We aspire to CONSERVATION; in the same way we do to LUXURY.
Sitting on a 12-acre piece of land overlooking the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one can comfortably say, that Gorilla Heights Lodge sits in the backyard of the home to the most sought-after primates in the world. We take up residence in a place that allows us to thread nature’s luxury into our high-end hospitality model, to create a unique experience of awesomeness in the wilderness. This blend of luxuries extends further into our SUSTAINABILITY and COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT approaches, which jointly entrench our CONSERVATION aspirations.
To achieve this goal, we desire to maintain our environment in its most original state, so that it can continue to deliver on nature’s ability to guarantee magnificent views of the sights of Bwindi for many years to come. In the same spirit, our communities can only achieve their desired state of luxury through economic and social transformation.
Our SUSTAINABILITY approach seeks to preserve two important resources: soil and water.
Conservation of soil
To conserve the integrity of the rich volcanic soils in this area, no trees were cut during the construction of the lodge. Additionally, and in the spirit of blending luxuries, we have planted bamboo and fruit trees on the site to add to the already scenic forest views.
Our decision to use briquettes as an alternative source of energy for bath-water and room-heating, will conserve the forest cover in the community. Each cottage is fitted with an electrical heater-that uses briquettes, and the community has been trained to make them.
We have also implemented a no plastics policy at the lodge to be able to preserve the purity of the soils. All our guests receive glass containers that they can use to drink water while at the lodge.
We have put in place eco-friendly waste management procedures and we can confirm that no waste will be dumped in the forest.
Conservation of water
The architectural design for all our structures is aligned to our conservation aspirations: water is a limited resource in the area and yet it is important for our operations. To this end, the green slanting roofs sheltering our cottages, will make it possible for us to harvest rain-water, which is centrally collected into the one-million cc water tank located at the bottom of the facility. The water is treated, filtered and pumped to the facility for use. We have also put notices in the cottages inviting our guests to partner with us on this goal to conserve water.
Our COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT approach is born out the desire to see the surrounding communities enjoy the luxury of improved livelihoods. During the 12 months of construction of the lodge, over 150 people from the community were employed, impacting over 600 family members.
We have worked with the community, to extract the black volcanic stones locally known as ‘Ikoro’ from Kisoro and Nkuringo. The once redundant resource, now creates an aesthetic skirting on all our structures, which adds to our luxurious look. The stones also have the advantage of being maintenance free, which further facilitates our water conservation approach. The benefit for the extraction of the rocks is not just monetary, the soils revealed in the process are fertile grounds for the community to grow crops.
We plan to work with women and the youth to maintain our luxurious gardens and to do farming with us. We will extend skills training, start-up packs in form of day-old chicks and chicken feeds as support for these joint- farming projects. Gorilla Heights lodge will buy food and animal products from the community at competitive prices which will go a long way in improving their economic status.
Gorilla Heights lodge is already engaged in the social activities in the economy. They have recently contributed building materials to the construction of Nkuringo church. They also plan to work with schools and health facilities to uplift the education and health standards in the area.