Bwindi Lodge
Bwindi Lodge Terrace Gorilla
Bwindi Lodge Terrace
Gorilla

Bwindi Lodge

Volcanoes Safaris, the No.1 Gorilla Safari Company in both Uganda and Rwanda, has been at the forefront of mountain gorilla tourism since 1997 and is the only safari company to have signed the UN Kinshasa Declaration on Great Apes. A journey with Volcanoes Safaris takes our guests on an unforgettable voyage into the misty forests of Africa and gives them a privileged insight into the fascinating world of the great apes. Looking out onto the dense, misty jungle of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Bwindi Lodge, located in South Western Uganda, is the most stylish and comfortable eco-lodge in the Northern Buhoma section of the park (1,475m). Each of the eight bandas has its own balcony and opens out onto the misty forest – home to mountain gorillas, monkeys, chimpanzees and many species of birds.

Country

Uganda

Highlights

New flying safaris make it easier than ever to visit the gorillas. Internal flights depart from Entebbe and take a short but very scenic 1-hour journey over Lake Victoria and onto Bwindi Impenetrable forest making it much easier for those on a tight time schedule. • In 2009, the Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) was established by Volcanoes Safaris Ltd. VSPT is a non- profit organization that undertakes community and conservation activities in areas that neighbour all four Volcanoes Safaris lodges and great ape habitats. The VSPT aims to create long-term, self- sustaining projects that will enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human-wildlife conflicts in the areas neighbouring our lodges. The objectives of VSPT are achieved through regular donations from Volcanoes Safaris who contribute a voluntary donation of $100 from every full cost safari purchased. • A 50-acre plot of land around Bwindi Lodge has been created to act as a buffer zone between the expanding village of Nkwenda and the forest. Tea has been planted here and is processed by local people in partnership with the VSPT, which gives them an additional source of work and income. The VSPT runs a Tea Processing exhibit at Bwindi Lodge in partnership with local communities. The tea tour demonstrates how tea is grown, picked and traditionally processed in Uganda. Tea has also proved to be a very effective buffer crop when planted between forest areas with protected wildlife and local human communities. Animals do not eat tea so feel no need to come out of the forest to ‘crop raid’, which is the source of much human-wildlife conflict in areas around National Parks, particularly in Uganda and Rwanda. We also support organizations such as the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, who carry out vital work on gorilla conservation by inviting them to give talks to guests at our lodges and channeling donations through them.

Need to Know

• The lodge is a scenic 8-hour drive from Kigali. Alternatively, it is about a 1-hour light aircraft flight from Entebbe, followed by a 2-hour drive from Kihihi • Altitude: 1475m • Wi-Fi in the communal area only • Charging of electronic gadgets can be done in the main public area • Complimentary laundry and boot cleaning service is available (in the rainy season it may take up to 48 hours for the return of clothes). • Our hot water is solar heated – in rainy seasons we provide hot bucket showers in the event there is no sun to heat up the water sufficiently. • Fully stocked bar with a selection of complimentary soft drinks, beers, wines and liquor. Bottled water is also provided. • Each room is equipped with a safe. • Extras must be paid for in cash - we accept UG Shillings, US Dollars. We accept credit cards. • Gratuities are at the discretion of guests and greatly appreciated; they are best given in post 2006 US Dollar cash. For lodge staff we suggest $5-15 per day per guest. For Volcanoes Safaris’ guides we suggest $10 or more per day, for park guides $10-20 and for trackers and porters $20 per guest. Make sure you bring enough cash with you.


