September 18

The Top 10 Lodges in Uganda

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By Ian Rowett on
September 18, 2022

Uganda is a place where achingly beautiful views and warm-hearted friendliness win the day. We love this often underrated destination, and as the World's Leading Safari Company, we've listed our top 10 lodges in Uganda for you. All feature incredible settings, plenty of activities and the infectious charm of your gracious hosts. Here's where to go for your next adventure...

Uganda accommodation, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp with woman looking at views

Jungle views in Uganda, Image Credit: Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Our top 10 list takes you from the gorillas of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to the tree-climbing lions of Ishasha to the big game of Kasenyi Plains to beautiful rivers and exhilarating forests. Hop aboard this virtual tour of the best safari, gorilla trekking and luxury lodges in Uganda. Our bet is you'll want to board an actual plane immediately after.

1. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Deep inside the Bwindi Impenetrable National ParkSanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is enveloped by ancient rainforest, mist-filled valleys and primordial tranquillity. As the name subtly implies, this is one of the best-located luxury lodges in Uganda for your gorilla trekking experience.

But even if you aren't here for the gorillas (they might come to you anyways), it's an exciting and romantic stay in the middle of a rainforest. Teeming with life, here you'll find 11 other primates, including colobus and chimpanzee, as well as forest elephants, giant forest hogs, 200 butterfly species, and 350 bird species. As a result, the forest and village walks alone will be a highlight! 

Highlights

  • Enormous tented suites provide just the right blend of luxury and adventure 
  • Get your boots on for gorilla trekking, community walks, forest walks, birding walks
  • Inside the national park, for convenient access to your trek start, gorillas even come past the lodge
  • Wonderful forest spa for post-trekking recovery

Who's it for?

The gorillas being the show-stealing highlight, this is the perfect lodge for your gorilla trekking experience. It's also perfect for family holidays if your children are six years and older.

Outdoor lounge area at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Uganda

Outdoor area with spellbinding views, Image Credit: Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

2. Ndali Lodge

On the edge of Kibale Forest National ParkNdali is your ideal base camp for a primate safari. With its homegrown goodness, intimate and warm service and huge thatched cottages, Ndali has long been one of our favourite lodges in Uganda. 

The lodge has a sublime view with a beautiful crater lake below leading to rolling forest-covered hills dotted with plantations and the Rwenzori Mountain range framing it all. Kibale National Park has 13 primate species and offers full-day chimpanzee trekking opportunities. Safari highlights, in addition to the primates include incredible birdlife, butterflies, forest wildlife, estate walks, lake and river activities and community interactions.

Highlights

  • Ugandan charm in a colonial-style country lodge
  • A sublime setting above a beautiful crater lake with mountains beyond mountains
  • Strong community involvement with the opportunity to participate and learn
  • Unique nature experiences in Kibale Forest National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary and the grounds themselves

Who's it for?

The lodge itself is pure delight and tranquility in a magical setting. Therefore, it's perfect for rejuvenation, relaxation, romance, family fun and group celebrations. Children of all ages are welcome, which is quite rare among the remote safari lodges of Uganda.

View from pool at Ndali Lodge in Uganda

Views from the pool, Image Credit: Ndali Lodge

3. The Gorilla Resort

Minutes from the briefing point of your gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, The Gorilla Resort is a delightfully authentic Ugandan experience. Large en-suite safari tents jut out from the hillside on wooden platforms, and the view of the forested mountains is marvellous. 

The living area features a convivial bar, restaurant and elevated campfire. This rustic tented camp offers all the comfort after a hard day's trek into the mountains. Accommodating staff, hearty food, comfortable beds and piping hot water – The Gorilla Resort is your home away from home.

Highlights

  • Activities other than gorilla trekking include waterfall trail walks, bird watching, game drives in Ishaha, cultural visits, guided bush walks, and sundowners at the lodge
  • Convenient location near the gorilla trekking meet-up point
  • Sweeping views of the forested mountains from everywhere
  • Charming and friendly service

Who's it for?

Ideal for families, couples and solo travellers on a quest to see the gorillas. The fantastic views and delightful Ugandan hospitality add significant value.

Overlooking the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, The Gorilla Resort is one of the best lodges in Uganda

Overlooking the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Image Credit: The Gorilla Resort

4. Kasenyi Safari Camp

Kasenyi Safari Camp is a charming and comfortable safari experience inside Queen Elizabeth National Park – Uganda's flagship classic savannah wildlife haven. This intimate safari lodge is renowned for friendly, personal service and is one of our favourite lodges in Uganda. 

With an elevated position above a salt lake, the view from your dance-hall-size suite is a constant reminder of your glorious setting. The game-filled plains, gigantic lakes and rivers, and mountainous backdrop make Queen Elizabeth National Park a wonderful place to explore. And explore you will, with day and night game drives, river safaris, bush walks, birding and cultural tours.

