Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National park is located in southwestern Uganda in East Africa.

The Park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga and on the edge of the western Great Rift Valley It comprises 331 square kilometers of jungle forests and contains both montane and lowland forest and is accessible only on foot. The park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.

The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. It provides habitat for some 120 species of mammals, 346 species of birds, 202 species of butterflies 163 species of trees, 100 species of ferns, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species.

In particular the area shares in the high levels of endemism of the Albertine Rift Valley.

The is a sanctuary for Colobus monkeys chimpanzees and many birds (such as hornbills and turacos). It is perhaps most notable for the 34. Bwindi gorillas, half the world’s population of the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas. There are four habituated Mountain Gorilla groups open to tourism: Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura near Buhoma; and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo. Uganda Wildlife Authority leaflet, May 2008

Major Tourism Activities

Gorilla Tracking

It is a major tourist attraction carried out within the park. Two gorilla Uganda safari groups are currently available to be visited on daily basis. Mubare group (16 gorillas; 1 silverback) was opened for tourism in 1993, while Habinyanja group (23 gorillas, 2 silver backs) was ready in July 1998. A third group of gorillas (17 members, 2 silver back) is due to open for tourism soon.

A maximum of 8 gorilla permits per day are sold for each of these groups at UWA Headquarters in Kampala. Book at least 3 months (but not more than one year) in advance to ensure that requested dates are available.

Gorilla Tracking is strenuous therefore make sure you are physically fit. Carry jungle boots and rain jackets given the fact that the park is often wet.

Gorilla tracking experience starts at 8:30 am local time and occasionally lasts the whole day! Once tracked, gorillas are supposed to be met for only one hour For Conservation reasons; visits to the gorillas are tightly controlled.

Bird Watching

Bwindi Impenetrable park is a home of Bird watcher’s paradise! It holds 348 species of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift Endemic such as; the Short-tailed Warbler, Rusty-faced woodland Warbler, Bar-tailed Trogon, Gruel’s Rush Warbler, Winlock’s Honey-guide, Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher, Kivu Ground Thrush, Dusky Crimson Wing, White-tailed Blue Monarch among others, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa. An experienced bird watcher can identify up to 100 species in a day! Visit Ruhija and Buhoma for this dream. Indicate your interest to the guide so that appropriate early morning departures can be arranged.

Guided Nature walks

There are guided nature walks for the visitors having 2 or 3 days in the park has 4 outlandish hiking trails. On all these trails, you have opportunities to see and learn about primates, many species of birds, butterflies, trees, and other organisms. Arrange at the reception for a guide. The guide’s company is obligatory and yet affords you an excellent understanding of nature’s system at work in the park.

Cultural Tours

If you have some days to spend in this parks after Gorilla tracking you can take time to visit the interesting pygmies (BATWA POEPLE) and get to know their culture,Hunting being their main activity.

SEASONS

Dry Season:

January and February plus June to September are the driest months and are the best time for gorilla trekking. Even in the dry season you should be prepared to get wet in the occasional afternoon thunderstorm.
Rainy Season: many roads are impassable after the long rains of March to May and it becomes hot and humid with a very slippery forest floor. It also usually rains in October and November.
Temperatures: a pleasantly hot temperature of 80°F (25°C) can be expected from June to September, rising to 85°F (27°C) in January and February.

Top Things to Do
1. Close encounters with mountain gorillas.
2. Hiking the Virunga Mountains
3. Unique flora

How to Get There

The park can be accessed from Kampala to Kabale highway covering a distance of 414km on bitumen surface . It takes 6-7 hours and an additional 120km from Kabale to Buhoma park headquarters via Kanungu and Kanyantoorogo on murram surface takes 3-4 hours. A4wd is recommended.

Accommodation

Budget accommodation

  • Lake Kitandara Bwindi camp
  • Ruhija Guest House
  • Buhoma Homestead Bandas

Luxurious accommodations include;

  • Gorilla Forest Camp
  • Mantana Luxury Tented Camp
  • Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
  • Volcano lodge
  • Clouds Safari Lodge