Planning a VIP and high-end gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda
Planning a VIP and high end gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda involves getting the best services for the guests in the high-end areas of Bwindi, Mgahinga, and Volcanoes National Park. There are several factors that need to be considered when planning a VIP gorilla trip, and we will be discussing these shortly. VIP gorilla trekking basically involves planning high-end transport, accommodation, and exclusive tours to make sure that the trekkers are comfortable while at the same time following all the rules and regulations that govern gorilla trekking.
Most Popular Safaris
Factors that we usually consider when planning a VIP gorilla trek in Uganda and Rwanda include the following:
Accommodation: When we talk about a luxury or VIP gorilla trekking experience, it means getting accommodation in some of the most luxurious safari lodges. Accommodation is the most important factor when it comes to luxury safaris, and it is an important aspect that you shouldn’t ignore if you wish to have a luxurious gorilla trekking safari in Uganda and Rwanda.
Safari activities: Some safari activities are usually on the high end compared to others, which is one reason why a trip becomes VIP. In this case, if you can opt for gorilla habituation, which happens to be more expensive than the normal gorilla trekking excursion, and get to spend 4 hours with the primates,
Privacy: Tourists who prefer privacy and do not wish to share transportation costs or anything else end up booking for the luxurious gorilla trekking. The high-end lodges are usually packed, giving guests all the privacy that is needed.
Transportation: 4×4 land cruisers are usually used for luxurious gorilla trekking, and we recommend this type of transportation because the vehicles are customized, come with high-end amenities, and provide comfortable travel to the guests.
Security: Security is provided by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and National Police in Rwanda by partnering with other security organizations to ensure that tourists are safe throughout their stay in the country.
Porters: During a gorilla trek in Uganda and Rwanda,
With prices ranging from $250 to $730, Buhoma Lodge is a luxurious facility that was constructed overlooking the Bwindi Forest canopy. It is located in the Northern section of Bwindi and close to the trailhead used for tracking gorillas.
With prices ranging from $740 to $1320, Buhoma Lodge is a luxurious facility that was constructed overlooking the Bwindi Forest canopy. It is located in the Northern section of Bwindi and close to the trailhead used for tracking gorillas. The staff at the lodge always go out of their way to make sure that you are extremely comfortable, offering laundry services, massages after the long gorilla treks, and 24/7 reception services.
The accommodation at Buhoma is in the form of 10 chalets, with each having a private veranda and large windows that offer good views of the forest and an en-suite bathroom. The size of the room is standard and has double or twin beds. The lodge has grass-thatched rooms made out of wood and a family chalet with two rooms. There is dining where most of the meals are served, a bar, and a restaurant where dishes from different countries, including local food, are prepared and served.
Buhoma Lodge offers guided forest walks, birding excursions, cultural trips to the local villages where you learn about the Batwa people and their relationship with the forest, and not forgetting trekking with gorillas. Even though the lodge is not as luxurious as the rest of the luxurious facilities around the park, it is still a place where you can receive exceptional services worth the money paid.
Volcanoes at Bwindi Lodge
Volcanoes Lodge in Bwindi is the epitome of luxury when it comes to accommodation in and around the National Park. The luxurious lodge overlooks the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with its eight stone, wood, and glass chalets surrounded by lush canopy forests. It is located in the Northern section of the National park, and due to its location, guests can easily take a five-minute walk to the starting point of the gorilla trek. The rooms at the Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge start at $530 to $41,380 per person per night. Guests get to spend some quality time enjoying a drink on the private veranda of their room and stargazing at the same time. Some of the reasons why you should stay at the Volcanoes National Park are that they have laundry and massages after your trek, the surprise gorilla families that visit the lodge at different times of the day, and the waterfalls that are found nearby, which you can visit during a guided walk. Activities carried out here include a guided walk around the lodge and National Park, a visit to the local communities, massages, and gorilla tracking, among others.
Cloud Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Cloud Mountain Gorilla Lodge is located near the entrance of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Nkuringo Safari Lodge. It has 8 spacious cottages, and guests get to have their cottage and privacy while staying in Bwindi. All the cottages are decorated with some of the best art pieces done by the best artists in Uganda, known as Cloud 9, giving each room a unique feeling.
The lodge, constructed as a conservation project among three parties: Wild Places Safari Company, Wildlife Foundation, and the Nkuringo community, has rooms built out of local materials like wood for the floors, hand-woven carpets, and stone.
