Departs: Daily private departures based on a minimum of 2 passengers
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the only concession located within the National Park. A perfect base for a gorilla tracking experience, offering luxury and exclusivity in the heart of the rainforest with only eight large en-suite tents. For several years each group of gorillas has undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans. Experienced guides accompany the tracking, many of whom have been involved in the habituation process themselves.
Day 1 - Bwindi Impenetrable
On arrival at Entebbe Airport you will be met by a representative from Sanctuary Retreats and assisted to your scheduled flight to Kihihi (Bwindi).
On arrival at Kihihi (Bwindi) Airstrip you will be met and transferred to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. This is a driving time of approximately 75 minutes. (LD)
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the ideal base for a gorilla tracking adventure in Bwindi. Guests can dine under the stars and relax by the roaring campfire. On cooler evenings, the central cottage provides a warm shelter. Located within the National Park, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers guests an unrivalled location, including the best bird and wildlife viewing in the Bwindi area. In fact Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp often receives regular visits from the gorillas themselves, up to 4-6 visits per month. For the lucky guests in camp at those times, they may have the chance for a gorilla encounter without even leaving Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp!
The eight tents are just as impressive as the communal areas. Wooden floors and decks support comfortable warm beds, and each tent boasts a bathtub, ideal for soaking tired muscles after a day spent observing and meeting gorillas, that looks straight out into the jungle’s canopy.
Day 2 - Bwindi Impenetrable
After breakfast, a 10-minute walk takes you to the park headquarters where you will meet the park officials for a briefing before the commencement of the tracking at 08h30.The gorillas we track belong to one of the ‘habituated’ family groups in Northern Bwindi. For several years each group has undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans. Experienced guides will accompany the tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves. Once the gorillas are located, the group will be allowed a maximum of one hour with them.
BWINDI IMPENTRABLE FOREST
The park is located in south-western Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in a hilly countryside, which, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary, constitutes an important water catchment area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region. This is the richest forest in Uganda, in terms of the number of plant species, as the area is one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa where lowland and montane communities merge. The valley bottoms contain a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs with only a few trees hence its name, the impenetrable forest. This is one of the richest faunal communities in East Africa. There exists about one half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas. There are also several endangered species of birds with limited ranges.
Return to camp for an afternoon of leisure and overnight. (BLD)
Day 3 - Bwindi Impenetrable
Today is for choices. If you wish, you can join another gorilla trek today. If you would like to you will need to book, and pay, at the time of your original booking to be able to guarantee a permit. (BLD)
Or there are a few other activities offered by your lodge, some are free of charge and others do require an additional cost and it is recommended top pre book all activities to assure availability. The excursions include:
COMMUNITY AND PHILANTHROPY TOUR – Free
Bwindi is surrounded on the Buhoma side by the Bakiga community and the Batwa people community. The tour takes three to four 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 learn about the camp’s philanthropy initiatives and visit the Bwindi Women’s Bicycle Enterprise and the Bead Making Project. Continue your walk to meet the Batwa People, witness their musical goddess-visitation-inspired performances, learning about their rich culture and listen to their animated stories. Complete your tour with a visit to the Ebeneezer Nursery and Primary School followed by the Bwindi Community Hospital and Nursing School, learning about how the hospital was started and the work they do for the community.
BIRDING WALKS – Additional Cost
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.
FOREST WALK – Additional Cost
Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a spectacular place to visit. 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, baboons and chimpanzees. You can also find forest duiker antelopes, bush buck antelopes and over 200 species of butterflies. 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.
QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK DRIVES – Additional Cost
While staying at Gorilla Forest Camp guests are able to venture out on game drives to Ishasha, located in the south of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park popular for its tree climbing lions, savanna elephants, buffaloes, topi, hippos, various bird species, warthogs and the occasional leopard.
The Ishasha Sector is famous for its population of tree-climbing lions. The Lions are normally seen lazily lying within the branches of the huge fig trees staring down at the numerous Uganda Kobs grazing in the open Ishasha plains. This is usually a full day outing where guests are able to stop for lunch at the hippo pool. Departure is 6:30 in the morning.
Day 4 - End of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp Tour
After a final morning in camp you will be transferred back to Bwindi (Kihihi) Airport for your flight to Entebbe. (B)
Dates and Pricing
- 02 Dec 23 - 15 Dec 23 $4,845 $4,850
- 16 Dec 23 - 31 Mar 24 $6,980 $9,440
- 01 Apr 24 - 31 May 24 $5,070 $5,070
- 01 Jun 24 - 30 Jun 24 $6,980 $9,440
- 01 Jul 24 - 30 Sep 24 $7,310 $9,940
- 01 Oct 24 - 31 Oct 24 $6,980 $9,440
- 01 Nov 24 - 15 Dec 24 $5,070 $5,070
- 16 Dec 24 - 31 Dec 24 $6,980 $9,440
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.
Price excludes Gorilla permit US$600 pp per trek and is subject to change.
Trekking may be fairly strenuous with treks up to six hours or longer, at high altitudes, not uncommon. Also, mountain gorillas are wild animals, and, as such sightings cannot be guaranteed. However viewing success rates are over 95%. Minimum age 15 years.