Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park settles in the south west of Uganda stretching over an area of 321 km2 with an altitudinal range of 1,160 – 2,607 Km above sea level.  This gorilla safari park extends for 32,092 ha and is among the largest areas in East Africa with Afro montane lowland forest with greatest number of trees at its altitude more than any other similar forest in East Africa.  Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is by no means ordinary when it comes to bio-diversity concentration with great counts of trees, wildlife, butterflies and great mammal congregations in Africa. The Park is known for populations of Mountain gorillas which are listed as critically endangered by IUCN. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is considered to in a grouping of the most diverse forest on African continent with 163 species of trees, 104 species of fern alongside other taxa. 16 of these species are restricted to forests of western Uganda and one Lovoa swynnertonii is considered to be threatened globally. The park also has 214 species of birds, 7 species of diurnal primates, 120 species of mammals and 202 species of butterflies. The dense undergrowth coupled with mature tropical trees settling on a rugged landscapes combine to justify Bwindi as an Impenetrable forest. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also considered to have counts of African montane wildlife most of which is endemic to the highlands of the Albertine rift. In fact, nine species that are threatened globally exist in Bwindi including; common chimpanzee, mountain gorilla, l’Hoest’s monkey Cercopithecus l’hoesti, endangered species of African giant swallowtail, African green broadbill, Grauer’s rush warbler, Chaplin’s flycatcher, African elephant and cream-banded swallowtail. The leopard and buffalo were poached to extinction of recent and in 1960s respectively.

Bwindi was first established as Kasatora and Kayonza crown forest reserves in the north and south sectors respectively stretching to 20,700ha. These two were brought together in 1948 and added to the Impenetrable Central Crown Forest Reserve stretching to 29,800ha. In 1961, they were added to the Central Reserve expanding to 32,080ha and in that same year the whole area was gazetted as an animal sanctuary to ensure protection of Mountain gorillas. The area finally received a park status in 1991 along with Rwenzori and Mgahinga which involved the incorporation of 1,000ha Mbwa tract.

The Park Bwindi derives its name from a horrific legend that has kept the image of the park surrounded by Mystery. It is believed that about a century ago a range of people were transferring from the populated south to the less populated north in search of vast land for farming.  As there was no Vehicles and roads by then, the people would trek for days, weeks and Months until they reach their desired destination. Unfortunately, when one family was moving from the south to the north, they came across a big swamp of which they could not manage to traverse. The swamp spirit offered to help them but at a cost of their favorite daughter Nnyinamukari. The family stood in contemplation for two days and they finally reach a consensus and they gave in their daughter and were given the opportunity to cross to the north. However, the news spread to the communities around and place was heavily feared thus nicknaming it Mubwindi bwa Nnyinamukari (the dark place of Nnyinamukari). The swamp still exists and is called Mubwindi while the entire forest is called Bwindi.

BWINDI-FOREST-NATIONAL-PARK

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are descendants of ancestral monkeys and apes that lived in Arabia and Africa in the beginning of oligocene epoch (34-24 millions of years ago). The fossil records reveal the thriving of hominoid primates (apes) in East Africa approximately 18 – 22 million years ago. However, the archive of the mountain gorilla fossils is poor and is in short of clear evolutionary history. It is noted that approximately 9 million years ago, the primate group which evolved into gorillas separated from the common ancestor along with the chimps and humans leading to the emergence of genus gorilla.

Even though the earliest relative of gorilla is not certain, the Procunsul Africanus – the earliest ape is thought be the one. It was approximately 400,000 years when the eastern low land gorillas and Mountain gorillas parted ways and about 2 million years when these two did the same from their colleagues (the western gorillas). The classification of gorillas has sparked off a considerable debate for long. It started in 1867 when the genus was referenced as Troglodytes and later renamed to Gorilla in 1852. The taxonomist Colin Gloves in 1967 proposed the all gorillas should be considered one species Gorilla gorilla with three sub species Gorilla gorilla gorilla (western lowland gorilla), Gorilla gorilla graueri (lowland gorillas found west of the Virungas) and Gorilla gorilla beringei (Bwindi and Virunga endemic mountain gorillas). Following the IUCN review in 2003, the gorillas were classified into two species Gorilla gorilla and Gorilla beringei.

The gorilla is naturally a shy vegetarian ape which is less offensive as it appears to be. However when provoked, it rises to erect position and beats their cupped hands on their chests in an attempt to frighten the attackers. Gorillas are the largest and powerful of all apes with an average height of 1.7 m (6 ft.) for adult male and weight of approximately 140 to 275 kg. While the female gorillas are approximately 40 to 50% smaller than their male counter parts. Both female and male gorillas are strong enough to pull out small trees and rip tree branches. They pass most of the day foraging with resting breaks.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park contains 400 of the 880 mountain gorillas that currently thrive in the wild with none thriving in captivity. Twelve gorilla families have been habituated for gorilla trekking encounter in different regions of Bwindi including;

Buhoma- Habinyanja, Mubare and Rushegura.

Ruhija- Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguriro.

Nkuringo – Nkuringo Gorilla group.

Rushaga – Nshongi, Kahungye, Mishaya, Busingye and Bweza.

Buhoma Area.

