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Plot 1 Kirundo, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 256 486 Uganda
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Traveller (132)
Dining (20)
Room & Suite (7)
Payments made by partners impact the order of prices displayed. Room types may vary.
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What you can expect during your stay
  • All linens sanitised in high-temperature wash
  • Face masks required for guests in public areas
  • Face masks required for staff in public areas
  • Floors marked for social distancing
  • Hand sanitiser available to guests & staff
  • Stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
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Updated 01/11/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.
A note from Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Updated 01/11/20 Safety precautions are provided by the property and are not checked by Tripadvisor for accuracy.

About

#22 of 40 in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Location
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Service
Value
Unobstructed sweeping views of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park from front rooms and bar/restaurant. Perfectly located for gorilla tracking in southern sector Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Nature walks to nearby pocket forest and waterfall available. Volcano hiking, Golden monkey tracking, Batwa visits, cultural exploration
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Property amenities
Free parking
Internet
Bar / lounge
Hiking
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Baggage storage
Concierge
Restaurant
Shuttle bus service
Shared lounge / TV area
24-hour front desk
Laundry service
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HOTEL STYLE
Great View

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Plot 1 Kirundo, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 256 486 Uganda
Getting there
Kihihi Airport35 miSee all flights
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144Reviews1Q+A16Room tips
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TP93 wrote a review Jan 2022
London, United Kingdom6 contributions1 helpful vote
We stayed at Bwindi Backpackers for one night prior to tracking Gorillas in the Nkuringo Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Upon our arrival we were immediately greeted by Patience who was exceedingly helpful throughout our stay. There were all the trappings of good hospitality, on our arrival we were given cold fruit juice and Patience informed us that our room had been upgraded. The room we were given was palatial in size with wonderful views over the valley and of the forest rising up, almost vertically, on the other side. We had hot water in the room (which worked perfectly though as had been explained to us, we had to wait for a few minutes for the shower to run hot). The food prepared by Moses was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinner as well as the breakfast and packed lunch which were ready for us bright and early before we set off for our Gorilla tracking. Overall, we would highly recommend Bwindi Backpackers as a place to stay prior to or after a gorilla trek and thought that it provided an excellent service at a reasonable price (prices in Bwindi seem to be universally inflated beyond any other location in Uganda). It is also worth noting that Bwindi Backpackers and Gorilla Closeup Lodge are in fact the same place - Bwindi Backpackers is rebranding as Gorilla Closeup Lodge albeit that process appears to be quite slow.
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Date of stay: December 2021Trip type: Travelled
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Response from Seith Byarugaba, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 5 Jan 2022
Thank you for having time and this opportunity to write this review on our lodge. We normally do all we can to meet our client expectations and we are very glad to see that you appreciated our services. Thank you for the encouragement and please come again we are at your service
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magschu91 wrote a review Aug 2020
Frankfurt, Germany16 contributions7 helpful votes
Seith Byarugaba is a thief. After reading so many good reviews, we decided to buy our Gorilla permits from Seith. He was always helpful and quick to respond to all of our questions. Then Covid-19 hit, and we were unable to travel. Over the course of several months, we tried to contact Seith to find a solution that would work for all of us. We did not want him to lose this income during these uncertain times, but obviously we did not want to lose $1400 either. We asked him if he was willing to put it down towards a future booking with him - we even suggested he could just put part of it down! We had originally planned to book another safari and other treks with him; he would have made even more money with us once we'd be able to travel again. Unfortunately, there was no response. We will try to contact the local police, but do not have high hopes. All we can do is warn future travelers that Seith is a scammer who will take your money and run if he gets the chance.
