Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is the highlight of gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda and above all, it harbors half of the population of mountain gorillas that are remaining in the world. The park is positioned in the south western part of Uganda in the Kanungu district, estimating 8 to 9 driving hours from the south west of the capital city of Uganda. This national park first gazette in late 1991 to conserve and protect the endangered mountain gorillas and in 1994 is was declared as a UNESCO World heritage site dues to it’s rich in biodiversity and ecological purpose and it’s under the protection of ‘’UWA’’ Uganda wildlife Authority the body that manages all the ten national parks in Uganda. However, Bwindi impenetrable national park as a total area of about 332 square kilometers and it lies at an altitude of 1160meter to 2607meter above the sea level. Bwindi was infamously known worldwide because of being a home of the highest mountain gorilla where you can visit and leave with a quite unforgettable experience in a lifetime. Bwindi impenetrable forest does not only inhabits these gorgeous mountain gorillas but along your encounter, you can still have another chance of viewing other species in the park. The park is also home to over 120 mammal species such as the great ape “mountain gorilla”, elephants, duiker, civet cats, clawless otters, bush pigs, side-striped jackal, buffaloes, golden cats,220 butterflies ,360 bird species few to be mentioned African emerald cuckoo, African harrier hawk, dark caped bulbul and giant kingfisher and many more.
Tourist attractions in the park
- Mountain gorillas: Bwindi impenetrable national park is the only gorilla destination in the entire world and in East Africa to harbor with the highest population of this creatures that’s why Uganda is called the pearl of Africa .Bwindi mountain gorillas are found in four gorilla sectors where tourists carryout there gorilla trekking experience from and such sectors include ;Ruhija ,Nkuringo ,Buhoma and Rushanga sector .The endangered mountain gorillas in park can be viewed during tourist gorilla trekking activity which is done in montane rain forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest.
- Chimpanzees: Though Bwindi Impenetrable national park most sounds as a home to great mountain gorillas but still it harbors with other variety of species such as chimpanzees which cannot be habituated in here but you can be able to spot these chimpanzees during gorilla trekking or nature walk and also other primates can be seen during your trekking experience such as white and black monkeys, L’hoest’s monkeys many more.
- Wild animals: The park also boasts with over 120 mammal species which are not commonly seen due to the dense tropical rainforest and such animals include buffaloes, duikers, side-striped jackal, golden cats, giant forest hogs, civet and many more.
- Bird species: Bwindi Impenetrable national park is a haven for birders and is one of the birding destinations in Uganda that harbors with over 360 bird species and about 23 species are endemic to the Albertine rift valley. Such birds to be spotted in the park during your nature walk include White-headed Saw-wing, Yellow rumpled Tinkerbird, Grey-crowned crane, Waller’s Starling, Jameson’s Antpecker, Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, blue-headed sunbird,common bulbul, Short tailed warbler, giant kingfisher, African green pigeon, kivu ground thrush and many more.
- Batwa people: Before the existence of this park, Batwa pygmies where the first migrate people to live in Bwindi forest with mountain gorillas and used to eat the same fruits with these apes in harmony. On your safari to Bwindi impenetrable national park never leave the park without visiting the Batwa trails where you will meet these Batwa people and interact with them, learn about their lifestyle, enjoy their narrative story on how they used to live with mountain gorillas in the forest, get excited with their traditional dances.
Best done activities in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
- Gorilla trekking: This is the major done activity and the best memorable encounter in lifetime carried out in Bwindi impenetrable forest. Bwindi gorilla trekking allows trekkers to move in group of 8 people per trek into the tropical montane rainforest in search of the habituated gorilla families. The park harbors with 19 habituated gorilla families splinted in four sectors namely Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushanga but each in different locations of the park. Gorilla trekking starts early in the morning have visitors breakfast, the driver drives you park headquarter for briefing about the rules to be followed while trekking. After you meet a ranger to but you must be 15 years and above that is starting trekking age, the ranger leads you to forest trailhead to trek gorillas and this is an activity that can last 30 to 7hours depending to their location. Once they are located your given one hour to spend with them observing as you learn their lifestyle, behavior, take photos and videos recording and many more.
- One to be able to engage in this thrilling gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi impenetrable national park you must acquire a gorilla trekking permits which is issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices. Uganda gorilla trekking permits cost USD600 per now but effectively by 1st July 2020 it will be costing USD700 per person per trek for foreign non-residents, foreign residents of Uganda will pay USD 600 and UGX 250,000 for East African Citizens remains the same.
