There are only three countries in the world where it’s possible to track gorillas in their natural habitat. Of those, Uganda and Congo are the two more affordable options for encountering the endangered mountain gorillas. Ethical and safe encounters coupled with unmatched forest views and some of the finest upscale lodges you’ll find in East Africa mean that these destinations guarantee a magical safari getaway that you’ll never forget.
For breathtaking views, unforgettable experiences and luxurious stays, these are our top 13 places to stay on a Congo and Uganda safari trip:
1. Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge
Situated in a prime gorilla tracking region, Bwindi Lodge offers the lifechanging experience of interacting with endangered mountain gorillas from the lap of luxury. The lodge’s unique, upscale design stands in juxtaposition to its striking surroundings of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Guests can expect to have every creature comfort at their disposal while revelling in the beauty of Uganda’s highlands. Treatments at the Humula Forest Spa are paired with spectacular views for the ultimate rejuvenation.
- Luxury, eco-friendly lodge in Bwindi National Park
- Breathtaking views overlooking Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
- Track endangered mountain gorilla
- See monkeys, chimpanzees & numerous bird species
- Visit the colourful, award-winning Bwindi Bar
- Interesting tea processing tour
2. Kyaninga Lodge
Resembling a cosy log cabin in the woods, Kyaninga Lodge sits in a little-explored region just outside Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The lodge offers a quintessential trekking experience that encompasses almost all the best activities and encounters that this East African country has to offer. Here, guests are able to tick off undertakings such as gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, classic big game safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park, hikes around Lake Kyaninga’s volcanic crater and walks through the Great Rift Valley escarpment, to name a few. Kyaninga Lodge is truly a safari all-rounder.
- Luxury 9-cabin lodge just outside of Kampala
- Spectacular views of Lake Kyaninga & the Rwenzori Mountains
- Chimpanzee safari in Kibale National Park
- Hikes around the volcanic crater lake & Great Rift Valley escarpment
- Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi National Park
- Classic big game safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
A jam-packed safari adventure
3. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge strikes the perfect balance between homely comforts and luxury living. Guests stay in cosy cottages with the most spectacular views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which can be enjoyed every afternoon along with scrumptious homemade cakes delivered by your personal butler. The incomparable experience of tracking endangered mountain gorillas is topped with relaxing foot massages for tired feet. And your hearty Ugandan-inspired meals are served on the outdoor verandah – a magical vantage point that gives the illusion of dining up among the clouds. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is sure to provide a dreamy luxury safari in Uganda.
- Luxury lodge on the fringes of Bwindi National Park
- Track gorillas & colobus monkeys
- Meet the Batwa people
- Magical dining experiences in unique location
- See red-tailed & colobus monkeys
- Hike to Bwindi’s waterfalls
4. Mihingo Lodge
The magical Mihingo Lodge is tranquil and secluded retreat sitting on the outskirts of Lake Mburo National Park. Built on stilted platforms, the luxury lodge has stunning views of the lake and forest in the valley below. The nearby national park offers fantastic sightings of some the biggest game Africa has to offer, while Mihingo itself has plenty of activities to keep you occupied between game drives, including a children’s programme for the little ones and mountain biking for the older members of the family.
- 5-star luxury lodge near Lake Mburo National Park
- Uninterrupted forest & lake views
- Infinity pool overlooks a wildlife-frequented watering hole
- Horseback safaris, walking safaris & night drives
- Photography hide
- Mountain biking & boat trips
- Yoga & massage treatments
- Children’s programmes
Family safaris & wildlife sightings
5. Mount Gahinga Lodge
Mount Gahinga Lodge’s location at the foothills of the ancient Virunga Volcanoes makes it the ideal base from which to experience gorilla trekking. You’ll also be able to track the rare golden monkey, climb an extinct volcano and interact with the local Batwa people – the regions oldest human inhabitants. When you’re not exploring Uganda’s rainforest, there’s time to enjoy all that Mount Gahinga has to offer, including the breathtaking views of the volcanoes and untouched African terrain that can be seen from the comfort of your porch.
- Charming exclusive-use lodge at the edge of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
- Stunning forest & mountain views
- Personal butler service for all guests
- Gorilla tracking in the national park
- Climb an ancient volcano
- Learn about the Batwa people
- Visit the sacred Ngarama Cave
Gorilla trekking & honeymoons
6. Kyambura Gorge Lodge
At Kyambura Gorge Lodge, you’re able to track chimpanzees and have a classic safari experience in comfort and style. Located on a former coffee plantation at the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains, this lodge has stunning views of the forested Kyambura Gorge and sits on the edge of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s flagship big game park. The upscale lodge is warm and inviting. The unpretentious Ugandan hospitality ensures guests are well taken care of and offered every comfort while enjoying this untouched African paradise.
- Charming lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park
- Stunning views of the Kyambura Gorge & Rwenzori Mountains
- Excellent big game viewing in the national park
- River cruises on the Kazinga Channel
- Track chimpanzees in the gorge
- Spot the tree climbing lions in Ishasha
Classic safari experiences
7. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Gorilla Forest Camp has something for every type of traveller. Those who prefer the finer things in life will delight in the exclusivity, opulence and style of the camp. The more adventurous traveller will enjoy the lifechanging experience of tracking gorillas in the famed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as well as classic game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park – where you’ll be able to spot the famous tree-climbing lions in Ishasha. The nature-lovers are treated to scenic walks through the ancient forest, stopping to admire the volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, and lakes along the way. The camp also boasts splendid views of the forest canopy, which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your upscale tent.
