Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is the highlight for mountain gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda, Bwindi protects half of the total world’s population of gorillas surviving in the world. Bwindi impenetrable is perched in southwestern Uganda. The bwindi impenetrable forest is in Kanungu district, Reaching Bwindi impenetrable is estimated to take between 8 to 9 driving hours from Entebbe or Kampala. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is managed and protected by the Uganda wildlife Authority the government body that is in charge of managing all the ten national parks in Uganda.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park occupies a total area of approximately 332 square kilometers and it is standing at an altitude between 1160meter to 2607meter above the ground. Bwindi is famously known for protecting the highest number of mountain gorillas where travelers can explore and leave with an unforgettable memory in a lifetime. The Bwindi impenetrable forest not only protects the gorgeous mountain gorillas but offers travelers another chance of spotting other wildlife species within the park. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park protects over 120 mammal species which include the great ape “mountain gorilla”, forest elephants, duiker, clawless otters, civet cats bush pigs, side-striped jackal, cape buffaloes, golden cats, over 220 butterflies, more than 360 bird species to mention a few, Bwindi bird species include African emerald cuckoo, dark caped bulbul, African harrier hawk, giant kingfisher among others.
Tourist attractions in Bwindi impenetrable park
Mountain gorillas: Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the only mountain gorilla destination in the world and in East Africa at large protecting the highest population of the great giant gentle apes. Bwindi mountain gorillas can be viewed in four different sectors.
The Bwindi impenetrable forest offers four big different sectors where travelers can carry out their mountain gorilla trekking experiences and Bwindi impenetrable sectors include the Ruhija sector, the Nkuringo sector, the Buhoma sector, and the Rushanga sector. The endangered mountain gorilla trekking in this particular park is done in the tropical montane rain forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park also accommodates over 120 mammal species some of which are not normally spotted due to the density of this tropical rainforest these animals include forest buffaloes, duikers, and golden cats, side-striped jackal, civet, and giant forest hogs among others.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is also a birding haven for travelers who love birds and Bwindi impenetrable forest is considered among the top birding destinations in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable forest harbors more than 360 bird species and of which the 23-bird species are endemic to the Albertine rift valley. Bwindi bird species can be seen within the park during the nature walk, Bwindi bird species include White-headed Saw-wing, giant kingfisher, Grey-crowned crane, Yellow rumpled Tinkerbird, Waller’s Starling, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, Jameson’s Ant pecker, blue-headed sunbird, common bulbul, Short tailed warbler, African green pigeon, and Kivu ground thrush among others.
The Batwa people survived in the forest before the existence of the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Batwa pygmies were the first people who live in the Bwindi forest with mountain gorillas in harmony and used to eat the same fruits as the giant apes. On your mountain trekking safari to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park please don’t leave the park without visiting the Batwa cultural experience trails, where you will meet the Batwa pygmies and interact with the Batwa, learn more about their lifestyle, enjoy the Batwa narrative stories on how they used to survive in the forest with mountain gorillas in the forest, the Batwa traditional dances make the Batwa cultural experience so unique.
Best done activities in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Gorilla trekking experience:
Mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi’s major tourist activity and the best memorable lifetime encounter carried out in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Bwindi Impenetrable forest mountain gorilla trekking allows travelers to move deep into the forest in groups of 8 people maximumly per trek within the tropical montane rainforest searching for the habituated mountain gorilla families. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park harbors 19 habituated mountain gorilla families splinted in four different sectors namely the Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Nkuringo sector, and Rushaga sector but each sector is located differently within this park. Mountain gorilla trekking starts in the morning with a briefing about the mountain gorilla trekking rules and regulations at the park’s headquarters. After the briefing travelers are assigned to a Uganda wildlife Authority park ranger who will allocate them to a mountain gorilla family but travelers must be 15 years of age which is the starting gorilla trekking age, the park ranger leads travelers to the forest trailhead searching for mountain gorillas. Mountain gorilla trekking experience can last from 30 minutes to 7hours depending on their location. Once the mountain gorillas are located, travelers are given an hour to spend with the gorillas observing their character as well as learning their lifestyle, and their behavior, taking photos with the gorillas, and recording videos.
Travelers can qualify to engage in Uganda’s thrilling mountain gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park only after acquiring the mountain gorilla trekking permits which are issued by the government body called Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices. Uganda mountain gorilla trekking permits cost USD700 per person per trek for foreign non-residents, foreign residents are required to pay USD 600 and UGX 250,000 for East African Citizens.