A qualified chef prepares all the meals provided at the Cloud Mountain Gorilla, and they consist of meals from all over the world and, most importantly, fresh food from the Ugandan gardens. Each guest has a butler who helps make your stay comfortable, like collecting laundry, food, and drinks from the dining room and any other reasonable request that the guests might have. Cloud Mountain, Gorilla Lodge rooms are $300 to $1084 per person per night.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge
Located inside the National Park, the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge is one of the two luxury lodges that you can book within the National Park. The lodge has eight spacious, uniquely designed, canvas-built, wood-thatched rooms with a raised platform each. Each room has a double or twin bed and a bathroom with a standalone bath, shower, sink, and flush toilet.
Facilities offered here include a shared bar and lounge, a dining area, a fire pit, and a veranda. The main lodge has low windows that enable guests to have clear views of the surrounding areas. When the weather is favorable, meals are served around a fire. The estimated cost of the rooms at the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge per person per night is $415 to $716.
Quietly and beautifully blending in with its surroundings, the lodge has seven thatched-grass cottages that overlook the Munyanga Springs. The lodge was named after the mahogany trees that are believed to be about 400 years old in the garden around the lodge.
The 7 suites are each uniquely designed with floors made of hardwood, a mosquito net system, double doors, open terrace showers, white linen, and private terraces overlooking the Bwindi jungle. Stone pathways lead to the River and the vegetable garden, where fresh vegetables are picked for the guests.
The lodge provides meals to its guests, starting with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And on request, you can enjoy a bush dinner or breakfast with continental meals prepared by a professional chef. To enjoy the luxurious Mahogany Springs, prepare about $240 to $408 per person per night.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Located close to the Cloud Mountain Lodge, Nkuringo is found in the Nkuringo region. The beauty of staying here is that you have access to the habituated Nkuringo gorilla families. The Nkuringo lodge was constructed at the Nteko Ridge, allowing it to view Bwindi National Park on one side and the Kisoro district on the other.
Nkuringo Lodge is in the center of the Batwa local community, where guests enjoy the unique culture portrayed by the people. Other activities you can carry out at Nkuringo Lodge include gorilla trekking, birding, Guided nature walks, and hiking. Nkuringo Lodge was awarded the leading safari lodge in Uganda from 2016 to 2018, and from the different and excellent services offered at the lodge, we can say that the award was well deserved.
The lodge has four two-bedroom villas and seven cottages, all surrounded by a well-maintained garden. Nkuringo rooms were built using local materials, such as papyrus for the ceiling and wood for the floors. The lodge has 12 chalet rooms that are surrounded by beautifully designed gardens. Note that all the rooms are uniquely decorated with artwork and bright and warm colors and have en-suite bathrooms and toilets, private verandas, and terraces that overlook Bwindi Impenetrable Park and are exceptionally spacious for the guest’s comfort. The villa at Nkuringo has two bedrooms that are interconnected and can either be booked as separate or inter-connecting rooms. The dining room at Nkuringo was constructed around a tree with raffia ceilings, wooden beams, and beautifully colored walls. There is a small bar, African carvings on the wall, and a stone fireplace warming up the whole place as you enjoy your meals and drinks.
Mutanda Lake resort
Lake Mutanda Lodge is nestled along the peninsula of Mutanda, overlooking the Virunga region. The lodge is about 45 minutes from Kisoro by road and about three hours from Kigali in Rwanda. There are 13 cottages at Mutanda, and each of these is found on wooden raised platforms overlooking the Bwindi forest. The rooms come in singles, doubles, family rooms, and triples with en-suite bathrooms, mosquito nets, a storage area, bedside table lamps, and a chair for the veranda. The price range for the rooms is from $155 to $315 per person per night.
You can have your meals in the dining area or get them from the comfort of your room or veranda. The only con about staying at Mutanda is that it is a bit far away from the starting point of the trek, and you need to be up early before 7:00 a.m., to get there on time. Activities at Mutanda include gorilla trekking, a boat ride along Lake Mutanda, golden monkey trekking, hiking up Sabinyo Mountain for physically fit guests, and guided nature walks.
The Chameleon Hill Lodge
The lodge is found on the shores of Lake Mutanda, between the two National parks, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. With the Virunga Mountains as a backdrop, the lodge has a row of structures that are hard to miss due to their bright colors. Unlike most of the accommodation facilities mentioned in this list, the Chameleon Hill Lodge is a mid-range facility with 10 chalets spread out along the ridge. Five of the ten chalets are double rooms, with the rest having twin beds.
