Bwindi Backpackers Lodge

Bwindi Backpackers Lodge

Plot 1 Kirundo, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 256 486 Uganda
tree planting by clients around the lodge
Traveler (132)
This is not true, no such meals are offered!
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Double Bed in the cottage
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About

4.0
#1 of 1 hostel in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Location
4.4
Cleanliness
4.2
Service
4.4
Value
4.0
Unobstructed sweeping views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park from front rooms and bar/restaurant. Perfectly located for gorilla tracking in southern sector Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Nature walks to nearby pocket forest and waterfall available. Volcano hiking, Golden monkey tracking, Batwa visits, cultural exploration
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Property amenities
Free parking
Internet
Bar / lounge
Hiking
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Baggage storage
Concierge
Restaurant
Shuttle bus service
Shared lounge / TV area
24-hour front desk
Laundry service
Room features
Housekeeping
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Budget
Great View

Location

Plot 1 Kirundo, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 256 486 Uganda
144Reviews1Q+A16Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
TP93 wrote a review Jan 2022
London, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed at Bwindi Backpackers for one night prior to tracking Gorillas in the Nkuringo Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Upon our arrival we were immediately greeted by Patience who was exceedingly helpful throughout our stay. There were all the trappings of good hospitality, on our arrival we were given cold fruit juice and Patience informed us that our room had been upgraded.

The room we were given was palatial in size with wonderful views over the valley and of the forest rising up, almost vertically, on the other side. We had hot water in the room (which worked perfectly though as had been explained to us, we had to wait for a few minutes for the shower to run hot).

The food prepared by Moses was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner as well as the breakfast and packed lunch which were ready for us bright and early before we set off for our Gorilla tracking.

Overall, we would highly recommend Bwindi Backpackers as a place to stay prior to or after a gorilla trek and thought that it provided an excellent service at a reasonable price (prices in Bwindi seem to be universally inflated beyond any other location in Uganda).

