One of the most beautiful lodges in Uganda

Deep in Western Uganda lies a little oasis of peace, set between the stunning crater lakes around Fort Portal. Ndali Lodge is a unique lodge set on the rim of an extinct volcano which has now filled with water to become the breathtaking Lake Nyinambuga – 250 acres in size and 130 metres deep.

Built of local stone and thatch, the 8 luxury bandas have a colonial vibe, offering splendid views over the dramatic Rwenzori Mountains. But it’s not only your eyes who are in for a treat: the coffee you drink comes from Ndali’s own estate and every meal redefines food-porn.

The trip: from Kampala to Fort Portal

There are various ways to get from Kampala to Fort Portal. There are loads of public transport options, but for the real adventurers there isn’t any other option than driving yourself there. The journey could take you anywhere between 5-7 hours depending on traffic and road conditions.

Ndali Lodge is at the heart of 1000 acres of privately owned fertile farmland which is still cultivated according to traditional methods.
The estate dates back to the 1920s, an era of large-scale tea planting in the area that began when Major Trevor Price and his friend Hugh Naylor, recently discharged from the British Army in Egypt after the Great War, decided to venture south in a model T Ford, eventually settling here in Uganda’s Tooro Kingdom to establish one tea estate after another. Others followed suit and the great estates of western Uganda came into being and flourished until 1972, when Major Price’s land was appropriated by the then military regime. He returned to England and passed away soon after, never again to set eyes on the rolling green hills of Tooro; the Price family acted as guardians to the exiled king of Tooro, but held out little hope of seeing Trevor’s Ugandan estates returned to them.

"Ndali Lodge is the perfect spot to get lost for a while."

— Roos de Jong

A new generation

A generation later, in 1992, Trevor’s son Captain Mark Price reclaimed his father’s estates under a parliamentary repatriation act, as did many exiled foreign investors, and chose this site upon which  to establish a safari lodge. He began building in 1993, and opened in 1996 with cottages 1-4, 5-8 under construction.  Sadly, Mark past away in 1998.

His son Aubrey Price and niece Lulu Sturdy (youngest daughter of Trevor’s daughter Caroline) came to Uganda to take up the reins of the lodge and farm, respectively, and have been living happily here ever since, continuing Mark’s legacy of active reforestation; Ndali Forest, cleared land when Mark reclaimed it in 1992, is now a verdant expanse of indigenous trees, home to a diverse array of birds, monkeys and other wildlife.

Chimp trekking in Kibale Forest

One of the most popular activities in the area is chimp trekking in Kibale Forest National Park, which has the highest number and diversity of primates in East Africa. There are 13 species of primates including chimpanzees living within its 795km2 land cover with the most beautiful and most diversified tracts of tropical forest in the whole of Uganda. There is also a bunch of other wildlife in Kibale National Park however they can be pretty shy. These consist of buffaloes, leopards, bush pigs, elephants, and duikers. A keen viewer may also be able to spot some amphibians, reptiles and a variety of colorful butterflies.

“You either get the point of Africa or you don't. What draws me back year after year is that it's like seeing the world with the lid off.”

— A.A. Gill

A magic experience

Although a stay at Ndali Lodge is not for you ballers on a budget, I can assure you that its worth every penny/shilling/cent. On day two of our stay at Ndali Lodge, I completely forgot about covid and the precarious place the world is in. The perfect destination to forget about the pressures of life and get lost in the moment.

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