First of all I must declare an interest in Broadbill Forest Camp, having been a friend of Emmy, the owner, for many years and having used his services as guide and driver on several visits to Uganda. That said, I have no financial interest in his operation and I hope my report is received as unbiased and factual.
I had seen the site on a previous visit and was very keen to see progress when open. I booked as a normal guest and paid through my agent and arrived there in the agents car like any other guest. I was made welcome of course but have no doubt it was little different from the usual warm Ugandan welcome that other guests would receive.
The site is on the border of the NP and surrounding cultivation. It is high up in the mountains and the views on a clear day were fabulous. We could see Lake Edward and the Congo Blue Mountains in the far distance. A keen eye could make out the Ruwenzoris too.
I was shown to my tent, a large structure on a raised platform that looked straight into the Bwindi Forest. The tent contains a pair of beds and the bathroom etc., was out the back in a brick structure accessed through a flap but soon to be replaced by a door. The Bathroom contained a WC, Washbasin, shower area and a real proper bath. Hot water was on tap via a boiler to the rear. Electricity is on site and operates at certain times only although it will be switched on at other times on request. At the front of the tent is a balcony with two comfortable chairs from which one can watch the comings and goings of the Forest Wildlife such as monkeys and squirrels, many birds and butterflies. And if that pales you could try and read a book. (Very hard to do believe me with everything else there was to see. I think I finished one chapter in a four day visit.)
The grounds are natural plants and Emmy has adopted a plan of removing non native species.
I lost count of the species of birds and butterflies that visited my little plot of Heaven but the air was full of calls of bushshrikes and other species. Various sunbirds visit the Giant Lobellias for the nectar.
There are currently three or four tents in use and the owner will take care not to overdevelop the site. The tents are well spaced apart and completely private.
Meals and socialising (when not glued to the balcony) take place in a dedicated Restaurant Lounge area up a well laid pathway. This is lit at night. Food was to a set menu and excellently prepared by the resident Chef(s). Soups were accompanied by home made fresh bread rolls.
Breakfasts were to order and anything from Eggs etc., to Cereals and fruit were available.
The bar area had a natural log fire for warmth in the evenings and there was a range of both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages available. I only had time to sample the Nile Special Beer, the red Wine and the Waragi (gin) and tonic.
Local activities include Gorilla tracking of course, Village/farm/school visits to the community or of course Bwindi’s famous birdlife guided by either Emmy himself or one of his assistants. The trail back to the ‘main’ road is a useful place to bird and I have never seen so many species in a walk of just over 1 mile. It kept me very busy indeed. So much so that I walked it twice, once guided and once on my own.
This really is a gem of a place in which to spend a few days surrounded by the Forest. Do try to linger after or before your visit to the Gorillas. Who knows? They may in fact decide to visit you in return.
For more details contact Emmy Gongo at +256772853372 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.broadbillforestcamp.com
Lat and Long for GPS :- Broadbill Camp S. 1 03.449 E. 29 47.792 The turn off S 1 04.179 E 29 48.034. both of these may well be on the latest Traks download.
Prices were $45 pppn F/Board but when the place is finally finished he will raise this I am sure. It is certainly good value as it stands