Bwindi View Bandas
Bwindi View Bandas: One of the budget accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is Bwindi View Bandas. The lodge is located in Buhoma which is the most famous and loved sector of Bwindi. Buhoma sector is famous for being the region where gorilla habituation and trekking took place. Mubare gorilla family which happens to be the oldest family in Bwindi is found in this park. Bwindi View Bandas is located so close to the starting point of gorilla trekking.
At Bwindi View Bandas, they have single rooms, double rooms, and family rooms with hot and cold water, as well as comfortable beds. All bandas are built in areas that enable guests to have great views of the surrounding forest. At Bwindi View Bandas, there is a shop where you can buy snacks, drinks, and African crafts. They have tight security, free parking, car rentals, reading books, laundry services, ironing services, and game rooms among others.
Bwindi View Bandas has a restaurant with professional chefs who prepare local and international foods. They have a bar with different kinds of drinks and they have great staff that attend to you all the time. The lodge has a campfire in the evening where guests gather to know about each other, listen to stories from people, or know about the gorilla experiences.
Getting to Bwindi View Bandas
Bwindi View Bandas is located in Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can be accessed by both air and road transport. For those using air transport, there are chattered flights to Bwindi every day from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kihihi airstrip. From Kihihi airstrip, you connect to the lodge using road transport and this takes 1-2 hours.
Travelers can use road transport and access Bwindi view banda lodge in a single day and the journey takes 9-10 hours. Travelers from Kampala/Entebbe will have to access Buhoma view banda by driving through Masaka, Mbarara, Rukungiri, Kabale, and Kisoro to Buhoma region where this lodge is found. Those from Kigali can drive to Bwindi by crossing to Uganda through Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro where they will connect to Buhoma region taking 4-5 months.
Activities to do while staying at Bwindi View Bandas
Gorilla trekking: This is the main activity done by travelers staying at Bwindi View Bandas and it’s done in Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Five mountain gorilla families are available for trekking and the park wardens are the ones to choose which family you have to trek based on your age and physical fitness. Gorilla trekking starts with a briefing at the sector offices where you learn about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity.
Armed ranger guides lead groups not exceeding 8 people into the jungle until they meet the mountain gorilla family. The search for mountain gorillas takes 2-7 hours and this depend on the location of the gorilla family and the speed of the trekkers. During the search for mountain gorillas, the trekkers are able to meet different park animals, birds and see different plant species. When the mountain gorilla family is located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around this family and this will enable them to watch them do daily activities, take photos, and learn about their habits.
Birding: With birding, guests staying at Bwindi View Bandas can visit the Buhoma sector where they can encounter over 350 bird species. Birds to look out for include fine banded woodpecker, rock martin, mosque swallow, white-headed barbet, dwarf honey guide, yellow-crested woodpecker, lesser honey guide, olive woodpecker, angola swallow, plain backed pipit, western nector, plain backed pipit, western nector, cape robin chat, archers robin chat, Cameroon sombre green bul, olive thrush, green hylia, red-faced woodland warbler, brown illadopsis, Rwenzori batis, green crombec, winding cisticola, bronze sunbird, grey apalis, collared apalis, tiny sunbird, and green sunbird among others.
Batwa experience: The Batwa experience is done by travelers that love African culture. A lot of travelers want to visit the Batwa pygmies that are now living outside the park to know how they used to live in the jungle alongside wild animals. A visit to their communities begins with a nature walk around the forest where they used to live. You get to know how they survived here on fruits, honey, and meat from small animals. You will see how different plants were used and are still used as local medicine. Later you will visit their communities, interact with them and see how they live their day to day live. You will get entertained by the traditional dancers at the end of the tour.
Nature walks: Guests staying at Bwindi View Bandas can always have guided nature walks around the lodge or inside the national park at any time they are free. The nature walks are done by those that want to get close to nature and the best can be done inside the park. During the nature walks, you will be able to encounter different plant species, animal species such as buffaloes, elephants, chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, red-tailed monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, bush pigs, and birds such as tiny sunbird, buff throated apalis, collared apalis, black bishop, dusky tit, singing cisticola among others.
When to stay at Bwindi View Bandas
Most of the travelers staying at Bwindi View Bandas are those visiting Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The best time to visit the park and stay at this lodge is the dry season from June to September and December to February. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails keep dry and passable, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the animals and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Budget travelers have their best time to stay at Bwindi View Bandas during the rainy season (March to May and October to November) and this is because the accommodation is at a discount. Travelers should however note that in the rainy season, there is too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thin with unclear views of animals while the roads leading to the park are impassable.