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“Birds. birds, birds”

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Broadbill Forest Camp
Ranked #3 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Kabale
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 19, 2014

To walk out in the morning and look over the panorama of surrounding valleys is a sight that you won't soon forget. Then it's a short walk up the path to enter Bwindi Impenetrable NP. For a birder, this path is paradise. Albertine Rift endemics just keep coming. There was seldom a break in the action. Regal sunbird, red-faced woodland warbler, chestnut-throated apalis, collared (rwenzori) apalis, mountain masked apalis, Grauer's warbler, dwarf honeyguide, blue-headed sunbird, African hill-babbler, handsome francolin, many greenbuls, barred long-tailed cuckoo and many more. The owner, Emmy Gongo, is actually a bird guide who does tours throughout the country. And, if you're lucky enough to have him guide you, you'll find he has an expertise that goes beyond knowledge. As well, he is from Buhoma on the other side of Bwindi so he has lots of insights on the area that only a local would have.

After all the action, walk back for breakfast. Eggs, cereal, toast, jam and such will fill you up. All the meals we had were excellent.

Emmy is an ardent conservationist and he says he bought this land to preserve a bit of Uganda. What he's built up isn't a fancy place. But it's comfortable. And the dining area is attractive, looking out on a garden filled with flowers. Not far beyond is the forest from which chimps could appear.

It can be cold up in the mountains, but there's a nice fireplace. If you need one, a hot-water bottle is supplied for the night. Showers are hot and beds are comfortable. The staff were so knowledgeable, friendly and attentive.

If you're coming to Uganda to see birds or gorillas and you like a bit of remoteness, Broadbill Forest Camp is an experience you'll remember. My wife loved it for all the photo opportunities.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Doug D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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48 - 54 of 57 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2014

First of all I must declare an interest having been a friend of Emmy, the owner, for many years and having used his services as guide and driver on several visits to Uganda. That said, I have no financial interest in his operation and I hope my report is received as unbiased and factual.
I had seen the site on a previous visit and was very keen to see progress when open. I booked as a normal guest and paid through my agent and arrived there in the agents car like any other guest. I was made welcome of course but have no doubt it was little different from the usual warm Ugandan welcome that other guests would receive.
The site is on the border of the NP and surrounding cultivation. It is high up in the mountains and the views on a clear day were fabulous. We could see Lake Edward and the Congo Blue Mountains in the far distance. A keen eye could make out the Ruwenzoris too.
I was shown to my tent, a large structure on a raised platform that looked straight into the Bwindi Forest. The tent contains a pair of beds and the bathroom etc., was out the back in a brick structure accessed through a flap but soon to be replaced by a door. The Bathroom contained a WC, Washbasin, shower area and a real proper bath. Hot water was on tap via a boiler to the rear. Electricity is on site and operates at certain times only although it will be switched on at other times on request. At the front of the tent is a balcony with two comfortable chairs from which one can watch the comings and goings of the Forest Wildlife such as monkeys and squirrels, many birds and butterflies. And if that pales you could try and read a book. (Very hard to do believe me with everything else there was to see. I think I finished one chapter in a four day visit.)
The grounds are natural plants and Emmy has adopted a plan of removing non native species.
I lost count of the species of birds and butterflies that visited my little plot of Heaven but the air was full of calls of bushshrikes and other species. Various sunbirds visit the Giant Lobellias for the nectar.
There are currently three or four tents in use and the owner will take care not to overdevelop the site. The tents are well spaced apart and completely private.
Meals and socialising (when not glued to the balcony) take place in a dedicated Restaurant Lounge area up a well laid pathway. This is lit at night. Food was to a set menu and excellently prepared by the resident Chef(s). Soups were accompanied by home made fresh bread rolls.
Breakfasts were to order and anything from Eggs etc., to Cereals and fruit were available.
The bar area had a natural log fire for warmth in the evenings and there was a range of both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages available. I only had time to sample the Nile Special Beer, the red Wine and the Waragi (gin) and tonic.
Local activities include Gorilla tracking of course, Village/farm/school visits to the community or of course Bwindi's famous birdlife guided by either Emmy himself or one of his assistants. The trail back to the 'main' road is a useful place to bird and I have never seen so many species in a walk of just over 1 mile. It kept me very busy indeed. So much so that I walked it twice, once guided and once on my own.
This really is a gem of a place in which to spend a few days surrounded by the Forest. Do try to linger after or before your visit to the Gorillas. Who knows? They may in fact decide to visit you in return.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled solo
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4  Thank mfuwe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 15, 2013

A peaceful place to stay with open fire, delicious food, friendly staff and hot shower. We were very impressed with Broadbill. Bwindi Impenetrable N.P is just next to the camp, perfect for gorilla trackers.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Travel8687
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

We stayed at Broadbill for a few nights when we went on a gorilla trek and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The tents were better than we expected, the shower was the best we'd had since arriving in Uganda and the views amazing. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. The food portions were huge and the only downside seemed to be the lack of drinks for sale (Nile beer, water but no sodas).

The camp was excellent value for money. It had a rustic charm, a lovely fire to warm up in and hot water bottles to warm up our beds. Had we wanted 5 star quality accommodation, then we would have got it, but we wanted something more in keeping with the gorilla experience and were very happy with our choice.

The camp is just inside the boundary of the national park, so it was a perfect location for the gorilla trek. Due to the weather and lack of time available, we didn't get to explore outside the camp, but there are some other activities you can do if staying for longer.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Poundhappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2013

I stayed at Broadbill with my wife for two nights, and had the owner Emmy Gongo guide us around Queen Elizabeth National Park for three days. He is an excellent guide, with a great sense of humor, a keen understanding of the animal and bird life (always scanning), and a clear love of the forest.

The camp he has built at Broadbill is right on the edge of the forest; you will hear the sounds of the wild as you sleep. The tents are comfortable, with real plumbing and a wood-fire heated outdoor shower (warmer than you'd think, and with a nice smoky smell). The food was quite good, and prepared with vegetables from the garden on site. The other staff was uniformly courteous, and Lucas spent hours with us walking through the forest looking for the Rwenzori three-horned chameleon.

Can't recommend Emmy and Broadbill any more highly. If you're coming to Biwindi, spend a night in the forest.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank jlevinger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

There are several lodges and camps in Ruhija but Broadbill is the only one located away from the village and beside the forest so we felt completely with nature. We were visited by baboons and heard chimps, gorillas and elephants (all of which sometimes come into the camp). Of course it is great for bird watching and the gorilla tracking starts only a few minutes away.
The camp is beautiful and we loved our tent.
Good food and a great welcome! We even got hot water bottles on the chilly evenings.

Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
4  Thank ElizabethC8888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: June 2017, traveled with family
1  Thank Lars B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bwanaranger, General Manager at Broadbill Forest Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 19, 2017

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Additional Information about Broadbill Forest Camp

Address: Ruhija | Ruhija, Eastern Edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kabale, Uganda
Location: Uganda > Western Region > Kabale
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Kabale
Price Range: $74 - $110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Locally Run Eco-lodge aiming at bridging the Gap between the Rare species of Wildlife and the Native people of the area by Involving both Parties in Resourece management and Conservation. Meeting the international Standards towards Service provision and Nature conservation by Using the local means and utilising and sharing the available resources is our pride. ... more   less 

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