Mubare Gorilla Family. This gorilla family contains 8 members and 1 silverback. This is the oldest gorilla family to be habituated in Uganda for gorilla trekking encounter in Bwindi and Uganda in general. It was first sighted in Mubare hills with its habituation commencing on 15th October in 1991 and receiving its first official visit on 13th October 1993 (2 years later). The Mubare gorilla family was led by Ruhondeza and had 12 members in the start before encountering a fierce attack from a wild gorilla that broke his leadership taking away some of its female members in March, 2012. Ruhondeza abandoned the group and settled in the adjacent community forest where he lost his life on 27th June 2012 while sleeping at about 50 years of age. Its grave can be visited while on a gorilla tracking safari in Uganda. The Mubare gorilla family then remained with only 5 members for some time until March 2013 when 4 other members joined the group. The new silverback Kanyonyi who succeeded Ruhondeza was able to expand the group to eight members including the bay gorilla Kashundwe. Because of easy connection to Queen Elizabeth National Park, its permits are heavily demanded by Uganda gorilla safari undertakers.

Habinyanja Gorilla Family. This gorilla family contains 18 members with 2 silverbacks. The Habinyanja gorilla family was habituated in 1997 and received visitors in 1999. This gorilla family derives its name from the local word Nyanja which literally means a pool of water. It demonstrates a swamp in Bwindi where the group was first sighted. The gorilla family was led by Mugurusi succeeded him. However, due to their differing characters, the two brothers could not stay together as Rwansigazi was very adventurous while Mwirima preferred dwelling in a limited range. This prompted their separation in 2002 though with no fights. The Rwansigazi group maintained Habinyanja name while the Mwirima group became Rushegura. Rwansigazi later left the throne to Makara who is currently the dominant silverback of Habinyanja gorilla family. These two gorilla families tend to meet on rare occasions in a mutual brotherhood. The female section is dominated by Kisho.

Rushegura Gorilla Family. This gorilla family contains 19 members with 1 silverback. The family came about in 2002 after the separation of Mwirima from the Habinyanja gorilla family. The Rushegura gorilla family started with 12 gorilla members and it derives its name from the local floral species called Ebishegura which are abundant in the area. The Rushegura gorilla family is very calm though with minor border crossings to DRC. It is usually within the environs of Buhoma village and sometimes wonder through the gardens of Gorilla Forest Camp enabling guests to have unexpected gorilla viewing encounter.

Ruhija Area.

Bitukura Gorilla family. This contains 14 members with 4 silverbacks that can be tracked on Uganda gorilla safari tour. The Bitukura gorilla family derives its name from the river where it was first sighted. Its habituation commenced in the month of July 2007 and it did not take long as the gorillas had a frequent encounter with UWA rangers no wonder after 15 months it was ready for tracking unlike the normal 2 years of habituation. The Bitukua gorilla group initially had 24 members but due to internal instabilities, some of the members resolved to quit the family. Bitukura has a baby born that came in the early 2013.

Oruzogo Gorilla Family. This contains 23 members with 1 silverback. The Oruzogo is considered to be among the new gorilla families that have been habituated for trekking encounter in the Impenetrable forest of Bwindi. The Oruzogo gorilla family is led by Tibirikwata and on 20th June 2011 is when this gorilla family was opened for trekking. The family has energetic and playful juveniles and toddlers which make it thrilling to encounter this gorilla family while on your gorilla trekking safari tour in Uganda.

Kyaguriro Gorilla Family. This contains 15 Members with 2 silver backs. The Kyaguriro gorilla family was called Zeus before he was banished by his rival Rukiina into the forest. This gorilla family was initially used for research but has been of recent opened for gorilla trekking encounter.

Nkuringo Area.

Nkuringo Gorilla Family. This contains 19 members with 2 silverbacks. The naming of this gorilla family is derived from the local Rukiga word Nkuringo that literally translates into a round hill meaning that it was the first place where the gorilla family was first sighted. The Nkuringo gorilla family was opened for trekking in 200 after being habituated for 2 years. The group had the tendency of encroaching on peoples’ plantations and gardens to consume crops like sweet potatoes which motivated conservationists to habituate it. The dominant silverback Nkuringo passed away in April 2008 leaving behind two silverbacks Rafiki and Safari. Safari dominated the group and twin baby gorillas i.e. Katungi and Muhoozi were born in Novembver of that very year allowing the group to recover very fast. Unfortunately, Katungi passed away at 1 ½ years as a result of sickness. Nkuringo is considered to be the one of the toughest gorilla families to trek while on your gorilla safari in Uganda though trekkers do not usual complain of being drained.

Rushaga Area.

Nshongi Gorilla family. This contains 18 members. Nshongi is considered to be the first gorilla family to be habituated with over 36 gorilla members and derived its naming from the local River Nshongi where the group was first sighted. The gorilla family was opened for tracking in September 2009 following 2 years of habituation. Unlike other gorilla families of 25 members which contain 1 or 2 silverbacks, Nshongi gorilla family has 4 silverbacks. Surprisingly, the Silverback Nshongyi is not the oldest of the others but rules the family in harmony with the other three. However, the Nshongi has had series of secession with Mishaya breaking off in July 2010 leaving it with 26 members and in 2013 Bweza also split reducing the Nshongi group to 18 members.

Mishaya Gorilla Family. This contains 7 members with 1 Silverback. Mishaya gorilla family was formed as a result of separation from Nshongi gorilla group in July 2010. Mishaya was a re-known great fighter and he used his fighting capability to conquer more females from other gorilla families increasing the family. Mishaya died in Feb 2014 and was succeeded by Mwiine who has managed to take the gorilla family forward.

