Ichumbi is a word derived from the Local Rufumbira dialect to mean a cool comfortable home. True to its name, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge is one of the best accommodation facilities at Rushaga, with a serene, relaxing atmosphere. It is a mid-range facility 10 minutes’ walk or five minutes’ drive from the Rushaga gate located in the South of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The location of the lodge is strategic given Rushaga has a lot of tourist activities with the main activity being Gorilla Tracking. Rushaga has as many as six gorilla families compared to Ruhija which has four, Buhoma with three, and Nkuringo with only two. Trackers come from as far as Kisoro town and Lake Mutanda to track at Rushaga which is just a stone throw away from Ichumbi Lodge.
Located in Kisoro District, South Western Uganda, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge is about 350km from the capital Kampala; about a ten hour drive by road. From Kisoro it is about 30kms away. From Kampala drive southwest to Kabale town and continue on to Muko along Kabale – Kisoro Highway. At Muko, branch off to the Rushaga Gate of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This turn cannot be missed as there are many sign posts of the different accommodation facilities and Uganda Wildlife Authority. The quality of the road from here on is a bit poor as it is a marram road winding through the mountains. It takes approximately fifty minutes to reach the lodge but this is an enjoyable journey because of the beautiful scenery. Shortly before the entrance to the Park you will see the lodge. It’s just next to the Rushaga Gorilla Camp.
Currently, the lodge has a total of 6 rooms, all of the same category. The available options are having 3 double and 3 twins or have 5 doubles and 1 twin. They can also be turned into singles. With such an arrangement the maximum occupancy is twelve people as per now. The lodge also provides camping. Budget rooms are in the final stages of completion to boost occupancy.
All rooms are self-contained with a toilet and bath. The rooms have mineral water for brushing in the bath as well as all toiletries needed. The lodge uses a non-conventional water heater that uses firewood and gravitational flow so the guests have to open the hot water taps for about ten minutes as the water flows from the water heater down to their rooms. This was developed due to the constant power shortages with made electric water heaters unreliable.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
There is a fully stocked bar and restaurant. The food consists of a number of cuisines having both local and international tasty dishes.
Breakfast consists of coffee, milk, or heat accompanied by cereals or confectionery. These are served with previously placed orders got at night.
STAFF & SERVICE
The team at Ichumbi is made up of 7 individuals who look to be newly trained in the job. Despite this they are very helpful and hospitable.
The lodge can also arrange some activities for its guests such as;
- Community experience with options to visit women groups, orphans and community school and community lunch experience,
- Batwa cultural visit to see their performances, how to start a fire and traditional small huts.
- Bird Watching lasting about 3 hours,
- Short and long trails on the hills,
- Fishing and canoeing at Lake Mutanda and Lake Bunyonyi,
- Chameleon farm,
- 2 hour Trek to the waterfall in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,
- Lessons in Basket weaving and craft making,
- Pre-arranged pick up from Kisoro airstrip/town or Kampala or Entebbe.