Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda. This eight-tent camp is one of the most remote and atmospheric in Africa.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest impresses with a truly theatrical landscape – this is a region of volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, lakes, and dramatic mountain ranges. And it is here, on a flat ridge high in the forest, that Sanctuary’s Gorilla Forest Camp is tucked away.
It’s hard to fathom that such luxury and sophistication could be available in an area as remote as this. Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is the ideal base for tracking and meeting the gorillas that live in Bwindi. Once in a while, the gorillas even wander into the camp itself. Guests can dine under the stars and relax by the roaring campfire. On cooler evenings, the central cottage provides a warm shelter.
Why Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Frequently visited by gorilla families due to its unique location
Exclusive camp with only ten tents, the perfect base for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to track mountain gorillas
Opportunity for community interaction, including the local Batwa Pygmies
Specially customized sedan chairs with support and harness allow less able guests to be carried into the rain forest to track the gorillas in their natural habitat
An established philanthropy project at Bwindi Community Hospital which guests can visit
Complimentary WiFi is available in the tents and main areas
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp Accommodation
The stylish comfortable canvas spaces are dressed with indigenous prints and furniture made from natural materials. Beds are draped in neutral-toned linens. And local artifacts set a scene that ensures memorable moments both inside and outside of the accommodation.
Each tent has a spacious, stone-walled en-suite bathroom with private sections and a large free-standing bath. Perfect for a relaxing soak after a day’s gorilla trekking while looking straight into the jungle canopy.
The trees around the camp light up in the morning when the sun starts shining. And thanks to there being so few tents, the camp retains an intimate, exclusive feel. Enabling you to experience Africa’s magic with the lightest of footprints. Yet with practically every mod con including hairdryer and a personal attendant to attend to guests’ every need.
Children of all ages are welcome at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and under 2 years stay free of charge. From 3 – 15 pay a child reduction rate applies (as below). This is when sharing with 2 full-paying adults as children under 15 may not stay in their own rooms. Eight of the rooms in camp can convert to triples.
In all other circumstances, children pay the applicable adult fare.
The minimum age for gorilla trekking is 15 years.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp Activities
Bwindi National Park is an area of awe-inspiring biodiversity with over 200 species of birds, butterflies, and trees. But it is the elusive Mountain Gorilla that is the park’s main star. And with half of the world’s population living here, Bwindi offers adventurous travelers the chance of once-in-a-lifetime encounters with these elusive and endangered primates.
This is the ideal base for encounters with the mountain gorillas that live in Bwindi. The altitude at Bwindi is just over a mile high. Evenings can get chilly, so it is advisable to carry a sweater. A complimentary overnight laundry service is offered in the camp.
Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a spectacular place to visit. Birders come thousands of miles to see the more than 350 species that live within the area. There are also rare forest elephants, giant forest hogs, and about 11 kinds of primates. Such as red-tailed and blue monkeys, black and white Colobus, baboons, and chimpanzees. Forest Duiker antelopes and bush buck antelopes and over 200 species of butterflies are also found in the park.
Enjoy a guided forest walk on the Munyaga waterfall trail. This trail starts from the Park office and ends at the magnificent Munyaga waterfall. The walk to and from the waterfall takes about 3 hours. It is a good way to practice or warm down before, or after the Gorilla tracking.
After a short 10-minute drive from camp, your guide will brief you on the communities that live in the area. Bwindi is surrounded on the Buhoma side by the Bakiga community and the Batwa pygmy community. The walk takes about two hours and begins with a stroll through a small tea farming project. Here you can stop to meet the tea pickers. Perhaps even learn how to pluck tea leaves along the way.
Then learn about the camp’s philanthropy initiatives and visit the Bwindi Women’s Bicycle Enterprise and the Bead Making Project. Continue your walk to meet the Batwa People. Witness their musical goddess-visitation-inspired performances, learning about their rich culture and listen to their animated stories. Complete your tour with a visit to the Ebeneezer Nursery and Primary School.
Then its off to the Bwindi Community Hospital and Nursing School. Learn about how the hospital was started and the work they and the lodge do for the community.
Other tours can be investigated for you depending on your interests so please feel free to ask. Else, these are the normal additional activities offered.
The gorillas are completely wild but have become used to seeing a few humans after years of habituation. Many of the expert guides have been involved in this process since the beginning. Therefore, they are able to explain the complicated etiquette involved in meeting a giant Silver back. This is an opportunity afforded only to a select few, as just eight visitors are allowed to view each group every day. Tracking through dense forests with steep slopes means that participants do need to be physically fit to enjoy the track. Once the gorillas are located, spend a maximum of one hour with them before returning back to camp.
Please note only children aged 15 and above can track gorillas.
Bwindi boasts over 350 bird species, including 24 “Albertine Rift Endemics”. The Albertine Rift highlands straddle Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo. For keen birders, a local expert can guide you on a fascinating 2-3 hour walk through the park.
