In Uganda and Rwanda, a new generation of safari lodges offers up-close experiences with local wildlife, also helping to grow these thriving communities.
Praveen Moman of Volcanoes Safaris, Luxury Lodges in Uganda & Rwanda, the mastermind behind some of the world’s first “trekking lodges,” is fanatic about gorilla conservation. He describes seeing them as like looking in a mirror. “You feel these people are related to you. You’re connecting to your cousins, and the gorillas recognize this. Their behavior is so human, and that’s what makes seeing them such a life-changing experience.” It seems unfathomable that just three hours from Kigali, Rwanda’s burgeoning capital city, you can walk right up to these critically-endangered gentle giants. There are only 880 mountain gorillas in the entire world, and all make their homes in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and in the three parks that span dormant volcano chain Virunga Mountains—the tiny Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, and Virunga National Park in the DRC. Now, exclusively for DEPARTURES, is the ultimate list of where to stay in luxury when gorilla trekking through Uganda and Rwanda.