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Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is a mid-range lodge that offers stunning views of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The lodge is owned and run by the local community, and all the profits are invested in social and environmental projects. The lodge has 8 cozy cottages and 1 family cottage, all with en suite bathrooms and private balconies. The lodge also has a restaurant, a bar, a gift shop, a massage room and a fitness center. The lodge is close to the gorilla tracking briefing point, and also offers other activities such as village walks, birdwatching, cycling and cultural performances.
Unique or special aspects What makes Buhoma Community Haven Lodge unique is its commitment to community empowerment and conservation. The lodge employs local staff, supports local farmers and artisans, and funds various initiatives such as the Bwindi Community Hospital, the Bwindi Community School, the Bwindi Bar and the Rafiki Memorial Wildlife Conservation Initiative. The lodge also strives to minimize its environmental impact by using solar power, rainwater harvesting, biodegradable products and recycling. By staying at Buhoma Community Haven Lodge, you are not only enjoying a comfortable and memorable stay, but also contributing to the well-being of the people and wildlife of Bwindi.
Setting Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is located on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers 331 square kilometers of lush rainforest. The park is home to over 400 mountain gorillas, half of the world’s population, as well as other primates such as chimpanzees, monkeys and baboons. The park also boasts over 350 species of birds, 200 species of butterflies, 120 species of mammals and 1000 species of plants. The lodge overlooks the forest canopy and offers panoramic views of the hills and valleys. The lodge is surrounded by a beautiful garden with colorful flowers and fruits.
## Style Buhoma Community Haven Lodge blends simple elegance with local materials and craftsmanship. The cottages are built with stone, wood and thatch, and decorated with African fabrics and artworks. The cottages have large windows that let in natural light and fresh air, and spacious balconies that offer scenic views. The cottages are equipped with comfortable beds, mosquito nets, safes, clothes racks and en suite bathrooms with hot showers. The lodge has a cozy lounge area with sofas, books and board games, where you can relax after a day of adventure. The lodge also has a dining area with a fireplace, where you can enjoy delicious meals prepared with fresh ingredients from the garden or local markets.
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is committed to sustainability in all aspects of its operations. The lodge uses solar power for lighting and water heating, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels. The lodge also collects rainwater for domestic use, saving precious groundwater resources. The lodge uses biodegradable products for cleaning and toiletries, avoiding harmful chemicals that could pollute the environment. The lodge also recycles waste materials such as plastic bottles, paper and metal cans, minimizing its landfill contribution. The lodge also educates its staff and guests on environmental issues and best practices.
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is owned by Buhoma Community Rest Camp Ltd., a community-based organization that aims to improve the livelihoods of the local people through tourism. The lodge employs over 30 staff members from the nearby villages, providing them with fair wages and training opportunities. The lodge also supports over 100 local farmers who supply food products to the lodge, ensuring them a steady income. The lodge also supports over 50 local artisans who sell their handicrafts at the gift shop or at the weekly market near the lodge, promoting their skills and culture. The lodge also funds various community projects such as: - Bwindi Community Hospital: A health facility that provides quality medical care to over 100000 people in the region. - Bwindi Community School: A primary school that offers free education to over 300 children from poor families. - Bwindi Bar: A social enterprise that trains disadvantaged youth in hospitality skills and serves organic coffee and snacks. - Rafiki Memorial Wildlife Conservation Initiative: A conservation program that protects wildlife habitats and mitigates human-wildlife conflicts.
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge has 8 twin/double cottages and 1 family cottage, all self-contained and merging simple elegance with local materials. The cottages are named after the gorilla families that live in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, such as Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Nkuringo and Bitukura. The cottages have the following features: - Comfortable beds with mosquito nets and duvets - En suite bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets - Private balconies with forest or garden views - Safes for valuables - Clothes racks and hangers - Wake-up service and alarm clock - Housekeeping and laundry service The family cottage has two bedrooms, one with a double bed and one with two single beds, and a shared bathroom. The family cottage can accommodate up to 4 people.
Food and drink
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge serves 4-course meals blending Western and African cuisine, prepared by Ugandan chefs using locally grown products. The lodge caters for different dietary preferences such as vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and halal. The lodge also offers packed lunches for guests who go for gorilla tracking or other activities. The lodge has a bar that serves a variety of drinks such as soft drinks, juices, beers, wines and spirits. The lodge also offers complimentary tea and coffee throughout the day. The lodge has a dining area with a fireplace, where guests can enjoy their meals while admiring the views or chatting with other guests. The lodge also has an outdoor dining area where guests can have a barbecue or a picnic.
