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Explore the Pearl of Africa: hike the mountains, track the gorillas and chimpanzees, raft the Nile, spot the tree climbing lions and so much more, when you stay in one of the best luxury hotels in Uganda. And with luxury lodges, five-star safari tents and getaways on a private island available, your adventure begins before you’ve even had breakfast.
If you love the serenity and fun of a lakeside holiday with a touch of luxe, Munyonyo has it all. Set in tropical gardens with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, it overlooks Lake Victoria and has the biggest private marina in the country, so you can swim, fish and sail, or paddle a resort canoe to nearby islands. Then when you get back, you can order a private, candlelit dinner for two under the stars with a specially curated menu.
Looking to taste the best of contemporary Africa? This stylish resort puts the natural beauty of Lake Victoria at your feet, has easy access to the nightlife of Kampala – the CBD is 6km (4mi) away – and, on the walls of your suite, there are colourful local artworks, from striking wire basketry to hand-beaded textiles and cleverly upcycled furniture. The fresh Ugandan coffee (provided with a French press) will linger in your memory long after you leave.
A smart choice for business travellers, with slick boardrooms, conference rooms and the sensational Skyz Deck, which can seat 300, Protea allows you to entertain clients with fine dining and four rooftop bars overlooking Kampala. Stay the pace by putting in time at the gym and pool. Tack on a weekend to catch the nearby sites, from Ndere Cultural Centre to the Kasubi Tombs, Independence Monument and the Uganda Martyrs Shrine.
Kyaninga is the ultimate African luxury lodge experience in Uganda. Set against the stunning backdrop of Lake Kyaninga and the Rwenzori Mountains beyond, it’s the result of one man’s vision and six years of unwavering commitment to capturing the beauty of the continent. There are now nine exclusive cottages created from hand-carved logs, superb dining and a wealth of adventures, including a chimpanzee safari in Kibale National Park.
Kampala Serena Hotel is an oasis of cool and green, with a secure environment located in the heart of Kampala. Surrounded by 7ha (17 acres) of manicured water gardens, it lures the well-heeled with elegant accommodation, gourmet cuisine and superb conference facilities. There are 188 guest rooms, including 13 spacious suites that range from open-plan Executive to an exquisitely presented Royal Suite. Whichever you choose, you can lose yourself in the tropically styled free-form pool, tucked among rock terraces, wooden bridges and a waterfall. Then savour fine dining at The Lakes restaurant or unwind with friends at the Champagne Bar.
With the look of a pastel-shaded Italian hillside village, Lake Victoria Serena stands out among hotels in Uganda. It sits amid terraced rose gardens above its own marina on Lake Victoria and has its own PGA-affiliated championship golf course. The hotel itself resembles an Italianate palace with mosaics, an arched pool terrace and shaded colonnades. And furthering that palatial feel is the on-site Roman coliseum – a photogenic wedding backdrop – set amid water cascades and fountains.
Located in Murchison Falls National Park, this lodge offers luxury living soundtracked by the Nile rapids. Head to the three-tiered swimming pool for views of the river or gawp and dine at the water-view Karumba restaurant. You’ll be hard pressed to leave, but make sure to take advantage of at least one of the other experiences on offer: perhaps breakfast in the bush, a nature walk through the national park or a safari drive.
Paraa Safari Lodge, in Murchison Falls National Park, offers a special blend of comfort, luxury and adventure. Set within landscaped gardens, it has rooms and suites with more than a hint of safari chic; opt for a stay in one of the three Safari Tents for a glamping experience in the bush. You can also enjoy a variety of excursions and activities, from exhilarating safari drives to boat trips along the Nile ending at the foot of Murchison Falls.
Mweya Safari Lodge, located on a peninsula within Queen Elizabeth National Park, is surrounded by the magical Rwenzori Mountains. It offers a range of activities and attractions: take a drive to discover an array of wild game, traverse the Kazinga Channel on a luxury boat or go on a birdwatching adventure. Accommodation comes in the form of unfussy, rustic rooms or suites, or you could book a luxury tent, which come with front decks overlooking the Kazinga.
Nestled in a rainforest on a private island in the Nile, Wildwaters Lodge has 10 timber-floored rooms with free-standing baths on private terraces overlooking the rapids. Elevated wooden walkways link the rooms to the restaurant and bar area, and offer an unforgettable stroll through the forest. Enhance your jungle adventure with a stop at the in-house spa, where you can indulge in an open-air massage among the foliage.
Apoka Safari Lodge is found on a charming kopje (small hill) overlooking the Narus Valley within Kidepo National Park. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll be in heaven. Neighbours of the four-legged variety range from lions to leopards, and elephants to zebra. The lodge itself has 10 large rooms with canvas walls on a rocky hill, each with stretching savannah views. There’s also a shared sitting room plus a private veranda offering lots of places to unwind and read.
Sheraton Kampala Hotel stands sentinel on the slopes of Nakasero hill, a jutting high-rise with Kampala skyline views. There’s a state-of-the-art fitness centre (with gymnasium and outdoor swimming pool) and a spa with massage, steam and sauna rooms. After a long day of exploring, cherish the art of cocktails, sip on a local beer, or sample an exotic medley of martinis and speciality drinks at the Equator Bar.
This 20-storey luxury hotel is a sight to behold. Pearl of Africa has 253 rooms and 42 suites – all elegantly appointed and drawing inspiration from the natural beauty of Uganda. Choose from a variety of drink and dining options, splash around in the indoor and outdoor pools, or hit the cutting-edge wellness centre with a luxury spa and fully-equipped gym. Complimentary high-speed internet and free parking round out the offerings nicely.
Glynis Horning contributed additional reporting to this article.