Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge won the 2022 World Travel Award as Uganda's Leading Safari Lodge, so its reputation speaks for itself! It’s a fantastic option for visitors to this exhilarating part of the world. A note of caution, gorilla treks from Nkuringo are some of the most physically demanding in the whole of Bwindi, so be prepared for a physical adventure. However, there are easier routes also accessible from here, albeit by way of a one-hour drive to the departure point in Rushaga. It’s a great lodge and a chance to get close and personal with one of the oldest jungles on the planet.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Nkuringo Lodge is located at the southern edge of Bwindi Forest National Park. The nearest international airports are Entebbe in Uganda and Kigali in Rwanda. Travellers flying into Entebbe, for example, may choose to take a second flight to the property’s nearest airstrip, Kisoro (approx. 90 minutes). After that, the property is another 90 minutes from Kisoro by road transfer. Nkuringo is situated high up in the hills at 2,161 metres above sea level. It can get chilly at this height, but there are lovely fireplaces dotted around the property to keep you warm…and with altitude also come breath-taking views out over Bwindi forest and the Virunga volcanoes.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT NKURINGO BWINDI GORILLA LODGE:
Guest accommodation at Nkuringo consists of 5 standard garden cottages, 6 deluxe garden cottages, 3 villas, and 4 forest suites. The villa option is fabulous for families or groups. The two-bedroom villas are separate, but it is possible to interconnect them if you prefer. It’s also possible to add an extra bed to each room, making a maximum of 6 people per villa.
Highlights of the Nkuringo villa include a seating area with cozy fireplace and a spacious veranda with outstanding forest views. Every garden cottage room has a veranda too, with views of the Virunga Mountains and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. All rooms have comfy beds, snug rugs, and well-appointed en-suite facilities including flush toilet, washbasin, and shower. The lodge uses solar energy and harvested rainwater and is proud to operate as a carbon-neutral lodge.
A few steps lead up to the main buildings. Interesting local artwork hangs on the walls and there are plenty of artifacts to admire. The restaurant and bar area features variously sized tables flanked by wooden chairs, some positioned to give amazing views across Bwindi’s tracts of forest. The lodge has a coffee shop too if you need a pick-me-up between activities…and beautiful, tranquil gardens and a spa - perfect for relaxation after long treks!
ACTIVITIES AT NKURINGO BWINDI GORILLA LODGE:
From this comfortable base camp, you can enjoy a fine assortment of activities. The focus is gorilla trekking, but hiking, canoeing, birdwatching, and cultural visits are available too.
Gorilla trekking- Two different types of gorilla experience are offered. The first is a trek beginning at 8:30am and involving a maximum of eight travellers, while the second is a “habituation experience” starting at 7:30am and open to four travellers max. Both take place on the Nkuringo hillside and in Rushaga, which lies within the south-eastern sector of Bwindi. Lodge guides lead the quest to find a group of gorillas. Once a group has been located, the trek activity allows for an hour to observe the magnificent mammals, while the habituation activity allows four hours. It is a delight to watch the gorillas in their natural habitat. Hiking through the forest can be rather exhausting at times, but your efforts will be richly rewarded! And there’s plenty of other wildlife to see on the way, such as the black-and-white colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, and lots of colourful birds.
Hiking- Nkuringo offers gentler walks too, including strolls through other parts of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and through local farmland. The camp will be able to advise on the level and length of hike.
Canoeing- You can take a canoe trip on the beautiful Lake Mutanda and enjoy lunch on the lakeshore.
Birdwatching- Special bird-watching excursions are also possible. Head out in the safe hands of a knowledgeable guide and see what you come across.
Batwa experience- We highly recommend this! Visit and meet local tribespeople…and they will teach you about the forest and show you their way of living. You can also visit local homesteads.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.