Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South Western Uganda is situated close to the rift valley’s borders at the DRC Congo border. The 331 km2 forest that makes up the park has both lowland and highland areas.
The Mubare gorilla troop was the first troop that could be viewed after Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was proclaimed a national park in 1991. Due to the park’s protection of around 1000 critically endangered mountain gorillas or half of their global population gorilla trekking is a well-liked activity.
Uganda is a home to a sizable number of gorilla families. They are dispersed throughout the various regions of Bwindi Forest National Park. Therefore, it is suggested that you choose your preferred family before coming in order to save time. By scheduling your upcoming excursion with Gorilla Expeditions, you may spend quality time with gorillas as you enjoy the distinguished gorilla trekking.
Wildlife in Bwindi: More than 120 mammals, including 11 primates, can be found in Bwindi. These creatures are all protected in the dense forest of the park. Among them include Elephants, duikers, buffaloes, golden cats, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, black-fronted Duiker, yellow-backed duiker, clawless otter, side-striped jackal, civet, numerous bats, rodent, primates like black-and-white colobus monkeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, De Brazza monkeys, Red-tailed Monkey, Blue Monkey, Potto, Demidoff’sGalago, Spectacled Galago, Baboons, Chimpanzees among others.
Birds in Bwindi: 35 different bird species can be found in the park, 23 of which are unique to the Albertine Rift. The bid species include the Shelley’s Crimson-wing, Chapin’s Flycatcher, and Grauer’s Broadbill. The Handsome Francolin, Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis, White-bellied Robin Chat, Black-billed Turaco, Fraser’s Eagle, Western Bronze-naped Pigeon, Purple-breasted, Blue-headed, and Regal Sunbirds are only a few additional species.
Things to do in Bwindi National Park
This major tourist site should not be missed by any visitors. More than 20 habituated groups and about 600 gorillas are present. The districts of Rushaga, Ruhija, Buhoma, and Nkuringo in the southern part of Bwindi are where it takes place. After locating them through trekking, visitors are permitted to engage with habituated mountain gorillas for roughly an hour. Additionally, there are beautiful birds, butterflies, and apes to see.
Gorilla habituation experience:
Another approach to appreciate gorillas is through this exercise. Habituation is the process of acclimating gorillas to and putting them at ease around humans. This takes place in the Bwindi region’s Rushaga region, where tourists can see gorilla activity. The ideal months for gorilla habituation are December through March and June through September.
During gorilla habituation, Anything is possible in the process of weather in early spring—rain, fog, snow, and yes, sunshine, there’s gorilla habituation is a full day activity where a specific gorilla are identified in the forest, and they keep on monitoring this particular family for a period of 3-4 years, unlike the normal trekking where a gorilla trekking permit cost $700, and you stay only 1 hour with the gorillas, but with gorilla habituation permit a permit cost $1500 and only 4 permits are issued a day and those engaged in the gorilla habituation usually spend 4 hours with the gorillas, maximum fitness is required remember these are not yet fully habituated gorillas that are used to human visitation therefore maxim fitness is required in order to keep following the gorillas ass they also keep moving. Because its full day activity, therefore one is required to go with packed lunch , along side rainy jackets and fully charged cameras
The park is very enjoyable for birdwatchers. Over 350 different bird species may be seen in Bwindi Park, 23 of which are exclusive to the Albertine Rift. The park is a great place to go bird watching because it is home to 14 bird species that are unique to this country. It is available in the regions of Buhoma, Mubwindi Swamp, and Ruhija Rushaga, and it works best in June and July when there is less rain. The African green broadbill, the short-tailed warbler, the blue-headed sunbird, and the Rwenzori nightjar are a few of the birds that can be observed. For distant bird observation, binoculars are advised.
Nature walk: These are carried out in the woods along a number of trails, such as the Habiyanja route, the Muyanga waterfall walk, and the Rushura hill walk. Both a forest and a park are crossed as they move forward. The sounds of birds singing can be heard while visitors observe primates including monkeys and baboons, among other species.
