Discovering Rwanda & Uganda’s Gorilla Trekking Paradise: A Guide to the Best Safari Lodges for a Memorable Experience
If you’re planning a thrilling adventure safari to Uganda or Rwanda, the range of lodges available for gorilla trekking is sure to pique your interest. There’s nothing quite like waking up in a rainforest – the sounds, sensations, and sheer size of these primate-infested jungles are a magical reminder of the magnificence of nature.
The forest resorts in these destinations are pristine and often offer dramatic views of jungle canopies and rugged landscapes, transporting guests to idyllic enchantments. From luxurious escapes with glamorous infinity pools to sleeping above tree canopies in rustic cabins, the top jungle resorts promise an unforgettable gorilla trekking adventure experience in Uganda and Rwanda.
Top Safari Lodges in Uganda for Unforgettable Gorilla Trekking Experience.
If you’re planning a gorilla trekking tour, Uganda is a top choice due to its affordability compared to neighboring Rwanda. Not only that, but Uganda is home to more than half of the entire mountain gorilla population, protected in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Parks.
Visitors to these parks can choose from a wide range of safari lodges, with five visitor centers offering plenty of options. The lodges are conveniently located near the park entrances, making it easy for guests to access all the activities on offer.
Whether you’re looking for an upscale camp inside the park, a cozy chalet with a treetop view, a private cottage nestled in the rainforest, or a cabin with breathtaking vistas, Uganda has some of the best safari lodges for gorilla trekking.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
From USD 300 pp a night
Perched on a ridge 7,000 ft high, the multi-award-winning Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge is a jungle-clutched designer lodge for gorilla trekking in Uganda. The lodge’s peculiar forest chalets hang above the Bwindi Impenetrable canopy, offering guests enchanted vistas across the rugged rift valley and the entire Virunga mountains range.
Moreover, the lodge is conveniently located south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forests, a 5-minute walk to Nkuringo gorilla trekking center and a 25-minute drive to Rushaga gorilla trekking office. This means guests can easily access the gorilla trekking centers and enjoy the thrilling adventure.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge offers family villas, garden cottages, and luxurious executive suites with butler services and full amenities. All cabins feature a spacious bedroom, living area, ensuite bathroom, fireplace, and a garden porch facing the Bwindi misty treetops or the Virunga mountains. Guests can come to eye level with birds and observe the rich diversity of UNESCO’s World Heritage jungle from their porches.
Built with sustainable engineering, Nkuringo Lodge boastfully displays its picturesque landscape views. All garden villas soar above the neatly lined Virunga Volcanoes, breathing with ceaseless weather fuse over the rugged rift valley and beyond. Guests can walk the rickety walkways through the garden and fade into its boutique elegance of dramatic black volcano rock finishes and persistent natural freshness.
The newly finished main area sits on the property’s highest point, giving 360-degree vistas of what makes NBGL exemplary. With high ceilings, pale canvas furnishings, large wooden beams, and columns that maximize the sense of magnificence in the main lodge area, the lodge fits perfectly with its excellent location. The chef serves four-course meals here, making dining a truly luxurious experience.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Price USD 490—$1085 pp/n
One of the oldest luxurious lodges for gorilla trekking in Uganda is Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is an intimate forest retreat located in a community pocket forest outside Bwindi. Perfect for high-end luxury gorilla trekking travelers, the lodge offers high-end access to gorilla adventures in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Guests can literally walk to the gorilla trekking briefing point in less than 5 minutes and join the 8:00 am daily excursions.
Straddled on a ridge 2,100 meters above the clouds, this multi-award-winning remote lodge offers guests a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The cottage ambience focuses on the primordial impenetrable forest canopy that adorns the forest cottage walls. The spacious living rooms are installed with fireplaces and overstuffed armchairs, providing ultimate comfort for guests.
The cottages blend into a jungle ambiance, cutting off guests from the destructive life outside nature. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge offers guests a serene and relaxing experience in the heart of the African wilderness. The lodge provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing guests to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying high-end luxury accommodations.
Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge
Price USD 530 — $1,380 per night
Overlooking the primaeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge offers a stylish forest ambience perfect for luxury gorilla experiences in Uganda. Bwindi Lodge is undoubtedly the top echelon of luxury lodges for gorilla trekking in Uganda with its classic safari charm and excellent service quality.
