Paul “Pablo” Ryckaert Timbao was a role model, a friend who changed our community, an advisor, a good employer paying good salaries — and the person who put Lake Bunyonyi on the map by founding BirdNest Resort!
Before Pablo’s arrival to our community, there was just an ugly ruin on the only road, a visitor’s first contact with Bunyonyi. It used to belong to Francis “Frank” Kalemera Kalimuzo, the vice chancellor of Kampala’s Makerere University, who opened a hotel here decades before anyone else. In 1972 Idi Amin had him arrested and he was never seen again… After being briefly used by Amin as a holiday cottage, the hotel fell into disrepair.
In 2009 Pablo and fellow Belgian investors leased it, renovated the existing building and expanded it dramatically. They created a place without a match at Lake Bunyonyi and beyond. Its most prominent feature is the grassthatched roof that to us, locals, looks like a nest. When you approach it in a canoe, it actually appears like many nests due to a number of smaller houses along the big one. Then when you enter the compound, it is all amazing and the services are better and faster than anywhere else. No wonder it hosts celebrities like famous musicians and Golola Moses, Uganda’s big-mouthed kickboxer!
The excellent food of BirdNest was the main inspiration for us to start the Gorilla Highlands Silverchef cooking competition. Pablo graciously hosted one of these events at Lake Bunyonyi in 2017 and successfully took the role of the main judge in Musanze in 2019. He was also the biggest advertiser in the Gorilla Highlands Pocket Guide. Moreover, our team benefited from getting canoeing and trekking clients from his resort. He was a great friend of ours …
The entire Gorilla Highlands family will miss him, but since God has called him for a minute or more, everybody shall pray for his soul — willingly, not forced, and wish him to rest in peace. We will miss him so much, and we pray that the broken hearts of his family and the BirdNest team heal as soon as possible.
Source: Gorilla Highlands Experts