Highlights

  • Enormous tented suites under thatch with elevated views of the savannah
  • Superb range of activities and incredible diversity of wildlife, including the Big 5
  • Charming communal living area with a large verandah with a view of the lake below
  • The friendly, warm and hospitable staff, who are especially good with children

Who's it for?

Safari lodges need not be dramatic extravaganzas. That's best left to the wildlife. And here, the wildlife is exceptional. Kasenyi Safari Camp provides a comfortable base with an excellent range of activities for families, couples and individual travellers.

Kasenyi Safari Camp

Safari in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Image Credit: Kasenyi Safari Camp

5. Primate Lodge

Safaris in Uganda's forests are active and adventurous affairs. You will be trekking through the jungle and seeking out the many primates, birds and forest animals – an exhilarating workout. Primate Lodge, on the edge of the Kibale Forest National Park, is one of those lodges in Uganda you'll be grateful for at the end of such a long day's adventuring.

It's got the post-trekking essentials well covered, from enormous beds, sofas, loungers, hot baths and showers, fantastic feasts, and a convivial campfire to enjoy with equally satiated forest explorers. This is the quintessential Ugandan primate safari experience, and what better place to base yourself than Primate Lodge?

Highlights

  • True to name, this place is excellent for primate safaris in the Kibale Forest National Park
  • Huge, elegant rooms and tents with touches of Ugandan charm
  • Eco-camp run entirely on solar power and wood-fired boilers
  • Fantastic setting in the forest and frequent encounters with its fascinating inhabitants

Who's it for?

Primate Lodge is a delightfully unpretentious safari lodge ideal for just about everyone visiting Uganda. The primates, birds, butterflies and forest dwellers will enthral anyone with the slightest interest in nature and scenery.

The luxury cottage at Primate Lodge in Uganda

One of their cosy cottages, Image Credit: Primate Lodge

6. Kyambura Gorge Lodge

The suites, called bandas in Uganda, at Kyambura Gorge Lodge are enormous, light and tastefully decorated. And the view from your private verandah is the stuff of legend. The savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park roll out below your vantage point to the blue-grey Rwenzori Mountain range far in the distance. 

The main living area is a converted coffee store with an inviting wrap-around balcony and yet more light and tasteful décor. But it's the exceptional service that makes Kyambura Gorge Lodge one of the highest-rated lodges in Uganda. Your personal attendants ensure your hot bath is drawn when you return and your boots scrubbed and ready for another adventure. The food is fresh, wholesome and hearty and the campfire is a great place to enjoy an evening with your fellow explorers.

Highlights

  • Chimpanzee trekking, birding, game drives, river safaris and sustainable eco-tourism projects
  • Sensational views of the gorge, the acacia-dotted savannah plains and the blue-grey Rwenzori Mountains
  • Attentive butler service and a great swimming pool and spa
  • Enormous, elegant suites with a quirky design

Who's it for?

Kyambura Gorge Lodge is a beautiful eco lodge where you can enjoy a safari that makes a big difference to the community and the conservation. It's also great for couples and individuals who want a safari with a spa, a variety of activities, friendly service and a magnificent view.

Kyambura Gorge Lodge pool area

Relaxing pool area, Image Credit: Kyambura Gorge Lodge

7. Ishasha Wilderness Camp

The Ishasha Sector of Uganda's Big 5 Queen Elizabeth National Park is a famous lion territory. And not just any lions but tree-climbing lions, lolling in the branches of a wild fig tree or under it. The area is also famous for its other big game, chimpanzee trekking, birding, river safaris and cultural riches. 

And if there's one feature most lodges in Uganda share, it's their sensational settings. Ishasha Wilderness Camp lines the beautiful Ntungwe River, a magnet for elephants, buffalo, a variety of monkeys and plains game that pass through the unfenced safari camp.

Highlights

  • Beautiful setting on the Ntungwe River in the predator-rich Ishasha Sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Big game safaris with various activities, including day and night game drives, chimpanzee trekking, river safaris, cultural tours and guided birding walks
  • Large, light and airy tented suites with private balconies
  • Wildlife roams through the camp with frequent elephant visits to the river
Who's it for?

Perfect for couples, families and solo travellers who want a classic African safari with a touch of luxury for good measure. Ishasha Wilderness Camp is a wonderful family camp welcoming children of all ages.

Ishasha Wilderness Camp

Stare at the views and you might just spot wildlife popping in to say hello, Image Credit: Ishasha Wilderness Camp

8. Buhoma Lodge

One of the few lodges in Uganda inside a national park, Buhoma Lodge combines exclusivity, convenience and a stunningly beautiful setting. And the service is welcoming and obliging, with laundry and boot cleaning, and a massage all included in your rate.

