Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is surrounded by lush lawns.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp | Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Luxury Uganda Safari Lodge

Deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the perfect base for gorilla safaris, and the gorilla families even periodically pass through! Discover diverse mammals, birdlife and butterflies, enjoy a Big Five safari, or relax around the campfire with a G&T at this luxury Uganda safari lodge.

The place

Tangled roots, branches and leaves have been cleared to make way for a manicured patch of lawn, upon which rests Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. It’s set deep within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a Unesco World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda that’s protected by a reserve. We feel so privileged to be staying here, at the only lodge within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park itself.Bwindi is home to just over half the world’s surviving mountain gorillas. We’re pleased to have penetrated the jungle this far, and wonder aloud if our scheduled gorilla-trekking safari tomorrow will be as easy.Our driver laughs and tell us it’s all about luck; sometimes it can take several hours of hard trekking to find them, sometimes the gorillas can be found in under an hour, and sometimes they come right up to camp for a visit!We take a quick tour of the lodge, which has a lounge furnished with comfortable chairs overlooking the rainforest and various nature magazines, as well as a spa-treatment room. We decide to enjoy lunch in the open-air dining room, which is perched on a raised platform with incomparable views into the lush, Tarzan-worthy jungle. Our friendly waiter informs us that it’s home to more than 300 mammals, 340 bird species, and an incredible 220 different types of butterflies.

Tangled roots, branches and leaves have been cleared to make way for a manicured patch of lawn, upon which rests Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. It’s set deep within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a Unesco World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda that’s protected by a reserve. We feel so privileged to be staying here, at the only lodge within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park itself.

Bwindi is home to just over half the world’s surviving mountain gorillas. We’re pleased to have penetrated the jungle this far, and wonder aloud if our scheduled gorilla-trekking safari tomorrow will be as easy.

Our driver laughs and tell us it’s all about luck; sometimes it can take several hours of hard trekking to find them, sometimes the gorillas can be found in under an hour, and sometimes they come right up to camp for a visit!

We take a quick tour of the lodge, which has a lounge furnished with comfortable
chairs overlooking the rainforest and various nature magazines, as well as a spa-treatment room. We decide to enjoy lunch in the open-air dining room, which is perched on a raised platform with incomparable views into the lush, Tarzan-worthy jungle. Our friendly waiter informs us that it’s home to more than 300 mammals, 340 bird species, and an incredible 220 different types of butterflies.

The room

With its tented walls, thatched roof and forest setting, our suite has a distinctive safari feel, not least due its polished verandah and outdoor settee where we can relax and enjoy the sounds of the Bwindi rainforest. Indeed, as we stand and stare into the jungle, we can hear the cry of colobus monkeys and the occasional distant scream of what is surely a chimpanzee hunting party.Inside, it’s simply decorated, with two queen-sized beds, several scattered sheep-skin rugs and mesh windows that invite the forest in. My partner is delighted with our tent’s en-suite bathroom, which has a rock-face shower and a bathtub that faces the jungle canopy. We glance at each other in eager anticipation – this is where we’ll soak off the rigours of the next day’s trekking, after a spa treatment of course!

With its tented walls, thatched roof and forest setting, our suite has a distinctive safari feel, not least due its polished verandah and outdoor settee where we can relax and enjoy the sounds of the Bwindi rainforest. Indeed, as we stand and stare into the jungle, we can hear the cry of colobus monkeys and the occasional distant scream of what is surely a chimpanzee hunting party.

Inside, it’s simply decorated, with two queen-sized beds, several scattered sheep-skin rugs and mesh windows that invite the forest in. My partner is delighted with our tent’s en-suite bathroom, which has a rock-face shower and a bathtub that faces the jungle canopy. We glance at each other in eager anticipation – this is where we’ll soak off the rigours of the next day’s trekking, after a spa treatment of course!