Queen Elizabeth National Park drives
While staying at Gorilla Forest Camp guests are able to venture out on game drives too. At Ishasha, in the south of the well known Queen Elizabeth National Park. The Ishasha Sector is most popular for its tree climbing lions. The Lions are normally seen lazily lying within the branches of the huge fig trees. Staring down at the numerous Uganda Kobs grazing in the open Ishasha plains. In addition, keep a look out for savanna elephants, buffaloes, topi, hippos, various bird species, warthogs and the occasional leopard.
This is usually a full day outing where guests are able to stop for lunch at the hippo pool. Departure is 6:30 in the morning.
Fine dining at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp’s communal area stars a comfortable lounge with a well-stocked bar and elegant dining area. Bestowing great views over the verdant rain forest. A full English and continental breakfast is served before your morning activity. Trekking gorilla’s today? The camp will pack you a scrumptious lunch including fresh fruit, sweet and savory delights to take with you.
Once back at the camp, enjoy drinks under the stars by the roaring campfire. Swap stories of that day’s adventures accompanied by the night-chorus of the forest.
The chef serves a silver service dinner with three courses each evening. Expertly prepared and promising simple flavors that showcase fresh local ingredients. You should try the traditional smoked beef in peanut sauce served with Kalo (millet bread).
Celebrating a special occasion? Romantic candlelit private dinners on your tent’s private deck can be arranged for you.
With prior notice, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp are able to arrange halal meals. However, please note the kitchens aren’t strictly halal and chefs are not trained in halal food preparation. Unfortunately, kosher meals are not available.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp Spa
The mini spa at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp offers the perfect way to end a day of gorilla trekking. A chance for your mind to fully absorb the magnitude of your wonderful spiritual encounter. Allow your body and mind to blend with the natural surroundings. While recalling those magical moments in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
Quiet and peaceful, even the small spa breaths the spirit of the forest. Treatments by the specialist therapist, include herbal massages, hydrating facials, foot massages and manicures. They use luxury, Eco-friendly products created with pure natural ingredients. There are also yoga kits in all the tents.
How to get to Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Kihihi airstrip is the closest airstrip which is 1 hour and 15 minutes from the camp. The flying time from Entebbe to Kihihi airstrip is approximately 1hr 45mins. This depends on the number of stops en route. A maximum of 15 kg / 33lbs of luggage per person in soft-sided bags is allowed.
A road transfer from Kampala to Bwindi will take approximately 10 – 11 hours! While a scenic transfer from Kigali (Rwanda) to Bwindi is about 8 hours (weather dependent).
The longer you stay, the less you pay
Stay 4-6 nights & save up to 30%
Stay 7+ nights & save up to 40%
Luxury Tent costs in High Season:
|Length of stay||High Season:|
3rd January to 31st March 2023,
1st to 30th June 2023,
1st – 31st October 2023 and
16th December 2023 – 2nd January 2024
|1-3 Nights||Per adult sharing||$880|
|3rd Adult sharing||$748|
|4-6 Nights||Per adult sharing||$748|
|3rd Adult sharing||$636|
|7+ Nights||Per adult sharing||$704|
|3rd Adult sharing||$598|
Luxury Tent costs in Low Season:
|Length of stay||Low Season:|
1st April until 31st May 2023, and
1st November until 15th December 2023
|1-3 Nights||Per adult sharing or single||$540|
|3rd Adult sharing||$405|
|4-6 Nights||Per adult sharing or single||$405|
|3rd Adult sharing||$304|
|7+ Nights||Per adult sharing or single||$351|
|3rd Adult sharing||$263|
Luxury Tent costs in Peak Season:
|Length of stay||Peak Season:|
1st July until 30th September 2023
|1-3 Nights||Per adult sharing||$930|
|3rd Adult sharing||$791|
|4-6 Nights||Per adult sharing||$837|
|3rd Adult sharing||$711|
|7+ Nights||Per adult sharing||$791|
|3rd Adult sharing||$672|
Offer can be applied to single and multi-camp stays at any of Sanctuary Retreats’ camps and lodges.
Baines’ Camp, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp*, Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp.
Sanctuary Olonana, Sanctuary Tambarare
Kichakani Serengeti Camp, Kusini Camp, Ngorongoro Crater Camp, Swala Camp
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Okahirongo River Camp
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma.
All drinks (excluding premium brands)
Transfers to/from airstrips.
Scheduled or charter flights to/from camp.
Items of a personal nature.
Premium alcoholic drinks
Gratuities to driver / guides and staff
All items of a personal nature, telephone calls, and curio shop purchases.
Book at least 2 nights and one partner gets 50% discount on accommodation. For a honeymoon safari like no other!
This special offer can be combined with our existing long stay discount for even greater savings.
Valid for travel within 6 months of marriage certificate
Offer does not apply to GK Suite at Sanctuary Chief’s Camp, GK Suite at Sanctuary Olonana or Private Villa at Sanctuary Tambarare
Guests celebrating their honeymoon will also receive special surprises during their stay. All attempts are made to keep honeymooners separate from other guests.
Single Supplement Offer
We will be waiving the single supplement for all Sanctuary camps and lodges across East and Southern Africa in April 2024 and October 2024, as well as in all low season months. This is in addition to waiving of single supplements in low season.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Bwindi Uganda