By Kach Medina
Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group.
After the exhausting, memorable, and once in a lifetime trek at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to witness the magnificent Mountain Gorillas, I decided to stay the night at the Crater Safari Lodge. I was supposed to do another trek to see the Chimpanzees but my legs were too tired and my body is sore. So I opted to rest. I’m really bad at trekking haha!
I woke up to the chirping of the birds, As I opened my eyes, I saw the most beautiful and serene view of the Crater Lake. It was ecstatic! This is my 4th year celebrating my birthday since I started my long-term travel— 2013 in Vietnam, 2014 in Peru, 2015 in Brazil, 2016 in London and now in Uganda, but this is the first time that I’m celebrating it away from Jonathan. Looking back on all those years, I still can’t believe how far we’ve come and I’ll forever be grateful.
The Crater Safari Lodge which also uses the name of their tour company Crystal Lodges Uganda, is situated a few minutes away from the lush green tropical rainforest of Kibale Forest National Park. It has a beautiful eco-lodge overlooking the Nyinabulitwa Crater Lake which is accompanied by the view of the rolling hills. The cool breeze from the lake makes everything even better.
THE ROOMS AT THE CRATER SAFARI LODGE
Crater Safari Lodge offers luxury accommodation a with a breathtaking landscape.
The lodge comprises of seven lavish double cottages and two larger cottages each with two rooms, ideal for big groups and families. The units offer a seating area and fireplace. Each unit has a balcony or patio with a view of the scenic garden or Lake Nyinabultiwa.
All the cottages have en-suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water as well as solar lighting, internet access, and individually designed furniture.
I really loved how the lodge is built and the materials used. The furniture are all nice and the bed looks very sophisticated with a mosquito net is draped over it. I feel like a queen haha. The owner and her family joined me for dinner and they surprised me with a birthday cake complete with a birthday song. 🙂 I’m just so thankful to have this family around I actually felt like I was home even though Jonathan wasn’t there to celebrate it with me
I spent the day watching the magnificent sunrise and sunsets as well as reading on my Kindle and listening to different motivational podcasts. This actually reminded me of the days before I started traveling. It was a tough journey to get here, but it was worth it!! Haayyy, the Universe is so good! I’ve been showered with so much blessings and I sincerely thank each and every one of you guys!!
THE FACILITIES AT THE CRATER SAFARI LODGE
Restaurant, bar and lounge– All with a magnificent view and with good food and drinks! The rates include 3 multiple course meals per day. If you have food restrictions, inform the staff ahead of time so they can offer you other viands 🙂
Craft Shop– Support local and make sure you buy something here to bring home 🙂
Mobile Spa Facility- Soothe your senses and get a massage in the comforts of your own lodge. I had one and it was fantastic!
Campfire Area- Relax and enjoy views of the Crater Lake. There is a hippo which you might see wandering around so don’t get surprised! This is the perfect spot to hang out with your family and friends 🙂
Pool- Enjoy a dip with a stunning backdrop of the lake and the mountain. Don’t forget your cameras as you could take the best shot from here :p
SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES AROUND THE AREA
There’s a lot of things to do here. My only regret is I didn’t have enough time! Crystal Lodges Uganda offers activities and excursions which range from cultural tours, a butterfly collection, fishing, hiking, and Chimpanzee tracking. The owner is the one who arranged my entire trip in Uganda and they went over and beyond what I expected!
Experience the Wildlife at Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary- This place is well known for its wide range of wildlife including primates, such as chimpanzee, red colobus, black and white colobus and other mammals such as sitatunga, bushbuck, otter, and mongoose. The wetland is also a haven for birdlife, carrying around 140 bird species.
Track the Massive Mountain Gorillas– They offer a 3-day and 5-day excursion activity. Bring your trekking shoes and complete gears as the climb could be tough! I did this tour and it was absolutely amazing!! These Mountain Gorillas can only be found in Central Africa– Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo.
Track the Majestic Chimpanzees- This is the most popular of Kibale’s walks. It starts daily from the Kanyanchu visitor area at 8 am and 3 pm and lasts 2 to 3 hours. It’s a lot easier to do than tracking Mountain Gorillas. But why not do both?
Trek on the Rwenzori Mountains- They are the highest mountain range in Africa, with the highest peak of Mt. Stanley reaching 5109 meters. The mountain range is a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination
Visit the Legend of the Amabere ga Nyina Mwiru Caves- Marvel at the beauty of the stalactites and the stalagmites formed over the centuries. Get the ‘natural shower’ from the waterfall if you wish. It’s really magnificent! No wonder it is hailed as ‘One of the Seven Wonders of Uganda’.
Trek Along the Rwenzori Mountains- This is the highest mountain range in Africa, with the highest peak of Mt. Stanley reaching 5109 meters. The mountain range is a world-class hiking and mountaineering destination.