What sets it apart

Most of the guests staying at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp come in the hope of seeing some of the last remaining mountain gorillas on earth. The camp is set right within their natural habitat – 330 square kilometres of steep, rugged equatorial rainforest in southwest Uganda, on the edge of the Rift Valley … which is why guests might be lucky enough to witness the periodic visits of gorilla families without even leaving camp!Of course, you can see other mammals, like rare forest elephant, 11 types of primates, buffalo, warthog and duiker, or even a giant forest hog.The food, whether a packed lunch for a trek into the jungle or a three-course meal, was a real highlight. We also loved our personal attendant, who arranged a community visit where we tried local banana beer and who tracked us down when a gorilla family came to visit camp unexpectedly.

Most of the guests staying at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp come in the hope of seeing some of the last remaining mountain gorillas on earth. The camp is set right within their natural habitat – 330 square kilometres of steep, rugged equatorial rainforest in southwest Uganda, on the edge of the Rift Valley … which is why guests might be lucky enough to witness the periodic visits of gorilla families without even leaving camp!

Of course, you can see other mammals, like rare forest elephant, 11 types of primates, buffalo, warthog and duiker, or even a giant forest hog.

The food, whether a packed lunch for a trek into the jungle or a three-course meal, was a real highlight. We also loved our personal attendant, who arranged a community visit where we tried local banana beer and who tracked us down when a gorilla family came to visit camp unexpectedly.

At a glance

  • A luxury safari lodge with eight tented suites with forest views, a spa and a gift shop.
  • Exclusive location within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, access to gorillas, personal attendant and private dining available. Specially-customised sedan chairs are available for carrying less-able guests into the rainforest to track the gorillas.
  • Gorilla trekking (additional cost), Batwa experience (additional cost), birdwatching walks (additional cost), forest walks (additional cost), games drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park (additional cost), community walk and spa treatments (additional cost).
  • Children welcome, and all rooms available as triples. Babysitting available on request (additional cost). Certain activities, including gorilla safaris, are age-restricted.

  • A luxury safari lodge with eight tented suites with forest views, a spa and a gift shop.
  • Exclusive location within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, access to gorillas, personal attendant and private dining available. Specially-customised sedan chairs are available for carrying less-able guests into the rainforest to track the gorillas.
  • Gorilla trekking (additional cost), Batwa experience (additional cost), birdwatching walks (additional cost), forest walks (additional cost), games drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park (additional cost), community walk and spa treatments (additional cost).
  • Children welcome, and all rooms available as triples. Babysitting available on request (additional cost). Certain activities, including gorilla safaris, are age-restricted.

Prices

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

  • Not only do African safari lodge prices shift with the seasons, they also change based on your length of stay, room type, travel party composition, special offers, if your trip involves stays at sister lodges – and for more reasons besides.
  • It’s worth noting that depending on your itinerary, your lodge cost will make up about 75–85% of your total safari trip cost.
  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, we’d be delighted if you’d allow us to create a bespoke proposal for you.  Simply enquire now – our quotes are complimentary and obligation-free.
  • However, to help you get an idea of safari lodge prices we’ve created three safari-lodge categories with various price ranges, to find out more click here.

When to Go

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has a distinctly tropical climate, and, like all major forests, it plays an important role in the regional ecosystem. The two annual dry seasons are most people’s preferred times to visit, as the reduced rainfall means that forest trails are dry and easier to negotiate. December is the single most popular month; it’s also the start of the period when migrating birds flock to Bwindi. Expect cool mornings and evenings, especially in June and July, but you’ll also enjoy seeing concentrations of game at remaining water sources.

Bwindi experiences two wet seasons: short rains (intermittent brief showers) and later in the year, long rains (prolonged drizzle, storms and evenings meant to be spent by a fireplace). Bwindi’s annual rainfall reaches an impressive 2,390mm – more than equivalent to the height of a silverback! It tends to fall, however, in short spurts, and the wet seasons are brightened by many sunny days. Gorilla avoid the cold, descending from the higher mountains now, making them easier to find. So too are bargains, with lodge rates and gorilla permits both reduced.

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