Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is set high on the Nketo Ridge, between the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga volcanoes. © Uganda Safari Company

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge | Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Luxury Uganda Safari Lodge

Set high on the Nketo Ridge between the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga volcanoes in Uganda, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is positioned for an unforgettable gorilla safari. After trekking to see these majestic creatures, you’ll return to a relaxing massage, a romantic fire and dinner on your verandah at this luxury Uganda safari lodge.

The place

Our plane lands in Kisoro, just 34km away from Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and our base for gorilla trekking in Uganda’s primordial Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We pepper our driver with questions, learning some of the history of this jungle-like forest, which, along with 560 bird species, rare mountain gorillas and innumerable wildlife, once sheltered and concealed rebel armies.Perched on a ridge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge simply takes our breath away. We can see for kilometres into the forest, while the silhouette of the Virungas volcanoes looms out of the clouds. The lodge itself is modern, with the warm feel of a country house, made even more welcoming by its staff.I particularly love that the multi-paned windows let in a great deal of natural light, while giant rafters and French doors leading out to the balcony provide a sense of space. I glance at the cushy armchairs positioned to take in the best views and catch my partner doing the same – we’re going to spend many happy hours here, birdwatching, gazing into the impenetrable depths of the forest, and into each other’s eyes.

Our plane lands in Kisoro, just 34km away from Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and our base for gorilla trekking in Uganda’s primordial Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We pepper our driver with questions, learning some of the history of this jungle-like forest, which, along with 560 bird species, rare mountain gorillas and innumerable wildlife, once sheltered and concealed rebel armies.

Perched on a ridge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge simply takes our breath away. We can see for kilometres into the forest, while the silhouette of the Virungas volcanoes looms out of the clouds. The lodge itself is modern, with the warm feel of a country house, made even more welcoming by its staff.

I particularly love that the multi-paned windows let in a great deal of natural light, while giant rafters and French doors leading out to the balcony provide a sense of space. I glance at the cushy armchairs positioned to take in the best views and catch my partner doing the same – we’re going to spend many happy hours here, birdwatching, gazing into the impenetrable depths of the forest, and into each other’s eyes.

The room

Lying in my bed, I stare into an inky-black sky, which is illuminated by the red glow of the Virungas volcanoes. It’s a dramatic sight to lull a person to sleep.Waking up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee delivered by our private butler, Felix, I breathe it all in; our stone cottage with its own fireplace, the crop-terraced slopes leading towards the Virungas volcanoes, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest stretching into the horizon.Our suite has a living room, warmly dressed in hand-woven carpets and overstuffed armchairs. The artwork that decorate the walls – commissioned from nine local artists known as the Cloud Nine – really bring it to life. Promising myself that I will buy a piece to take home with me, I stretch desultorily and head to the en-suite bathroom for a reviving shower before we begin our first gorilla-trekking experience.

Lying in my bed, I stare into an inky-black sky, which is illuminated by the red glow of the Virungas volcanoes. It’s a dramatic sight to lull a person to sleep.

Waking up to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee delivered by our private butler, Felix, I breathe it all in; our stone cottage with its own fireplace, the crop-terraced slopes leading towards the Virungas volcanoes, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest stretching into the horizon.

Our suite has a living room, warmly dressed in hand-woven carpets and overstuffed armchairs. The artwork that decorate the walls – commissioned from nine local artists known as the Cloud Nine – really bring it to life. Promising myself that I will buy a piece to take home with me, I stretch desultorily and head to the en-suite bathroom for a reviving shower before we begin our first gorilla-trekking experience.

What sets it apart

Situated in the clouds on the southern edge of Bwindi – with expansive views over the ethereal forest and the Great Rift Valley – Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge’s location sets it apart from other luxury lodges. It’s just steps away from the trailhead for tracking the Nkuringo gorilla family, the largest and friendliest of Bwindi’s troops.Apart from a private butler, housekeeper and exceptionally helpful staff, there’s a rare sense of community involvement here too; it comes from a genuine partnership with the Nkuringo community and a conservation programme that ensures the survival of some of the last remaining mountain gorillas. By staying here, you’re supporting the happy marriage of community and conservation.We loved finding hot-water bottles and a roaring fire in our suite after gorilla trekking, as well as masseuses on hand to ease tired muscles. We’d wake up to freshly-laundered clothes and clean boots, and with a spring in our step, walk back into the belly of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Situated in the clouds on the southern edge of Bwindi – with expansive views over the ethereal forest and the Great Rift Valley – Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge’s location sets it apart from other luxury lodges. It’s just steps away from the trailhead for tracking the Nkuringo gorilla family, the largest and friendliest of Bwindi’s troops.

Apart from a private butler, housekeeper and exceptionally helpful staff, there’s a rare sense of community involvement here too; it comes from a genuine partnership with the Nkuringo community and a conservation programme that ensures the survival of some of the last remaining mountain gorillas. By staying here, you’re supporting the happy marriage of community and conservation.

We loved finding hot-water bottles and a roaring fire in our suite after gorilla trekking, as well as masseuses on hand to ease tired muscles. We’d wake up to freshly-laundered clothes and clean boots, and with a spring in our step, walk back into the belly of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

At a glance

  • Intimate lodge set in the clouds above the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with seven en-suite cottages (five one-bedroomed suites and two two-bedroomed family suites).
  • Exclusive forest location, gorilla trekking, private butler, personal housekeeper and private dining.
  • Gorilla trekking (additional cost), forest walks (additional cost), guided birdwatching (additional cost), cultural visits (additional cost), stargazing and spa treatments (additional cost).
  • Children welcome with two family cottages. Gorilla trekking only for children above 15 years, but kids’ activities available.

  • Intimate lodge set in the clouds above the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with seven en-suite cottages (five one-bedroomed suites and two two-bedroomed family suites).
  • Exclusive forest location, gorilla trekking, private butler, personal housekeeper and private dining.
  • Gorilla trekking (additional cost), forest walks (additional cost), guided birdwatching (additional cost), cultural visits (additional cost), stargazing and spa treatments (additional cost).
  • Children welcome with two family cottages. Gorilla trekking only for children above 15 years, but kids’ activities available.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has a distinctly tropical climate, and, like all major forests, it plays an important role in the regional ecosystem. The two annual dry seasons are most people’s preferred times to visit, as the reduced rainfall means that forest trails are dry and easier to negotiate. December is the single most popular month; it’s also the start of the period when migrating birds flock to Bwindi. Expect cool mornings and evenings, especially in June and July, but you’ll also enjoy seeing concentrations of game at remaining water sources.

Bwindi experiences two wet seasons: short rains (intermittent brief showers) and later in the year, long rains (prolonged drizzle, storms and evenings meant to be spent by a fireplace). Bwindi’s annual rainfall reaches an impressive 2,390mm – more than equivalent to the height of a silverback! It tends to fall, however, in short spurts, and the wet seasons are brightened by many sunny days. Gorilla avoid the cold, descending from the higher mountains now, making them easier to find. So too are bargains, with lodge rates and gorilla permits both reduced.

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