Engagi Lodge is a modern lodge located at the edge of the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park 1 kilometer from the starting point of gorilla trekking. The lodge is used by travelers visiting Buhoma region which is located on the northern side of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Buhoma is one of the four sectors of Bwindi where mountain gorilla trekking takes place. Buhoma region is the oldest gorilla sector in Bwindi harboring mountain gorilla families such as Mubare, Muyambi, Rushengura, Katwe, and Habinyanja.
Engagi Lodge comprises 8 suite cottages constructed in an African style with volcanic rocks and timber. The cottages are grass thatched with banana fiber ceilings. The cottages have private wooden verandas with great views of the surrounding areas which include the forest and the hills.
The rooms have comfortable double and twin beds, flushing toilets, bathrooms with hot and cold showers, mosquito nets, and free internet. They have laundry services, free parking, a well-stocked bar, a restaurant with local and international foods, and kids meals.
Getting to Engagi Lodge
Engagi Lodge can be accessed in Buhoma sector within a single day using air transport or road transport. The lodge can be accessed in 4-5 hours from Kigali using road transport. Travelers that use Kigali international airport will cross to Uganda using Katuna border in Kabale, or Cyanika border in Kisoro. Travelers from Kampala/Entebbe can get to Engagi Lodge in 9-10 hours using Kampala, Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro to Buhoma region. Luxury travelers to Bwindi can fly to Kihihi airstrip in 1 hour and 45 minutes from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip.
Activities to do while staying at Engagi Lodge
Gorilla trekking: Gorilla trekking is the most done activity by travelers that are staying at Engagi Lodge. Gorilla trekking while staying at Engagi safari lodge can only be done in Buhoma region of the park which is found on the northern side. There are five mountain gorilla families open for trekking in Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and these are Mubare, Rushengura, Habinyanja, Muyambi, and Katwe.
Gorilla trekking starts early in the morning at the sector offices where all people going for gorilla trekking must gather to learn about the rules and regulations of gorilla trekking from the park wardens. Each gorilla family is trekked by a maximum of 8 people and these are led by armed ranger guides. The search for a mountain gorilla family can take 2-7 hours and the moment the gorillas are located, 1 hour is given to trekkers to be around them, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
Birding: Bird lovers staying at Engagi Lodge in Bwindi can go for birding in Buhoma region which is said to be one of the best birding sectors of Bwindi. Some of the birding trails you are likely to use include ivy river trail, Buhoma-Nkuringo trail, and Mubwindi swamp trail among others. Birds to watch out for in the Buhoma region include purple heron, cattle egret, little grebe, shikra, little sparrow hawk sacred ibis, black-headed heron, lizzard buzzard, hadada ibis, black crake, African hobby, augur buzzard, handsome francolin, African jacana, grey crowned crane, great blue turaco, olive pigeon, yellow bill, black swift, klass cuckoo, black bee-eater, narina tragon, and speckled tinker bird among others.
Community visit: Guests staying at Engagi Lodge can organize a community tour of different homesteads that are around the park. The Batwa pygmies are the people that live around the park boundaries and they decided to settle here after 1991 because the government had evicted them out of Bwindi forest. A visit to their community will be led by a local guide who takes you around the boundaries of the park telling you how they used to survive in the jungle by gathering fruits, collecting honey, and killing small animals for meat. The community visit will take you to their homes where you will interact with the local people, watch them do daily activities, visit traditional dancers, and support their gift shops.
Nature walks: Travelers staying at Engagi Lodge can be part of the nature walk activities around the lodge or in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park during the free times. Best nature walk activities while staying at Engagi Lodge should be done in Buhoma sector of the park where you will get an opportunity to explore the park on foot. The nature walk activities do give you the opportunity to encounter different park animals such as buffaloes, red-tailed monkeys, duikers, blue monkeys, giant forest hogs, elephants, olive baboons, bush pigs, and birds such as white-headed barbet, black bee-eater, and speckled tinker bird among others.
When to stay at Engagi Lodge
Travelers can book and stay at Engagi Lodge during their safari in Bwindi at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The gorilla safari is enjoyed when you visit the park in the dry season which happens from June to September and December to February. The months are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of animals. And the roads leading to the park or lodge are in good condition.
Travelers can book and stay at Engagi Lodge in the rainy season during their safari in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and is characterized by too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails in the park muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in poor condition.