Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Location: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda
Closest Major Airport: Entebbe International Airport
How much time do you need? At least 3 or 4 days but it all depends on how many gorilla trekking permits you're able to buy ($700 for one hour with the gorilla family you are trekking) and then how much of the village/forest you want to otherwise explore.
What to pack? Trekking was not like major hiking in my experience so I wore gym leggings, a long sleeve shirt and Palladium boots. Back at the lodge it's all beautiful tropical, rainforest weather.
Most memorable moment? Flying over Uganda between Entebbe International Airport and Kihihi, a smaller airport closer to Bwindi. It was in the early morning when it was misty and majestic.
What I miss the most? The jungle!
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is located just inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is a 75 minute dirt road drive from the Savannah airstrip in Kihihi, Rukungiri. The roads are rough but it was wonderful to get a feel for the place as we moved through tiny villages and past tea plantations, the whole commute scented with the aroma of mini brick-making operations, the sound of tinny motorcycles rolling past, sometimes precariously, and energetic greetings from children playing alongside the road. I was on an absolute traveller's high for the entire drive.
Permanent tents are spread out over a section of jungle, all with views over the jungle, and in the jungle, and looking onto a wall of jungle across the valley in front of the property. All jungle. Everything is lush and dense and fragrant, with bird and insect life that is nothing short of symphonic. Gorilla trekking is of course the main attraction but I just loved being there.
Highlights for me in Uganda included a guided forest walk on the edge of Bwindi (as good as gorilla trekking), walking through Buhoma village and interacting with locals, and the gorilla trekking itself of course.
Good To Know:
Sanctuary Retreats is involved in a number of philanthropic initiatives in Uganda so a stay at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp directly contributes to enhancing the lives of locals.
$217 to $795 per night
All photographs courtesy of Sanctuary Retreats.