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Date of stay: August 2020
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Response from Seith Byarugaba, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 31 Oct 2020
Iam wondering why some time some one can decide to tarnish another person’s business and reputation. I don’t agree with the allegations this client has put up against me because out of 2987clients I have handled at my lodge having secured them gorilla tracking permits and having stayed at my lodge,they all track successfully, I would turn to be a scamer or a thief for mere $1400. The truth of the matter is that once you pay for the gorilla Tracking permit and you pay we don’t keep that money but we go as a company and pay it to Uganda Wildlife Authority a government parastatal that is responsible for issuing the gorilla tracking permits. Normally because the gorilla tracking permits are on a very high demand where even clients can book and pay them for even up to 2 years in advance, as soon as we get payment from a client we also have to make sure that we pay the national park headquarters which is the uganda Wildlife Authority, so we don’t normally keep that money with us but we pay it also. By the time covid-19 pandemic came, it’s on a very clear record that the Uganda Wildlife Authority put a policy regarding gorilla tracking permits refund that there is no cash refund as it was always before but instead encouraged all clients who had booked gorilla permits to do flexible reschedules to future dates up to 31st December 2022. A client is allowed free reschedule for atleast 2 times at no extra costs more especially those who had booked before covid-19 between March 2020 and December 2022. I have communicated this to all my clients and all of them accepted to this condition as it’s something beyond my control and it’s a global and national issue. How ever this particular client insisted that I must refund the funds by cash of which I even went a head and explained to the client that once I get some more clients interested to book gorilla tracking and they pay me it’s when I can use that money to refund them and then do a gorilla tracking permit reschedule to the new clients. To all my clients and rest of clients to all other tour operators in uganda , it has been agreed and accepted that there is no cash refund unless you get friends and we swap or reschedule the trip. Even now these same clients complaining if they make their mind to reschedule or get friends to track I have no problem and in case I get new bookers, then I will use those funds to refund them. Iam a man of integrity and with big investments in hospitality industry that I value my customer satisfaction but we have to work within government policies. Iam delaying it open once again that who ever has booked with me already and all those biking now that you are free to reschedule until 31st December 2022 because no country is certain about the vaccine for covid-19. All clients who booked and are willing to book through me, my email and what’s up are available and I only delay to respond once Iam traveling or have no internet connectivity. Feel free to ask more. For this particular clients who have complained still send me the email or what’s up we sort out this issue. God bless you all
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Vedran B wrote a review Mar 2020
6 contributions2 helpful votes
I really liked my stay in this lodge as I liked a lot whatever Silverback gorilla organized for me. It is a well located place, with a lovely quiet atmosphere and a big variety of tasty food. You cant miss with this and how nice they are nothing describes better than how they have given me private room for the price of a dorm, as there was a lot of free space at the time.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled
1 Helpful vote
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Response from Seith Byarugaba, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 31 Oct 2020
Thank you very much for reviewing our lodge. We were very proud to host you and most importantly that you enjoyed your stay with us. May God bless you
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moi2_2012 wrote a review Mar 2020
Torrance, California9 contributions12 helpful votes
This is Africa and one needs to judge and rate things accordingly. The good The staff is fantastic and this is the only place I could find online that sells gorilla permits at cost. It is also possibly the cheapest lodge near the south entrance to Bwindi. Breakfast is almost reasonable for the price. The Bad Prices are about double for comparable lodgings in towns “nearby” such as Kabale. Power and poor “dial up” quality internet are only available 2.5 hours at night and about the same in the morning. Closer to an African style hostel than a lodge. Food is very expensive by African standards and my dinner was mediocre at best. I heard lunch is worse. Communication by email was horrible. I never could get clear answers. Once I got the correct WhatsAp number it was quite good, EXCEPT the day of arrival when he couldn’t be reached for hours. Mosquito net had holes. As a suggestion. If gorilla trekking Only stay 1 day. Yes this is very doable, even if told otherwise. For other tours, stay in Kabale or elsewhere.
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Date of stay: March 2020
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1 Helpful vote
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Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 8 Mar 2020
Thank you for having given us an opportunity to serve you and trusting us with a lot of money for gorilla tracking permit fees. We are so grateful that you managed to track successfuly as it was a prime goal of the tour with us. It’s good that you have indicated that we are the budget lodge in the area. On food and other services you claim are expensing compared to kabale, it’s true All lodges and hostels in bwindi are more expensive than kabale because cost of production is very expensive and even transport to take all we need for running a hotel are very expensive because of bad roads and use of generators for power instead of normal electricity. Every where around protected areas or parks is normally expensive and also even we can not run the lodge on generator for 24 hours to reduce on polluting environment with gorillas. We are however trying all the means to reduce in cost of production of which I believe will work for us in future
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rhiannonmorgan94 wrote a review Feb 2020
Melbourne, Australia5 contributions9 helpful votes
Overall a very good stay at the lodge, they organised my permit for me and the transport to the gorilla trek starting point. I stayed on full board, the food was delicious! My only improvement would be bigger portions because of the amount of physical activity we are doing there. The staff at the lodge couldnt be more helpful, they even cleaned my boots after the gorilla trek! Please note - the generator as well as wifi is only switched on at night and early morning.