- Luxurious camp on a private concession in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Stunning views over the forest canopy
- Gorillas are regularly seen walking through camp
- Gorilla tracking in the national park
- Learn about & interact with the local Batwa people
- Birding & forest walks
- Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Gorilla trekking & nature lovers
8. Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa
The Serena resort on Lake Victoria echoes the look of a lavish Mediterranean villa. Its location between Kampala and Entebbe makes it the perfect overnight stop before or after a life-changing gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here, guests enjoy a comfortable yet luxurious stay as they prepare for the next leg of their safari trip. Enjoy stunning views of Lake Victoria from the comfort of your room or up-close on a sunset cruise. And, naturally, you can’t leave Serena without playing a few holes on Uganda’s finest championship golf course or enjoying a revitalising treatment at the spa.
- Lavish resort on Lake Victoria, just outside Kampala
- Spectacular views overlooking the lake
- Championship golf course, gym, spa, tennis & volleyball courts
- Lake cruises
- Visit the Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Multi-generational family vacations
9. Hotel No. 5
Hotel No. 5 is a stylish and elegant boutique hotel that’s perfect for a restful overnight before or after exploring Uganda. The luxury hotel offers a tranquil and comfortable stay in the leafy suburb of Entebbe. Enjoy all the amenities and creature comforts one expects from a 5-star hotel, including refreshing spa treatments and sunset cruises on Lake Victoria. A highlight of your stay is dining at the on-site gourmet restaurant, indulging in flavoursome meals and vintage wine.
- Stylish & elegant luxury hotel in Entebbe
- Spa, swimming pool, onsite restaurant & gym
- Boat cruises on Lake Victoria & Mabamba Swamp
- Visit the chimpanzees at Ngamba Island Chimp Sanctuary
- Tour the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre
Overnight stay before or after a gorilla trek
10. Turaco Treetops Lodge
Turaco Treetops was built with the adventurer in mind. From its treehouse-like structure that towers above the canopy of Kibale Forest to the assortment of activities on offer, your stay will be a packed adventure from start to finish. When not exploring Kibale Forest National Park, enjoy the comforts of your luxury room while taking in incredible forest and mountain views. If you’re travelling with little ones in tow, there’s plenty to keep them preoccupied at the lodge – including spotting Colobus Monkeys playing in the trees outside your room.
- Luxury lodge nestled in a rainforest bordering Kibale Forest National Park
- Outdoor playground & indoor entertainment room for kids
- Unobstructed views of Kibale Forest, Rwenzori Mountains & Mount Stanley
- Reliable sightings of black and white Colobus Monkey from camp
- Chimpanzee trekking & night forest walks
- Hiking & mountain biking tours to crater lakes & tea plantations
Active & adventurous travellers
11. Lango Camp
Lango Camp is the perfect escape for those seeking privacy and exclusivity in nature. Tucked away in the heart of Odzala National Park, this eco-luxury camp offers a tranquil and comfortable stay in the heart of the African wilderness. The surrounding landscape is made up of perennial rivers, marshy bais (swamp forest clearings) and lush forestry. Explore this pristine biome on game drives, river cruises or walks through the forest.
- Eco-luxe camp in the heart of Odzala National Park
- Beautiful views overlooking the marshy bai (swampy forest clearing)
- See rare & seldom-seen forest wildlife
- Spot forest buffalo & elephant at the bai
- Kayaking & boating on Lekoli River
- Forest walks
Tranquil escapes in nature
12. Mboko Camp
The more adventurous traveller will enjoy a stay at Mboko Camp. Located on a riverside clearing in Odzala National Park, this luxury tented camp is a playground for nature- and animal-lovers. In fact, you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your tent to spot wildlife or enjoy views of your pristine surroundings. But the venture outside the camp is well worth it too. Boat cruises and kayaking on the river, as well as scenic hikes through the rainforest are excellent ways to explore some of the Congo Basin. And, naturally, you can’t leave without tracking down some gorillas and chimpanzees.
- Small & intimate lodge in Odzala National Park
- Spectacular savannah, river & forest views
- Wildlife sightings from camp
- Track gorillas, chimpanzees & monkeys
- Hiking, boat & kayaking through the Congo basins
13. Ngaga Camp
Ngaga Camp is equal parts luxury hotel, eco sanctuary and unpretentious oasis. Days here are dominated by indescribably beautiful forest views and treks through the lush wilderness in search of the elusive western lowland gorillas. And evenings are spent warming up around fires on the viewing deck or taking leisurely night walks through the forest. The heart of primate research and tracking in Congo, Ngaga Camp offers a unique gorilla trekking opportunity.
- Gorgeous luxury lodge inside Odzala National Park
- Breathtaking rainforest views
- Wildlife sightings at the nearby bai (swampy forest clearing)
- Guided day & night walks through the forest
- Western lowland gorilla tracking