This forest resort has eight stone and timber glass-fronted chalets facing the luxuriant forest canopy. The lodge’s design and style are inspired by local architecture with an imperial touch. Sit at the open verandah and immerse yourself in Bwindi haven; surprise gorilla visits, chimpanzees, monkeys jumping on treetops over yonder.
Bwindi Lodge’s superb location at the entrance to the northern section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, its subtle charm and cosy accommodation makes it one of the most luxurious lodges for gorillas trekking in Uganda. From here, guests can walk 5 minutes to the starting point and the eight o’clock trekking excursion.
Price from USD 270 pp/n
Buhoma Lodge commands spectacular and uninterrupted adventure experiences inside Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It’s one of the two lodges for gorilla trekking built inside the park.
Designed entirely with sustainable forest material, Buhoma lodge blends into the magical expanses of wild Bwindi’s ancient woodland with a warm cabin charm. Each chalet hanging above the jungle has a private verandah and large windows, giving spectacular views of the forest canopy over the cottage verandas.
Spend those quiet afternoons on the veranda, gazing out at that wall of trees rising to the sky and feeling the quiet loudness of the jungle as if it were a soft melody. Awaken to chirping forest bird-song and the occasional monkey screech. Sometimes, mountain gorillas come into the compound to pay homage to their evolutionary cousins.
The open-air lounge and bar area offers uninterrupted jungle views with an eerie forest mist occasionally washing over the lodge. The chef’s freshly prepared multi-course meals are served here, and the aroma of fresh meals brings back memories of grandma’s cooking.
Mount Gahinga Lodge
Price USD 530 — $1,380 per night
Mount Gahinga Lodge is a remote retreat on the edge of Mgahinga National Park at the base of the Virunga Mountains Muhavura, Gahinga, and Sabinyo. If you’ve ever wanted to vacation in a jungle at the bottom of a volcano, there’s no better jungle retreat than Mount Gahinga Lodge.
The lodge features eight local Bafumbira-styled bandas with papyrus roofs. The spacious bandas feature ensuite, walk-in bathrooms, fireplaces and private porches overlooking the Virunga mountains.
Private butler service catering to every fancy is standard for all guests. Meals are served al fresco in the rustic dining room, sharing space with the lounge area fitted with a cosy fireplace for relaxing evenings. The leafy, colourful gardens are perfect for walking or a good book in the shade.
Apart from gorilla trekking and golden monkey tracking in Mgainga National Park, Gahinga lodge offers access to a stunning array of bucket list adventure experiences around the park. You can visit the Gahinga Batwa Village and discover the fascinating Volcanoes Safaris’ uplifting community projects. Strap on your boots and hike Mount Muhavura, Mount Gahinga, Mount Sabinyo volcanoes, and the Kisozi caldera.
Gahinga lodge is the only decent lodge for gorilla trekking in Mgahinga, and it’s located a 5-minute walk from the park entrance gate, giving the easiest access to Mgahinga National Park adventures.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Price USD 440 — $845 per night
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge is one of the only two safari camps located inside Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Buhoma Lodge is the other. If you want to experience authentic niceties in the wilderness of Nothern Bwindi (Buhoma Sector), there’s no better choice than Gorilla Forest Lodge.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp blends in perfectly with the dramatic jungle aura. The lodge’s levered lounge looms over the rainforest with a raised viewing platform built for open-air dining. If you’re lucky, a gorilla family may visit the camp’s lawn and leave you delighted.
The chef serves a full English and continental breakfast served before your morning activity, complemented with delicious packed lunch including fresh fruit sweet and savoury delights for your daypack snack.
Once back at the camp from your jungle trek, enjoy drinks under the stars by the roaring campfire as a seasoned local tells of ancient jungle adventure fantasies.
Mahogany Springs Lodge
Price USD 240 — $408 pp/n
Mahogany Springs is one of the highest-rated lodges for gorilla trekking in Uganda’s Bwindi Northern section. It’s less luxurious than its neighbors, Bwindi Lodge and Gorilla Forest. Still, it claims a position on Uganda’s top tier vacation resorts. It’s about a 10-minute walk from the lodge to the Buhoma trekking entrance.
Mahogany Springs Lodge pledges privacy and serenity blended with optimal niceties in a spectacular natural setting overlooking the jungle on the banks of Muyanja River. The alluring gardens and subtle stone pathways leading to the river invite guests to explore the magical Bwindi wilderness.
This forest lodge provides simple yet stylish accommodation, built using locally sourced natural materials that lift the property high on authenticity and minimalistic flair. It has eight spacious, cozy cottage suites with ensuite bathrooms and verandas overlooking the ancient jungle.
