Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge won the 2017 World Travel Award as Uganda's Leading Safari Lodge! and is a comfortable option for visitors to this exhilarating part of the world. A note of caution, gorilla trekks from Nkuringo are some of the most physically demanding in the whole of Bwindi. However other, easier routes are also accessible from here albeit by way of a one hour drive to the departure point in Rushaga.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The nearest international airports to Nkuringo Bwindi 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, which lasts about an hour and 30 minutes. After that, the property is another hour and 30 minutes from Kisoro, via road transfer. Nkuringo is situated high up in the hills, at an altitude of 2,161 metres above sea level.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
A few steps lead up to the main buildings, which are painted cream and have windows in addition to a corrugated metal roof. Inside, there are wooden floors, interesting artwork on the walls, and a few artefacts to admire. The restaurant and bar area features variously sized tables flanked by wooden chairs, some positioned to provide amazing views across Bwindi’s tracts of forest. It is very pleasant to tuck into delicious meals and freshly baked bread while marvelling at the scenery. The lounge contains comfortable seating around coffee tables. Nkuringo has a coffee shop too, and the site boasts tranquil gardens and a spa, perfect for relaxation in between treks and other activities.
Guest accommodation at Nkuringo consists of two two-bedroom villas, six Virunga terrace rooms, and four garden cottage rooms. The villa option is fabulous for families or groups. The two bedrooms are separate, but it is possible to interconnect them if that is what you prefer. It is also possible to add an extra bed to each room, so the maximum number of persons a villa can accommodate is six. Highlights of the Nkuringo villa include a seating area with cosy fireplace and a spacious veranda boasting forest views. Each of the Virunga terrace rooms also has a veranda, from which you can see as far as the Virunga volcanoes. This category is suitable for solos and couples including honeymooners. Lastly, every garden cottage room has a veranda too, with views of the well-kept lawns and trees. Additionally, this option has a fireplace. All rooms benefit from comfy beds, snug rugs, and well-appointed en-suite facilities including flush toilet, washbasin, and shower.
From this comfortable base camp, you can enjoy a fine assortment of activities. The focus is gorilla tracking, but hiking, canoeing, birdwatching, and cultural visits are available too. 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 experiences take place on the Nkuringo hillside and in Rushanga, 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 provides 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.
There is plenty of other wildlife to see on the way, such as black-and-white colobus monkey, red-tailed monkey, and lots of colourful birds. Nkuringo offers gentler walks too, including strolls through other parts of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and through local farmland. You can take a canoe trip on the beautiful Lake Mutanda and enjoy lunch on the lakeshore. Special birdwatching excursions are also possible, and we highly recommend the Batwa experience, in which tribespersons teach you about the forest and show you their way of living. And you can also visit local homesteads.