SafarisSafaris


4-day safari - Gorillas in Bwindi offers gorilla tracking, incredible birding, a chance to explore the rainforest and visit the VSPT-supported local hospital. Flying: From US $$ 3,045 7-day safari - Gorillas, Chimps and Wildlife offers the chance to track gorillas in Uganda and track chimps in Kibale and Kyambura Gorge as well as search for lions and other game in Queen Elizabeth National Park.  Flying: From US $ 5,155  All VSPT and lodge activities are included in the price of your safari. All park activities should be pre-arranged with our sales team at the time of booking. Any extra park activities will need to be paid in cash at the start of the activity. • If you are gorilla tracking be sure to order an early wake up call with tea, coffee or hot chocolate and breakfast (we suggest 6.30am & 7am respectively) in order to be at the park for your briefing by 8am. • Breakfast is served from 5am to 10am. • While gorilla tracking please follow the rules given to you: • Viewing time is limited to 1 hour with 8 visitors per group • Please maintain a distance of 7m • No flash photography is permitted • You may not be allowed to visit the gorillas if you are sick with a cold or other contagious human diseases. • It is advisable to take layers of clothing, we recommend a fleece or light sweater, long sleeved shirt, strong waterproof walking boots (comfortable for going up and down steep hills, waterproof trousers and waterproof jacket. • We also recommend you take sunglasses, a small torch, binoculars, sunscreen, a hat, gloves and a small backpack • Porters are available to help carry your things. Currently the charge is $15 • The lodge will provide you with a packed lunch and water. • Typically, tracking takes 3 to 8 hours and requires some agility and fitness. • Mountain gorillas live at high altitude and Bwindi’s dense jungle and muddy terrain may cause difficulties. You should walk slowly and drink plenty of water.


Wildlife HighlightsWildlife Highlights

One of Africa’s most bio-diverse rainforests and one of its richest ecosystems, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) is located in southwestern Uganda, situated along the edge of the Albertine Rift. Neighbouring the lodge, this primeval 25,000 year old forest comprises 331 km2 of jungle and contains both montane and lowland forest; in 1994 the UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site. Bwindi is not only home to just under half of the world's mountain gorilla population but also nine other primate species including chimpanzees, black and white colobus and red-tailed monkeys. The forest is filled with a spectacular array of colourful butterflies with more than 300 different species having been recorded in the park. This lush, green forest also has over 1000 species of flowering plants and more than 200 species of tree – any one of the various nature walks and trails in the park will lead guests through glades of giant ferns and ancient primary rainforest. Bwindi is also a prime destination for bird watching; its 350 birds species include 90% (23 species) of all Albertine Rift endemics and 14 species recorded nowhere else in Uganda - an experienced birder can easily identify up to 100 species in a day. There are only two populations of mountain gorilla found anywhere in the world: one in Bwindi and the other in the Virunga Massif (Uganda, Rwanda & DRC). Mountain gorillas are a critically endangered subspecies of the Eastern gorilla, with only about 880 left in the world. Tracking gorillas in the so-called ‘impenetrable' forest is a magical experience. Nothing can prepare you for the impact of encountering a fully-grown silverback gorilla, up to three times the size of an average man yet remarkably peaceable, playful and tolerant of human visitors. It is a privilege to spend an hour sitting with and watching these wild relatives.

Local ActivitiesLocal Activities

Park Activities: • Gorilla Tracking (must be booked in advance) • Munyanga River Trail – You can see a vast array of birds & primates at the forest edge. Takes 3 hours and a guide will escort you. • Waterfall Walk – Traces the river through the forest visiting three waterfalls. Go prepared for a swim! Takes 2-3 hours and a guide will escort you. • Rushurra Hill – Great views of the Western Rift valley, Congo, Lake Edward and Rwenzori mountains. Takes 5-6 hours and a guide will escort you. • Muzabajirro Loop Trail – Breathtaking views of Bwindi Forest and the Virungas. Takes 5-6 hours and a guide will escort you. VSPT Community Projects: • Tea Processing Tour – Demonstrates how tea is grown, picked and traditionally processed in Uganda with a chance to sample and taste the final product. • Bwindi Bar- serves a variety of coffees and teas as well as delicious breakfast options that blend international and local tastes., supported by the VSPT. Lodge Activities: • Bwindi River Walk – Takes you through the lodge gardens bordering the forest. Ideal for spotting birds and primates, there is also a natural pool for a quick swim. Occasionally the gorillas come and visit the property; please respect the rules of the National Park and remain by the lodge buildings. • Complimentary Massage – Please book your complimentary massage at the lodge and if the lodge is full please be patient with the masseur. • Buhoma Village Walk – Visit local women’s handicraft centre, tea plantations, a banana beer brewing demonstration and a brewing site for Waragi (local gin), a local school, a traditional healer, and the Bwindi Community Hospital. Takes 3-4 hours. • Bwindi Orphans Dance Performance – Takes place every afternoon at 5pm five minutes from the lodge. Children perform traditional song and dance. Donations are expected. • Batwa Cultural Experience – Watch demonstrations of how the Batwa Pygmies used to live in the forest including how they made fire, used medicinal herbs and hunted. N.B the walk is steep and this activity is not included in your safari cost.

