Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is one of the luxury accommodation facilities found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The lodge is found in Buhoma region of the park which is found on the northern side. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is a perfect place to stay of you are visiting Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to trek gorillas especially in Buhoma region. Guests staying at sanctuary gorilla lodge can trek gorilla families like Mubare, Habinyanja, Reshengura, Katwe, and Muyambi.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is perfectly located giving you stunning views of nature and the forest. The camp is sometimes visited by different park animals and if you are lucky, you could see mountain gorillas pass by. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp comprises 10 elegant tents that are styled in African culture with grass thatched roofs. Rooms have with two-sized beds, en suite bathrooms, hot and cold showers, hair driers, extra-sized beds, mosquito nets, television, and a private balcony where you sit and relax while enjoying stunning views of the Bwindi forest. The main building of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp features a lounge, a bar area, and a dinning area. There is entertainment every evening at this lodge and it’s done by the Batwa people.
At Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, they have a fire camp where guests gather in the evening to get some warmth, listen to stories from friends, get to know each other, and talk about the gorilla trekking experience. They have a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs made from African materials, their bar is stocked with soft and hard drinks and they have a restaurant with local and international delicious foods prepared by well-trained chefs. The lodge has free WiFi that helps you connect to family and friends, free parking, airport transfers, a health and fitness center, laundry services, and a conference centre.
Accessing Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp can be accessed using road transport or air transport and it takes a single day. Travelers that want to access sanctuary gorilla forest lodge using air transport can book seats with airline companies such as bar aviation Uganda and Aerolink Uganda or local tour operators. There are daily flights to Kihihi airstrip from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip and they do take 1 hour and 45 minutes. From Kihihi airstrip, you will connect to the lodge using air transport and the journey takes 1-2 hours.
Travelers using road transport take longer to get to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp but the journey is full of great views of surrounding areas, and stopovers. Travelers from Kampala/Entebbe go through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro to access Buhoma region and get to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in 9-10 hours. Travelers using Kigali international airport can access Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp by crossing to Uganda using Katuna birder in Kabale, or Cyanika border in Kisoro and then to Buhoma region to the lodge which takes 4-5 hours.
Activities to do while staying at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Gorilla trekking: Guests staying at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp can trek mountain gorillas of Buhoma region only. There are five gorilla families in Buhoma region and each of the groups is trekked by a maximum of 8 people. Those going for gorilla trekking will have to wake up early in the morning for breakfast and then meet their driver to transfer them to the sector offices. Here they will join other trekkers and then park wardens will teach them the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity. Groups not exceeding 8 trekkers are formed and each group is led by armed ranger guides who know the best and quick routes to use.
The search for mountain gorillas can take 2-7 hours and this depends on the location of the gorilla family and the speed of trekkers. When the gorillas are spotted, armed ranger guides give trekkers 1 hour to be around the gorilla families, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits. When searching for mountain gorillas and trekking out of the jungle, trekkers get opportunities of meeting different park mammals, primates, and birds.
Birding: Buhoma region is home to over 350 bird species and these can be seen in the different birding spots known by the armed ranger guides. Birding activities in Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are done using trails such as Rushura trail, ivy river trail, Buhoma Nkuringo trail, bamboo zone trail, and much more.
Birds to watch out for in Buhoma region include papyrus canary, African citril, magpie manikin, bronze sunbird, bronze sunbird, oriole finch, pin tailed whydah, red-faced crimson wing, dusky twin spot, yellow bishop, compact weaver, slender-billed weaver, slender-billed starling, sooty boubou, varable sunbird, swamp flycatcher, grey apalis, singing cisticola, banded prinia, dusky tit, tit hylia, mountain illadoposis, malachite sunbird, Rwenzori batis and grey crowned crane among others.
Batwa cultural experience: Guests staying at this Camp and are interested in African culture can take a visit to the Batwa people and their communities. A visit to the Batwa people is best done in the evening hours and it’s the Batwa guides that will pick you up from your lodge and first take you around the forest. The activity starts with a simple nature walk around the jungle where participants do get an opportunity to know how these people lived in the jungle. The guides will show them different plants that were and are still used by the traditional healers as local medicine to cure illnesses. A visit to their communities will give you an opportunity to interact with different people, see them do daily activities, visit and support their schools, visit schools and in the end, you will get entertainment from the traditional dancers.
Nature walks: Nature walks while staying at sanctuary gorilla resort are best done in the afternoon hours when the vegetation is dry. They are led by armed ranger guides who know the best routes to use based on what you want to see. Nature walk activities give people an opportunity to meet different park animals such as buffaloes, red-tailed monkeys, bush pigs, duikers, elephants, blue monkeys, olive baboons, birds such as arrow marked babbler, chestnut wattle eye, Rwenzori batis, chin spot batis, and plants among others.
Best time to stay at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Travelers can stay at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp during their safari to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best t visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and stay at the Camp and they happen from June to September and December to February. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails stay dry, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the animals around the lodge and inside the park and the roads leading to the park and lodge are passable.
Travelers most especially the budget travelers can visit Bwindi and stay at Gorilla Forest Camp in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and its characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery in the park, the vegetation around the park and the lodge is tall with unclear views of the animals and the roads leading to the park and lodge are in poor condition.