Chimpundu Lodge and Emburara Farm Lodge Review

Chimpundu Lodge and Emburara Farm Lodge Review

A review of Chimpundu Lodge and Emburara Farm Lodge Article by: Dr. Nathaniel Dunigan / Images by Tom Nsereko

The Sweet Life, from Forest to Farm

A review of Chimpundu Lodge and Emburara Farm Lodge

One of Uganda’s sweetest drives just happens to connect the sister properties of Chimpundu Lodge (in Kibale National Forest), and Emburara Farm Lodge (two hours to the south, just outside Mbarara).

Chimpundu Lodge & Emburara Farm map
Chimpundu Lodge & Emburara Farm location map

With very few trucks, bumps or potholes, this road winds smoothly through vibrant little towns and picturesque plantations, inviting you further.


It crosses the equator—quietly marked within the whispers of a stand of eucalyptus trees.


And then, it delivers you to handsome gates.

We began at the gates of Chimpundu Lodge—at the top of that road—in the remarkable Kibale Forest. Baboons seemed to function as if on cue as they ushered us in, and as they remained part of our enchanting stay.

As you receive the warm greetings, fresh juice, and warm facecloth from the lodge’s more official hospitality team, I recommend that you make your way out to the grand deck—overlooking the forested valley where you’ll spend the rest of your holiday.


You’ll trek chimpanzees, watch birds and butterflies (I have never seen so many butterflies!), eat and refresh, relax poolside, and lounge in your bathrobe on your own deck.

Chimpundu Welcomes You in the Lobby
Chimpundu Welcomes You in the Lobby
Chimpundu View from your suite deck
Chimpundu View from your suite deck

The accommodations at both of these lodges are more than on-point; they have everything one wants to find in an excellent property: four-poster beds with spacious netting-surrounds, bright-white and high-thread-count linens, duvets, claw-foot or freestanding tubs, rain shower heads, bathrobes, slippers, toiletries, soft carpets underfoot, in-room safes, friendly room-service, and turndown-service, too. You name it!


Not a bad place to call home. Stay as long as you can.

And then return to that sweet road out front, and follow it down to the Emburara Farm Lodge. Here, you’re welcomed by a long, impressive, tree-lined driveway which deposits you at the reception building with another friendly team.

Emburara Botanical Gardens
Emburara Botanical Gardens

If you’re like me, you may be wondering why one would choose to spend vacation-days-and-money at a working cattle farm?!


Well, let me tell you!


First of all, at THIS farm, the private botanical gardens cast their spell upon you—just as the forest did in the north. All of your senses are invited to this garden party. As you stroll, fragrant blossoms make you want to pause, close your eyes, and simply breathe! The extraordinary, natural-architecture—of tropical fronds and blooms—lines the long and well-maintained pathways. No trip-or-slip hazards here as the attention to detail from designer to custodian and gardener is evident.

Emburara Rose Gardens
Emburara Rose Gardens

Don’t miss the rare, purple bird-of-paradise near the arbor at Eka Cottage, or the rose garden next to the discreetly-positioned conference hall, or the striking mound of succulents and lilies adjacent to the pool-house—to name but a few.

Ankole Cows by Emburara Farm Lodge
Ankole Cows - Photo by Emburara Farm Lodge

You’re also invited to join the farmers for the morning milking of the legendary Ankole cows, learn how to make ghee, and discover why the farm is called Emburara—with an ‘e’ and a ‘u.’


It’s all fun, educational, and just plain interesting!


In the evening, a charming bonfire is soon surrounded by a troupe of dancers who bring the celebration of culture to a joyful climax before you retire to your room which offers all the luxuries and amenities you had in your Chimpundu room—but with Emburara’s own signature flare.

On your nightstand, you’ll discover another delightful bedtime story in a hand-tied scroll. On your pillow, another sweet Equator Chocolate. And if it’s chilly, a hot-water-bottle tucked just under the turned-down covers.


Since this is a farm, eco-friendly practices just occur naturally. For example, rabbits are treated to a fare of peels from the kitchen’s fruits and veggies, all grown onsite—herbs, too—making every menu- and buffet-item that much more vibrant and tasty.


The lodge and its team-members give back by volunteering in the community, and through a variety of in-kind and financial donations to projects serving children. Your stay makes all of this possible.


Tending to the care of community, being at one with the environment, and sleeping soundly in peace and quiet: this is what makes life on the farm so appealing.


So there you have it! Co-exist with baboons one day, milk an Ankole cow the next. Hike through the forest today, and stroll through private-botanical-gardens tomorrow–literally within steps of your very own well-appointed and private accommodations.


All the boxes are ticked at these lodges. I highly recommend that you soon plan your own sweet trip.


From forest to farm.


Note that Chimpundu Lodge is just outside the official borders of Kibale National Park, so no fees are required to enter Chimpundu Lodge. For chimpanzee trekking, however, you will need to pay entrance fees, and to buy a trekking permit from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Thankfully, these are much cheaper and easier to get than gorilla trekking permits.

For more details, visit their website:


Both lodges have been intentional about accessibility for those with mobility challenges. At Chimpundu, there are no stairs between the car park and the lobby or dining areas. The same is true for one of the two-bedroom cottages—which also has assist bars in the master bathroom. Similarly at Emburara, one cottage has assists, and is fully accessible, as are the main lobby and most of the vast gardens. 


Make sure to specifically inquire about special offers, and about discounted rates for Ugandan citizens and residents.

Contact:  (t) +256 776 210872  (e)
chimpundulodge.comFacebook / Instagram

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