearby Kibale Forest.
Accommodation at Ndali
With a capacity of up to 16 occupants, Ndali’s eight grass-thatched cottages are spacious and airy, with each facing west to offer a panoramic view to the spectacular ‘Mountains of the Moon’ – Rwenzori Mountains.
The interiors are imaginatively furnished, using local materials. Each cottage, large enough to accommodate a family, has a spacious en-suite bathroom and a private verandah ideal for watching the sun setting behind the Rwenzori Mountains.
At night the dining room is adorned with candles for a tranquil and intimate setting. The sitting room, reception, and dining room open out onto Lake Nyinambuga and are connected by two open breeze-ways.
Ndali Lodge style is Anglo-African country house style, breezy and chintzy, and open to the outdoors. Ndali lodge has a huge charm!
Sauna & Steam Bath
Restaurant & Bar
After a 45-minute drive from Ndali 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.