This exercise is offered by an organization for women called Ride 4 a Woman. The trail up Buhoma Mountain is accessible by bicycle. Bush deer, black and white Colombus monkeys, and other species can be seen there, along with other fauna and breathtaking views from the peak, making a visit to the park memorable.
During your trip to Bwindi, see additional Batwa tribal settlements. A lot of people come to the park to see the Batwa because they are one of Uganda’s native tribes. It enables students to participate in traditional dances and songs that portray their way of life in the forests, as well as in agricultural and craft projects, and it gives them the chance to interact with local healers who use plant-based remedies to treat patients.
Combined with hiking and gorilla acclimation, this activity is performed. The park offers guided nature treks along the well-kept trails in the Buhoma area, including the Munyaga River Trail, which leads to beautiful waterfalls, the Rushura Hill Walk, and Habiyanja Hill.
Sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
There are about 22 habituated gorilla families in Uganda, with 21 of them being located in Bwindi. These can be found in various Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga neighborhoods. The difficulty of the walk may vary because the topographical topography at each trailhead differs. For the six-hour hike detailed below, which starts early in the morning, there is an administrative center at each trailhead that acts as the starting point.
Nkuringo: The Southern, mountainous part of Bwindi, immediately across from Buhoma, is where this 2,100-meter-high sector is situated. In 2004, it first became accessible to the public and is situated on the Nteko Ridge above the valley of the Kashasha River. The hardest to get of the four, it provides a comfortingly gorgeous perspective of the Virunga volcano range, as well as simple access to the Batwa, a number of lakes, and nearby farming communities.
Rushaga: This area permits 40 people to go hiking because there are ten gorilla families there. This trailhead is the first thing you will see as you enter the park from the south. You may go gorilla trekking in Nkuringo if you are staying in Rushaga or the neighborhood. Even the smallest hikes can offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience because of the area’s natural ecosystem. It might offer stunning mountain vistas.
Ruhija: The more challenging of the two sectors that make up Bwindi Forest National Park’s northern region is Ruhija, which is 45 kilometers from Buhoma. Hikers who have a great desire to investigate the forest’s interior are the ideal candidates for it. Four gorilla groups that can be trained or hiked with are now part of this group. A flavor of the local way of life is always available to guests at this inn, one of the top luxury cheap lodges for tourists on a tight budget. It also offers a fantastic variety of luxury lodgings.
Buhoma: At the 1993-opened trailhead, you will find the park’s administrative headquarters. From the Bwindi forest’s northern side, it is reachable. To help you experience the woods more authentically, it offers a variety of activities including viewing Batwas, riding motorcycles, and creating local crafts. You can develop a more in-depth understanding of the natural world through a variety of activities, like going to Batwa, riding bikes, and creating local crafts.
Bwindi is accessible by road from Entebbe and Kampala in 8 to 9 hours and 6-7 hours, respectively. From Queen Elizabeth National Park (Ishasha), it takes around 2-3 hours to reach there, while from Lake Mburo National Park, it takes about 4-6 hours. It is advised that you drive a 4WD vehicle because the roads become impassable during the wet season. For those going on walks to see mountain gorillas in the Southern part of Bwindi, there are three airfields in Kisoro close to Nkuringo: Kihiihi, Kyonza, and Nyakabande. This entails that flights between Kajjansi and Kisoro can be scheduled.
Best to time to visit Bwindi.
The weather in Bwindi Forest National Park, which is year-round and situated in a tropical area, is unpredictable. The wettest times of year are from mid-March to the end of May and from late September to the start of November. The dry months of December, January, and February, as well as mid-June to mid-September, are the ideal times to visit Bwindi.
Accommodation options in Bwindi Forest National Park
Depending on what part of the park a guest decides to visit, different types of housing are offered. The Buhoma Community Rest Camp and Buhoma Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, and Buhoma Lodge are a few examples. Every one is accessible throughout several sectors.