It is also worth noting that Bwindi Backpackers and Gorilla Closeup Lodge are in fact the same place - Bwindi Backpackers is rebranding as Gorilla Closeup Lodge albeit that process appears to be quite slow.
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Date of stay: December 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith Byarugaba, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Jan 5, 2022
Thank you for having time and this opportunity to write this review on our lodge. We normally do all we can to meet our client expectations and we are very glad to see that you appreciated our services. Thank you for the encouragement and please come again we are at your service
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rhiannonmorgan94 wrote a review Feb 2020
Melbourne, Australia
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Overall a very good stay at the lodge, they organised my permit for me and the transport to the gorilla trek starting point. I stayed on full board, the food was delicious! My only improvement would be bigger portions because of the amount of physical activity we are doing there. The staff at the lodge couldnt be more helpful, they even cleaned my boots after the gorilla trek! Please note - the generator as well as wifi is only switched on at night and early morning.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Mar 1, 2020
Thank you so much for this tome to review our property. Thank you for the advice on improving and adding on the food portion we are straight away increasing it. Thank you for all your cooperation with staff and most importantly keeping time on the day of gorilla trekking. Congratulations once again upon successfully tracking mount gorillas. Keep it up and feel free to come back we are at your service
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Vedran B wrote a review Mar 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I really liked my stay in this lodge as I liked a lot whatever Silverback gorilla organized for me. It is a well located place, with a lovely quiet atmosphere and a big variety of tasty food. You cant miss with this and how nice they are nothing describes better than how they have given me private room for the price of a dorm, as there was a lot of free space at the time.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith Byarugaba, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Oct 31, 2020
Thank you very much for reviewing our lodge. We were very proud to host you and most importantly that you enjoyed your stay with us. May God bless you
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Kurt wrote a review Aug 2017
Cape Coral, Florida
1.0 of 5 bubbles
First time you talk to him seems nice but you will soon realized he is a horrible guy, lied many times for money. He hit his child very hard in front of me, just cause the child was touching his Jeep. Than tries to justify it saying animals do it total bull§$!&. Didn't deliver what was promised. Also heard from some honest people he has a history of unsatisfied customers. My experience is that he is a very ingenuity person. My recommendation organize it with someone else or get permit and go alone. Its really easy to get the permit alone in Kampala.
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Date of stay: June 2017
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith B, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Jan 22, 2018
Kurt, I dont think I deserved this bad review looking at all the expenses incurred to book organise your gorilla permit,transport to bwindi and accommodation. I dont remember any time in the last 8 years hiting any of my children. I love my children so much and I dont think I can even think of hitting any for mere touching the car. what I remember very well you wanted free transport as you were alone in the car to bwindi and back of which I objected and you threatened to tarnish me on this site but Iam quite sure those ignore your review will enjoy Bwindi Backpackers Lodge and its services
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Gustav S wrote a review Dec 2017
Gothenburg, Sweden
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Apparently it was not the first time the manager had promised things he could not keep according to the rangers in the park. They described him as a fraud and a cheat.
There was no wifi and mostly no water at all to flush the toilets or take even a cold shower. The food was fine, but there is only one (expensive) option.
He has a corrupt police officer for security whom he bribes 200 dollars per month (according to the manager himself).
The staff are polite but incredibly sloooow. Even by african standards.
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Date of stay: December 2017
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Do not trust the manager.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith B, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Jan 22, 2018
Gustav it would have been better if you talked the whole truth about your tour and the lodge instead of tarnishing our reputation. In the first case you stayed only 2 nights having communicated with me a few hours where you even got a free ride from Kisoro because we had a client we were picking from there. On arrival we agreed with you on the walk from lodge via the park to buhoma which was a collaborative activity with the park where you were to pay park entrance fees,park ranger fees and also a local guide to guide you from the lodge to the park gate where he made all clearance and payment for the park, you got an armed park ranger and walked successfully through the park and back from the park successfully. what I remember happened which did not make you happy is that from the national park, the park ranger and guide who were with you now used a shorter trail which required for the pickup transport which you had not paid for because you had requested that you wanted to only walk without extra transport because you were traveling on a very tight budget. I remember very well you later got a free car lift which you did not pay for and we never charged you for that. You came back at the lodge without any complaint but what surprised us is that in the morning when you were asked to clear bar bills and transport to Kisoro from the lodge, you refused deliberately that you wanted a refund on whole activity including all monies paid to the park which you were already aware of that once you pay park entrance and also park ranger as well as guide fees you can not get a refund after the doing the activity. When you proved to be sturbon its when the police came into action and its you accepted to pay for your bar bills. Secondly how can you complain of food and yet you did not have a single meal because you had come with your own food? I was there my self and Wifi was there even water but again I remember you stayed in a dorm which uses shared toilets and bathroom out side. All self contained rooms have both cold and hot water so some times more comfort goes with more cost. We don't bribe Police because police is mainly to keep law and order on and around the lodge premises so that the law obidient clients enjoy their stay at our lodge. After trying to handle issues amicably with a client and it fails its when we engage in police, so dont lie to the rest of travellers that our police is corrupt because there is no where you can get free services forcefully more especially after consuming goods and services
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Bidule05 wrote a review Nov 2019
France
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I spent one night in the Lodge.
The location of the lodge is average, being situated at about 4 km of Bwindi forest park headquarters from where the gorillas trekkings begin.
At arrival, the manager was absent, and we had to wait for about 30 minutes before knowing which cottage we had! ( the cittage had been booked 6 months before!)
The cottages are cold (we had no soaps, no towels and had to ask for that) and we did not have hot water. We had to take showers with cold water..,
Regarding the dinner, we had been told that it would begin at 7 pm. Finally, we had to wait for more than one hour for dinner! For breakfast, we had to wait once again!
The organization of the staff has to be greatly improved, and thus I do NOT recommend to stay in this Lodge in NKuringo
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from SeithB, Manager at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Mar 1, 2020
Hi Isabella, We are very sorry for that unfortunate incident. Infact the that particular manager was sacked with part of his team and now I guarantee you a very satisfactory stay if you are to come again. We are very sorry once again of all that happened. Cheers
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Jorge P wrote a review Dec 2018
Valencia, Spain
1.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed one night since, although at the beginning they receive you with a cup of tea and all the possible attentions, then you realize that they only care that you spend your money (on your food, on your transport). I asked for help to solve some procedures with Uganda Wildlife Authority and they even complicated it much more. I decided to go personally to the office and they told me it was 20km away, when I knew perfectly that they separated the hostel from the office only 5 km away. Everything so that you book the transport with them. They should improve their service a lot, and not focus on squeezing the traveler at the cost of any price.
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Date of stay: December 2018Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith Byarugaba, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Mar 14, 2023
For gorilla trekking permits are always organised from the park offices in town of kisoro which is infact 34km from bwindi because they are the ones who know availability but it was such a big luck that from the park they contacted their office and helped you otherwise its always important to book in advance for the gorilla permits. The cost of food and transport is clear on our fliers and website and we don't force any one to eat or book our transport and you can come with our own car and pay for only accommodation
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Juergen P wrote a review Feb 2018
Kathmandu, Nepal
1.0 of 5 bubbles
First of all, the Staff is very friendly und helpful.
We booked the Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, because we needed Free WiFi to organice the next steps of our journey.
We staied 2 nights. Djuring these 2 days, the Wifi was working for 1 hour or less. The electric power worked for 2 hours. Generators were abailable, but they didn’t work. The toilet flush didn’t work, but the staff was very angaged to fix it. When we taked to the manager, we were told to talk to the owner who staid in Kabale. On the phone he told us, that the problems of WiFi and electric Power can‘t be solved by him. So don‘t expect what you are promissed and what you pay for.
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Date of stay: February 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith B, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Feb 22, 2018
Juergen you should have explained to the public the truth of the matter because I was at the lodge my self with you at your arrival until you came back from tracking gorillas on the second day. All toilets were working well and you never complained not until when you were presented a bill of the drinks you took plus meals that you started to complain that there was no flushing water and no internet that you could not pay for any thing you have consumed where the stafff called me and talked with you on phone where you accepted to clear your bill and now just tarnishing our lodge. Normally when there is a problem and you claim to staff if it was a problem of water flushing in one room , we have many rooms we could have changed for you to another room. On power we have solar power and generator which you enjoyed all the time including on the last night where you kept in dinning and bar until 12:00 a.m. Really where did you miss power? Abou internet you arrived around 6:00 pm on first day where you enjoyed internet till you went to sleep and the following day went tracking gorillas the whole day and when you came back we had a problem of weather where it had rained and I explained to you about how I had control over satelite which you seemed to have understood but now complaining? With price deductions if you had told us about your budget we could have seen how to help you instead of giving excuses for a price reduction after consuption of the service. We hope to receive you next time and Iam quite sure you will have a wonderful stay with us as we shall plan every thing together
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Andrea A wrote a review Nov 2017
2.0 of 5 bubbles
I stayed for 2 nights to go see the gorillas and Seith organized my permit and transportation.

