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“Experience of a Lifetime”

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Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Wakozi chan! I cannot express enough the gratitude I have for both Rob and Lydia from Nkuringo Walking Safaris for helping create such a great itinerary and taking care of the planning, logics, lodging, drivers, permits, etc. for my time in Rwanda/Uganda. Their attention to detail was unmatched, and everyone affiliated with Nkuringo Walking Safaris was professional, kind, knowledgeable, helpful and generally enjoyable in every way. Uganda was wonderful, and certainly the highlight of my entire trip was tracking both the Kahungye and Nkuringo gorilla groups. I had the very good fortune of speaking with Rob before I set off on my 18 day adventure in East Africa, and in addition to helping me plan a stellar itinerary in Southwest Uganda, he also took the time to help me plan the rest of my trip in neighboring Tanzania/Zanzibar, and made priceless suggestions about local flights that allowed me to optimize the meager amount of days I had to travel. In all, I spent 6 days in this region hiking Mt. Sabinyo, tracking golden monkeys, and observing the Kahungye and Nkuringo gorilla groups.

The drivers from Nkuringo Walking Safaris, Emma, and his brother Ernest, deftly and safely navigated the difficult 4x4 roads in their taxi sedans, and accommodated my many requests to stop for a photo op and to tune in to some local radio (they broadcast some great tunes from Kisoro - on Fridays the DJ imbibes live on air, and is comical even if you don’t speak the local Lufumbira languge). When I arrived at Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Dora immediately greeted us and showed us around the beautiful compound. As other’s have mentioned, it is extremely comfortable and clean, and I found the food to be very good, including the box lunches they prepare for the treks into the jungle. I guess it’s all about expectations, but it was above and beyond what I expected (especially considering there is no electricity in the small town). They do have a generator that they will turn on for charging your electronics if you request, but try to arrange this only when absolutely necessary and when others have things to charge too as it disrupts the tranquility of the camp. And they will gladly prepare warm water for your shower, but have to admit, I felt a little guilty taking a hot shower, especially after seeing lots of women and kids on the road returning from the well with heavy canisters of water perfectly balanced on their heads.

Last but certainly not least, Adolph served as my local guide, providing very friendly guidance, knowledge and accompaniment. His love of nature is apparent (I caught him reading up on birds in his spare time), and I enjoyed having someone to share the experiences with and bounce questions off of.

Also worth mentioning is that it’s clear that Nkuringo Walking Safaris is about much more than just providing incredible activities for tourists; the business is modeled so that it directly benefits the entire Kisoro community by supporting/creating local employment, and very importantly, makes the conservation of the natural resources in the area, including the golden monkey and mountain gorillas, a profitable and sustainable effort. There’s even a library in Nkuringo that the camp maintains.

I highly recommend staying a couple nights at Nkuringo Gorrila Camp, and would even say adjust your trip if necessary to make sure you fit it in! When you go, don’t miss catching a pick-up game of football (soccer) on the pitch they call the “top of the world.” Your perspective will truly be broadened after visiting this place!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank ugaclint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 9, 2013

i stayed here for two nights for a walking safari and gorilla tracking. it was the experience of a lifetime. You need to do this. the facilities are great, meticulously clean, and very comfortable and staff very helpful. they have accommodation to suit all budgets from lazy camping to ultra luxury. they even will do your laundry and wash your shoes for you. on some nights they will have a local group of children sing and dance which was great fun. my only complaint is the food. the packed lunches leave much to be desired, only a half cheese sandwich, a boiled egg sandwich, pineapple, biscuits, and a juice box! and i am trekking and expending thousands of calories on this? for dinner one night, we had a half portion of beef fry and potatoes. as i had just trekked for eight hours that day, i was understandably hungry. i asked if they had any more beef fry, the server just laughed and said "NO"! the next day i saw a staff member in the kitchen with a huge heaping plate of beef fry! its a great stay, just pack a few extra calories if you are trekking. you may need them!

Room Tip: lazy camping is fine for the price. dont really see the need to go for a cottage much less an ensui...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank JasonSLTX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

Before heading out there earlier this year, I'd spent several months planning the intricacies of an independent trip traveling through Uganda. One of the items on the itinerary was a Nkuringo Walking Safari from Kisoro through to Nkuringo - this was a slight variation from the longer itinerary outlined on the website but the NWS team was ever so helpful in providing advice and information to mould a trek itinerary which worked for our schedule. I have to say that the staff went above and beyond the call of duty in providing such guidance - not only did they communicate readily and informatively about the trek we were taking with them, they were also very helpful in giving us pointers regarding other aspects of our itinerary, totally outside the scope of our trek with them. I can't thank them enough for their professional yet friendly help with making the trip run as smooth and hassle-free as it did.

The trek itself is long but rewarding - we started off walking out of Kisoro town, passing children on the way to school, then passed through lakeside villages en route to Lake Mutanda. From there we took a serenely relaxing dugout canoe trip which afforded us astonishing views of the full range of volcanoes in the background. From the other side of the lake it was a long trek in the heat up to the lovely Nkuringo Camp; we took the lazy camping option here and were very impressed with the comfy tent, stunning location and attentive friendly staff (they even had hot water bottles waiting for us in our beds at night!).