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled
2 Helpful votes
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Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 1 Mar 2020
Thank you so much for this tome to review our property. Thank you for the advice on improving and adding on the food portion we are straight away increasing it. Thank you for all your cooperation with staff and most importantly keeping time on the day of gorilla trekking. Congratulations once again upon successfully tracking mount gorillas. Keep it up and feel free to come back we are at your service
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Miska K wrote a review Dec 2019
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic4 contributions1 helpful vote
we stayed at the lodge for 2 nights in December 19. we had a booking for a double room wih shared bathroom (80$ I think), but as we were almost the only guests at the time, they immediately upgraded our room to the cottage for free. that was a very nice touch! the cottage we stayed in had a problem wih hot water, the first evening we managed to shower in barely warm and the second night we had to ask for a bucket and a cup. otherwise the mosquito net was too small for the bed so it was useless as it didn t close and we caught some insects on us during the night. the room was reasonably clean, we got towels, the bed was very comfortable and new covers thick enough for the night s cold - there s no heating. the food was ok but nothing special, always on time - I m referring to the neg. review I read here..it was 10$ for lunch or dinner I think there is a magnificent view on the rainforest from the reception/bar terrace. the staff was very helpful and friendly.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Travelled
1 Helpful vote
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Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 1 Mar 2020
Thank you for your review, we have improved on our hot water systems and Iam quite sure once you come back you will seriously enjoy every thing. Cheers
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Bidule05 wrote a review Nov 2019
France778 contributions544 helpful votes
I spent one night in the Lodge. The location of the lodge is average, being situated at about 4 km of Bwindi forest park headquarters from where the gorillas trekkings begin. At arrival, the manager was absent, and we had to wait for about 30 minutes before knowing which cottage we had! ( the cittage had been booked 6 months before!) The cottages are cold (we had no soaps, no towels and had to ask for that) and we did not have hot water. We had to take showers with cold water.., Regarding the dinner, we had been told that it would begin at 7 pm. Finally, we had to wait for more than one hour for dinner! For breakfast, we had to wait once again! The organization of the staff has to be greatly improved, and thus I do NOT recommend to stay in this Lodge in NKuringo
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Travelled
2 Helpful votes
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Response from SeithB, Manager at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 1 Mar 2020
Hi Isabella, We are very sorry for that unfortunate incident. Infact the that particular manager was sacked with part of his team and now I guarantee you a very satisfactory stay if you are to come again. We are very sorry once again of all that happened. Cheers
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Jeremy wrote a review Oct 2019
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia11 contributions3 helpful votes
The owner unfortunately spoiled what was otherwise an ok experience at Bwindi backpackers. We had a lengthy email chain where I had some questions, he was very responsive and helpful for the most part and told me that he could arrange for us to be picked up and dropped off in Kabale. Now I must admit he never said it was free but he also never mentioned that it would cost me so I assumed it was part of the package. The lodge then proceeded to charge us 100 US Dollars for the transfers which blew our budget out of the water. We would never have stayed there if we knew that was the case. When I complained instead of being reasonable and perhaps apologising or offering us something the boss started yelling at me and threatened to cancel our gorilla permits, essentially blackmailing me into paying the money. It left me feeling sick. He insisted he sent me a brochure with the prices included (not true) and called me stupid for thinking it would be free. I felt for his poor wife who was serving us in person who apologised profusely. Also the rest of the staff and our driver who we could no longer afford to tip. I hope they are aware their boss essentially took their tips from them. Honestly if i wasn't screamed at and blackmailed I would have forgiven the miscommunication, this is Uganda these things happen. But rudeness and poor treatment I cannot tolerate. Another point, we had a confirmation email saying we had paid in advance for accommodation. I did not know that his systems were down. So you can imagine my shock when they demanded cash from us in advance when we arrived in Kabale for our transfer for accomodation. They insisted there was an atm in town we can use, but atm transfer fees are very high, so i paid with what little cash we had (we didnt want to travel with much as we took night buses to kabale) leaving us to be very stringent the rest of the time. And furthermore they had not reserved our room, we wound up in a better room for no extra charge but still, very unprofessional again. These two instances then brought in to focus the rest of the short comings of the place, I appreciate that it is a backpackers and a budget option but it really does not offer any of the things it says it does. 1) says free wifi, but it is only offered for 10 minutes at night time in the dining area - which is frustrating given that there is no mobile service to organise other things to do especially because 2) the cost of the activities they offer are ridiculously expensive 3) There is no detailed map of the area and the staff insist you need a guide to go anywhere. WHAT A JOKE!! In the end we jumped on a boda and had a brilliant tour of the place including the lake 4)There is hot water in the shower for about 30 seconds only 5) Our mosquito net did not properly fit our bed so we woke up riddled with bites. This was all such a shame because the rest of the staff were kind and attentive and helpful. and the view from the balcony is magnificent. I just think they have a boss that treats customers and probably them as well very poorly.