Kahungye Gorilla Family. This contains 13 members including 3 silverbacks. Kahungye derives its name from a local hill called Kahungye. The dominant silverback for this gorilla family is called Rumanzi who is followed by other two old male gorillas in the names of Ruhamuka and Rwigi. This gorilla family was opened for gorilla trekking in 2011 but it later split leading to the formation of Busingye gorilla group. Before this separation, the Kahungye gorilla family had 27 members and 3 silverbacks.

Bweza Gorilla Family. This contains 7 members with 1 Silverback. Bweza gorilla family was established after splitting from Mishaya gorilla family in 2012. The management of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) anticipated that the two gorilla families would re-unite something that did not happen and eventually Bweza gorilla family was introduced for gorilla trekking encounter.

Busingye Gorilla Family. This contains 9 members with 1 silverback. The Busingye gorilla family broke off from Kahungye in June 2012. Busingye established this family and it has 9 members with two adult female and three infants while others are juveniles. Though Busingye means peace, the naming is contradictory to the character of Busingye as he likes fighting with other groups. The diversity of its members makes it thrilling to encounter while on gorilla safari in Uganda.

Batwa people.

The Batwa, or Twa people are considered to be the last groups of short people who are also referred to as pygmy people whose physical structure and the heritage behind it has made it a hot spot for Uganda safari undertakes. Before the establishment of Bwindi forest as a national Park, the Batwa people lived in the forests where they flourished in their hunter gather culture. The Batwa people are earliest inhabitants of East Africa dating back to 4,000 years long before the Bantu communities arrived in the region. Their ancestral god Nagasian gave them the responsibility of taking care of the forest.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a range of impressive flora and fauna some of which are listed as endangered worlds wide. Besides that, the forest of Bwindi was a home of the Batwa who considered themselves as the keepers of the forest. They survived by hunting small game with the help of arrows and bows, gathering of wild fruit and wild roots that are edible not forgetting honey harvesting. The Batwa built their houses in the forest using climbing plants and tree leaves. This shows that the Batwa were able to live in harmony with the forest ecosystem. However, with the gazettion of Bwindi as a national Park, the Batwa were evicted from the forest pushing them to the forest margins exposing them to the life they were not well conversant with which opened the door for their suffering. The Batwa were bailed out by the missionary doctors of the American origin in the names of Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermans in 2001 who started up some programs that would see the Batwa’s life change including; school, hospital and housing. Apparently, the Batwa Development Program is spearheading the advancement of the Batwa people and their transformation to adapt to the new environment that they round themselves in.

Birds.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park provides one of the ideal Afro-montane birding opportunities on the African continent. The park has 350 species of birds of which 23 are endemic to the Albertine rift with 14 identified nowhere else in Uganda. Bwindi has globally threatened bird species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing. Other bird species include; Black-billed Turaco, Handsome Francolin; African Broadbill; Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters; Western Green Tinker bird; Purple-breasted, Blue-headed and Regal Sunbirds; Short-tailed and Black-faced Rufous Warblers; Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls; Many-colored Bush-Shrike, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis among others. A range of birds thrive in Ruhija with great bird counts per square. The early morning birding encounters exposes you to splendid handsome Francolin, white-tailed crested Flycatcher, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Ruwenzori batis, western Green Tinker bird, red-faced woodland Warbler, yellow-streaked Greenbuls and chestnut-throated Apalis, among others.

Accessing different regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where gorilla trekking takes place including; Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Rushaga can be done from the following points;

DISTANCE IN KM
ORIGIN BUHOMA HRS. RUSHAGA RUHIJA NKURINGO
Kampala 527 Km. 10 Hrs. 510 km 473km 517 km
Mweya 160 Km. 5 Hrs. 309 km 218 km 316 km
Ishasha 63 Km. 2 Hrs. 212 km 121 km 219 km
Kibale 280 Km. 7 Hrs. 429 km 338 km 436 km
Lake Bunyonyi 122 km 3-4hrs. 73 km 48 km 80 km
Kigali 232 Km. 5 Hrs. 169 km 170 km 214 km
Volcanoes National Park. 236 Km. 7 Hrs. 93 km 140 km 93 km
Mgahinga NP 204 km 7 Hrs. 53 km 100 km 53 km
Kabale 110 km 4 hrs 85 km 48 km 92 km
  • 4 x4 Wheel drive is recommended due to the nature of the roads most especially in the rainy seasons.
  • The park can also be accessed using public transport. Buses from Kampala connect to Butogota passing through the towns of Rukungiri and Kihihi. Though one should know that the departure and arrival time is not specific.
  • The gorilla safari destination of Bwindi can also be connected to by Air. Aero link conducts scheduled flights to Kihihi and Nyakabande Airstrip in Kisoro from the International Airport of Entebbe. The Kihihi Airfield and Kayonza Airstrip provide easy connection to northern sector of Buhoma and Ruhija in the East while Nyakabande in Kisoro is ideal for southern sector of Nkuringo and Rushaga.

