Bwindi National Park is the leading tourism destination in Uganda situated in South-Western Uganda just at the extreme Rift Valley. Bwindi National Park lies on an area of about 327 km² on the edge of the western Great Rift Valley neighbouring the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park, and was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO National World Heritage Site in 1994. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the World’s primary mountain gorilla tracking destination with over 630 mountain gorillas found here making it the most favourite destination to travellers looking to gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Wildlife in Bwindi National Park
Bwindi National Park hosts over 120 type of mammals and 51 reptiles that has been recognized for its abundant wildlife and specifically being a home to over 630 of the world’s rare mountain gorillas, where out of 980 mountain gorillas that are still living in the world, half of them are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda. The latter includes several primates among them chimpanzee, blue monkeys, L’Hoests’ monkeys (Cercopithecus lhoesti), elephant, red-tailed monkeys (Cercopithecus ascanius), baboons (Papio Anubis), colobus monkey, grey-cheeked mangabey, red tailed colobus and the golden monkeys that are endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Birdlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a magical site with several habitats that support varied avian species and out of over 369 notable species of birds, 23 of them are Albertine Rift Valley endemics and this represents about 90% of the overall Albertine Rift endemic birds. These include the short-tailed warbler and blue headed sunbird. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest gives a chance to bird lovers to have an opportunity to spot out different bird species and this has made Uganda one of the leading destinations for bird lovers in Africa which is possible in any part of the Park, the forest has ideal trails for bird lovers which are well kept to allow bird lovers to achieve their dreams in the Park. The Buhoma waterfall trail, Mubwindi swamp in Ruhija and Bamboo zone are the key trails in bird watching where you just relax and breathe fresh air as you appreciate the sights and sound that nature offers.
What to do in Bwindi National Park
This is the most thrilling experience to encounter while in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, such activity offers you excitement which is worthy while tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest is conducted all year round where you fulfil your excitement with over 36 gorilla groups within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park but only 19 can be visited for gorilla tracking since others are still undergoing habituation process. Gorilla tracking is a magical hour in the company of a family of mountain gorillas. Tracking the gorillas can last from a few hours to a whole day depending on how far the group has been moved since it was observed nesting up the previous evening. There are four Gorilla groups include Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Buhoma.
Gorilla habituation In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Gorilla habituation is lifetime experience in Rushaga which is the most amazing experience in Bwindi Forest National Park with Mountain Gorilla Family of about four hours in a day such this makes thrilling experience to encounter with Gorillas which is done all year round in Bwindi forest. You get to spend time alongside researchers as they prepare a wild gorilla group for human interaction thus spending more hours observing and learning more about the mountain gorilla lifestyle!
A nature walk in Bwindi Forest National Park offers you perfect experience to explore several attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are six nature trails found in Buhoma for those looking to explore the “impenetrable forest” on guided nature walks. The trails take different directions and expose the visitor to a number of sites including waterfalls, primate encounters, mountain views, tranquil nature and impressive birdlife. Muyanga Waterfall Walk departs from Buhoma along the River Ivi-Nkuringo trail and culminates in the sensational sight of the falls plummeting 33 meters. Rushura Hill Walk passes through one forest shared by two countries. On a clear day, you can view Lakes Edward and George and the Rwenzori Mountains as well as the conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes. Such hiking is normally from the north of Bwindi to the South where you keep observing different primates and bird species which leaves you appreciating the nature of Bwindi forest Park in different trails
Batwa cultural in Buhoma
The Batwa cultural experience will also show you how they lived in huts made of grass, trees, the use of tree-houses, caves. Experience the Batwa village life of old, the sharing, of living as a community. The Batwa trail experience in Buhoma is the most popularized and well known cultural experiences in Bwindi but there are more interesting and rewarding cultural experiences and community tours in Bwindi that will expose you to the local Bakiga community culture and the Batwa communities.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the best birding destinations in Africa with over about 348 bird species have been recorded at Bwindi to bird watchers such gives you an experience to encounter with 25 restricted-range species, of which 23 are confined to the Albertine Rift and four are globally threatened: African Green Broadbill -Pseudocalyptomena graueri-Vulnerable and so many others
Best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National park is open for gorilla trekking all year round, the best time is from June to August and December to February. There is less rain during this time making gorilla trekking easier. March to April and September to November are usually a very wet month, although they make the best bird watching time, during these months, it is usually misty and wet making Gorilla trekking difficult
Where to stay
Being the leading tourism destination in Uganda with over 610 mountain gorilla leaving in Bwindi National Park. The park has beautiful accommodation which is on international standards such as Buhoma lodge-luxury, chameleon hill lodge-luxury, cloud mountain gorilla-luxury, gorilla camp lodge-luxury, gorilla safari lodge-luxury and mahogany safari lodge-luxury and Gorilla mist camp-midrange, Gorilla valley lodge-midrange, Nkuringo gorilla camp-midrange, Silverback lodge-midrange, Engagi lodge-midrange, Lake Kitandara camp-midrange and broadbill forest camp-budget, Buhoma community rest-budget, Wagtail eco safari camp lodge-budget, Bwindi view Banda-budget, Nshongi camp-budget and Ruhija gorilla friend resort-budget
How to get there
The Bwindi national park can be accessed by road and it is 520 Kilometers from Kampala of about 8 hours drive. The main trail-head at Buhoma is about 460kms from Kampala and can be reached by road from several directions. The main safari circuit approaches from the north through the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park providing a chance for the famous tree climbing lion. Bwindi National Park is 160km from Mweya in central Queen Elizabeth National Park and 62km from Ishasha. The most direct route from Kampala follows a surface road to Rukungiri via Mbarara and Ntungamo.
Kihihi airstrip is the closest domestic airport to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is the luxury transport for one who wants to reach faster at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is approximately 1 hour and 20 from Entebbe international airport. Kihihi airstrips connecting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park especially the Buhoma sector which takes about 40mins to Park headquarters, Kihihi airstrip serves the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National park.