Our main reason for going to Nkuringo was to track the gorillas. Walking in and spending the night in nkuringo is very atmospheric and provides much better context than just being carted in in darkness in the back of a 4x4 ... not to mention the fact that you don't have to wake up so early on tracking-day, which means you can enjoy the gorilla experience whilst being much more "with it"!

The trek lived up to expectations (we had been spoilt a little on that front because we had completed an 8-day trek in the spectacular Rwenzori mountains the week before so the scenery here was never going to quite live up to that!) whilst the company (Nkuringo Walking Safaris) and the camp definitely surpassed expectations. Highly recommended.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
3  Thank Jason C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

As you drive through Bwindi and climb the almost interminable road to Nkuringo, you will find yourself asking, Is this worth it?? The simple truth is, it is more than worth the journey. Nkiringo is about as close to perfect as a place can be, and when you consider where it is located, it is a miracle. Dora welcomed us after our very long drive, and we immediately felt at home. We stayed in one of their cabins with an ensuite bath and absolutely loved it. The feel of the cabin is almost tent-like but much more luxurious. They deliver hot water within ten minutes of asking, and plenty of it. The staff could not have been kinder and more attentive. Sitting outside at night around the eucalyptus fire added to the experience, and the views of the surrounding mountains was perfect. The hot water bags are truly a lovely touch, especially after a day of exhausting gorilla trekking. We highly recommend!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Meg P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2013

The camp itself is lovely, the staff is very friendly - that's been described amply and all I can say is that I agree with the positive comments... but what sets the Gorilla Camp apart is the phenomenal amount of information and assistance provided by Robert. We had a last-minute trip, but he organized our gorilla permits, gave us better travel options than the one we were considering, helped us with onwards planning, etc. etc. I've stayed in places costing 5 times more per night and not had as good service or received as much personalized attention. Cannot recommend Robert & Gorilla Camp highly enough!

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank vkalia00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Based on the lack of Uganda tourism ads in the US, I thought I had to fly to Rwanda track gorillas there and then go to Uganda to track chimps. But was I SO wrong. Not only are permits cheaper in Uganda by $250USD, but the people alone could be the selling point of this country. And the gorilla camp at Nkuringo may just be one of the highlights. It all started with Robert's thorough emails, quick response and coordination efforts to make the planning swift and easy. Had I understood all that they offer (transport beginning with airport pickup, lodging assistance throughout the country, walking safaris, and permit assistance) I would have opted in from the get go, as Robert will literally layout the itinerary with the associated costs so that you can compare apples to apples - which is key to knowing where you're spending your money, i.e. on the experience. I should get to the camp - the team here touched my heart strings. From the moment I was greeted by Dora after 15 hours of road travel and offered a hot shower and fabulous meal to Herbert showing me to my room, washing my clothes and shoes on his own accord after I got drenched in the tracking, to meeting Agatha each day before meals (she's one of the guides too!) and then being surprised with a birthday cake, singing and the best birthday I've had in 15+ years, these people felt like family in just 2 days. Had I known I could get a massage there as well, I would have no doubt done that too or even climbed to see the point where you can stand at the intersection of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo on a mountain top (Herbert told me about this and it would be a GREAT Amazing Race point.). And then there is Lydia back in Entebbe and she was like my soul sister, as she has her !@#$ together, excuse my language. The accommodations here are top notch. Practically had my own apt with a living room (TV), full kitchen, bathroom, etc. Don't do yourself wrong - utilize every ounce of assistance you can from this group - just give them an idea of your daily spending, i.e. how much you're willing to spend on lodging, etc and let them make this a once in a lifetime experience you'll want to do twice.

Room Tip: Don't get caught up in the semantics of the names of the various companies they utilize - simply...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Saavysnowbird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 19, 2013

The setting is of course beautiful, and the staff was excellent. Robert gave us lots of advice before arriving and was very helpful with some problems we had with securing out gorilla permits.

The food was very good, some of the better food I have had in the region.

The rooms and all of the facilities were in great condition, and very clean and neat. The only drawback was the lack of a double bed - I think they only have one room with one. They pushed two single beds together, I think with some padding to cover the crack, and it was fine.

Of the lodging options in Bwindi, I think this is the best option at the price and I would come back. That said, I think it was a bit expensive compared to some of the other places we stayed in Uganda, considering the shared bathrooms and lack of double bed.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SoreA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Address: Plot 2 Uringi Crescent Road - Entebbe | Nteko Ridge, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 000256, Uganda
Phone Number:
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 32 Specialty Lodging in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Price Range: $198 - $947 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge is situated on the South of Bwindi National Park with stunning views over Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the magnificent Virunga Volcanoes and the Great Albertine Rift Valley. There are 12 individually hand-crafted cottages, each offering the tranquillity of the rainforest, the atmosphere of a mountain chalet and the warm hospitality Ugandans are known for. Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge prides itself on its green credentials and through its various initiatives including solar energy and rainwater harvesting proudly operates as a carbon neutral lodge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Nkuringo Gorilla Camp Hotel Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge Uganda/Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

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