Gorilla tracking

The gorilla trekking is the most key activity that sets Bwindi Impenetrable National Park above many protected areas. With 400 out of 880 mountain gorillas that currently thrive in the wild with none thriving in captivity, Bwindi is an ideal have for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda. This activity is carried out in its four regions where fully habituated gorilla groups are known to be thriving including; Nkuringo area with its Nkuringo gorilla family, Rushaga area with its Bweza, Busingye, Mishaya, Kahungye and Nshongyi gorilla families, Ruhija area with its Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguriro gorilla families and Buhoma with its Habinyanja, Mubare and Rushegura gorilla families. A range of 8 people are permitted to track each gorilla family per day with maximum of I hour direct encounter with them. The gorilla trekking activity commences at 8am local time at Uganda Wildlife Headquarters in any of the four regions depending on the permit that you have with a short briefing from the UWA staff about the gorilla trekking encounter. The duration of this activity tend to range between 2 – 8 hours. Tracking gorillas requires a traveller on Uganda gorilla safari to have a gorilla permit which is issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority at a price of 600USD in the high season or 350USD in a low season (November). Gorilla tracking in Bwindi is possible throughout the year though dry season offers an easier trek.

Nature walks.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has six main nature trails that are designed to enable Uganda safari undertakers to explore Bwindi on foot.

Munyange waterfall walk: This is in Buhoma and it exposes you to impressive waterfall that is situated on River Munyange. It is short trail ideal for traveller with limited time. The trail exposes you to birds and primates at the forest edge.

Rushura Hill Walk: This directs to Rushura Hill and upon reaching the top, it offers an opportunity to explore lakes Edward and George not forgetting the peaks of Rwenzori Mountains and Virunga ranges. The rift valley floor can also be explored.

The Muzabajiro Loop: The Muzabajiro loop is a 6km walk that moves around the hill with an opportunity to encounter birds and primates with the views of Virunga volcanoes. The trail offers you magnificent views of Bwindi Impenetrable forest. The trail exposes to different fern species and the top offers ideal encounters for picnics.

The Ivi River Walk: The 14km River Ivi walk goes for seven hours passing through a place of pigs locally known Mukempunu. Wild pigs are always encountered on this trail.

The Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail: This trail takes 3 – 4 hours traversing the park to connect the villages of Buhoma and Nkuringo. The trail offers impressive views of the forest covered with mist as you draw towards Nkuringo.

The Habinyanja Trail: This trail takes 4 – 6 hours crossing the Munyanga River taking a steep ascend of Habigorogoro and Riyovi Ridge with views of River Buhoma. The trail exposes you to the legendary African corner named after the rock piece that resembles the map of Africa. Habinyanja swamp offers good birding opportunities spotting birds like; Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Black Duck and Black Bee Eaters, among others.

Bird watching

On a tour in Uganda and Bwindi in particular, birders are exposed to over 350 species of which 23 are endemic which include; Short tailed warbler, Blue headed sun bird among others. Other species include the Red headed blue bill, African blue and white tailed blue flycatchers, Common Bulbul and African Emerald cuckoo. An early morning and late evening bird walk generates a great memorable experience for a birder on Ugandan tour. Birding takes place along the main trail, the Buhoma Waterfall Trail and along the bamboo zone and Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija.

Cultural Encounters

The surroundings of Bwindi have got diverse tribal groups including the Bakiga, Batwa and Bafumbira who have got interesting traditions that can be encountered while on safari in Uganda. A range of cultural trails have been designed to enable you explore these traditions.

Buhoma Community Tours / Mukono Development Association.

Buhoma community tours takes about 3 hours and it commences at a local handicraft shop which sells locally made fabrics, beeswax candles and wood carvings that are produced by local artisans. The Batwa community in Buhoma is also visited on this tour exploring their heritage including Music dance and drama, the tour also takes you to a traditional healer to explore how he uses local herbs to cure diseases and also a primary school. The local brewing process is also explored on this tour. The returns of this package support the community projects while the Batwa receive all proceeds for their performances.

Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF).

This is in the south of Bwindi with impressive views of Congo and Virunga volcanoes. It offers wonderful cultural and scenic encounters. The encounter will take you to the blacksmith Nicholas who still employs the Stone Age survival techniques in the modern era. You will be impressed by sheepskin bellow sounds as they spew in the air into the Charcoal fired furnace where a hit red metal is extracted and modeled into the respective tools such as machetes and knives. The home of Sicilia exposes you to a range of traditional huts that house millet grinding stone, apparatus for waragi distilling and cooking pots. Besides those, Pena who is the traditional healer uses local plants to make tea, herbal powders and ointments that cure a range of ailments.

Buniga Forest Nature Walk.

The Buniga Forest Nature Walk exposes you to rich forest encounters including impressive flora and fauna under the guidance of the local people that have inherited this knowledge for years and years. Buniga is a pocket forest of Bwindi and in a bid to control encroachment and biodiversity loss, Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF) designed atrial to put the forest into sustainable use. The returns are put to the benefit of the local community invigorating their interests in conservation.

Nkuringo Cultural Centre (NCC)

Nkuringo Cultural Center is designed to enable you master a skill while on Uganda gorilla safari. It offers impressive and educational workshops that range from African cooking to basket weaving, dancing and drumming. It also organizes a community walk where travellers are enabled to meet directly with locals in their daily life and explore into their life style. The encounter exposes to the life in Rubuguri village and the travellers can also participate in crafts demonstration. Visit the local primary school and marvel at the Kiga dance where by the best dancer is one who shakes the earth.

Nyundo Community Eco-Trails.

