“The Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp has their own family of mountain gorillas that visit from time to time.”
Venturing deep into the mystic of the Ugandan Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we have one thing on our minds, Gorillas. Uganda is home to such dense luscious forest, vast landscapes and world renowned for its primate residents, the mountain gorillas. Arguably one of the best place to visit the gorillas is none other from the Sanctuary Retreats’ Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp (click here).
Having recently undergone a major refurb and relaunch by Sanctuary Retreats. We are delighted to share our experience of the exclusive, eco friendly yet luxurious new fit out of the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. The S.G.F.C camp is the only camp located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This incredibly beautiful location has been rightly named the ‘undiscovered pearl of Africa’.
We are even told that the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp has their local family of mountain gorillas that from time to time visit the lodge.
Our adventure in Uganda started in Entebbe. With a brief overnight stay before our 7am flight the next morning. The flight was approximately 1 hour from Entebbe, landing in Khiki. We are met by our driver at the runway, who then takes us onto the Sanctuary Retreats Gorilla Forest Camp. The trip normally takes 1 hour, however after a few false starts (our driver missed a few turns) our trip was just over 2 hours.
Note: Expect a bumpy ride
As we drove through the security entrance of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, we pull up relatively quickly to our Gorilla Sanctuary. We are taken up to the main entrance by a long flight of stairs where we are greeted by the Hotel Manager Nick in a vast open space. He was very softly spoken and gave us an extensive rundown of our exciting 3 day itinerary. From there we are guided to our room by our lovely room attendant.
Note: It would be my advice to book for 3 nights at the Forest Camp. As there is only 1 Gorilla trek per day, by the time your flight gets in + travel time to the lodge the trek is already finished. The trek starts early in the morning and is a 2hr drive from the lodge. So in the unluckiest of events you miss the gorillas the first day (or they are not in a playful mood) you will not get another chance to see them and it is a long way to travel to not fully experience & interact with them.
As you would expect, we were set amongst the jungle with quite dense lush foliage surrounding us. We are staying in one of eight luxury tents. Our tent was named “Wagtail” as each tent is named after a particular bird that is common in the area.
It was yet another glamping experience for us. The tent is a combination of permanent fixtures and canvas tenting. All tents are fitted with two wooden queen beds, local artwork, separate bathroom, even with its very own freestanding bathtub.
In camping terms the size of the tents could fit two couples quite easily. So there was a lot of extra room for just myself & my partner.
Food & Beverage
Surprisingly (given that we were in the middle of the UNESCO world heritage site, with only small villages on either side) our food was extremely tasty. Albeit, slightly limited, every lunch and dinner, we were given 2 options for starters, mains and dessert.
Normally the starters consisted of a fresh salad or warm soup, followed by mains which ranged from pasta to fish and veg. Every meal we had was refreshingly light, portion controlled and to top it off, there are matching house wines & beer which were on the house.
Pool & Gym
No gym, yet in each room comes a “gym bag” with weights. To be completely honest the gorilla trek is anywhere from 3 to 7 hours (ours was 4.5hrs) so I wouldn’t expect or need a gym here. There to my knowledge is no pool but once again I don’t think one is necessary.
I didn’t use the spa, because after the trek + travel time I was exhausted and went basically straight to bed. But I did over hear one of the other guests conversations about how much she enjoyed the massage at the spa after her trek in the mountains.
- The rooms – more like a lodge then a tent
- Beautiful surroundings
- Limited wifi and temperamental according to weather
The gorilla trek itself is quite honestly one of the best things I have ever experienced to date. I was very fortunate being able to come back to such a wonderfull place to rest and reflect on my day in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp,
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,
+256 41 4340290