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Former Coffee Processing Plant is the Cornerstone of Volcanoes Safaris’ Chimpanzee Conservation and Community Ecotourism Program in Uganda
Kampala, UGANDA -Volcanoes Safaris, specialists in mountain gorilla and chimpanzee safaris in Uganda and Rwanda and leaders in ecotourism, today announces the opening of its newest luxury eco-accommodation, Kyambura Gorge Lodge. Located on the edge of the Kyambura Gorge and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, Kyambura Gorge Lodge is a former coffee processing plant and store that has been sensitively restored as a luxury eco-property. Balancing historical context and the contemporary African condition, Kyambura Gorge Lodge provides stunning views of lush savannah, backed by the peaks of the mythical Rwenzori Mountains rising in the distance.
Kyambura Lodge seeks to create a new architectural vocabulary, born of the marriage between contemporary African and western design. Drawing inspiration from the innovation of ‘everyday’ Africa, Kyambura Lodge celebrates the abundance, vibrancy and resourcefulness of everyday objects- “up-cycling” – or repurposing and remodeling existing infrastructure for a different purpose.
The main lodge building was originally a coffee store and processing plant, surrounded by coffee plantations. The original structure has been sensitively restored to create a series of distinct inspiring spaces for guests. In keeping with other Volcanoes lodges that are part of the Volcanoes Collection, it seeks to create a quiet harmony between the buildings and the landscape, using the ancient Indian technique of Vasthu. The airy and spacious living and dining area features a long covered veranda facing the savannah. A covered extension protrudes from the veranda and faces the beautiful Kyambura Gorge. This is the centerpiece of the complex with its dramatic sombrero shaped straw roof, contrasting with the recycled tin roofs of the main building.
Four luxury bandas, each with its own luxury bathroom and uniquely appointed theme, have been built and another four will be available by early 2012. Where possible, materials have been sourced locally and reflect contemporary interpretations of traditional design and construction techniques. Décor invokes the context of the original buildings. Second-hand hessian coffee sacks accent feature lighting and curtains, and “junk art” sculptures round out an inspiring and thought-provoking lodge experience. Volcanoes Safaris partnered with Regional Associates, a dynamic architectural studio to highlight contemporary Africa in its design.
“Kyambura Gorge Lodge is a celebration of contemporary Africa. It highlights the Volcanoes Safaris mission: to offer all the comforts of a luxury accommodation within the framework of practical ecotourism and sustainability,” said Praveen Moman, co-founder and managing director of Volcanoes Safaris. “The Kyambura Gorge eco-tourism Partnership of which the lodge is the center piece is eight years in the making. It symbolizes our commitment to African culture, communities and conservation and allows guests to experience the challenges of ecotourism in Africa today.”
The Kyambura Gorge Ecotourism, program partners with neighboring communities in their projects, promotes the conservation of chimpanzees having a created a buffer zone to protect their habitat and has reclaimed 40 acres of local wetland that was previously used as illegal brickworks. In total, Volcanoes Safaris has created a 150-acre mini-wildlife reserve, which is helping to reduce human-wildlife conflict in a highly populated area.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge functions as the gateway to Queen Elizabeth National Park – an expansive preserve which occupies 1,978 square kilometers in western Uganda. The park is home to wildlife including the hippopotamus, elephant, leopard, lion and highly-endangered chimpanzee. Guests who participate in a Volcanoes Safaris tour and stay at Kyambura Gorge Lodge have access to a number of awe-inspiring itinerary items, including:
- Chimpanzee tracking in Kyambura Gorge or Kalinzu Forest
- Game drive on the plains of Queen Elizabeth to spot lions, elephant, antelope, buffalo and over 600 species of bird
- Boating and wildlife spotting on the Kazinga Channel
Guided tours of the mini-reserve are also available, which focus on the community projects supported by Volcanoes Safaris, the wetland it has recreated and the buffer zone for chimpanzee protection.
The Kyambura Gorge Lodge is located 45 minutes by private plane from Kampala, landing at either Kasese or Mweya. The Lodge is approximately 6 hours’ drive from Kampala by car.
Kyambura Gorge Lodge is bookable as part of a safari package, which includes an expert guide for the duration of the itinerary, accommodations and meals, ground transportation and necessary permits. For information on travel dates and prices, please visit www.volcanoessafaris.com or call 1.866.599.APES (2737).