Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is a luxury lodge found on the southern side of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The lodge is a perfect place to stay for travelers visiting Nkuringo region of Bwindi. Nkuringo is one of the sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park where mountain gorilla taking activities do take place. The region is a home to two mountain gorilla families Christmas and Nkuringo open for trekking and 1 gorilla family called Bushaho which is open for habituation purposes.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is a beautiful lodge set on a forested ridge near the entrance of the Bwindi forest. The lodge has 8 cottages that are built in an African way using volcanic stone. The cottages have private verandas that give spectacular views of the forest, and some of the Virunga volcanoes. The lodge has twin, double, and single rooms that have extra beds, en suite bathrooms with hot and cold showers, overstuffed armchairs, and a fireplace.
The main lodge comprises a reception, dining area, lounge, and a balcony. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge has free parking, airport transfers, free internet, free breakfast, laundry services, massage, a gift shop, a bar with soft and hard drinks, and a restaurant that has delicious local and international foods made by professional chefs.
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is located in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi and can be accessed within a single using road transport or air transport. Luxury travelers can access Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge by flying from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip in 1 hour and 45 minutes. From Kisoro airstrip, it takes 1-2 hours to access Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and the journey is full of great views of the surrounding areas. Travelers from Kigali can cross to Uganda using Cyanika border in Kisoro or Katuna border in Kabale to access Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Nkuringo sector. Travelers from Kampala can go through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro to access Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Activities to do from Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Encountering mountain gorillas: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is a perfect place to stay if you are to trek or habituate mountain gorillas in Bwindi. Nkuringo is one of the sectors where mountain gorilla trekking and mountain gorilla habituation activities take places. Encountering mountain gorillas starts at the sector offices early in the morning where park wardens do teach about the rules and regulations of the trekking activity. Gorilla trekking is done by 8 people accompanied by two armed ranger guides while gorilla habituation is done by 4 people accompanied by armed ranger guides, researchers, and conservationists.
The search for mountain gorillas in Nkuringo sector takes 2-7 hours and the time taken depends on the location of the gorilla family and the speed of trekkers. When a fully habituated mountain gorilla family is located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these apes, and for a semi-habituated gorilla family, trekkers are given 4 hours to be around the members, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits, take photos and be part of the activities that make them get used to human presence around them.
Birding: Travelers staying at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge can organize for birding activities around the lodge and a ranger guide will be available to take them through different birding trails in the Nkuringo sector. There are over 350 bird species in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and these can be seen in different sectors of the park among which include Nkuringo sector. Birds to look out for include strange weaver, black bishop, red-headed malimbe, slender-billed weaver, dusky twin spot, yellow bishop, strange weaver, pied crow, montane oriole, wallers starling, tiny sunbird, grey apalis, white chinned prinia, brown illadopsis, grey-headed sparrow, compact weaver, green crombec, zebra waxbill, African citril, oriole finch, African jacana, bronze sunbird, and African fire finch among others.
Batwa cultural experience: Staying at Clouds Gorilla Lodge, you can go for the Batwa cultural experience that takes place outside the lodge. The Batwa cultural experience was started by the Batwa people and the money collected out if it is given to the Batwa people but not the park. A visit to the Batwa communities starts with nature walks around the forest which used to be a home to these people before the government evicted them out to protect mountain gorillas. The Batwa people will take you to their communities where you will meet different homesteads, interact with local people, watch them do daily activities, visit traditional healers, and in the end get entertained by the traditional dancers.
Nature walks: Guests staying at this Lodge can have nature walk activities done around the lodge within Nkuringo sector of Bwindi in order to explore the national park on foot. Nature walks are best done inside the park and they give you an opportunity to encounter animals such as buffaloes, elephants, duikers, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, olive baboons, giant forest hogs, and birds such as olive thrush, brown chested alethe, cape ribbon chat, green hylia, sooty flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, brown illadopsis, mountain illadopsis, sooty flycatcher, and dusky tit among others.
Best time to stay at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Travelers can stay at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge at any time of the year during their safari in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park but the best period is the dry months. The dry months which occur from June to September and December to February are the best to stay at this lodge and have a safari in Bwindi because they are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails stay dry, the vegetation is short, and thin with great views of the animals and the roads leading to the park are in good condition.
Travelers can stay at this Lodge in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. 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 thick and tall with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.