BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK OVERVIEW
Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the south western part of Uganda at the rim of the western arm rift valley covering an area of 331 kilometers squared Bwindi forest is one of the ancient tropical rain forests that survived ice age. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a habitat to the remaining half of the endangered mountain gorillas in the world. the forest has eleven primate species, 120 mammal species, 200 butterfly species, 360 species of birds and about 320 species of trees.
Currently, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has 12 gorilla families habituated for trekking split in the four sectors(Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo) of the national park and is well known for gorilla trekking in Uganda.
BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST, HOW TO GET THERE?
It takes about 8-10 hours to transport from Entebbe airport to Bwindi. Bwindi forest can be accessed from Queen Elizabeth National Park to northern part of the park just 2 to 3 hours drive, from Kampala through Mbarara about 6 to 8 hours drive or from Kabale town to the southern part of the park its 1 to 2 hours. If travellers do not want to take the long drives to Bwindi they can choose to fly from Entebbe or from Kampala at Kajansi airfield to the tarmac airstrip found at Kisoro. Additionally Planes may as well be chartered to the Savannah or the grass Kayonza airstrips.
Bwindi is well served by 3 airfields at Kihiihi plus Kayonza for the northern area in addition to Nyakabande found in Kisoro for people going to track mountain gorillas within the southern area (Mishaya, Nshongi plus Nkuringo). That considered, the easiest means of transport to Bwindi is by road.
Getting Around in Bwindi
Through Bwindi, one can get round in a vehicle from car hire companies But there aren’t any roads inside the park itself that is why is it traveled around on foot. The Bwindi is appropriately named as ‘impenetrable forest’; the paths go through thick vegetation and may be steep. Make use of walking sticks provided at the beginning of the walk.
Top Things to do and See in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Ultimate Number one trekking adventure
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a habitat to 12 habituated mountain gorilla families that can be visited by tourists on a gorilla trekking safari. Gorilla trekking is one of the most popular and sought tourists activities in the world. The adventurous activity takes about an hour period of observing the great African apes after several hours of search in the Bwindi rain forest.
To be able engage into the activity of gorilla trekking, you need to obtain gorilla permits which can be booked on your behalf by a tour company such as Intare safaris. Gorilla Trekking is a physically demanding activity that involves forest hike trails in the rainy slippery wetlands of Bwindi during the rainy season, so go prepared. All trekkers are briefed on the Gorilla Trekking and Regulations to prepare for trekking adventure you are advised to read the Gorilla Rules carefully before your trek begins.
Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi
Getting closer to learn more about the Gorillas
There are only two places in Africa where gorillas are habituated that is Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Uganda and Volcanoes in Rwanda. The Gorilla Habituation Experience can be defined as the act of getting closer with the mountain gorillas to become used to the sight of people. It involves different groups of people like the trackers, conservationists, researchers and rangers among others who take a period of about 2 to 3 years completing this habituation experience. This experience only restricts the persons to a maximum of 8 each day, thus bookings for this kind of activity are to be done 6 months prior to the actual habituation day specifically during the months of December all through to March and July to October. Unlike gorilla trekking this takes four hours than the usual one hour and the cost is USD1500
Bird Watching in Bwindi Forest & Wetlands
Sights and sounds of the whisky birds in Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is undoubtedly is one of the highest ranked birding havens in Africa and Uganda as whole. With over 348 bird species recorded, these include 25 restricted-range species, of which 23 are confined to the Albertine Rift and four are globally threatened: African Green Broadbill -Pseudocalyptomena graueri-Vulnerable, Grauer’s Rush Warbler -Bradypterus graueri; Endangered, Chapin’s Flycatcher -Muscicapa lendu; Vulnerable and Shelley’s Crimson-wing -Cryptospiza Shelley- Vulnerable.
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 & Forest Hike Trails
Another indigenous way to explore the beauty of Bwindi Forest
Bwindi impenetrable national park has got three different unique walking trails established all leading to unique destinations and the to e taken depends on the route you choose like the Ivy river trail, Bamboo trail. On all these trails, you have opportunities to see and learn about primates, many species of birds, butterflies, trees, and other organisms. Contact Us to have this activity included in your 2 or 3 days Bwindi Gorilla Safari
Batwa Cultural Experience in Bwindi
A Cultural experience to discover the Batwa people
The Batwa people commonly known as the Pygmies used to inhabit Bwindi forest as their home but when it was gazatted as a National Park, they were chased out and have now started to live a normal life. They used to feed on wild animals, honey and herbs and could stay in trees or caves. This three to four hour hike to a Batwa village in the midst of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park will allow you the opportunity to meet Batwa elders and their families and learn about their daily lives. Through the assistance of a skilled interpreter you will discover the unique traditions and practices the Batwa people including their deep attachment to the forest, the cuisine they enjoy, how they harvest their food, the style of their homes, and their burial rites. Visitors are even given the chance to learn how to light a fire with just a stick and how to shoot a target with traditional weapons.
Mountain Biking in Bwindi
Biking through the hills of Kigezi highlands
Mountain Biking is becoming one of the most popular activity with in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The bikes that can be hired from the community are well maintained where you can enjoy the ancient forest from the back of a mountain bike which are some times rented for the day with or without a guide and it is a lot more fun. You will be guided with well trained guides in birds, wildlife and plants within Bwindi Impenetrable forest. The mountain biking around and in the Buhoma area is offered by a ride 4 women a self -helped group that guide you on biking through the forest, handle the rentals, repair and keep up the bikes in safe and good running condition
Planning a Safari to Bwindi? Discover the best lodges & Hotels
When you are considering to taking a gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable national park as your next destination to track the 12 gorilla families, for bird watching, batwa trail experiences and other primates watching, you would also be interested in knowing the accommodation options that you can choose from which include;
- Nkuringo safari lodgein Nkuringo Region of Bwindi
- Gorilla Forest CampIn Buhoma Sector
- Buhoma Community Campsite & Bandasin Buhoma Region
- Silverback Lodge
- Bwindi-View Bandas With Stunning views of Kabale Hills
- Gorilla Safari Lodgein Ruhija Sector