Each of these has its own fence and has different bright colors. Facilities in the rooms include a flush toilet, thick blankets for when the weather is not favorable, hot water in the showers, a wardrobe, a laundry basket, bedside lighting, and a safe. Note that laundry here is done at an extra cost. Rooms at the lodge go for $230 to $360 per person per night, and activities carried out here include golden monkey trekking, gorilla trekking, guided nature walks, hiking, boat rides along Lake Mutanda, and a trip to the communities around the National Park.
VIP or luxury mountain gorilla trekking in the Volcanoes National Park is for tourists who wish to experience VIP treatment throughout the safari from all the service providers. Rwanda is known to be a luxurious gorilla trekking destination as compared to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Rwanda Development Board increased the cost of a gorilla permit to $1500 per person (for foreign non-residents) and $200 for East African citizens, and the board has made sure that the increment comes with an improvement in the services provided to the guests.
The VIP gorilla trekking excursion in Rwanda not only provides visitors with the best experience through the Volcanoes National Park, but it also gives them an opportunity to participate in various activities, which include bird watching, guided nature walks through the tropical rainforests filled with bamboo forests, trees, and swamps, cultural visits, and golden monkey tracking, among others.
Mountain Gorilla View Lodge
The 4-star hotel offers luxury accommodations to tourists visiting Volcanoes National Park and the surrounding areas. Located along the outskirts of Volcanoes National Park, just 10 minutes away from Karisimbi foothills and near the Kinigi headquarters, Mountain Gorilla’s main focus is on offering comfortable and up-to-date facilities to tourists. It was constructed using local materials, for example, thatched roofs and stones, and has a total of 30 chalets that are fully furnished with an en-suite bathroom, spacious beds, and a fireplace in the living room.
The facilities that are offered at the Mountain Gorilla View Lodge include a restaurant that supports the local community by using its fresh fruits and vegetables, tea and coffee-making facilities, a fireplace, a bar, side tables, an en-suite bathroom, a private veranda, and woolen carpets to keep you warm.
The Virunga Lodge is strategically located atop a hill at 2175 meters above sea level, an hour from the Kinigi headquarters at the Volcanoes National Park boundaries, offering some of the best views of the Virunga. The Virunga Lodge consists of 10 spacious bandas constructed from stone, with 3 deluxe rooms, 4 double rooms, and 4 twin rooms, each fully and luxuriously furnished. Some of the facilities that are offered at the lodge include a private shower and bathroom, large verandas, a spa and sauna, a Dian Fossey Map Room, free WIFI, a bar serving cocktails, premium drinks, and wine, among others, private butler services for all guests, a massage parlor, and entertainment from the Indore dance troupes.
Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel
The Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel is a renowned 5-star hotel in the Musanze district, 15 minutes drive from the Volcanoes National Park head office. The hotel consists of 13 rooms, including one VIP cottage and double and twin rooms. The rooms have a fireplace, an en-suite bathroom with cold and hot running water, a television set, a kettle, and a refrigerator. Facilities offered include a bar serving different types of drinks, a 24-hour front desk, a swimming pool, a restaurant serving different cuisines, a steam and traditional sauna, and a garden.
The Bistate Lodge is a uniquely designed, luxurious accommodation facility that offers comfortable lodgings to guests in Volcanoes National Park. It is a naturally eroded volcanic cone that offers accommodation to a maximum of 12 guests in the six en-suite rooms that are elegantly decorated. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms, a private deck for viewing, a stone fireplace, double beds, and wooden roofs. The lodge’s facilities include a bar and lounge, ample free parking, complimentary WIFI, a restaurant, airport transfers, a fitness center, and laundry services, among others.
Sabinyo Silverback Lodge
Sabinyo Silverback Lodge is located at the foothills of the Virunga, near the headquarters of the Volcanoes National Park. It has 8 well-decorated rooms that are categorized into 6 cottages that are single, double, or twin cottages, 2 suites, and one family cottage with two independent en-suite rooms with a shared veranda. The cottages are spacious and have a bath and shower with cold and hot running water, a fireplace, a dressing room, and a large bedroom. Facilities offered at the lodge include two patios, a dining room, a sitting area, a gift shop, a tourism awareness room, and a library.
Contact us for your VIP safari booking.