Last monthCAS partners Mel Gormley and Phil Ward did an in-depth exploratory trip throughout the gorilla trekking areas in both Uganda and Rwanda and visited all accommodations associated with trekking. Based on their inspections and general service findings, Classic Africa Safaris recommends the following properties in a variety of price-points and locations.
CAS utilizes the terms “mid-range” or “high-end”, because we find the star rating system is too ambiguous on an international level. Please note we generally do not recommend any “budget” properties as we find service levels and quality too inconsistent to underwrite.
In the Bwindi INP/Buhoma region there are presently 3 gorilla families open to trekking.
The following accommodations are within a short drive or walking distance of park HQ and/or a 1 hour + drive to Ruhijha region (meaning these properties can be bases for trekking either in Buhoma region or Ruhijha region depending on permit availability):
Mahogany Springs Lodge…a very good mid range property
Gorilla Forest Camp…a mid range to high end property
Buhoma Lodge…a mid range lodge
Gorilla Resort…a moderate mid range camp
In the Bwindi INP/Ruhijha region there are presently 3 gorilla families open to trekking.
The following lodging option is available:
Gorilla Mist Camp…a good mid range accommodation (see photo left)
In the Bwindi INP/Rushaga region there are presently 5 gorilla families open to trekking.
The following option for lodging is a short drive to park HQ and also a 45 minute drive to Nkuringo region (trekking either in Rushaga or Nkuringo pending permit availability):
Gorilla Safari Lodge…an excellent mid range lodge (photo above right).
In the Bwindi INP/Nkuringo region there is presently 1 gorilla family open for trekking.
The following options are available for lodging:
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge…a high end property, a short walk to the park HQ and a 45 minute drive to the Rushaga region (trekking in either Nkuringo or Rushaga pending permit availability for either property listed here)
Chameleon Hill Lodge (photo right)…a relatively new property, 1 hour drive to Nkuringo and Rushaga regions. An eclectic (European) style, differing from the traditional. Each en suite cottage is painted a different color and the main lodge various colors with a unique outward appearance and a modern interior. Very pleasant and very modern rooms and very good service throughout. The views from all areas of the lodge are fantastic, overlooking the beautiful Lake Mutanda and the Virunga Volcanoes as a back drop.
In Rwanda, based from Kinigi there are presently 10 gorilla families open for trekking the Volcanoes NP. (please read this reminder for securing Rwanda gorilla permits!)
The following lodging options are available in a variety of price-points and accommodation levels:
- Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge…a high-end property and 15 minute drive to park HQ – note lots of steps on the property!
- Jack Hannah’s House…a very good mid-range property and a 10 minute drive from park HQ, ideal for small groups or families
- Gorilla Mountain View Lodge…a mid-range property and a 15 minute drive to park HQ
- Virunga Lodge…mid/high range and a 1 hour +/- drive to park HQ depending on road conditions
For trekking in Rwanda, we can also use Lake Kivu Serena (mid range, large hotel and such amenities) in Gisenyi which is a 1 hour drive to park HQ.