- Guided Nature walks or Hiking: This is one of the most interesting activity done in the park that gives you a high chance to explore the Bwindi Impenetrable forest while on foot as you enjoy the cool breeze of the area while listening to sweet melodies of birds, be rewarded with great views of primates species, beautiful butterflies among others. Bwindi impenetrable nature walk is best done in Buhoma sector where there are 6 hiking trails such as Munyaga waterfalls trail which offers great views of the waterfalls, Muzabajirro loop trails rewards with great views of primates, tree species, Rushurra hill walk offers a panoramic view of lake Edward and lake George, Rwenzori mountain ,Buhoma Nkuringo trail gives travelers stunning views of misty hillsides, Buhoma River offers wonderful view of a variety of bird species, Ivi Riverwalk takes you through Mukempu area good for viewing wild pigs.
- Mountain biking: This sounds like a not commonly done activity on safari Uganda but quiet amazing activity to those who have engaged in before in Bwindi. This is an activity that can be carried out in and around Bwindi Impenetrable forest and this mountain biking is organized by woman organization in the park which rents bikes to travelers who are interested in mountain biking. Mountain biking experience usually begins in the morning hours with a trained guide who shows you the trails to follow while sharing information about wildlife species in the forest. On your mountain biking ,you will ride in 13km trails starting from park headquarters to Ivi River which takes about 6 to 7 riding hours and be able to view primates such as white and black monkeys,red tailed monkeys , duikers, L’hoest’s monkeys, chimpanzees, squirrels ,meet the local people along the trails as such Batwa people,craft centers, farmlands, plant and bird species many more thus giving you a lifetime encounter to pearl of Africa.
- Bird watching: Bwindi Impenetrable national park is a home of over 360 bird species with 23 endemic species to Albertine rift. Bird watching in Bwindi is best done along the trails like the waterfall trail in Buhoma ,Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija ,Bamboo zone many more .Some of the birds to encounter in here are African green pigeon, African Emerald Cuckoo, giant kingfisher, grey gecko shrike,handsome francolin, black bee eater ,Rwenzori batis ,Collared Apalis, African wood owl , Strange Weaver, Mountain yellow warbler .red throated alethe ,African green broadbill many more .
- Culture encounter: Bwindi impenetrable national park is surrounded by local community where you can carry out your culture encounter through visiting the Batwa people who used to live with mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest before it was gazette into a national park in 1991 and get a chance to learn about their lifestyle, their culture about their cooking style, listen to their stories of long ago on how they used to live with this gentle apes, visit their craft shops thus associating into a unique culture.
Where to stay in Bwindi
The park has a numbery of quality accommodation facilities ranging between Budget to luxury lodge with good amenities and safari lodges in Bwindi include ; Buhoma Haven Lodge ,Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge ,Bakiga Lodge ,Gorilla Valley Lodge ,Nkuringo Gorilla Camp ,Bwindi Lodge ,Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Lodge ,Broadbill Forest Camp ,Cloud Lodge ,Nshongi Camp ,Gorilla Safari Lodge ,Gorilla Mist Camp ,Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Buhoma Lodge ,Silverback Lodge ,Mahogany springs Lodge ,Bakiga Lodge ,Agandi Lodge among others.
Best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is open throughout the year but the best periods to visit the park is during the dry season in the month of June –September and December to February these are the right month to visit the park when the road are passible and the forest tail heads are dry without muddy and being slippery.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is located in the south western region of Uganda and can be reached either by road and air transport means.
By Road transport: Travelers can use road transport because it is quite rewarding with countryside and roadside viewing though it takes long to access the park to about 8 to 9 hours from Kampala city to main destination. To those from Kigali international Airport can connect to Chanika border in Kisoro or katuna border in kibale the journey that lasts about 3 to 4 driving hours to reach the park. To those on their visit to Queen Elizabeth national park, connecting to Bwindi journey seems to be shorter which takes 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
By Air transport: Travelers from Uganda you can book a domestic flight at Entebbe international park like Aero link Uganda limited that operate in charter and scheduled flights to fly to Kihihi Airstrip near the park and be drop up with the guide.
Lastly, Visit Bwindi impenetrable national park and encounter your closest cousins in their nature habitant and leave with a truly memorable experience in lifetime. And the time book your gorilla trekking permits in now, you can book your tour package to Bwindi with us Achieve global safaris and also do your accommodation, transport arrangements.