This scenic lake Mutanda lies just north of Kisoro and stretches not far south of Bwindi, making it a relaxing base for your gorilla trip. It’s a pretty spot, with a misty Virunga backdrop comprising a string of volcanoes and a lake ringed by papyrus swamp, and is a good alternative for those who find Lake Bunyonyi overdeveloped. There are also dugout canoes for hire if you fancy a paddle; you don’t need to worry about hippos, crocodiles, or bilharzia here. Lake Mutanda is also the starting point for eight-hour treks into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with Nkuringo Walking Safaris.
Mutanda Eco-Community Centre
Run by the local community, these rickety stilted cabins, and grassy campground sit on the fringes of farmland. It’s a welcoming place with a strong community presence if there’s a bush party, attend, though sleeping might not be an option. Hosts cook local food and rent out dugout canoes.
Keep an eye out for otters.
While the idea of slick modern hotel rooms in such a pastoral setting is confounding, Mucha pulls it off. Choose between volcano views or creek-side rooms with modern amenities and big windows. The European restaurant with abstract art is a classy affair.
Chameleon Hill Lodge
Finally a lodge in Uganda that’s trying something original, hilltop Chameleon provides a memorable first impression with a series of multicolored surrealist chimney-stack buildings. The flair doesn’t stop there, with plenty of arty touches and color in its 10 comfortable chalets, all with porches and soaring lake panoramas. There’s a lauded restaurant and bar, and massages are available.
Mutanda Lake Resort
In a superb location directly on the lake, this relaxed Dutch-owned resort has luxury safari tents raised on wooden platforms with self-contained bathrooms, lovely porches, and polished wooden floorboards. It’s within striking distance of gorillas at Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Mgahinga. There are also boating options.
Access is via a very rough road that takes 40 minutes to go 16km.