Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Adventure, enchantment and ‘Luxury, naturally’ - all delivered with a quiet, understated charm and understanding of place – is the guiding philosophy of Sanctuary Retreats and one of their most secluded camps, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest; a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda, home to just over half the world’s last surviving mountain gorillas. As the only concessionaire luxury camp within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the perfect base from which to track the park’s most famous resident – the mountain gorilla. Due to its unique location, it’s not unusual for the gorilla families to visit the camp itself. This luxury camp features 8 rooms and a bar, lounge and dining area overlooking the rainforest, as well as a raised natural platform for open-air dining.
Why Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp:
• The only luxury camp within the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to half the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas
• Due to the camp’s location, it is frequently visited by gorilla families
• Exclusive camp with only eight tents, the perfect base to track mountain gorillas
• Opportunity for Batwa Pygmy interaction
• Specially customized sedan chairs with support and harness allow less able guests to be carried into the rainforest to track the gorillas in their natural habitat
• Established philanthropy project at Bwindi Community Hospital which guests can visit
• Complimentary Wi-Fi available in the main area
Property Includes24 Hour ReceptionIn-Room DiningInternet AccessLaundry ServicesOn-Site ActivitiesOn-Site RestaurantsSpa
The eight tents at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp are stylish and spacious – exactly what is needed after a day spent tracking gorillas. Each tent features two queen sized beds and an en suite bathroom with a large bathtub that looks straight into the jungle canopy as well as an indoor shower. The rooms are also equipped with a hairdryer. Every tent has a personal attendant to attend to guests’ every need. In the main area, guests can sit around the cozy campfire at night and enjoy Bwindi’s crystal clear mountain sky. There is a small gift shop at the camp offering a variety of local artefacts and practical supplies and a mini spa with a variety of treatments, offering the perfect way to end a day of tracking. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the main areas of the camp.
Things To Do
In addition to the gorillas, Bwindi is also home to rare forest elephants, giant forest hogs and eleven kinds of primates, such as red tailed and blue monkeys, black and white colobus and baboons. You can also find forest duiker antelopes, bush buck antelopes and over 200 species of butterflies. Key wildlife include: gorilla, baboon, monkey, duiker, giant forest hog, warthog, civet, birds.
The following activities are included in your stay:
Bwindi is surrounded by the Bakiga community and Batwa people. The walk takes about two hours and begins with a stroll through a small tea farming project. Here you can stop to meet the tea pickers and perhaps even learn how to pluck tea leaves along the way. Then visit a local beer brewery and see how they mash bananas to make a fermented brew which is mixed and distilled to make banana beer - a popular local drink in the area. From here walk a short distance to the local hospital which Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp supports through various projects. Learn about how it started and the work they do for the community. Continue your walk to a nearby village and visit a traditional medicine man.
Gorilla tracking is the main activity at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. The gorillas we track belong to one of the ‘habituated’ family groups in northern Bwindi. Experienced guides accompany the tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. Gorilla tracking is a year-round activity and tracking commences at 8:30 am. There is a daily maximum of eight visitors able to meet each gorilla group. The terrain is testing in places but is fine if you are physically fit. Guides are always on hand to help and assist should you need it. Once the gorillas are located, the group can enjoy their company for one hour. Permits need to be bought in advance. Thanks to a unique sedan chair, guests who are unable to trek on foot can be carried into the rainforest by the porters.
Batwa Tribe Experience
Learn about and interact with the local Batwa People. This full day activity involves a three hour walk followed by about an hour spent with the Batwa. The walk back to camp is two hours. The visit includes a music performance, visitation by the goddess, hunting and gathering demonstration and an opportunity to see how they live. The Twa tribe who are also known as the Batwa are the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. Like most of the tribes in Africa, they have moved from place to place and are now found in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and eastern portions of the DRC. Statistics show that by the year 2000 their numbers were approximately 80,000 people, making them a significant minority group in these countries.
Bwindi boasts over 350 bird species, including 24 that are endemic to these highlands straddling Uganda, Rwanda and the Congo - the so-called the “Albertine Rift Endemics”. For keen birders, we can arrange for a local expert to guide you on a fascinating 2-3 hour walk through the park.
We can offer a guided forest walk on the Munyaga waterfall trail. This trail starts from the Park office and ends at the magnificent Munyaga waterfall. The walk to and from the waterfall takes about three hours and is a good way to practice or cool down a day before or after the gorilla tracking.
Game drives are done in the Queen Elizabeth National Park on request and at an additional charge.
The mini spa at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers the perfect way to end a long day of gorilla tracking. Treatments include a deep herbal massage, hydrating facial, foot massage, manicures and pedicures. Additional activities are at an additional cost and can be pre-booked or while guests are in camp.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp can be included in any of our itineraries. Call a Swain Destinations Specialist today at 1-800-227-9246.