Rubalika Safari Lodge & Farm: A transformative escape

Rubalika Safari Lodge & Farm: A transformative escape

Rubalika Safari Lodge & Farm Images By Denise & Gabriele

Unveiling Paradise

The dusty road stretched before me, a testament to the Ugandan wilderness waiting to be explored. The anticipation crackled in the air, promising adventure. As I crested a final rise, the scene that unfolded was a breathtaking tapestry of rolling hills carpeted in lush greenery. Vibrant wildflowers and traditional crops intermingled, while the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains pierced the azure sky, like celestial pearls.

This wasn’t just the entrance to a lodge; it was the gateway to an unforgettable Ugandan experience.

My arrival at Rubalika Safari Lodge & Farm was a sensory feast. The rhythmic beats of drums and local dances by the Rubalika troupe, funded by the lodge and its guests, filled the air. The performers, adorned with intricate beadwork shimmering under the Ugandan sun, showcased the region’s rich cultural heritage with captivating grace and power. Their infectious energy was a fitting welcome, and I found myself swaying to the rhythm.


The lodge itself was a charming blend of rustic elegance and modern comfort. Locally
sourced materials and traditional Ugandan crafts seamlessly integrated with the surrounding landscape. My canvas cottage, nestled amidst the verdant expanse of the farm, offered a haven of tranquility. Stepping inside, I was greeted by breathtaking panoramic views of farmlands rolling towards the horizon, merging with the dense emerald embrace of Kibale Forest National Park in the distance. The only sound that disturbed the peace was the gentle murmur of the River Dura rapids, harmonizing with the natural symphony of the Ugandan countryside.

Eye Article Rubalika lodge&farm

Features of Rubalika Safari Lodge & Farm.

One of the defining features of Rubalika was its unwavering commitment to farm-to-table
dining. Freshness wasn’t a buzzword here; it was a philosophy woven into the very fabric of the culinary experience. From the moment I sat down for breakfast, vibrant colors and intoxicating aromas emanating from the plates around me sparked my appetite. Juices bursting with the essence of freshly squeezed local fruits – passion fruit, pineapple, and mango – cleansed the palate and awakened the senses. Each bite of the breakfast spread, featuring perfectly cooked free-range eggs and fluffy homemade bread, was a revelation. Every meal at Rubalika was a journey celebrating the bounty of the farm and the expertise of the chefs.


Lunchtime often found me gathered with fellow guests on the expansive veranda, its
floorboards worn smooth by countless conversations and laughter shared over delicious meals. The veranda became an open-air sanctuary, offering a breathtaking panorama as we devoured colorful salads with a delightful mix of familiar and exotic vegetables, including the sweet and crunchy Ugandan passion fruit. An ever-changing array of local dishes, each a testament to the region’s culinary heritage, graced our plates.

Lunch at rubalika lodge

One particularly memorable dinner was served by the riverside, the gentle murmur of the Dura River providing a serene backdrop. Candlelight flickered on tables adorned with locally sourced fish cooked in a fragrant tomato and herb sauce. The tangy zest perfectly complemented the delicate sweetness of the fish, while roasted vegetables seasoned with a touch of smokiness from the open fire added another layer of complexity. The night concluded with a delightful surprise: a platter of sliced vanilla bean from the farm, its intoxicating aroma a promise of sweet treats to come, fulfilled in the form of homemade vanilla ice cream served the following day.

Staff at Rubalika
Kayonza tea at Rubalika resize

Beyond the boundaries of Kibale National Park, Rubalika offers a wealth of activities
that broadened my perspective. One morning, I embarked on a community, nature, and farm walk guided by Richard, a local-born guide trained and employed by the lodge. As we ventured deeper into the verdant embrace of the farm, the air grew cool and crisp, carrying the earthy scent of the rich soil. Richard’s infectious enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the local flora and fauna brought the Ugandan ecosystem to life. We marvelled at the vibrant plumage of exotic birds flitting through the trees and encountered a playful family of black and white colobus monkeys swinging from branch to branch, their long tails trailing behind them like elegant streamers. A shy mongoose darted through the undergrowth, its beady eyes watchful and curious.


Another enriching experience was the coffee experience. The rich aroma of freshly
roasted coffee beans filled the air as I learned about the meticulous journey of Rubalika’s coffee, from handpicking the ripe berries to the final brewing process. The culmination of the experience was a delightful coffee-tasting session.

Savouring the rich, full-bodied flavor of Rubalika’s signature Robusta coffee, grown on the very land I was standing on was an unforgettable sensory experience. And as if that wasn’t enough later along the trail I was shown how vanilla is farmed, harvested and then processed – truly an experience worth travelling for all on its own!

Rubalika wasn’t just about delicious food and exciting excursions. It was also about
immersing oneself in Ugandan culture. The lodge’s commitment went beyond the initial
welcome dance. For a truly immersive experience, guests could participate in preparing a traditional local meal alongside members of the local community. This hands-on experience allowed you to learn about local ingredients and cooking techniques, while fostering a deeper appreciation for Ugandan cuisine, and afterwards I was able to sample my labours in a truly authentic and traditional setting. Another unforgettable activity was the traditional banana brewing experience.

bananas rubalika safari lodge Uganda

Uganda boasts a unique spirit distilled from bananas, and Rubalika offers guests the chance to participate in the entire process, from selecting the ripest bananas to witnessing the fermentation and distillation. The culmination of this experience was a chance to sample both the unflavored banana gin and a refreshing banana juice, a delightful twist on a familiar drink. Then, at the end of a long day learning and experiencing so much, a delightfully soothing massage adjacent to the seemingly ever-present River Dura was almost a luxury too far!


Perhaps the most unexpected delight at Rubalika was the occasional sighting of wild
chimpanzees from the lodge itself. Due to its proximity to Kibale National Park, guests can
sometimes enjoy the unforgettable experience of witnessing these intelligent primates swinging through the trees bordering the lodge property. Catching a glimpse of these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat was a truly remarkable bonus to a Ugandan adventure.


Rubalika’s dedication to sustainability further solidified its appeal. The lodge’s philosophy
extended far beyond eco-friendly practices, and a large portion of the farmland is dedicated for rent-free use by the local community, fostering a spirit of collaboration and support. Their commitment was evident in other ways as well, including the setting up of a plastic recycling scheme, a rent-free space within the lodge for a local community group’s crafts shop, and providing employment opportunities for local residents both directly at the lodge and indirectly within the community. The lodge itself was constructed using locally sourced materials and employed energy-saving techniques. Waste management practices were meticulously implemented, ensuring minimal environmental impact.

chilling at rublika lodge

Leaving Rubalika was bittersweet as it isn’t just a lodge, it’s a transformative experience. The image of the lodge nestled amidst the rolling hills remains etched in my mind. The warmth of the staff’s hospitality, the thrill of encountering wildlife, the exquisite farm-to-table cuisine, the enriching cultural experiences, and the opportunity to unwind amidst the tranquility of nature all blended together to create a truly unforgettable Ugandan adventure.

Rubalika Safari Lodge & Farm is more than just a place to stay; it’s a haven for those seeking a unique blend of relaxation, adventure, and a profound connection to the land. It’s a testament to responsible tourism practices and a celebration of the rich tapestry of Ugandan culture. It’s a place that leaves a lasting impression, a piece of paradise forever etched in your heart, and a place where you can rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

rubalika safari lodge & farm lodgings

Reservations & Information


Rubalika 2A, Kakinga Town Council, Bunyangabu District
Tel: +256 709 722596 / +256 709 722594
email: /

Instagram | facebook | Twitter

leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *