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Looking for the best budget accommodation in Bwindi? Look no further than Gorilla Conservation Camp! The camp is located in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – a World Heritage Site and home to nearly half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas. Run by Conservation Through Public Health, the accommodation here is part of the NGO research base. 

The NGO was founded by award-winning conservationist and vet Dr Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, to safeguard the future of mountain gorillas by improving living conditions and livelihoods for local communities. Guests at Gorilla Conservation Camp can tour the camp’s laboratory, where samples often collected from gorillas are scrutinized for microbes or stay the night in comfortable and affordable en suite guest rooms. 

Costing a fraction of the price charged by most of the luxury Bwindi National Park lodges, it is another way to keep down the cost of a Uganda gorilla trekking safari while learning about world’s rarest primates and community conservation at the same time.

where to stay in Buhoma

Access and Location of Gorilla Conservation Camp

Gorilla Conservation Camp is accessed by road from Kampala and Kigali (approximate 9 and 6 hours respectively), and the closest airstrip is Kihihi, about one-and-a-half hours away.

There are has daily domestic flights by domestic Uganda Airline companies with morning and afternoon schedules. Located in Buhoma sector of Bwindi National Park, Gorilla Conservation Camp is situated approximately 20 minutes’ walk to the mountain gorilla trekking briefing point.

Accommodation and facilities at Gorilla Conservation Camp

Gorilla Conservation Camp (2)

Gorilla Conservation Camp is one of the best budget options offering accommodation on the edge of the beautiful Bwindi Forest with a stunning panoramic view of the top of the forest.

The camp has rustic, but comfortable accommodation for tourists, students and researchers. Profits go towards supporting the gorilla conservation efforts on the ground.

Gorilla Conservation Camp has a Guest House with 5 self-contained rooms together with 2 tents based around a shaded dining area set amongst the trees.

  • Single or double rooms in rustic, clean, spacious furnished tents and a guest house
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner service
  • Spacious thatched dining room and social Area
  • Solar-powered electricity
  • Camp toilets, sink and hot showers
  • Linen and towel service
  • Friendly knowledgeable staff
  • 24/7 Wi-Fi and International Airtime top up

Activities You Can Do While Staying at Gorilla Conservation Camp

A great range of activities can be enjoyed during your stay at Gorilla Conservation Camp in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These include:

Gorilla Conservation Camp 1

1. Mountain Gorilla trekking.

Gorilla conservation Camp is situated just 2 kilometers away from the starting point of gorilla trekking adventure in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Gorilla trekking can be undertaken throughout the year and starts out at 08:00 after a briefing. Accompanied by experienced ranger guides, guests track one of Buhoma Bwindi’s habituated families through the impenetrable forest.

Sometimes the trek is quite hard work, but guides are able to assist if necessary – and if you have mobility problems a sedan chair can be offered to you and you will be carried by reliable porters.

The time it takes to locate the gorillas varies from 1 to 7 hours, but guests always enjoy a full hour for observing the mountain gorilla family. The experience of seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is truly magical!

2. Visit the Gorilla Research Clinic

Conservation Through Public Health also built a Gorilla Research Clinic in Buhoma, which has now expanded to a larger Gorilla Health and Community Conservation Center with a panoramic view of Bwindi Impenetrable forest.

Here, tourists are given a behind the scenes tour of gorilla conservation through explaining the programs including gorilla health monitoring, community health and livelihoods. At the Gorilla Health and Community Conservation Center, visitors can:

  • Tour CTPH facilities and get an inside look at the conservation efforts
  • Gain a better understanding of how samples from mountain gorillas are analyzed
  • Attend seminars and Q&A sessions
  • Book an intimate mountain gorilla experience to track wild Gorillas with Dr. Gladys
  • Visit the village health and conservation teams to learn about their important public health work

3. Volunteer, Research, & Internship

You can join Conservation Through Public Health at Bwindi as an intern, volunteer, or researcher to gain insight into Uganda’s gorillas and the conservation efforts that keep their population thriving – from $500/person per week. Past volunteers, interns, and researchers have participated in the following CTPH programs:

  • Gorilla Health Monitoring: CTPH work with the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) wardens and rangers to collect fecal samples from gorilla night nests and train them to look out for clinical signs in the gorillas.
  • Livestock Health: CTPH train Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWS) who provide basic veterinary services to the community’s livestock around Bwindi. They also support the community with rabies vaccinations, spays and neuters of their pet dogs and cats.
  • Community Health: Here CTPH work with Village Health and Conservation Teams (VHCTs) community volunteers who visit homes in the villages around Bwindi and promote hygiene and sanitation, family planning, infectious disease prevention and control including referring suspect TB, HIV, Scabies and diarrhea patients, nutrition and sustainable agriculture, as well as, conservation of the gorillas and their habitat. This includes reporting homes that are regularly visited by gorillas to help reduce human and wildlife conflict.
  • Conservation Education in Schools: CTPH have a youth program – the Impenetrable Kids League, a partnership with The Kids League where they currently work with eight schools in two sub counties around Bwindi; the winning team has to win the game and score highest on the quiz about conservation and public health.

4. Forest Walks

The forest walks in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park on offer are pretty special too; using trails that lead from the park office as far as the spectacular Munyaga waterfall.

5. Birding walks

Birding walks are also available in Buhoma sector, in which an expert guides you through the forest and helps you to recognize the local species. Bwindi is home to over 350 bird species including 23 of the 24 Albertine Rift Endemics.

6. Batwa Tribe experience

The Batwa tribe experience is another opportunity to take a hike – this time, to the home of the Batwa people, where guests can watch a musical performance, see a visitation by the goddess, and check out a hunting-and-gathering demonstration.