Budongo Eco Lodge is the only place to stay if you want to visit Budongo Forest. It is a great little place - very simple but well run, clean and eco-friendly as the name suggests!
It has been open since 2006 and is in a Budongo concession zone called Kaniyo Pabidi. The owners of the lodge also have responsibility for the forest and the chimps here, working alongside the NFA (National Forest Authority) and UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority).
There are 5 wooden cabins. They are simple but very spacey, with twin beds with mozzy nets over them. There is an en-suite bathroom with composting drop loo (non- smelly when we visited!), and a shower heated by solar power.
The small guest area includes chairs and a verandah with tables for eating. It is very basic and feels more like a research centre than a place for travellers, but in fact that makes it quite unusual and interesting.
There is a bar, and they also provide lunches and dinners (eg chicken curry and rice, tilapia and chips, spaghetti bolognese, chocolate brownies etc).
All 18 staff are local. This includes the 8 guides who are based here too. The guides were really excellent - personable and truly knowledgeable about the chimps.
Open: All year round.
Location: Nestled in the heart of the Budongo Central Forest Reserve.
Rooms: 5 forest cabins.
Activities: Chimp tracking and habituation experiences, birding, forest walks and wildlife safaris in Murchison Falls.
Facilities: The restaurant is set in the forest with an outdoor terrace. There is a visitor's centre with cosy lounge chairs and a small craft shop.
Dining: Meals are served in the restaurant or out on the terrace (weather permitting).
Children: Children of all ages are welcome but chimp activities require an age limit of 15 years and over.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is a limited mobile reception, no direct â€˜phone or fax and no internet.
"I wasn't expecting much from this place, but I loved it. OK the huts are simple and very rustic, but they're huge and clean and very well done. Everything here has been done in an eco-friendly way which completely fits with the experience of chimp trekking that you come here for. Nothing is fancy, the food is OK (basic but fine), the people are very friendly. The best bit of it all is the trek that you do from here of course, and the guides we had were really brilliant and made it great fun. I'd highly recommend this experience, as long as you're not expecting anything like luxury accommodation!"