The residents of Nyundo village experienced climate change when their crops were eroded away from the hill sides, the rain patterns changed and the mist that used to cover the area disappeared. The crop productivity eventually began to reduce. The community decided to allow the natural forest to regenerate which in return enabled the rains and the mist to return. The Nyundo Community Eco Trails were set up to ensure sustainable use of this forest other than logging, agriculture and poaching which provided income while conserving the forest. The trails like King Bakyara water fall trail takes to the scenic views of the waterfall where the Kings bathe. Pay a visit to the blacksmith, a local banana beer distillery, cattle farm, banana plantation and a bee keeper. The traditional skills trail offers an opportunity to learn how to prepare millet bread, make crafts and yoghurt making.

Rubuguri Village Walk (NCC)

The Rubuguri village is positioned in the south of Bwindi and is one of the hard to reach areas. The village walk allows you to explore the life in Rubuguri passing through a swamp heading to home steads with an opportunity to meet the residents and participate in raft demonstration. The St. Peters Primary School can also be visited to encounter teachers, pupils and their impressive music dance and drama.

Accommodation in Bwindi.

There is variety of accommodation facilities in Bwindi ranging from Luxury, Midrange and Budget located in different areas of the park.

Buhoma Area.

Buhoma Community Rest Camp.

Location: Buhoma, at the entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This eco-friendly camp is perched on a hillside at the entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and worthy of stay on your Gorilla Safari in Uganda. It’s Buhoma’s best value offer, and gorillas can be seen in the grounds if lucky. Private, covered safari tents connected by paths winding along the hillside all look out onto the densely-forested park gradients, and private verandas provide visitors with the chance to make the most of these exceptional views. An open-fronted restaurant doubles up as a bar and common room where one can connect to fellow guests, read a book, or take a cup of tea to warm yourself on the chilly mountain evenings.

Lodge Amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • common room
  • Electricity
  • Hot and cold running water

Room Description

Furnished twin and double safari tents stand on platforms overseeing the jungle. The tents have sheets, mosquito nets and terraces. En suite and common bathroom facilities, hot showers plus flushing toilets are available.

Available rooms include:

  • Eight tents with en suite bathrooms
  • Five tents with shared bathrooms
  • One dormitory with six beds

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is a permanent luxury tented camp nestled in the mist-swathed rainforests of mountainside in the heart of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The exclusive location – the sole property within the park’s boundaries – affords Gorilla Forest Camp the status of being the ideal base for gorilla tracking, primate viewing and birding daytrips in the park. Overnight sleep is in 8 double tents, elevated on wooden stands, with inbuilt facilities and hot and cold running water, basin and unusually – a bathtub overlooking the jungle. Every tent has expansive wooden terrace where visitors can lessen, have a meal while enjoying the sight offers of the forest.

Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp

Lake Kitandara Tented Camp is the best camp for mid-market visitors to Bwindi National Park. Freshly overhauled in a traditional African style, it has exceptional tents which feature both original structures but with modern conveniences. The camp has a very pleasant and welcoming atmosphere and feels very much a home away from home thus invoking your comfort on gorilla tracking safari. The camp has a total of 20 comfortable tents which are self-contained and are named after bird species of Uganda. It has solar power electricity operating 24-hours.

Facilities:

Room Service

Bar/Lounge

Laundry Service

Restaurant

Boutique/Shops

Luggage Porters

Terrace/Veranda

Bath (all rooms)

Buhoma Lodge.

Situated within the National Park, Buhoma Lodge is a short distance from the meeting point for gorilla tracking and other activities in the area. Ten comfortable cottages have been carefully built, each with its own terrace, permitting delightful sights of the forest cover of the National Park. In expansive cottages, there are comfortable beds, en suite bathroom with flushing toilet and a hot shower and also bath tubs in some rooms. A raised lounge zone, with bar and dining, offers a comfortable atmosphere, to recap the day’s activities. Hot beverages are available throughout the day on a self-service basis, but, are delivered to client’s cottage with early morning wake up calls as required, allowing the client to awake gently and savor the early morning sounds of the forest.

Lodge facts at glance.

  • 10 comfortable chalets with en-suite flush lavatories, warm baths and some rooms have bath-tubs.
  • All rooms are mosquito proof realm
  • Cozy dining and bar area with elevated views of the forest
  • Recharging facilities.
  • Internet access available
  • Children and families welcome

CTPH Gorilla Conservation Camp.

CTPH Gorilla Conservation camp is one of Bwindi’s only budget options offering accommodation on the edge of the beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. CTPH Gorilla conservation camp provides countryside but comfortable accommodation for tourists, students and researchers and puts 100% of profits towards gorilla conservation. The camp was the first to be operational in the area when Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was opened for Gorilla tracking in 1993. Today the camp has four single/double tents based around a shaded dining area set amongst the trees. It is situated in the village of Buhoma in close proximity to the Batwa village and only 2km from the entrance to the national park.

Silverback Lodge.

This small and cozy lodge is perched on a top hill, overseeing the thick, gorilla-dwelling jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The seven rooms were designed using indigenous supplies. The restaurant’s unique and creative menus include local and intercontinental dishes, served in relaxed environs. The Bar is perfect for sharing the day’s adventures after tracking gorillas. Alternatively, you may choose to stroll through the large gardens along the butterfly and bird trails.

Lodge Amenities

  • Intercontinental restaurant and Bar
  • Veranda with forest views
  • Large gardens
  • Seven en-suite rooms
  • Hot running water
  • On-site wildlife viewing

Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge.

Volcanoes Lodge at Bwindi is located just close to Buhoma Village next to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park at the extreme part of western Uganda. The lodge is situated on a raised surface beyond the river, providing a faultless view of the thriving rain jungle. It’s a pivotal point for all travelers who love gorilla tracking and it’s the best place in the national park.

