Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is among the tropical rain forests in Uganda with an annual temperature range of a maximum of 20-27oc to a minimum of 7-15oc. This park has annual rainfall ranges from 1,400-1,900 millimeters. Its heavy rains climax is around March-April and September-November.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national is well known as the best national park in the world for gorilla trekking because it has more than half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorilla population. Mountain gorillas are highly endangered species and this park has more than 360 individuals of the credible 800 and mountain gorillas in the whole world. These primates are endangered because of diseases, habitat loss as well as poaching. This park is among the safari parks in which make the highest revenues to Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Bwindi Impenetrable is found on the edges of the rift valley in the southwestern region and it is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo, also nearby the main town of Kabale district which takes only 29 kilometers away by road. This park has an area of 331 square kilometers and it is also found in the highest parts of Kigezi highlands with an elevation of over 2,000 meters above sea level. The highest elevation in Bwindi forest is Rwamunyonyi hill at the eastern edge and the lowest part of the forest is found in the northern tip.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is about 8-9 hour drive from Entebbe by road whereas by chartered flights is just 1 hour. The journey is quite long mostly when you’re using the road but worth it after when you experience a close encounter with the mountain gorillas within the forest. The Bwindi impenetrable national park is surrounded by a lot of tourist attractions that you can’t miss out on when visited Uganda safari parks.
Activities to do in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is located in southwestern parts of Uganda sharing tree districts that are Kisoro, Kabale, and Kanungu district. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has a lot of amazing tourist attractions which made it to be among the best places one cannot miss out while planning to tour East Africa. This forest is endowed with various attractions which attract a lot of tourists. Some of the attractions are mountain gorillas, thick forest, a lot of bird species, different tree species, extremely steep hills, rivers springing out on were flowing with freshwater, therefore this has made Bwindi impenetrable forest national park be among the best destinations not only in Uganda and the entire world. The forest also hosts other wildlife apart from mountain gorillas and these include forest elephants, antelopes, African civet, forest elephants, side stripped jackal, giant forest hog and others.
Gorilla trekking & Gorilla Habituation.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is carried out through trekking thick forests and get a chance to known and see how mountain gorillas look like as well as viewing the environment in which gorillas stay. Currently, in Bwindi impenetrable forests national park, Gorilla trekking is carried out in six sectors namely; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Nyundo, Ruhijja Rushanga, and Rubugiri. You can also do Uganda gorilla trekking and Rwanda gorilla trekking experience in a single itinerary. This tour can begin in Uganda or Rwanda according to your choice because it is possible to do Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Rwanda which takes a 4-5 hours’ drive from Kigali.
Gorilla habituation is among the best experience you should not miss out on your Gorilla safari in Uganda as it gives you more time to learn about these primates as well as their behaviors.
Gorilla habituation in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is only done in the Rushaga sector which is found on the south side of the park. The best time to do this experience is mostly during the dry months that are from June-September and December-March.
The best time to trek gorillas in Uganda is best during the dry season when the trekking trails are easy to access. These months are June-October and December. However, mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest can be carried out throughout the year.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is also the best place for bird lovers, as it is a home for about 320 bird species that one can see on a birding trip. These bird species are Chestnut-throated Apalis, Chapin’s Flycatcher, short-tailed warbler, Western Green Tinkerbird, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Africa Green Broadbill, Black-breasted Barbet, Handsome Francolin, Collared Apalis, Red-throated Alethe and among others. Therefore, do not miss out on bird watching on your gorilla safari in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Hiking trails in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is also among the best tourists attractions. Each trail in the park takes you to numerous parts of the park and attractions and all these trails give you a chance to encounter a lot of mysteries of the park. These are trails used when doing nature walks or hiking as below.
Bamboo trail– This trail takes about 6 hours to complete the full and it goes towards Rwamuyonyi peak. Bamboo trail is also the best trail for bird lovers.
River Ivi trail– River Ivi trail is one of the best trails for bird lovers and it takes you through the escarpment of Nkuringo, it is just 7 hours which covering 14 kilometers to complete the hike.
Waterfall trail– This trail leading you to the park’s waterfall with about 4 hours to finish the hike.
Habinyanja trail – This trail takes 4-6 hours which takes you through the past river Munyanga and this trail is mostly used by tourists after trekking Habinyanja gorilla family.
Kashasha river trail– To complete this trek, it takes only 5-7 hours, Kashasha river trail runs through Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors of the park.
Muzabajiro trail- This trail is an exciting trail with beautiful views of Virunga and western valley. It covers only 6 kilometers and it gives you a chance to see beautiful ferns, peaks of Virunga volcanoes and a lot of bird species.
At first Batwa people were living in Bwindi forest but later they were chased away and the forest turned into a game reserve to a national park. These people are now living outside the forest and they are also known as Batwa pygmies. These people are regarded as the keepers of the forest and hunter-gathers who mostly depending on gathering fruits and hunting wild animals, they also still practicing their ancient lifestyle. On your trip to Bwindi impenetrable forest do not miss out to visit Batwa people and encounter these amazing people where you will get a chance to see how they build houses using local materials, local dance and drama, hunting small animals, and among others.