Chameleon Hill Lodge
Price USD 230 — $360 pp/n
Chameleon Hill Lodge sits on a hilltop in the Virunga Mountains’ shadow, vibrantly glowing over the tranquil Lake Mutanda in bright colours. This charming little forest resort is a popular mid-range accommodation choice for gorilla trekkers in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
The lodge has ten individually styled private cottages spread out on the hillside towering over the misty tranquil waters of Lake Mutanda with the Virungas in the backdrop. Each room is boldly designed with bright colours and unique African decor.
Jump into the calm Mutanda waters, take a canoe ride to one of the dozen small islands, hike around the villages or just sit on your porch and watch the dreamy landscape. No matter what indulgence you choose, the experience around Chameleon Hill Lodge makes it one of the lodges for gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Chameleon Hill has a spacious communal area with a wooden deck offering a bird’s eye view over the lake and beyond. Colourful art, a romantic fireplace, a stylish cement sofa, a soft couch, and inviting armchairs bestow a sense of cosiness. Chameleon Hill is an authentic mystical forest resort perfect for restorative getaways in Uganda.
Cons: Chameleon Hill Lodge is located quite a distance from the gorilla trekking point, about 16 km, an hour’s drive to Nkuringo and Rushaga. Guests have to wake up very early to make the 7:30 am brief at the park office.
Mutanda Lake Resort
Price USD 155 — $315 pp/n sharing
This charming lake resort sits on a Lake Mutanda peninsula, flaunting some of the most spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanos chain and over the misty lake.
Lake Mutanda is an excellent base for trekking gorillas in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and exploring the Nepal-like attractions in southwestern Uganda. It’s also perfect for quiet holiday hideaways in the remotest countryside.
Positioned in the shadow of the Virunga Mountains, Mutanda Lake Resort brags of dreamy views, excellent tropical weather, and romantic resort activities. Spending sunset evenings at the lakeside and enjoying the unspoiled landscape’s beauty and tranquillity are indulgences to look out for.
Accommodation is in 13 beautifully crafted cottages on wooden platforms spread across the beach with extensive views across the lake and Virunga Mountains. The rooms are intelligently decorated with artistic decor and elegant fabric. The swiss-like main area with an African finish and brick-worm fireplace is a guest’s magnet for evening chats. You can have your delicious meals here or in the comfort of your room.
Cons: Mutanda Lake Resort is quite a distance from the Nkuringo, Rushaga and Mgahinga gorilla trekking start points; guests have to take a very early morning drive for about an hour to make it for the 7:30 am briefing.
Unforgettable Encounters: The Best Lodges for Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Rwanda is a land of natural wonders, where lush forests and towering volcanoes provide a breathtaking backdrop for unforgettable wildlife encounters. At the heart of this wonderland lies the majestic mountain gorilla, a species that has captured the hearts and imaginations of adventurers from around the world. If you’re planning a gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda, you’ll need a lodge that is as awe-inspiring as the gorillas themselves. From luxurious lodges that blend seamlessly into the forest canopy to eco-friendly retreats that offer stunning views of the surrounding peaks, we’ll take you on a journey through the best lodges for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Each one offers an unforgettable encounter with these gentle giants and the natural beauty that surrounds them.
One&Only Gorilla’s Nest
Price USD 4000 to $15,000 per room (2pax).
Experience the ultimate adventure of a lifetime at One&Only Gorilla Nest. Awaken your wild spirit with their enchanting escapes, perfect for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. This luxurious lodge offers a perfect balance of creature comforts and nature-inspired elements to immerse you in an unforgettable experience.
The lodge’s stunning design features local volcanic stone and a mix of browns with traditional Rwandan black and white Imigongo prints. You’ll relish the beautiful infinity pool, fresh cuisine crafted from local seasonal produce, and stimulating spa.
The rooms are designed to bring the outside in, with some featuring bathtubs or showers on their wooden decks, while others offer baths with jungle views that make you feel like part of the natural surroundings. Each room also boasts a cozy gas fire, making it the perfect place to relax after a day of adventure.
With 14 free-standing forest hideaways and four spacious suites scattered throughout the fragrant gardens, the resort offers an intimate experience. The rooms feature viewing decks, inviting fireplaces, alfresco showers, and standalone baths, all designed to help you become one with the natural world.
