Ndali Lodge is situated on the edge of a crater lake, approximately 10 kilometres west of Kibale National Park. The park’s trailhead for chimpanzee tracking is only an hour from the lodge. Ndali occupies a site forming part of a tea estate that once belonged to Major Trevor Price and his friend Hugh Naylor. The lodge opened in 1996, and today it is run by Trevor’s grandchildren Aubrey and Lulu.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The Kibale area is usually accessed via light-aircraft flight from Entebbe International Airport followed by road transfer, or road transfer alone if you are approaching from another of Uganda’s holiday destinations. Ndali is found at the end of a pleasant grassy track, within beautiful gardens.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal lodge is constructed from timber, stone, and thatch, with a glass-panelled door and long rectangular panelled windows. Inside, there is a lounge, featuring comfortable seating around coffee tables and wildlife artwork. A library provides plenty of reading matter as well as a telescope. There is a dining area too, set with elegant tables and chairs. All lodge rooms boast superb views over the crater lake. Guests may also tuck into meals on Ndali’s dining terraces, all the while admiring the scenery. Within the grounds, flanked by sunloungers and deckchairs, there is a sparkling swimming pool.
Ndali’s guest accommodation consists of eight cottages, also made out of timber, stone, thatch, and glass. All are sufficiently spacious to sleep a family of four, and each has comfy furnishings. As there is no electricity at the property, lighting comes from candles. Where a maximum of two persons are sharing a cottage, there is room for a seating area. Windows to the west provide views of the so-called ‘Mountains of the Moon’, the Rwenzori mountains. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin with mirror above, and bathtub with shower attachment. Charming little details are a theme throughout the cottages, such as fresh flowers, snug rugs, and stencilled pictures of wildlife. Just outside, there is a private veranda, set with mainly rattan furniture. This is the perfect place to relax in between activities, while gazing as far as the mountains.
A great range of things to do is available from Ndali Lodge. You can head out to Kibale National Park to enjoy chimpanzee tracking and forest walks, for example. The rainforest is home not only to chimps but also to 12 other primate species and hundreds of types of bird. Elsewhere in the park, there are lion, leopard, golden cat, serval, mongoose, otters – and even elephant, making their way along the corridor linking Kibale and Queen Elizabeth N.P. You can also visit the latter park from Ndali, as well as Rwenzori Mountains N.P. for some serious mountain trekking!
Closer to the lodge, there is Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, a community-based project for the conservation of monkeys, other mammals, and rare birds such as white-winged warbler, white-collared oliveback, and papyrus canary. You can enjoy walks around the tea estate and the Ndali vanilla-processing plant - this is a very interesting activity, as sights along the way include crater rims, vanilla and banana plantations, coffee terraces, and oil drums full of brewing alcohol. And the lake provides even more pastimes, such as swimming, kayaking, and looking out for five species of kingfisher.