To say Bwindi Jungle Lodge is just an astonishing safari lodge is quite an understatement. It is a destination of diversity, energy, and culture. From the fancy colors that burst open in its blue skies, to its charming sunset that leaves many of its visitors at a loss of words, it is a tourist facility where you can explore the wilderness and be pampered in splendor.
There are many particulars that comprise a great stay, and this destination which is located on Lake Mulehe, Mucha, about 10kilometers from Kisoro town provides so many.
Serenity, comfort, convenience, and cleanliness are top-notch at this facility—which prides itself in having six fully-fledged cottages. From its wall fence which was built using blocks of solid volcanic ash, to the relaxing beds made of finely furnished tree planks, much of its décor and architectural design is themed along with eco-friendliness. They are built out of locally available materials creatively fashioned to impress.
However, what struck me the most about this facility which is a property of Uganda Jungle lodges is its hospitality. The hosts treat you with such care, like you are a long-lost family, finally reunited. After a fruitful day of gorilla tracking in the Southern Wing of Bwindi, a forest park that sits 20kilometers to its North, I arrived here with three friends on a cold evening in Mid- April. We had come for a two-day visit in celebration of Shaban’s 26th birthday (one of our members).
We were greeted with smiles at the door and invited to sit before being served fresh cocktail juice. I guess this was meant to give us a perfect beginning to the end of our day. What ensued next was a thirty minutes conservation that flowed naturally as chaired by Sherinah Ngabirano, the Lodge’s Manager. The cheery host was briefing us about fun experiences around the lodge we could pursue during our stay.
The lodge’s menu exclusively featured organically grown farm fresh goodies from its kitchen garden.
According to the chef, Jonathan Katongole, this tradition is inspired by the need to feed diners healthy foods. Similarly, it is purposed to conserve the ecosystem.
“The growth of organic foods, unlike genetically modified organisms, isn’t dependent on herbicides.”… “This helps us avoid the usage of herbicides which otherwise would have poisoned micro-organisms in the soil.” He said
In the philosophy of the Uganda Jungle Lodges, the lodge has maximum attention to the respect of the environment by using solar energy, alternative charcoal Briketi, and gas, by recycling all materials collecting them at an organized Waste Management Point. It also re-uses organic waste to make compost for the fertilization of the gardens.
State of rooms
The rooms which are named after gorillas of the nearby Mghahinga National Park were comfortable and quiet. Each of them is built to offer refreshing views of the lake. It quite bothered me though that the lighting of mine, in particular, was strong. I couldn’t help it echo my concern to Denis Akena, a caretaker at the facility. A few hours later, my situation was fixed with more cozy light.
Away from the state of the rooms, the setting buds with indigenous tree species that are a favorite of bird’s species inclusive of migratory ones like the African Harrier hawk.
As such, one’s eardrums are melted with the calls of different species all day, all night. If you fancy coming out in the moonlight to catch sight of nocturnal birds, brace yourself for a rewarding encounter with the barn owl, a species adored across the continent for being wise and prudent.
In pursuit of bird species we hadn’t seen at our doorsteps, we were taken for a birdwatching boat cruise in the adjacent Lake Mulehe, a crater attraction surrounded by rolling hills. We found tons of them at the tributary connecting the lake to Lake Mutanda. Most of these were the type dependent on fish for prey, such as the pied kingfishers. The clear views of mountain Muhavura as seen during the expedition was endearing. I found more than inspiration in its view.
Later in the day, our experience was capped with an agro-tourism experience and village walk in Giseke, a traditional village of the Bafumbira located within 20 minutes boat ride from the lodge.
Both experiences were one of a kind. It was led by Habigiriziman Christopher, 72, an ardent conservationist partnering with the lodge in spearheading the regeneration of a natural forest in the locality.
I highly recommend this adventure, especially for honeymooners and family holidays.
Other attractions/ experiences within easy reach
The Great Virunga Mountains inclusive of Mountain Nyiragongo, an active volcano in Congo.
The Batwa trail can be done both in Mgahinga National Park and Echuya Forest; in Mgahinga also it is possible the climbing the Muhavura Volcano (whose view is nicely seen from the lodge).
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