Isunga lodge Kibale
Location: With sweeping views of this beautiful rainforest, the massive peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains and beyond to Lake George and Queen Elizabeth’s Savannahs – 3 National Parks to see at once. Isunga Lodge * * * * * has a unique location next to the rainforest and also in the middle of the crater lake area, making it the perfect base for exploring this beautiful region.
Rooms: With just eight simple, stylish cottages spread over the extensive grounds, the lodge offers privacy and tranquility in a natural, wild garden. You may feel like you are the only one around. Owners Gerry and Karen are always on hand to help, advise on activities, travel and more, offering a friendly, personal approach and a very warm welcome to guests.
Room facilities: Enjoy the beautiful view of Kibale Forest from your private terrace surrounded by nature and see how many beautiful birds you can spot. All cottages have charging facilities, mosquito nets, flush toilets and hot showers. The family cottage is suitable for 4 people, with 2 bedrooms, bathroom and sitting room. Please note that the cottages are spread out over a hill, which means walking up and down a hill, so may not be suitable for those with mobility issues.
Restaurant: Panoramic views from the restaurant and lounge make this the perfect place to relax, read, enjoy a drink or just catch up with friends. Food is a favorite topic at Isunga and the lodge is fortunate to have access to a wonderful range of ingredients sourced from the local markets, along with fresh organic herbs and vegetables from their own garden. There are usually set menus for lunch and dinner but flexibility is not a problem – special dietary requirements are happy to accommodate. The lunch is 2 courses, with a main course and dessert, but also light lunches with freshly baked bread and salads from the garden. Dinner is a 3-course menu with starter, main course and dessert. If you want to try some local food just ask and the chefs can prepare it for you. The breakfast offers something for everyone. Fresh fruit, juice, cereal, homemade muesli and yogurt form the buffet, while eggs, pancakes or a full hot breakfast are made to order.
Facilities: On sunny days you can cool off in the refreshing swimming pool with a beautiful view over the forest. Free wifi is available in the restaurant and lounge, but as the lodge is in a very rural location next to the rainforest, please note that this is not always super fast. Watch an awe-inspiring sunset over the Rwenzoris, then sit by the campfire under the stars, share stories about your day with fellow travelers and listen to the sounds of elephants and chimpanzees from the forest below.
Activities: Activities include the half day chimpanzee tracking or habituation experience, guided wildlife and birding walks. There is easy access to the starting point in Kanyanchu, a 25-minute drive from the lodge.
In the beautiful rainforest of Kibale, you can come face to face with wild chimpanzees and also encounter some of the other 12 primate species, including red-tailed monkey, black and white colobus, red colobus, olive baboon and grey-cheeked mangabey. Kibale is also an incredible place for birdwatchers with about 375 species recorded.
You can enjoy hiking including crater lakes, forest and community tours, bird walks, market visits, tea plantations and vanilla farms. It is also possible to cycle through the beautiful countryside around the lodge and explore the crater lakes on a guided mountain bike tour using quality hardtail mountain bikes imported from the UK (supplied with helmets and water bottles). Motorcycle tours (boda boda) are a fun way to explore the region with an expert guide. You can also go on the water. Rent inflatable kayaks and explore one of the nearby crater lakes. Another popular activity is the Bigodi swamp nature walk. The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is located 6 km from Kanyanchu, outside the national park. The 3-hour 4.5 km guided walk around the wetland can be done in the morning or afternoon and no need to book in advance. Various species of monkeys are often seen on the walk and over 200 bird species have been recorded. Tell the guides if you have a special interest in birds. The shelter is run by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (KAFRED), and the money generated from the activities is used to fund community projects in Bigodi, including a school and a clinic.