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Date of stay: October 2019
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Room Tip: Don't stay, there's no mosquito net, but if you have to, ask for a room on the second floor
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2 Helpful votes
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Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 11 Nov 2019
Hi Plazzo, It’s always better to talk the truth. Normally in my first communication I normally sent a copy of our brochure which has detailed activities that we offers including gorilla tracking which has been has been at the cost of $600 for a couple of years. This is $600 all goes to government as gorilla tracking permit fees that includes all park fees,park ranger fees,guide fees and park entrance fees. We don’t charge any extra fees to get you a book and reserve for you the permit but instead you must either stay with us or use our transport or both if you don’t have your own car. The reasons we send you a flier upon first your Enquiry is to make sure that when ever you don’t understand any thing on it or you have a question we tell you what to do. On our flier it was even clear where we give free transport in case you are staying for 3 or 4 nights in full board and yet for you was to stay for 1 night. It’s true I was not there to pick you up but had instructed my driver and my wife according to how you paid including furnishing her with a copy of your receipt where you had only paid for gorilla permits and upon asking you to pay for transport and accomodation which normally you should have paid in advance, you first deceived her that you paid in advance of a whole package which when you failed to present a receipt but they consulted me I explained to you still in kabale but you promised having understood every thing about payment you refused to pay until I requested you to pay the for accomodation and transport or else I cancel your gorilla tracking permits and transfer them to others who were willing to pay all in full then I refund your $600 each. Even that day we had a shuttle with 2 other clients of which you would have paid on $25 each but because you had slept on bus whole night traveling to kabale at 7:00 a.m the rest where to leave kabale at 4:30pm but looking at you being harsh and impatient to our staff , a decision was reached that you be taken to the lodge immediately. For internet it’s a pure lie, we have the latest fast internet and I have evidence that in 1 night of stay you used 3gb of internet data which was beyond the free data we allocate every client. All our rooms including a big dormitory where you stayed had mosquitoe nets of which we are wondering as to why you did not put it on. Thank you for touring our area on the motorcycle In traveling we encourage transparency so that other travelers can learn from our experience and also improve on our services rather than thinking of turnishing each other trip advisor. Rest of travelers come and come and enjoy with us on budget on the edges of the jungle of the Impenetrable Forest National Park
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East Africa Amazon Guest House wrote a review Aug 2019
Ruhengeri, Rwanda23 contributions
+1
There's no hesitation to thank the managing Director and the entire staff. Your doing a great work .Thank you! The view here is perfect,food yummy,staff Hospitable and professional. Gorillas easily seen in the windows of your room especially Dianfossey upper room. If your out there looking for a place to stay closely to Bwindi impenetrable National park, here it is!!
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Date of stay: August 2019Trip type: Travelled
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Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 19 Oct 2019
Thank you for your time to review our lodge. You were so lucky that gorilla visited during your presence. We have managed to conserve nature and pure organic plants which mountain gorillas like the reason they still come around. Cheers and thank you allowing us an opportunity to serve you. Please come again
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BenvanZijl wrote a review Aug 2019
Cairns3 contributions3 helpful votes
We stayed two nights at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge. Very nice place, beautiful view and friendly staff. We hoped for a last minute permit for the Gorilla's, but we were to late... Luckily the owner helped to arrange some alternative tours to a local waterfall and some cameleon spotting. Food is amazing and the owner helped to plan the rest of the trip (car rental with driver) Maybe not the cheapest place (just about average) but certainly a recommendation!
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Date of stay: August 2019Trip type: Travelled
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Response from SeithB, Owner at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
Responded 19 Oct 2019
Thank you so much for being patient and honest to review us. Mainly in high tourist seasons, it’s very hard to get last minute gorilla tracking permits because now days, ever since rwanda increases gorilla permits to $1500 and we are still on $600 the demand is really very high, however we recommend that you contact us in advance so that atleast we book them ahead of time. Cheers, see you next time
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LOCATION
UgandaWestern RegionBwindi Impenetrable National Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
14
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Frequently Asked Questions about Bwindi Backpackers Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant and a lounge during their stay.
Is parking available at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Does Bwindi Backpackers Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Bwindi Backpackers Lodge have airport transportation?
Yes, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are pets allowed at Bwindi Backpackers Lodge?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.