Firstly, thank you to all the previous reviewers of the Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite! If it hadn't been for your reviews or those on Lonely Planet Thorntree I would have missed out on what was by far the most rewarding part of my trip to Uganda.
I have travelled in over 50 countries of the world, mainly independent budget travel but also in some 5 star luxury, but I have never experienced such outstanding hospitality and customer service as I did with Robert, Lydia, Asgario, Benson, Cornelius and all the staff at Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite
I stayed at the campsite for 2 nights of my 4 day walking safari from Buhoma to Kisoro. The setting was stunning and so peaceful - one side overlooked the community of Nkuringo; and the other the Virunga volcanoes on the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic Congo. There was a variety of accommodation - I had chosen one of the simple but clean twin rooms of the Hammerkop bunkhouse but was quite tempted by the permanent tent with views over the volcanoes. The composting toilets were clean and there's a great outdoor shower. No electricity but that added to the charm and I took a lantern to my room each night.
Two bandas with ensuite bathrooms are currently being built which will provide a more luxurious option, but at a fraction of the price of the rooms in Cloud Lodge down the road.
As soon as I arrived the staff introduced themselves and were extremely helpful, polite and friendly throughout my stay. Benson, the main chef, cooked some amazing meals for me and the other guests (most of whom were staying there to visit the Nkuringo group of gorillas) and we sat around the stoves at night to keep ourselves warm and dry our boots. Staying for 2 days enabled me to chat to all the staff and exchange stories about our lives, though I could have stayed for much longer if I’d had the time!
The proceeds from the guests at the campsite and the walking safaris are ploughed back into the Nkuringo Youth Initiative Group (NYIG) which is providing the youth of Nkuringo opportunities to learn new skills such as crafts, music and farming as well as education and awareness about healthcare, environmental conservation and the importance of earning a living. The NYIG also puts on traditional dances for the tourists to enjoy.
The porters for the walking safaris work on a rotational basis so that the income is spread amongst the community. Local guides from the community also run community walks to enable guests to gain a deeper insight into the villagers' lives.
Knowing that my visit was benefiting the local community was really important to me. The majority of people who visit this part of South Western Uganda track the gorillas as their main activity ( I visited the Nshongi group which was an incredible experience) but if you can also combine a stay at the Gorilla Campsite with some trekking through the local areas with Nkuringo Walking Safaris then you won’t be disappointed. For me the interaction I had with the local people and the stunning scenery I encountered over the 4 days from Buhoma to Kisoro via Nkuringo was the highlight of my 3-week trip to Uganda.
- 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