Accommodation & Facilities

The lodges are designed inform of thatched cottages with high class amenities. The bathrooms and toilets resemble those in the distant travel camps. The cottages have a good-looking Veranda featuring well stocked bar and an organized dining room that gives a scenic view of the Forested hillside.

Lodge Amenities.

  • Restaurant and bar
  • Communal fireplace
  • Laundry service
  • On-site wildlife viewing
  • 24 hour security guard
  • Baby crib available
  • Circuits for recharging mobile gadgets.

Engagi lodge.

The lodge is situated in a large tract of land contiguous with the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and runs from the main Buhoma road down to the Munyaga River. The lodge consists of just 8 en-suite cottages, evenly spaced out and hidden in the foliage. Each cottage has either double or twin beds (complete with hot water bottles), a bathroom with flushing toilets, hot and cold running water. All have private verandas where guests can enjoy their early morning tea or coffee as they prepare for gorilla tracking.

Gorilla Resort.

The Gorilla Resort is such an amazing safari camp with a magnificent sight of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It’s suited at Buhoma along with Bwindi Impenetrable Gorilla National Park besides the Mountain. The camp is enclosed with lavishness cottages in addition to the East Africa Safari Tents that are positioned on an eminent wooden platform providing a beautiful scenic view of the area. The wooden decks will definitely give you a perfect view of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as well as River Munyaga.

Mahogany springs camp.

Located just outside of Bwindi National Park, Mahogany Springs Lodge has stunning views over the Munyaga River Valley and provides the perfect base for gorilla tracking. Blending seamlessly with the outstandingly beautiful surroundings, the lodge was built using local materials and consists of just 8 large stone cottages, each with their own private veranda and modern simple décor. The soothing atmosphere, luxurious suites and great staff make it easy to relax here, especially if you have been out tracking the mountain gorillas. Enjoy complete serenity and privacy, and you may even get some wildlife viewing from your lodge, as the gorillas have been known to come and visit every now and then. Luxurious accommodation with a modern twist on traditional style comprised of 8 suites.

Each room here is considered a suite and has its very own private wrap around terrace with astounding views of the area. Superior Suites are very spacious and can be used as a twin, double or triple, each of the beds swathed in mosquito netting. These suites have beautifully designed en-suite bathrooms with an open terracotta shower. The Presidential Suite has two bedrooms, both en-suite, with a spacious living room and huge private terrace overlooking the river and the forest. This is for the utmost in exclusivity, privacy and space.

In the main area of the lodge you will find a glorious wrap-around terrace that offers panoramic views alongside the sounds of the river. You are free to dine here and watching the mist rise through the trees over breakfast is unbeatable. There is also a relaxing living room with a double sided fireplace, book/DVD library and board games, as well as a nice shop where you can pick up crafts, clothes or souvenirs. The restaurant is also in the main building with a well-stocked bar.

Dining.

The a la carte menus change daily, with flavors from all over the world, including Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. A barbecue night is held at least once a week and the chef bakes fresh cakes and biscuits daily. Mahogany Springs also offers private bush breakfasts by the river.

Bwindi Guest House

It has Monkey house and gorilla house. The main guest house, located close to Bwindi Community Hospital. It has a sitting room/library, dining area, kitchen, porch, and outdoor gazebo where one can easily see Red tailed monkeys. It is shared by hospital interns and other guests. Hot/cold running water, indoor shower, and toilet. Three bedrooms, each with two sets of bunk beds, sleep up to 4 each. All beds have mosquito nets. Meals are served in the shared dining area. Internet access is available via Wi-Fi and electricity available for most of the day.

Bwindi View Bandas

Stay here for stunning views of virgin forest whilst nestled away on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park a mere 100 meters from the National Park gate. Bwindi View Bandas is one of the countries budget traveler offers on Uganda gorilla safaris. One can expect a warm friendly welcome by attentive staff. Accommodation is provided in simple banda units. The dining room is a traveler favorite with good wholesome home cooking with a cozy lantern lit ambience at night.

Facilities and services

Self-contained rooms and Non – self-contained rooms.

  • Single Banda
  • Twin/Double Banda
  • Triple Banda
  • Camping
  • All accommodation on bed only basis

Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort.

This is a State of the Art Resort located just adjacent to the Magnificent Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South Western Uganda. The Resort has a panoramic view of the breathtaking ranges of the Impenetrable forest and the congruence to the Local Communities around the Park. The Resort is the only accommodation facility in Bwindi where you have a chance of tracking the endangered Mountain Gorillas with ease. From the Gorilla Country Resort, visitors can access Oruzogo and Habinyanja Gorilla Groups which are the most popular for gorilla tracking due to their composition and numbers. One has an opportunity to see a gentle giant in the jungles of Bwindi without having to drive kilometers. At the Resort, numerous bird calls welcome the guest and it’s undoubtedly a birders den in Bwindi Area.

Facilities

The Resort offers Plush Cottages, Luxury Tented Bandas and an accomplished Campsite for the fans of camping, a fully furnished kitchen and an Intercontinental Restaurant. The lush rooms come as Deluxe Singles, Doubles and Family Happiness. The guest is served with a breakfast of choice. All our guests are offered FREE mobile internet and a guided community walk for those who wish to do so. Their unbeaten professional services are given at competitive prices that are pocket friendly to High end, Middle end and Budget Tourists alike.

