Gorilla Forest Camp; The Top Notch Lodge In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 530 km from Kampala which takes between 8 to 10 hours’ drive to complete the journey. This puts the tourists taking a Uganda safari to see gorillas at a point where they will have to spend an overnight near the park to go gorilla trekking the next day morning and then plan the return journey the day that follows. Even if they opt to fly, the gorilla trekking encounter starts at 8 am and no flight that arrives in Bwindi before that time. This means that you are still required to spend a night around the park.
Spending an overnight in Bwindi is something the tourists to Uganda for gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest always take key note of. This comes with the lodge selection which is also influenced by the level of travel budget. The Gorilla Sanctuary, also known as Gorilla Forest Camp is located in the Buhoma Area which is the daring region for gorilla trekking activity and it is re-known as the pioneer region of this activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, thus most travelers planning to do a gorilla safari to Uganda tend to opt for it though the competition for gorilla permits tend to leave out the majority.
Located at a close distance from the Buhoma Park entrance inside the Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers top-notch overnight accommodation to upmarket world travelers. Its Accommodation is offered in a range of eight luxury tents which are very spacious and stylish with each tent having two queen-sized beds, in a supplement to the warm beds, the rooms feature huge bathtub looking into the impenetrable forest ideal for soaking the tired muscles after a daylong gorilla tracking experience.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp has impressive forest views and an ample open place and a lounge in a very calm environment only interrupted by the songs of birds and mountain gorillas that occasional visit to the lodge.
Planning a flying Gorilla Safari and stay at Gorilla Sanctuary
You need 3 days and 2 nights to complete a 3 days Uganda gorilla safari with a single gorilla trek. If you need more than one trek, then you need more than 3 days, for example, some tourists want to do 2 gorilla treks, we call it double gorilla tracking, where you visit two different gorilla groups. Below is a typical 3-day flying gorilla safari to see gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and stay for 2 nights at Gorilla Forest Camp.
Organizing a Gorilla Tracking Tour – Initial States
If you want to see the gorillas in the wild (In their natural habitat), it means you must fly to Africa, the only place one can see the mountain gorillas in the wild. According to the gorilla census 2011, there are only 880 mountain gorillas left in the whole world, and this population is found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. However, gorilla tourism in DR Congo is less developed due to political instabilities.
As you plan a holiday to see gorillas in the wild in Bwindi forest, start with identifying your intended travel dates. After that, then check for the availability of International Flights from your home country to Entebbe International Airport. If the flights available fit your intended travel dates, please go ahead and make tentative bookings.
The next step is to check for availability of gorilla trekking permits through local Travel Agents / Tour Operators or you can inquire and book direct through Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala. If you happen to find gorilla permits available on your preferred dates, please go ahead and confirm your flights. In case you happen to find no permits, better you find alternative dates. The demand for gorilla permits is very high throughout the year. One is thus advised to book early at least 2 months in advance. Furthermore, you should get the availability of rooms at Gorilla Forest camp in the Buhoma area of the Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
If you find no space, there are other gorilla trekking lodges around Buhoma such as Mahogany Springs Lodge, Buhome Lodge, Gorilla Resort and Bwindi Forest Lodge among others. Then you must book a regional flight in advance from Entebbe Airport to Kihihi Airstrip, and there must be arrangements for transfer by road from Kihihi Airstrip to Gorilla Forest lodge. We have both daily scheduled and private charter flights operating along this route. Scheduled daily flights are offered by Aerolink Uganda Limited, while Private Charters are offered by Kampala Aero Club and Eagle Air. Tour Operators can help you will all arrangements like booking permits, accommodation and flights.
At this moment, we assume that all bookings are confirmed and it,s time to fly to Entebbe International Airport. If you booked through a local tour company, you will find a representative of that company waiting for you at the airport. Usually they carry a placard bearing your name. To get this, you should inform the Agent about your arrival date, time, and flight number. Local based safari companies usually offer free airport transfers to guests, or at a subsidized cost.
If you made private arrangements without involving a tour company, then you need to organize for airport transfer to your pre-booked hotel around Entebbe International Airport. Depending on the flight you booked, get ready to fly from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi Airstrip in Western part of Uganda. It is less than 60 minutes of flight. At Kihihi Airstrip, you will find a safari vehicle awaiting for you, and then drive for 90 minutes to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, arrive in time for lunch at Gorilla Sanctuary, relax in our cottages as we wait for evening entertainment from the Batwa people (Local community). Gorilla Forest camp is some times visited by mountain gorillas.
The next day is for gorilla tracking adventure, get up early for heavy breakfast walk to the park headquarters for a briefing about the trek. You will be divided into groups of 8 persons maximum and assigned to a gorilla group. Start a guided walk in the accompaniment of armed rangers, trackers and park guides. Depending on the movement of the gorillas in the forest, the trek can take between 1 and 7 hours. Its quite strenuous and a certain level of fitness is advised. Sight and stay with gorillas is one hour, take photos and videos with gorillas. You will be receiving advice and guidance from the guide in the whole process. After the trek, descend to the base, have lunch and take a forest walk if interested. Dinner and overnight at Gorilla Forest Camp.
This is the 3rd day and your last day in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Have breakfast and hit the road back to Kihihi Airstrip, then get a plane to Entebbe International Airport for your onward flight or for lunch and dinner at your hotel around Entebbe or Kampala.