Guided Nature walks or Hiking in Bwindi impenetrable:
This is another interesting tourist activity done in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park that offers a high chance to explore Bwindi Impenetrable forest on foot as traveler’s breath take the cool breeze within the area while listening to sweet melodies from different bird species, travelers are rewarded with endless views of primate species, butterfly species, and tree species among others. Bwindi impenetrable nature walks are best done in the Buhoma sector where travelers can participate in 6 different hiking trails. Buhoma sector hiking trails include the Munyaga waterfalls trail which provides the perfect views of the waterfalls, Muzabajirro loop trails the most rewarding spot for primate species, bird species, and tree species, Rushurra hill walk rewards travelers with the panoramic views of lake Edward, lake George, and Rwenzori mountains, Buhoma- Nkuringo trail offers travelers the stunning views of the misty hillsides, Buhoma Riverwalk also provides the wonders of watching a variety of bird species, Ivi Riverwalk takes travelers via the Mukempu area which is the spot viewing wild pigs.
Mountain biking is another amazing tourist activity that travelers can engage in while in Bwindi. Mountain biking can be done in and around Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and mountain biking activity is organized by the women’s organization in Bwindi impenetrable forest park where bikes are rented to travelers who are interested in mountain biking at an affordable cost. The mountain biking experience starts in the morning with a well-trained guide who will take you to the trails while sharing a lot of information about wildlife species located in this montane rain forest. On your mountain biking tour, travelers usually ride in 13km trails which last from the park’s headquarters to Ivi River which may take from between 6 to 7 riding hours while viewing many primate species along the way such as black and white colobus monkeys, duiker, red-tailed monkeys, chimpanzees, Lhotse’s monkeys, and squirrels, meet the nearby local people along you’re riding trails as such Batwa community, craft centers, plants, farmlands, and bird species.
Bird watching in Bwindi:
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park harbors over 360 bird species and of which 23 bird species are endemic species to the Albertine Rift. Bird watching in Bwindi is best done within the hiking trails such as the waterfall trail in the Buhoma sector, Mubwindi Swamp trail in the Ruhija sector, and the Bamboo zone among others. Bwindi forest bird species to be encountered include African green pigeon, giant kingfisher, African Emerald Cuckoo, grey gecko shrike, black Bee-eater, handsome francolin, African wood owl, Rwenzori batis, red-throated athlete, Collared Apalis, Strange Weaver, Mountain yellow warbler, and African green broadbill among others.
Cultural encounters in Bwindi:
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is surrounded by the local communities where travelers can participate in different cultural encounters such as visiting the Batwa people who used to stay with the mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest before it was categorized as a protected area in 1991 and get an opportunity to learn more about the Batwa lifestyle like culture, their cooking style, and listen to their stories of long ago of hunting for wildlife, fruits gathering, searching for plants for medicinal purposes, and how they survived in this tropical forest alongside gentle apes in harmony, visit the Batwa craft shops and hence associating into this unique culture.
Where to stay while on gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi impenetrable forest
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park offers a number of quality lodging facilities ranging from Budget lodges to luxury lodges with wonderful hospitality amenities, Bwindi safari lodges include; Buhoma Haven Lodge, Bakiga lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Lodge, clouds lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge, Broadbill Forest Camp, engage lodge, Nshongi Camp, Gorilla mist camp, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, silverback lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Sanctuary gorilla forest camp, and Agandi Lodge among others.
Best time to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park tourist activities are open all year round but are best explored in the dry months of June, July, August &September, and from December to February, these are the best dry months to visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park when the roads leading to the national is possible and the gorilla trekking trails are not muddy or slippery.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park
By Road transport:
Travelers can be driven by a car and reach Bwindi, road transportation is more rewarding with countryside viewing as well as roadside endless views, although it takes longer to reach the park, road transport may take about 8- 9 hours from Entebbe or Kampala to the main mountain gorilla trekking destination. Travelers from Kigali international Airport can easily connect to the Chanika border which is situated in Kisoro or katuna border then drive to Kibale, this journey may last for about 3 – 4 hours to access Bwindi. Travelers interested in visiting Queen Elizabeth national park make connecting to Bwindi much shorter which may take 3 – 4 hours only.
By Air transport:
Travelers from Uganda have easy access to a domestic flight from either Entebbe international park or Kajjansi Airstrip being operated by Aero link Uganda limited these flights are scheduled that fly to Kihihi Airstrip and then your tour guide picks you up.
Visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to encounter one on one with the human beings’ closest cousins in their natural environment and leave with a fresh truly memorable lifetime experience in Uganda.