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“Excellent camp” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

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Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
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Gorilla Territory, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda   |  
Hotel amenities
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“Excellent camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2012

There is not really anything e can fault with GFC. Like all of Sanctuary's camps and lodges, the standards are excellent. The staff is attentive, friendly and helpful. Since we were the only guests, Jackson - acting manager - joined us for our Batwa experience and hospital visit, which was good fun. The rooms are spacious and very nicely decorated. A tiny bit damp, but we have enough experiences of the rainy season in East Africa to know that you simply can't get away from that. They do check on the sheets daily to see if anything needs to be changed to minimise the dampness. Hot water bottles at night not only helps keep the sheets warm and dry but is a good example of the many small touches that make a stay here so memorable. The food was excellent as well - always a three-course meal with two choices for starters, mains and desserts. The quiche in particular was incredible, but we were also impressed with the freshness of all the salads. Not to mention the chocolate mousse... Sitting by the campfire at night or relaxing in the bath, all the while listening to the sounds of the forest - we simply did not want to leave! The showers were fantastic as well, the water heated by firewood. Sanctuary has recently undertaken a lot of maintenance work at GFC, so the curtains, bed spreads and much else is brand new. Jackson has also done a fantastic job getting the kitchen on track, and we enjoyed huge quantities of fresh juice between meals.

Sanctuary also take a huge social responsibility, and have contributed some USD2 million to the Batwa Community Hospital, either directly or through guest donations. The hospital is well worth a visit! Although generally suspicious of organised 'cultural experiences', the Batwa experience (not run directly by Sanctuary, so it is an extra cost) was actually wonderful. It is well worth knowing that the things you will see are not there primarily for tourists, but is the way in which Batwa elders, who once lived in the Bwindi forest, teach the Batwa culture to their children and grandchildren who have not experienced living in the forest themselves. What made the experience great was the obvious enjoyment of the Batwa - whether they were laughing at us, with us or at themselves I don't know, but something sure was funny!

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable stay - highly recommended!

Room Tip: Some rooms have longer and steeper walks than others, but in return offer more privacy. Inquire with...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

We stayed there 3 nights and tracked gorillas for two days - the tracking experience was awesome and we got really close to the gorillas. My view of the lodge is mixed. Obviously I did not try any other lodge in Bwindi so I cannot compare.
First, the staff is really outstanding. Ludovic our housekeeper did a great job at keeping our room clean, warming our bed at night, delivering coffee in bed for the wake-up call and cleaning our muddy boots. The assistant manager was always on duty and was on top of everything, from booking a batwa experience (highly recommend, tell me what you think of their god!!!) last minute to ensuring we were having a good time.
Location is great for treks starting from Buhoma. You can walk to the nearby village and buy souvenirs and talk to the villagers.
I realise this lodge is in the middle of the jungle, but they are charging USD600 a night or so and the bed covers feel damp and smell a little bit mouldy. You are also in the middle of the forest, so expect lots of bugs in the bathrooms. I wished the tent was not opened (with mostito nets at every window) but that I could close it with zippered windows. That would make it less damp.
I was also shocked that they also charged us for the community experience while it specifically says on their website that it was an included activity! same for the forest walk, so they should get their information together and decide what is included and not!
The food was amazing, kuddos to the chef. I ate salad and can report no upset stomach at all. They run a nice bbq dinner when the lodge is full, I particularly enjoyed the beef.
Overall, I would stay again but the management should listen and improve on comfort. Also the path are not well lit at night, someone comes with you with a flashlight, but ideally they would put more storm lamps out there.
So nice luxuries you would expect from the price range, but room for improvement

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2012

We stayed at the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp for three nights. The accommodations were excellent with comfortable beds, spacious bathrooms with separate showers and tubs. The morning wake up call was your coffee or tea delivered to your room. The staff was particularly friendly and helpful. After a long day trekking to find the gorillas, an indescribable experience in itself, to come back to friendly faces, a hot shower, music by Warren and good food, was only topped by finding a hot water bottle tucked at the foot of the bed at the end of the day! Heaven!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

I stayed at the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp in Feb 2012 and was the only guest for 2 of the 3 nights. The facilities were excellent. Bed great -- best shower. All the staff were so helpful including the manager Ian, the room/laundry man Moses who was so obliging, and even the masseur Precious (yes that is her name "Precious") who possibly saved my life but at least enabled me to make the second day tracking the gorillas -- and I am not usually a big massage fan. The food was great too. I did get to see two different gorilla groups and it was a thrill of a life-time. Pictures and memories to treasure. Of course I had hoped that they would come into the camp as YouTube "promised" so I didn't have to hike so far -- no such luck.

Room Tip: I was in "Kingfisher" and found it ideal as it was a little further out and had a great vi...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2012

Went there for 3 days gorilla tracking and found ourselves the only guests! The staff was very friendly, the food delicious and the tent lodges clean and spacious. Only the smelling mattresses did not really fit into the picture.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SanctuaryRetreats_2, Manager at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, responded to this review, April 16, 2012
Thank you very much for taking the time to post a review on TripAdvisor. We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed the food and the staff was friendly during your stay. However, we would like to address your comment regarding the mattress in camp.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest, like many other lodges in Bwindi National Park faces the challenge of a damp and humid climate. We are constantly checking the state of our mattresses and we always try to ensure the windows are open during the day to allow as much air to come in as possible to help remove any dampness.

Thank you again for posting on TripAdvisor and we look forward to welcoming you back to one of Sanctuary Retreats’ lodges or camps in the not too distant future.

With kind regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2012

This permanent tented lodge is commensurate with the experience f being in Africa. The experience of trekking for gorillas just blends nicely into the adventurous feel of luxurious tent lodging. These permanent tents have electricity and plumbing .. A claw foot soakingbtub is a delight and the shower which opens up to the trees outside adds to the agicsl feeling af adventure. The cost includes beer and wine and the open air dining area with evening fires is perfect for recounting the days events. Warren a local, one of only 2 or 3 people who play the African harp played and sang for us each evening. What a mesmerizingly wonderful piece of history and culture!! The food was great and the hot tea or coffee brought to you as awake up call each morning was a nice touch! Easy to walk to the park entrance and into the central shopping area. The staff was wonderful and laundry is included as well.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mondsee
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

This is the perfect lodge for gorilla trekking in Buhoma. The staff is very friendly and care taking. We had a great time together with our 3 juniors! The chalets are huge and very clean. Its good time to relax after the trekkings.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Address: Gorilla Territory, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllically located in a glade facing mist-shrouded primeval rainforest in the far southwestern corner of Uganda, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is one of the most remote and atmospheric camps in Africa. A World Heritage site, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is an area of awe-inspiring bio-diversity with over 200 species of birds, butterflies and trees. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp Hotel Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp Uganda/Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

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