Surrounded by swaying eucalyptus trees and dramatic volcanic vistas, One&Only Gorilla Nest is more than just a safari lodge. It’s one of Africa’s fanciest forest resorts, where you can indulge in the ultimate luxury while experiencing the beauty of nature. So why wait? Book your adventure today and awaken your wild spirit!
Price USD 1,838—2,678 pp/sharing
Bisate Lodge is the newest addition to luxury lodges for gorilla trekking in Rwanda. Its uber-funky design portrays a touch of glamour with stylish conical chalets and replicas of ancient Rwandese king’s palaces. The lodge is conveniently located just 8 km (a 16-minute drive) from the gorilla trekking starting point.
Six conically shaped thatched forest villas are beautifully tucked into the lush forest setting, offering magnificent views of Karisimbi, Bisoke, and Mikeno volcano peaks from spacious porches. The customary shapes of the suites are a nod to Rwandan culture, and the exquisite interior decor maximizes comfort and warmth while making the most of the rainforest atmosphere.
Each villa consists of a generously spacious bedroom, living space, and bathroom, kept warm by a central fireplace. Guests can enjoy spectacular views across the private decks, making for a glamorous and peaceful vacation experience.
Bisate Lodge’s culinary menu fuses local Rwandan flavors with contemporary cross-border cuisines and wholesome farm-to-table dishes. The lodge’s wine cellar boasts a spectacular collection, making it an awesome hangout for a romantic evening after a thrilling gorilla safari adventure.
Price USD 1,330—$1,915 pp/n
Set on stunning hillside farmland overlooking Musanze Valley, the glorious Virunga Lodge boasts panoramic vistas of the Virunga Massif and the beautiful lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera.
The iconic safari lodge has defined Rwandese Afro-chic since 2004, setting the tone for Africa’s finest bush resorts. It has ten lavish bandas that feature spacious bedrooms with cosy fireplaces and private verandahs. The interior is a fusion of timeless, hand-made style with contemporary interior design to give the guest familiar but unique comforts in a jungle far, far away.
You can find relaxing in the main boutique lounge quite restorative. Spend some study time in the Dian Fossey Map Room and catch up on some gorilla conservation milestones. Also, every guest gets a complimentary massage, which they’ll find pretty relaxing after the gorilla trekking experience.
Fantastic food and exceptional personalized service make Virunga Lodge one of the top lodges for gorilla trekking adventures in Rwanda.
Singita Kwitonda Lodge
Price USD 2,100 — $2,800 per night
Singita Kwitonda Lodge’s unrivaled position, a 10-minutes drive from the park office, puts transformative gorilla trekking experiences within easy reach. The lodge has eight elegant suites featuring a wellness treatment area, private heated plunge pool, fireplaces and large timber-framed windows that welcome spectacular scenery and volcano views inside.
Created in response to the surrounding dramatic landscapes, Kwitonda lodge includes unique elements like woven ceilings and hand-fired terracotta brickwork designed by local artisans. The on-site vegetable garden provides fresh produce for Kwitonda’s farm-to-table culinary experience. At Kwitonda, guests have nurturing space within which to contemplate their encounters with the remarkable “gentle giants of the forest”, the lodge envelopes them in a sanctuary of warmth, stillness & solitude.
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
Price USD 1150 pp/sharing
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge by Governors Camp is a classic vacation resort hidden in the foothill jungles of the Virunga Mountains, close to Virunga National Park headquarters. From here, guests can quickly walk to the briefing point to start their gorilla trekking adventures.
The Sabyinyo charm of warm, super-cosy, terracotta chalets surrounded by tropical green in the forefront of the imposing Virungas makes this lodge a top choice for gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Cottages are masterfully constructed with solid, rustic stone and fitted with large sitting areas, fireplaces, stylish ensuite bathrooms and private porches. The suites are private, featuring traditional terracotta tile roofs and polished wooden floors. The house chef serves meals in the cosy dining room or al fresco on the outside deck for the breathtaking Virunga views.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
Price USD 318 per night
Nestled at the foothills of Mount Karisimbi, a 10-minute drive to the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is a superb base for gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking and nature hiking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.
The lodge has 30 private forest cabins, constructed from local material and fitted with a spacious living area, fireplace, en suite bathroom, and outside sitting area. The lodge’s chef serves local gourmet cuisine with fresh ingredients from fresh farm produce.
If you’re looking for decent, relaxed and affordable gorilla trekking accommodation around Volcanoes National Park, then Mountain Gorilla View Lodge is the best choice. It is not as flashy as the earlier mentioned lodges but offers competitive services for a room price that won’t break your bank account.