Enormous tree houses peek through the forest canopy to misty valleys and verdant hillsides. Furthermore, the lodge is mere minutes from the gorilla trekking meeting point at the Buhoma entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. But that's not all. The lodge's extensive community projects invite you to participate and interact with the Ugandan villagers. Plus, they offer scenic guided forest walks filled with birds, butterflies and just a little bit of magic.

Highlights

  • Dramatic and exciting treehouse chalets surrounded by forest and mountain views
  • Beautiful forest setting with a spa and a large open-sided living area
  • Inside the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, making it an ideal base for gorilla trekking and other activities
  • Cosy eco lodge with solar power, gravity-fed water, wood-fired boilers and community-sourced supplies and furnishings

Who's it for?

The main attraction is the gorillas, but you and your family will enjoy the forest with several additional activities. It's a great family option welcoming children of all ages. And of course, the sublime setting is just made for romantic sojourns. Solo trekkers will appreciate the personal and friendly service (and the post-trekking spa treatment).

Buhoma Lodge balcony with fireplace and bottle of bubbly

A welcoming sight, Image Credit: Buhoma Lodge

9. Lemala Wildwaters Lodge

The most dramatic of all luxury lodges in Uganda, Wildwaters Lodge sits on an island in the middle of the River Nile. Powerful rapids swirl around and under you creating a heady mood full of romantic seclusion and exciting adventure. Palatial thatched cottages line the island’s forested edges each with glorious private decks and open-air bathtubs. Elevated walkways lead to the main lodge where a swimming pool hovers over the rushing water and smiling waiters attend to your every comfort. Come for the river adventure or come for pure relaxation. Wildwaters Lodge is the a dramatic and exciting base for both.

Highlights

  • Beautiful, spacious and well-appointed suites 
  • Incredible birdlife and adventurous water activities
  • Spa with a difference accompanied by the calming sounds of the rushing river
  • Dramatic and exciting setting on an island engulfed by the white water rapids at the source of the Nile

Who's it for?

An exciting addition to the serene forest and safari lodges elsewhere in Uganda, Wildwaters Lodge offers a great combo of luxury and adventure for couples and solo travellers.

Lemala Wildwaters Lodge view from pool

Now that's a majestic view, Image Credit: Lemala Wildwaters Lodge River Nile

10. Hotel No. 5

Exploring the top lodges in Uganda, we'd be remiss to leave out an exciting day or two in the country's capital city. Hotel No. 5 is a charming boutique hotel in a quiet suburb of Entebbe on the outskirts of Kampala, Uganda's capital. 

This hotel features a variety of room options with everything you could need, and there's an onsite restaurant. The large swimming pool and spa offer just the right tonic after a long flight or a long and active Ugandan safari that inevitably involves a lot of walking and a lot of fun.

Highlights

  • Large and inviting swimming pool with pizzeria
  • Convenient city hotel near the airport
  • Small and intimate with amiable staff
  • Facilities include a fine dining restaurant, spa, gym and private villa

Who's it for?

Minutes from the airport, Hotel No. 5 is a comfortable, convenient and welcoming place to stay for anyone. Ideal for the start or end of your Uganda tour, this hotel will suit couples, individuals, families and groups looking for a luxurious restoration of body and mind.

Hotel No. 5 balcony in Uganda

Your nest close to the airport, Image Credit: Hotel No. 5

Ready to Book Your Safari in Uganda?

Tracking and observing Uganda's gorillas is, beyond a doubt, a life-changing experience. In addition, Uganda has so much more to offer, including big game safaris, chimpanzee and primate tracking, birding, river safaris, hikes in the mountains and plenty of deep cultural immersion. 

Contact Rhino Africa, your Uganda specialists, for a tailor-made itinerary that takes you into the heart and soul of this heart-warming and soulful African country.

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About the author 

Ian Rowett

Born in Zimbabwe and, having bluffed his way through a Journalism Degree at Rhodes, Ian turned his reluctantly nomadic life into a successful career as a travel writer. With stints in Harare, Joburg, Cape Town, Swakopmund, Port Shepstone and Greyton, he has travelled the length and breadth of southern Africa. Now living in Knysna, Ian combines his innate tendency to write for a living with a deep-rooted love of Africa’s wilderness and a keen interest in the hospitality trade.

  • Thank you RhinoAfrica for sharing the wonders of Uganda The Pearl of Africa with the rest of the world. Indeed through your lenses, we can see what beauty there is in Uganda from the comfort of our rooms, offices, cars, etc. Keep informing the World. God bless you.

    • Hello Kenny,

      We’re glad you enjoyed it; thank you for reading our blog post.
      We hope sharing our Africa and all her wonders will inspire the world to experience our wonderful home up close and personal.

      So “See you in Africa”.

      Kind regards
      Unathi

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