Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge was founded in 2008 by Robert Brierley, a passionate photographer, who has traversed Africa and fell in love with Uganda’s rich culture during a visit in 1996.
After this visit he began an online travel guide to the country entitled The Uganda Travel Planner and this website played an important role in developing Uganda’s online business. In 2007 he linked up with Lydia Nandudu, a researcher for the travel guide and on one of their Ugandan visits they happened upon Nkuringo, a remote community on the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This location supported a small campsite that was destined to become Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge which has won a World Travel Award as Uganda’s leading safari Lodge every year since 2016.
TAKE A WALK AROUND
The lodge and the accompanying Nkuringo Walking Safari owe much of their creation to the stunning views over the Albertine Rift Valley, the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Virunga Volcano chain. The walking safari was created as a community initiative, allowing clients to visit Nkuringo on foot and enjoy the rural fabric of life while also creating job opportunities for the youth in the village.
“Since there was no accommodation in the area, we took the Nkuringo Campsite and this has grown into the lodge as it currently stands today,” Lydia explains.
IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
The rooms come in two categories. Eight garden cottages and four two-bedroom villas for a total of sixteen rooms accommodation a capacity of forty people.
“Our slogan is In harmony with Nature, and all of our cottages are handcrafted using locally sourced raw materials,” Lydia reveals, “Things like papyrus mat ceilings, volcanic rock walls, local baskets, sisal ropes. African materials and arts decorate the rooms and each one comes with a fireplace to give that mountain chalet cosiness.”
With thirty locally employed staff, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge prides itself on its green endeavours, and is one of the first two Lodges in Uganda to become Carbon Neutral. A feat that was achieved by offsetting their carbon footprint and investing in re-planting of trees. Added to this they have stopped the use of plastic, embraced recycling and even have their own vegetable garden.
Very community focused, the Lodge only employs locals and through their NGO – The Bucketlist Outreach it supports the training of community guides, housing projects with the Batwa people, and the education of young women.
Even with the precautions in place, guests will feel very welcome and as if they are one of the family at Nkuringo Lodges. All of the staff have received the latest Covid 19 training and this is regularly being refreshed and updated.
“It is our number one priority to ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of all of our guests and staff,” Lydia says, “And this includes temperature checks and a medical questionnaire for all guests on arrival.”
This is what they expect for their staff who undergo daily temperature checks before they start work every day and this also includes residential staff on site. Additionally, if any guests have any health concerns, they do have medically trained staff and qualified nurses at each property who are ready and available 24/7.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
The main attraction for guests is of course the Mountain Gorilla tracking, gorilla permits are limited to 8 permits per family of gorillas and these must be booked in advance. Permits can be arranged inhouse for guests as well as arranging of safaris to other parts of the country.
PRICE: USD 300 per person