Biking safari is among the most interesting experience in Bwindi forest where tourists move on bicycles instead of using walking trek or tour cars. This park provides a biking safari for its visitors.
Biking safari is also an amazing experience because it gives you a chance to see the whole forest as you enjoy a village bike ride as well as spotting a lot of bird species, primates, wildlife animals, and butterflies, and so on.
Bikes in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are offered by the organization which is known as Ride 4 a woman organization.
Biking safari gives you a chance to explore the whole forest while enjoying the mountain bike, this can be done in one day with a professional guide, it is best with a guide because you won’t miss seeing anything on the trek.
To enjoy this safari, it is very important to have a well-trained guide in wildlife species, birds, plants, and among others and this can be done half a day, full day or you can stay behind for another day for a mountain bike.
Gorilla trekking sectors in bwindi forest national park.
Gorilla trekking is the process of moving from one area to another searching for the mountain gorillas and after meeting these primates you’re supposed to spend only 1 hour and interact with them. This period gives you a chance to know more about mountain gorillas. There are 4 gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which are distributed among the district that makes up Bwindi national park and these include:
Rushaga sector– This sector is found in Kisoro district and this sector is where you will find the biggest number of habituated gorilla families and it is the only sector in Bwindi forest where one can conduct gorilla habituation.
Ruhiija sector– The sector is found in Kabale district and it is the nearest sector to other sectors if one is traveling from Kampala.
Buhoma sector– Buhoma is found in the northern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in Kanungu district. It is the first sector formed for tracking than other sectors.
Nkuringo sector– This sector is located in the Kisoro district. It has the biggest number of habituated gorilla families than other sectors.
How to get bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
This park can be reached from any part of Uganda and northern Rwanda. From the capital city of Uganda that is Kampala, it takes about 8-9 hours by road while using Masaka highway to Mbarara, to Kabale, Kisolo, and Kanungu. The driving time depends on the gorilla tracking sector of the park a tourist likes to go to. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can also be accessed from Rwanda and it takes about 4 hours to reach Bwindi forest from various border posts. Air transport is also available with flights departing from Entebbe to the Kihihi airstrip which is nearby two sectors is Buhoma and Ruhiija. Another airstrip can be accessed from kisoro which is close to Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors. Recently there is another flight formed which connects from Masai mara national reserve to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park by air Kenya.
Procedures of gorilla tracking in bwindi impenetrable national park.
All gorilla trekking destinations have got procedures but this depending on the gorilla tracking sector one is interested to track from. If you like to do gorilla trekking in any sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, you must have a gorilla tracking permit issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). The price of gorilla trekking permits depends on the residential status and nationality. Gorilla trekking permits in Bwindi costs 700 USD for foreign nonresidents, 600 USD for foreign residents, and 250,000 citizens of East African. How to get these permits, you can get them from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) offices or you can use a trusted tour operator like Africa Adventure Vacations Ltd and enjoy one of the greatest experiences. After reaching the park on your date of tracking, it is very important to get briefed from the park headquarters and known the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking. Later rangers will head you into the jungles in search of the gentle giants. It will take you 30 minutes to 5 hours to find the Bwindi gorillas and after meeting these primates, you are given only 1 hour to interact with them. Also get to know their lifestyles like how mothers breastfeeding their young ones, nesting, and family activities. You can take videos and pictures with these animals as souvenirs.
How long does gorilla trekking take in Bwindi forest?
Gorilla trekking in this forest can be carried out any time between 30 minutes from 3-4 of the whole day. However, the gorilla tracking time frame is mostly depending on the location of the gorilla group that you have been assigned to track. This can also depend on the gorilla’s movements, where they spent the earlier night or the movements of the trekkers like some people may move at a slow pace yet others may be physically fit enough to trek through the forest in search for the gorilla.
Things Included In A Gorilla Permit
To enter some of the national parks in Uganda, one is required to pay entrance fees to access the park, but if you paid for a gorilla trekking permit, there is no need to pay entry fees because the fees are catered for in Uganda permit price already. Therefore, after paying a gorilla trekking permit, you shall not pay entrances fees in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park as well as in Mghinga gorilla national park. A gorilla permit in Bwindi forest also includes the ranger and security fees which you are assured of while in Bwindi forest.
Excluded in a gorilla permit.
If you are interested to do a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla national park, you must have a gorilla permit. Gorilla trekking and habituation in Bwindi forest is possible to do in 1 day mostly when you are flying to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or having a Bwindi gorilla safari from Kigali. So, a tourist needs to deal with, meals and accommodation because all these are not catered for on your gorilla permits in Uganda.
Where to stay during gorilla safari in Bwindi forest.
A trip to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is completed with accommodation services. In Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the first destination where mountain gorilla trekking is done and you can trust me it is a wonderful adventure in Africa. You should spare some time and explore the wild and have an amazing experience as you spend your night in the lodges that are comfortable and fitting to your budget in Bwindi forest. Bwindi Forest National Park has a lot of accommodation facilities ranging from budget, midrange, and luxury. Some of these lodges are; Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, and others.