Choosing a hotel or lodge in Uganda needs to be the primary focus of planning your trip, especially if you are new to the safari experience or have never stayed in the wilderness before. When it comes to accommodation in Uganda, you have control over the level of comfort you prefer. Options range from more highly priced upmarket accommodation, simple guesthouses and dormitories to campsites where you will be provided with tents and mattresses. Your tour operator can provide expert guidance, but for greater assurance that your hotel or lodge meets your needs, it helps to do some research of your own.
Where to begin
Start with your own checklist of wants and needs for your trip. Would you prefer to stay outdoors, or do you want the comfort of a spacious bedroom, warm running water and catered meals? Perhaps your idea of the ideal safari accommodation is being surrounded by epic views and beautiful scenery? Are you comfortable with basic amenities, or would you prefer full-service accommodation?
You will need to understand that some conveniences may differ from what you are accustomed to. Hotels and lodges that are closer to the national parks, for example, are often solar-powered or rely on generators for energy. If you are likely to enjoy the rustic charm of kerosene lamps and bread baked in outdoor ovens, staying around the parks could be an appreciated feature of your gorilla trekking holiday. Uganda has ten national parks. There are lodges at the Bwindi Impenetrable, home to half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas, and at Mgahinga Gorilla Park, which is the second of Uganda’s gorilla reserves and also the habitat of the golden monkey.
Talk to your safari tour operator
Many safari tour operators collate client feedback and provide their own ratings on local Ugandan accommodation. Your first point of contact – your trip provider –should be able to answer questions about the amenities and quality of the services offered at a variety of hotels and lodges. Your provider can even suggest the options they believe will bestsuit your needs, (http://www.steppestravel.co.uk/uganda) so be sure to share your checklist with them.
You can follow up suggestions with your own internet research, checking out the establishments’ websites for pictures of the rooms and facilities. TripAdvisor can be an invaluable resource of verified reviews.