Nkuringo Area.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Location: Nkuringo, bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is one of Bwindi’s most exclusive and luxurious place to stay while on your gorilla safari, with gorgeous architecture; indulgent three-course meals; roaring fires; Volcano panoramas; and attentive personal staff to ensure your stay at the Lodge is as memorable and enjoyable as your encounters with Bwindi’s mountain gorillas. Spacious villas nestled in the cloud forest have full-length windows to make the most of the spectacular scenery, and are serviced by your own personal staff member. Delicious meals include hearty breakfasts to prepare you for a day in the forest, and the well-stocked bar has enormous armchairs, cozy fires and free Wi-Fi so you can share your adventures with friends back home.

Lodge Amenities

  • Restaurant and bar
  • Wireless internet access
  • Large lounge with fireplaces and sofas
  • Massage spa
  • Curio shop

Nkuringo Gorilla Camp

The Nkuringo Gorilla Camp is located at 2161m above sea level on the Nteko ridge, overlooking a beautiful swath of the world-renowned Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The ridge provides a superb vantage across the Kashasha river valley to the breathtaking, conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes, and the surrounding canopy of the Bwindi Forest, home to the endangered mountain gorillas which have been habituated for gorilla tracking. Accommodation includes en-suite cottages, bandas, rooms, tents and a campsite for those who travel with their own tents. They also have a small restaurant serving locally sourced food, and self-catering facilities, so they can welcome guests of all budgets and tastes. This section of forest is home to the Nkuringo group of gorillas and the camp is ideally located to see them close up.

Lodge Amenities

  • Restaurant and bar
  • Travel desk
  • Laundry service
  • Lounge area
  • Craft shop
  • On-site wildlife viewing

Room Description

The camp has two beautifully hand-crafted en-suite cottages as well as budget rooms and safari tents. Paraffin lanterns provide light and the shared bathroom facility includes two bush showers and two eco toilets. Hot water is prepared for bathing on request

There are several camping terraces for those with their own camping equipment.

Available rooms:

  • 2 en-suite Cottages
  • 5 twin rooms with shared bathroom
  • 1 twin banda with shared bathroom
  • Safari tents
  • Camping with own equipment

Nshongi Camp.

Nshongi Camp is just a few minutes’ walk to the Ugandan Wildlife Service hut of Rushaga, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the starting point of the Gorilla tracking. It is the ideal base from which to trek the Nshongi group of Gorillas the (the largest group of gorillas) and the Nkuringo group which is a few minutes’ drive away. The camp has just 3 traditional bandas and is the perfect place for be connected to the nature or for a romantic stay. They serve 3 meals course, and a lunch box for your tracking. Hot coffee, tea, and drinks are always available

Chameleon Hill Lodge

Situated between Mgahinga and Bwindi National parks and Kisoro, on the shores of Lake Mutanda – one will find a place full of inspiration and enjoyment called Chameleon Hill. Located on the shores of one of East Africa’s most beautiful lakes – Lake Mutanda, one will enjoy spectacular views across the lake with its islands and surrounding hills.

Facilities

  • Restaurant with seating for a maximum of 20 guests. Serving International cuisine with some African touches.
  • 10 Chalets in total: 5 twin bed rooms (which can be converted into a queen room) & 5 permanent queen bed rooms. All with unobstructed views across the lake.
  • All Chalets are individually furnished with different colors and other essential features (e.g. mosquito nets), which will make your stay at Chameleon Hill unforgettable and unique.
  • Wooden deck with picturesque views across the lake with its islands and Virunga Volcanoes in the distance
  • Cozy yet modern lounge with fireplace and book exchange

Included & Excluded

  • Rates are fully inclusive of all meals, afternoon tea/ coffee, levies & taxes but exclude drinks consumed in the restaurant or bar.
  • The water at the lodge is being tapped at a nearby fountain. It has been tested in a laboratory in Cape Town and was labelled as “spring water”. However, we do provide free bottled water in the rooms to drink and brush teeth.
  • Optional activities available.
  • Shoe cleaning service included.
  • Laundry service on request and optional.

Nyundo Area.

Nyundo Valley Hill Bandas. Located in Nyundo Village, 6km from the Buhoma entrance to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Experience life in this beautiful rural region of south western Uganda: sleep in a cozy, traditional banda; wake up to the mists swirling over the dark hillsides of the Impenetrable Forest; and enjoy delicious meals freshly prepared by the village women using local ingredients. The residents of Nyundo welcome you into their village, and your stay here supports local livelihoods and forest conservation

Lodge Amenities

  • Private bandas in secluded gardens
  • Dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Room Description

Five bandas, constructed in traditional style using natural materials, are designed to represent the traditional African family homestead. All bandas have sheets and mosquito nets. Latrines and showers are shared between the bandas. The showers have cold running water, with hot water provided on request.

Ruhija Area

Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge.

Being a luxurious accommodation, the lodge has carefully designed rooms to blend the natural environment which provides luxury and hospitality. Each of the eight en-suite cottages faces the Forest and allows views of the forest canopy, with breathtaking views of the Virunga Mountain ranges. Each Room is fitted with twin beds with en-suite bathroom, flush toilets, overhead shower that supplies hot and cold water, an extra blanket and a hot water bottle for those cold nights; all rooms are serviced daily by housekeeping.