Things to do
Gorilla tracking: The main attraction of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the mountain gorillas, which can be tracked in four different regions: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Each region has its own gorilla families and tracking trails, and requires a permit that can be booked in advance or on arrival. Gorilla tracking is an exhilarating experience that involves hiking through the forest with a guide and a ranger, following the signs of the gorillas until you find them. You can then spend up to an hour observing them in their natural habitat, taking photos and videos (without flash), and marveling at their behavior and interactions. Gorilla tracking is limited to 8 people per group per day, and has strict rules to protect the gorillas and their environment.
Village walk: A village walk is a great way to learn about the local culture and history of Buhoma. You can visit the Bwindi Community Hospital, which provides quality medical care to over 100000 people in the region; the Bwindi Community School, which offers free education to over 300 children from poor families; the Bwindi Bar, which trains disadvantaged youth in hospitality skills and serves organic coffee and snacks; and the Rafiki Memorial Wildlife Conservation Initiative, which protects wildlife habitats and mitigates human-wildlife conflicts. You can also interact with the local people, see their homes and farms, watch their dances and music performances, taste their food and drinks, and buy their crafts.
Birdwatching: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 350 species of birds recorded in the park. Some of the birds you can see include hornbills, turacos, bee-eaters, kingfishers, sunbirds, weavers, flycatchers and greenbuls. Some of the rare and endemic birds include the African green broadbill, the Grauer’s swamp warbler, the Chapin’s flycatcher and the Shelley’s crimsonwing. You can join a guided birdwatching walk in the forest or around the lodge, and spot some of these feathered beauties.
Cycling: Cycling is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the surroundings of Buhoma. You can rent a bike from the lodge or from the Bwindi Community Hospital, and follow one of the trails that lead to scenic spots such as waterfalls, caves, swamps and villages. You can also join a guided cycling tour that will take you to different attractions and introduce you to the local culture and history.
Cultural performance: A cultural performance is a great way to experience the music and dance of the local people. You can watch a performance by the Batwa pygmies, the original inhabitants of Bwindi forest who were evicted when the park was established. The Batwa will entertain you with their songs, stories and dances that reflect their ancient traditions and beliefs. You can also watch a performance by the Bakiga people, the dominant ethnic group in Buhoma. The Bakiga will showcase their energetic dances, drumming and singing that express their joy and gratitude for life.
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is located in the northern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is divided into four regions: Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Each region has its own gorilla families and tracking trails, as well as other attractions such as waterfalls, caves and cultural sites. The lodge is situated in the Buhoma region, which is the oldest and most popular region for gorilla tracking. The Buhoma region has four habituated gorilla families: Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe. The Buhoma region also has a variety of accommodation options, ranging from budget to luxury, and a vibrant community that welcomes visitors with their hospitality and culture.
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is a family-friendly lodge that welcomes children of all ages. The lodge has a family cottage that can accommodate up to 4 people, and also offers extra beds and baby cots on request. The lodge also provides babysitting services for parents who want some time alone or go for gorilla tracking.
Buhoma Community Haven Lodge is located in Buhoma village, about 10 minutes’ drive from the main road that connects Kabale and Kisoro towns. The lodge can be accessed by road or by air.
By road: The lodge is about 550 km (8-10 hours) from Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. You can drive your own car or hire a car with a driver from Kampala or Entebbe. You can also take a public bus or a shared taxi from Kampala to Kabale or Kisoro, and then take a private taxi or a motorcycle to Buhoma. The road is mostly paved but some sections are rough and dusty.
By air: The lodge is about 20 km (30 minutes) from Kihihi airstrip, which is served by daily flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airstrip near Kampala. You can book your flight with one of the domestic airlines such as Aerolink Uganda or Fly Uganda. The lodge can arrange for your transfer from Kihihi airstrip to Buhoma.
- Actively reduces consumption
- Solar powered or renewable energy
- Promotes local businesses
- Funds projects
- Local or organic food
- Community led or owned
- Up to 2
- Up to 4
- Cultural visit
- Wildlife watching