11 Beautiful Places to Stay in Uganda
If you’ve read our blog about the 12 Best Reasons to Visit Uganda, chances are you’re already be daydreaming about lakes and waterfalls, chimpanzees and mountain gorillas. Uganda has some outstanding accommodation options that mirror the diversity, beauty, and friendliness of ‘the pearl of Africa’. Here’s our guide to the very best lodges in Uganda.
Best Lodges in Bwindi
Gorilla Forest Camp
Gorilla Forest Camp is designed to have a light ecological footprint – but it will still make a big impact on you! The perfect starting point for encounters with the mountain gorillas of Bwindi, this small lodge offers authentic luxury within the boundaries of the world-famous national park. In fact, gorilla families often visit the lodge and its surroundings, so you may well get to enjoy your first great ape sighting without any trekking at all. Additional activities include cultural visits to a local Batwa village, while special sedan chairs offer differently-abled guests the chance to participate in gorilla treks.
Your gorilla adventure starts here! This responsible luxury lodge overlooks the dense, ancient forests of Bwindi. Situated in the northwestern Buhoma area, Bwindi Lodge is close to the home ranges of three habituated families of mountain gorillas – which makes for wonderful viewing opportunities. The ‘impenetrable’ forests of Bwindi are also home to chimpanzees and many bird species – you may well see or hear them from your stone and tile banda (carefully designed to keep you snug on those cool mountain nights).
Can you experience sophisticated luxury in a rainforest? Yes, at this lodge you certainly can – as well as enjoying views of the Virunga Volcanoes and the Great Rift Valley, two of Africa’s most spectacular natural landmarks. From your stone cottage, you can venture into the forest on a guided walk, searching for birds, butterflies and giant, centuries-old trees, or visit a local village to learn about the amazing relationship the people have with their forest home. You can also of course trek up into the mountains to see the famous mountain gorillas – an experience you will never forget.
Best Lodges in Murchison Falls
Nile Safari Lodge takes its time from the mighty river that flows through Murchison Falls National Park, where this family-owned ecolodge is located. Built entirely of organic materials, it blends in beautifully with its surroundings – and yet still offers exceptional river views from every room. You can even indulge in a bubble bath in your room while you gaze out over the Nile. From the lodge, you can explore the area, including visiting the famous (and dramatic) falls, and ticking off a great many species of African wildlife from your must-see list. You can even walk in the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway; the famous author once survived a plane crash nearby.
Also in Murchison Falls National Park, Bakers Lodge is named for Samuel Baker, the first European explorer to view the remarkable sight of the Nile River being forced between a narrow gap in the rocks and tumbling over a precipice. Stylish and charming, this lodge sits right on the riverbank, which guarantees wonderful views, plus the chance to view the wildlife and birds which are drawn to the water. Activity options include boat excursions on the Nile as well savannah game drives and tracking wild chimpanzees in the nearby Budongo Forest. This is your chance to become a modern-day explorer!
Best Lodges in Entebbe
Hotel No.5 is one of Uganda’s top boutique hotels. Featuring a spa and wellness center, as well as a restaurant and bar, its location in Entebbe (near Uganda’s main airport) makes it the perfect place to begin or end your Uganda safari. This chic boutique hotel effortlessly blends a warm Ugandan welcome with style and luxury and offers a tranquil, leafy sanctuary in which to rejuvenate after your international flight or prepare yourself for a return home after your adventures. Our favorite feature is the swimming pool – very refreshing indeed on a tropical afternoon!
Best Lodges in Kibale
If your Ugandan itinerary includes the Crater Lakes region (and it really should), then you might want to check out this charming country house. Ideally situated for excursions to Kibale Forest (chimp trekking, anyone?) or Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary (for birding without equal), Ndali Lodge also offers closer-to-home delights. These include the chance to stroll around the working farm and revel in the heady fragrance of the vanilla processing plant, or take a guided walk to the lovely Muhoma Falls. You can also explore local banana plantations, and wander through misty valleys in search of birds and butterflies.
It’s hard to imagine a more awesome setting for a luxury lodge: Kyaninga Lodge sits between a crater lake and the towering Rwenzori Mountains. This is a breathtakingly beautiful part of Uganda, with mist-shrouded mountains, lush forests and deep, mysterious lakes. Add in a very luxurious lodge, and you have all the ingredients for romance. On cooler evenings, you can snuggle up closer to the fireplace, or enjoy a soak in your claw-footed bath. Oh, and needless to say, the morning coffee is outstanding!
Best Lodges in Jinja
A unique opportunity to spend time on an island in the midst of the mighty Nile… Kalagala Island is about 15 miles downstream from the source of the Nile at Jinja. As the name of the lodge suggests, the waters surrounding the island are anything but tranquil! From your luxury suite, elevated above the river on huge granite boulders, you can remarkable views of the foaming rapids, with the sound of rushing water always audible. Stroll along the raised wooden walkways to the restaurant or bar, or get to know the Nile a whole lot better on a white-water rafting expedition.
Best Lodges in Kidepo Valley
Apopka Safari Lodge
A wonderful place to stay in the remote and achingly beautiful wilderness that is the Kidepo Valley. This small, intimate lodge was hand built by local artisans, with the guest rooms situated between the boulders of a kopje (or rocky outcrop). From this elevated position, you can enjoy sweeping views of classic African landscapes – wide, open, golden plains dotted with wildlife. The lodge itself offers more than enough in the way of diversions, including a rock-hewn pool, but you’ll want to descend to the savannah to walk or game drive amongst the awesome wildlife.
Best Lodges in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Kyambura Gorge Safari Lodge takes its name from a spectacular nearby feature and is also ideally situated for visiting ‘QEP’ (Queen Elizabeth National Park). Stay in a luxurious modern interpretation of a traditional ‘banda’ and enjoy activities including boat excursions on the hippo-thronged Kazinga Channel. A short walk leads from the lodge to the start of the chimpanzee trekking trail – and you can even book a soothing foot massage for when you return to the lodge! At Kyambura Gorge, you’re also within easy game drive reach of the famous tree-climbing lions of the Ishasha Sector.