For transportation he had told me pick up was at 4pm and driver showed up at 2pm and then took me around town doing errands with him.

The lodge is overlooking bwindi but nothing really special about the location or lodge itself, very basic for the price and there really isn’t any hot water, maybe it gets like warm.

I shared transport and Seith had said to me it was $40 for a shared transport (and I was sharing, or $60 by myself) but to the people I shared with it was a total surprise that the transport was not included as Seith didn’t tell them about it although they had emailed him asking about all the costs. When we got to the lodge Seith told them it was $25 per person shared. Meaning that he had overcharged me for it and if I didn’t hear it from the other people he wouldn’t have returned my money.

On arrival Seith gave us a briefing and said that “only rich people like you get to do this” which gave me a pretty clear of how he sees the people who come to the lodge.
Communication with him is extremely frustrating! He doesn’t answer all the questions you ask and takes forever to reply. I had to send him an extra email asking him to please respond promptly and all my questions to which he replied that he had so I sent screenshots of my previous email with unanswered questions. When you are trying to organize accommodation and gorilla permit and are dealing with customer service you should pay more attention to questions and be clear about all the fees etc.

Once at the lodge they didn’t have a food menu as they advertised in the website; the only option was a $10 lunch or dinner, which was very little food for the price (so don’t pay attention where it says they have a variety of dishes from 3,000Ush- 12,000Ush)
Packed lunch was 2 chapatis with vegetables (maybe 3,000Ush on the street), a boiled egg, and a banana, which should cost about $1 to make and people pay $10! (But since we are all rich per Seith view that’s a fair mzungu price)
I brought some food and packed my own lunch since prices here are a rip off if you are indeed a backpacker!

The restaurant is disorganized, they said they would serve us breakfast at 6am but not until 6:35 we were asked what kind of eggs we wanted! I know it is africa but when they emphasize times for you to have food and leave for gorilla tracking they should keep it up, mostly when they know they are dealing with foreigners and they asked you to be on time. We were, breakfast was 45 mins late!

Transportation to the gorilla trek was also frustrating! Out of 4 cars ours was the only one that left us down the hill and had to walk 35 up hill while everybody waited for us only because the driver said he didn’t want to take us up because of the hill... but every other car did!
When we complained Seith said we were young enough to hike the hill! But that wasn’t the point! What if we weren’t young? Go with a company that has better cars and can handle a hill!

Seith loves to argue and win his arguments! He always had an excuse for everything! When we complained about things that we didn’t like (very late meals or getting dropped off down the hill) he always had an excuse and started to argue (he even said that breakfast being 45 mins was to show us the African experience!!) We even had to tell him that he should just listen to our feedback and that we were sharing it with him because it was going to be on our review.
Last but not least, Seith doesn’t know when to stop talking! To the point that it gets annoying! Our last dinner lasted an hour of him talking non stop and we didn’t want to ask questions because we never got a short and straight answer, it was always a long explanation for everything.