Facilities:

  • Four (4) superior cabins with the capacity of 8 (Eight in twin sharing).
  • Four (4) deluxe cabins with the capacity of 8 (Eight in twin sharing).
  • Six (6) Standard rooms with capacity of 12 (Twelve in twin sharing).
  • Bar and Restaurant facility
  • Winery
  • Car parking space
  • Laundry facility
  • Hot water heaters
  • We offer fine dining
  • A mini library with magazines and books about the beautiful continent of Africa
  • A well-stocked bar, Wine cellar, Hair dryer and a Gift Shop with the Best Unique Gift

Room amenities:

  • Toilet and private shower bathrooms
  • Side bed lamp stands
  • Extra blankets
  • Hot water bottles
  • Luggage storage cabins in both the superior and deluxe cabins
  • Trash cans
  • A fire place for each superior cabin
  • Comfortable chairs to relax on in both the superior and deluxe cabins
  • Reading chair and table in the superior cabins
  • Two pairs of slippers

Services:

  • Daily house keeping
  • 24/7 security services
  • Free Wi-Fi Internet Connection
  • DSTV
  • Traditional entertainment
  • Abundance of indoor and outdoor activities
  • Credit cards are accepted

Note: Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge is working on the complement of our Sauna & Steam bath though it is still under construction.

Gorilla Friends Lodge

Ruhija Gorilla friends resort is an ideal budget accommodation during one’s gorilla safari-tour and birds’ watch in Bwindi Impenetrable National park. Staying with Ruhija Gorilla Friends will be easy for one to track Bitukura and Oruzongo Gorilla Groups, the briefing point is about 500m from the campsite (Ruhija Gate). The campsite has furnished safari tents, a restaurant and bar. The tents and restaurant overlooks the deep valleys and the gorilla forest as he/she relaxes on the balcony of the safari tent. It is located in Ruhija Village, adjacent to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and less than 1 km from the gorillas’ natural habitat.

Lodge Amenities

  • Restaurant
  • Tour desk
  • Laundry
  • Bar
  • Gift shop
  • Onsite wildlife viewing

Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp.

This is a small camp with 4 thatched roof cottages with balconies overlooking the valley, forest and volcanoes. Located about 5 minutes from Bwindi/ Ruhija park offices from where gorilla tracking for either of the three families Oruzogo, Bitukula, and Kyaguliro starts.

Accommodation at the Gorilla Mist Camp is provided in clean well maintained rooms. All the accommodation has electric lighting installed. There are several leveled terraces for those with their own equipment to camp. Cold beers and sodas are available with local produce used to provide visitors meals.

Facilities.

  • Cocktail Bar
  • Room Service
  • Free WiFi
  • Restaurant.
  • Airport Transfer
  • Meeting rooms
  • Laundry
  • Customer Care
  • Entertainment

Trekkers Tavern cottages

Trekker’s tavern Cottages is located at the hill top in Ruhija overlooking the Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park Ruhija side, one of the most famous parks and home to more than half of the world population of mountain gorillas. The lodge is very eco-friendly and has a lovely cozy atmosphere with 5 spacious cottages all with en-suite bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets.

Gift of Nature Lodge.

This is located in Kabale Ruhija Sub County- Mburameizi. The lodge has a very good and conducive atmosphere with a beautiful garden, restaurant that prepares local and exotic dishes. Rooms range from Single, Double to Twin.

Special Offers

  • FREE wide-screen TV
  • 1 Free soft drink
  • 10% Discount for early booking
  • Wedding Package

Ruhija Community Rest Camp.

Ruhija Community Rest Camp (RCRC) is a community based enterprise, initiated and managed by some community members living in the park boundary parishes of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP). It is adjacent to the Institute of Tropical Forests Conservation near the UWA Ruhija Bwindi park office.

Facilities

  • 4 Cottages, self-contained with double beds.
  • 2 Cottages twin Beds.
  • 2 general Campsites for self-Camping.

Rubugiri Area.

Wagtail Eco-safari camp.

Guests will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, sociable common areas, leafy gardens and views of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – well known for gorilla tracking. Private bandas are constructed in harmony with the surrounding nature, and are comfortable and secluded. Guests on a tighter budget can stay in a single room, or at the pretty campsite. The affordable restaurant serves international or local breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Lodge Amenities; the bandas are beautifully crafted from natural materials and contain handmade wooden beds. The bandas and safari tents have electricity and private bathrooms with flush toilets and hot water.

Room Description

The single rooms have electricity and shared bathroom facilities.

Available rooms include:

  • Two self-contained bandas with double beds.
  • Self-contained banda with two twin rooms.
  • Two self-contained tents with double beds.
  • Four single rooms with shared bathrooms.
  • Campsite (can provide tents if needed)

Rushaga Area.

Gorilla Safari Lodge

It is the ideal base from which to trek the Nshongi group of Gorillas, the biggest group ever habituated. The lodge offers accommodation in eight, en suite spacious luxurious units with individual verandahs allowing excellent views towards the pristine tropical rain forest. All bathrooms have hot and cold running water and flush toilets. The camp is composed of a main lodge which includes a Restaurant, Bar, lounge and campfire overlooking the tropical Rain Forest. Gorilla Safari Lodge comprises of 8 cottages with two of these being double-roomed family units for people traveling together. The discreetly serviced and superbly appointed cottages have a wonderful setting to relax and unwind and each room has its own en suite bathroom, with hot and cold water, as well as solar lights and a cozy fireplace. The lodge is owner managed where the focus is on quality service, good food and comfort.