Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep inside the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – in southwestern Uganda. Due to its location, it is a perfect base for once-in-a-lifetime encounters with endangered mountain gorillas whether on a trek or in the camp itself. To add to its allure, the camp is one of the most remote and atmospheric in Africa, blending in sensitively with the dramatic African mountain landscape.
This intimate camp consists of eight private luxury tents, which are ecologically respectful with a contemporary-yet-classic style. They are dressed with indigenous prints and furniture made from natural materials. Beds are draped in neutral-toned linens, and local artefacts set a scene that ensures memorable moments both in and outside the accommodation. Each tent has a spacious, stone-walled bathroom with private sections, and a free-standing bath for a relaxing soak after a day’s trekking.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp’s communal area has a comfortable lounge with a well-stocked bar and elegant dining area, bestowing great views over the verdant rainforest. Come dusk, under star-strewn skies, and accompanied by the night-chorus, guests gather around the central campfire with celebratory drinks and swap stories of the day’s adventures. On request, candlelit al fresco dining is available on your tent’s private deck.
Why we like it here
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is situated uniquely inside the national park and thus only minutes away from the start of your gorilla trekking adventure.
The Camp has a mini spa with a wonderful massage therapist on standby, where you can rejuvenate after a long day of gorilla trekking.
The lodge will pack a scrumptious lunch that includes fresh fruit, as well as sweet and savoury delights to take with you on your gorilla trek.
The lodge allows you to experience Africa’s magic with the lightest of footprints yet with practically every mod con.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp has helped the local Bwindi Community Hospital to grow from a clinic under a tree (a decade ago) to a 112-bed facility providing healthcare for 40 000 patients annually. If you are interested, you will have the opportunity to visit the hospital and nearby school for a tour. Get to meet the students and explore their learning lab where they are training to be skilled healthcare providers for the community.
Another philanthropy effort came about in an attempt to find a balance between gorilla conservation and human health for populations that live on the edge of the wilderness. Sanctuary Retreats actively work to support the Ebenezer Nursery and Primary School, in the Kanungu district, right on the peripherals of the famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and nearby Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp. Challenges are enormous when it comes to meeting the educational needs of a growing community, especially in one of the most remote corners of Uganda. And yet the Ebenezer School operates. Built with a mix of used and donated building supplies, and because it’s a new start-up, the school is not yet Government-registered and receives no formal government support. Therefore, Sanctuary Retreats and their guests are working to help the parents and teachers at the school build sufficient infrastructure to satisfy Government registration requirements, including replacing the roof, building three new classrooms, building proper toilets, buying new furniture and text books, and helping to establish baseline salaries for the teachers. The ultimate goal is to help get the new school formally registered with the Ministry of Education, who will then pay teacher salaries and provide school support through formal Ministerial channels.
The camp is frequently visited by gorilla families due to its unique location.
You will have the opportunity for community interaction and a walk to visit the local Batwa people.
Specially customised sedan chairs with support and harness allow less able guests to be carried into the rainforest to track the endangered gorillas in their natural habitat.
Mealtimes afford you a taste of Uganda with simple flavours and fresh local ingredients, like traditional smoked beef in peanut sauce served with Kalo (millet bread).
Children of all ages are welcome at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp.
Things to be aware of
There are many high steps (around 100) to the lodge from the main road where the vehicles stop.
Even though children of all ages are welcome at the Camp, the minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years.