Bottom line is that I wouldn’t stay here again nor really recommend it.
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Date of stay: November 2017Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith B, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Jan 22, 2018
Andrea, sorry for this experience but you can bear with us that the other persons who were to join you because you wanted to save by sharing transport with you are the ones who delayed because for you you were already in lake bunyonyi and they were coming from Kampala so picking you earlier was to save time for bwindi. The group which joined you wanted a long hike towards gorillas but you only one person wanted driving so going by majority its when we decided you all walk up hill to gorillas. Bwindi food can not be cheap as street food because cost of production in bwindi being a national park is very high and again we prepare food fresh and up to international standards. On transport you had paid in advance and so we gave you part of refund as people had increased and you saved some money otherwise by the time you paid clients had not booked to join you. For whatever went bad we promise it will be well when you come back as we have known your concerns. your feedback is a good but always better when you can listen abit on our concerns also because due to picking you earlier than plan planned seemed to have annoyed you before we even picked you which led you to look at all things we did on the negative side part of it. please come again we shall host you beyond your expectations
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waninacc wrote a review Nov 2016
Mexico City, Mexico
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked a car service for 60 US dollars from Kabale to Bwindi, he took us to this lodge, finally we realize it's also his business. When we finished gorilla tracking and the hotel told us to pay 80 US dollars for the car which was enough shocking, because when we agreed a deal, how can you change the price in the middle? We wouldn't pay, then they LOCKED us, yes! WE WERE LOCKED IN!!! but the old manager told us "IT"S BUSINESS! " when they locked us, they changed the price again to 60 dollars one way, so if we want to get back to Kabale, we should pay 120 USD. We called Canadian consulate when they agreed the previous 60 USD price to get us back and said," now you are RELEASED!" It's a family robbery business and the most horrifying experience we've got, we decided to leave the country that day.
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Date of stay: November 2016
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Seith B, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded Dec 2, 2016
Thank you for choosing to stay with us but it would have been better if you talked of the truth of exactly what happened. I agreed with you personally that you would pay $60 if you are alone and if you were to each would pay $40 return journey looking at the location of the gorilla tracking point, you later got another person who combined the journey with you meaning you were comfortable to pay $40 each. To our surprise after the car had got you from Kabale to lodge, tracking and ready to take you the following day, you still refused to pay and insisted you would pay once you arrive in Kabale. we made a decision that you should pay before you leave the lodge because in the first case when you were picked from Kabale you insisted you will pay when you reach at the lodge but later even after tracking you refused to pay of reasons you did not disclose to us. Secondly due to the fact that we negotiated on phone, you admitted it was a mis communication of which we allowed you to pay only $60 but again you still became sturbon that you wont pay, so it was unfortunate incident but even though you are lying that your embassy intervened , i dont think it had the powers to dictate to us to give you free transport from Kabale to Bwindi and back for free. Iam the owner whom did the embassy contact?. Its better to always talk the truth so that in case there is a problem we look for solutions to improve the comfort and stay with us. Some times when traveling on a very small budget its better we know in advance and advise you how you can reach bwindi cheaply and stay cheaply like for instance the extra $10 each that brought this whole confusion, if you had stayed 1 night it would have been easier. To the rest of travellers from now on wards conscent forms or payment for transport at the time of departure to start the trip will be emphasized to avoid such inconveniences. Iam sorry if I have used a tough language but truth matters
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Seith B asked a question May 2017
Kabale, Uganda96 contributions2 helpful votes
Can Bwindi backpackers lodge arrange gorilla tracking permits for its clients?
Answer from Mike Y G
San Jose, California23 contributions
Yes they can, even if you arrived super late.
Jack wrote a tip Oct 2019
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia12 contributions4 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"Don't stay, there's no mosquito net, but if you have to, ask for a room on the second floor"
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planetwanderer wrote a tip Jul 2019
Brighton, United Kingdom179 contributions144 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Just hope the dorms are full and you may get a free upgrade!!"
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Alexandra K wrote a tip Sep 2018
London, United Kingdom18 contributions21 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
"just book other lodge"
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Ally M wrote a tip Aug 2018
Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The room with the view of the forest is stunning"
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Soso6454 wrote a tip Jul 2018
Dakar, Senegal4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Nice view, cheap rooms, comfy beds"
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park area.
LOCATION
UgandaWestern RegionBwindi Impenetrable National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
14
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BWINDI BACKPACKERS LODGE

Frequently Asked Questions about Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Does Bwindi Backpackers Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are pets allowed at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
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