Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a popular destination because of the giant gorillas that are in Bwindi Forest National Park. In year, thousands of traveler’s flock Bwindi for gorilla trekking safaris and for this reason, this tour destination has grown not like before when gorilla tourism had not started. Since 1993 when the first habituated gorilla family was open to the public, gorilla tourism started booming and accommodation facilities have been set up to carter for all classes of travelers. These accommodation facilities range from high end, luxury, mid-range and budget.
Bwindi is a large protected area, it is thus divided in four sectors, each sector has its own developed accommodation facilities, so there is no need to worry where to spend an overnight stay, which ever sector you choose to track the gorillas, there is an accommodation facility to suit your needs. Some of these accommodation facilities among them include Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla forest camp, Silver back lodge, volcanoes lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Ichumbi Lodge, Agandi Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge and so many others.
Here is what you should consider when reserving accommodation in Bwindi Forest;
Reviews don’t lie at least you are reading from the previous experiences. However high rating reviews or not doesn’t necessarily mean the facility is good but it helps to create room of expectation. If you are booking accommodation look out for reviews and experiences from previous occupants. Don’t just book a facility because it looks nice on the outside. In case you fail to decide, your travel agent should be help ful in choosing the suitable facility.
Gorilla tracking location
As earlier said, Bwindi is divided into four tracking sectors, Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo therefore the location you choose to track gorillas should be the same you book your accommodation. Your travel consultant should be able to help guide you on a suitable choice of accommodation to book. Staying within same location of gorilla tracking helps avoiding early morning inconveniences of waking up early driving to the park quarters for Briefing at 7 am. Location should be practical, you cannot book accommodation in Rushaga and track gorillas in Buhoma, the two locations are totally different and this will definitely ruin your whole experience in Bwindi.
Budget and season
Your ability to spend should be considered while reserving accommodation in Bwindi. The accommodation facilities range from budget, mid-range, luxury. The prices and arrangement differ but comfortable depending on one’s budgeted expense. How much of your money willing to spend determines how safe you feel, comfortable, and contented. If you have a lower budget opt for shared rooms. At whatever cost, the facility should have value for money despite being budget, luxury or mid-range. In addition, seasons may change prices, during high season during January, February, June, July, august and September it is believed a peak season with a good weather and prices tend to rise due to high demand which is not the case during the wet season. During the wet season you have chances of booking a luxury facility at a reduced budget rate because the demand is low and there are lots of promotional offers. The wet season covers March, April, May, October and November.
The sole purpose for reserving accommodation in Bwindi is gorilla trekking experience but other than that you may have other plans for the rest of the stay such as sightseeing, honey moon vacation, swimming at the pool, nature walks and good views. How you plan to spend your day and stay actually determines the kind of accommodation to book. The lodges in Bwindi are strategically set up with views overlooking the misty Bwindi forest. some lodges are too close that sometimes the gorillas fore rage around the facility where as some lodges arrange guided tour to the visitors for nature walk and community visits.
Travel companion ship
Are you a solo traveler, couple or a group, this helps to determine which kind of accommodation facility to reserve. If you are a solo traveler and you don’t mind privacy you could reserve a shared room or else a private room. And for group travelers, triple rooms are ideal. All in all, before you reserve accommodation in Bwindi, you need to know how many people it can accommodate in case you have other travel companions. If you are travelling in a group its very important to book accommodation in the interest and budget of every on else with enough rooms to accommodate all.
When reserving accommodation convenience is an aspect that should not be ignored, accommodations have different social amenities they render to their clients such as laundry, internet, room service, open dinning. Some accommodation may not provide basics such as soap, towels and linen. Therefore, while reserving accommodation in Bwindi, consider your self-convenience first, book a facility that is convenient and flexible to your needs and suitable to your preference for example you should consider if the facility has Private or shared rooms and bathrooms.
All the above mentioned the lodge should be eco- friendly, observing nature and community based benefiting the surrounding communities. Most of the lodges in Bwindi are community based, since the big percentage of the local community were once occupants of the forest who were evicted when gorilla tourism begun, therefore most times a percentage of the profits collected goes back to community projects. Be vigilant and research about the lodge before you make a choice to reserve your stay.