FacilitiesFacilities

• Wi-Fi available in the main lodge building. • Charging facilities in the main lodge building. • 8 stone and timber, glass-fronted guest bandas with thatch roofs (3 doubles and 5 twins). • 240v lighting (with emergency solar lamp & torch provided), plus a private balcony offering spectacular views over the forest. • Recently refurbished en-suite bathrooms with flushing toilet, double vanity, showers with hot & cold running water (solar heated) and biodegradable hand & body wash. • Tranquil massage room to enjoy a complimentary massage. • Gift shop offering Volcanoes Safaris merchandise and local handmade crafts. • Terrace overlooking the forest with scenic panoramic views. • Scenic river walk around the lodge grounds.

AccommodationAccommodation

Bwindi Lodge – Uganda

Overlooking the primeval Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge offers a truly unique Uganda jungle safari experience. Separated by nothing more than an idyllic stream, the gorillas themselves are frequent visitors to the finest lodge in Bwindi!

The adventure lodge in Uganda boasts eight bandas facing the forest canopy, each with a private terrace from which you can spot wildlife, including chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, and monkeys jumping from tree to tree mere metres away. Each room in our gorilla safari lodge has en-suite bathrooms and the eco-luxury comforts are all provided in eco-sensitive ways.

A cosy fireside bar and lounge in the main building offers the chance for you to relax while sharing stories of your gorilla tracking experience with other guests.

To learn about the unique wildlife of the Bwindi Forest first-hand, book our mountain gorilla safari in Uganda, where you will track gorillas and visit local community projects.

Lodge Overview

  • 8 stone and timber glass-fronted guest bandas with thatch roofs (3 doubles and 5 twins) reflect the local building style.
  • En-suite bathrooms with flushing toilet, double vanity, shower with hot and cold running water.
  • Rooms have walk-in mosquito nets, 240v lighting and a private balcony.
  • Bandas are individually named after Bwindi gorillas.
  • Wi-Fi available in the main lodge building.

AccoladesAccolades

2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Execllence,  Conde Nast Traveler – 2013 World Saver Awards, Small Hotel Chains Doing it All Gold HSMAI Adrian Award 2013 Global Vision – Sustainability Award, 2012 National Geographic – Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, 2009 Travel Africa Magazine – Bwindi: Number 1 birding destination in Africa

SeasonSeason

Uganda enjoys a warm climate all year round, however rainfall patterns and altitude play a role in day- to-day temperatures. At night it can be chilly (duvets, blankets and hot water bottles are provided). • Average daytime temperatures range from 15oC/59oF to 27oC/81oF • Average night time temperatures range from 7oC/45oF to 17oC/63oF • Drier months – December to February and May to August • Wetter months – March to April and September to November

Average StayAverage Stay

2-3 nights

Average PriceAverage Room Prices

(per person per night unless otherwise stated)

US $250 per person sharing (High Season) US $225 per person sharing (Low Season)

Children PolicyChild Policy

Children are welcome, though we do not have childcare facilities at the lodge.Children of 16 years and under staying in the same room as their parents pay US$ 50 per night. Children under 5 years stay for free.

Contact and Social Media

To find out more call us on +44 (0)1865 982290 or email us at enquiries at safariawards.com.

Voting is currently closed

Voting has now closed for the 2018 Safari Awards. We will be announcing finalists over the next few weeks, before announcing the winners in November.

On behalf of all the lodges, guides and organisations who have received your votes, we would like to say a huge thank you!