Lake Mutanda, Bwindi
AccommodationStone stairs leads down from the parking lot to the main building of Chameleon Lodge, which is painted in bright colors. A cozy restaurant and terrace await you, with a spectacular panorama of Lake Mutanda with its small islands and hills in the distance.
Steps continue down to the ten colorful chalets. All rooms are lined up along the hillside and offer wonderful vistas of the lake. The stone chalets are equipped with en-suite bathrooms and a small covered veranda. The lodge is at around 2,000 meters above sea level and the steep steps up to the main house require some fitness, especially if this is your first stop in Uganda and you still need to get used to the altitude.
LocationChameleon Hill Lodge is located south of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. From Kisoro airstrip a bumpy gravel road leads along Lake Mutanda to the lodge. The journey is the reward - this saying really applies to this wonderful overland route.
Travel time from Entebbe to Chameleon Hill Lodge would be a good 10 hours, too far for a single day's drive. Flights from Entebbe take 1 hour 15 minutes to Kisoro Airstrip. The road transfer from the airstrip to the lodge is just over an hour.
WildlifeThe dense vegetation of Bwindi National Park is difficult to access and provides the perfect retreat for some 400 mountain gorillas. In addition to the endangered mountain gorillas, seven other primate species live here, including chimpanzees and the rare and beautiful L'Hoest monkeys. In total, Bwindi offers shelter to additional 80 mammals, some of which are very rare, such as forest elephants, bushbok, wild hog or the shy golden cat. Together with more than 560 bird species Bwindi is clearly a biologically highly varied region.
The Nkuringo sector can be reached from Chameleon Hill Lodge in about 45 minutes, as well as the Rushaga sector, where another seven gorilla groups live: the families are called Mishaya, Kahungye, Shongi, Busingye, Bikingi, Bweza and Kutu.
ActivitiesGorilla trekking, guided forest walks, visit to surrounding villages and the Batwa pygmies, boat trips on Lake Mutanda, bird watching.
Gorilla trekking starts in the morning and can take as little as two hours or as much as six hours, depending on where the gorillas are. Only 8 guests are allowed per gorilla group and the maximum time spent with the gorillas is strictly 1 hour. The walk may include trekking through dense forest, sometimes including steeper climbs and guests need a bit of endurance and good footgear but will be rewarded with a life changing experience. Minimum age for Gorilla Trekking is 15 years.
Good to knowThe mountains of Uganda are considered more difficult to trek than their counterparts in Rwanda. If you are looking for an easier trek in the south of Bwindi, the Rushaga sector is your choice, as some gorilla groups tend to stay in areas where access is easier.
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