Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda on the edge of the rift valley bordering the Democratic republic of Congo. The national park covers a total area of 331 square kilometers which is characterized by wildlife species including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, animals like forest elephants, buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, different bird species, plants, butterflies among others. Bwindi impenetrable national park was gazetted in 1991 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994.
Top things to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Gorilla trekking is an adventurous activity which involves moving deep into the forest in search of the habituated gorilla family and once found spend one hour with the gorillas in their natural habitat. Bwindi impenetrable national park is the most visited national park in Uganda due to the fact that is harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of about 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors namely Buhoma sector in the north, Nkuringo sector in the south, Ruhija sector in the East and Rushaga sector in the south.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is the major activity which takes with a briefing about the rules, regulations and expectations of gorilla trekking. After the briefing you will be divided into groups of 8 people where each group will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek and an experienced park guide who is well conversant with trails in the jungle. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park takes about 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on where the gorillas are located because they like to move from one place to another in search of food. During trekking you will be able to view other primate species, mammals, different bird species, plant and tree species among others. Once the gorillas are located you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you a chance to observe their behaviors, habits, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, grooming young ones, playing, take photos and record the breathtaking moments.
Gorilla habituation experience
Bwindi impenetrable national park also offers gorilla habituation experience a process where the wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to human presence for trekking. Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi impenetrable national park allows visitors to spend 4 hours with the gorillas under habituation process. Gorilla habituation experience starts in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will start trekking in the jungle with a team of researcher, gorilla doctors, park guides, trackers among others. During trekking you will be able to view other wildlife species including primates like chimpanzees, l’hoest monkeys, vervet monkeys, mammals like forest elephants, buffaloes, different bird species among others. Once the mountain gorillas are found you will be allowed to spend 4 hours with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to monitor and record their behaviors, learn about gorilla naming, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, breastfeeding, playing, grooming young ones among others.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of more than 348 recorded bird species including forest birds, Albertine rift endemic birds, near endemic birds and migratory birds hence making Bwindi impenetrable national park one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. During bird watching you will be able to spot bird species like black bee-eater, black belled turaco, African broadbill, blue headed sunbird, Grauers broadbill, black faced rufous warbler, handsome francolin, purple breasted sunbird, Ruwenzori apalis, yellow streaked greenbul, Shelley’s crimsonwing, regal sunbird, olive breasted greenbul, mountain masked apalis, Neumann’s warbler among others.
Batwa cultural experience
Bwindi forest national park also offers Batwa cultural experience where visitors get an opportunity to interact with the Batwa people. The Batwa cultural experience was created by the displaced Batwa or pygmies to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. During the cultural experience you will be accompanied by a Batwa guide who will take through the forest where you will see how they used to live and hunt with traditional instruments like bow and arrow, visit their traditional homesteads, learn how to prepare local meals, interact with the medicine men, listen to ancient stories, enjoy traditional experiences among others.
Bwindi impenetrable national park offers interesting nature walks where visitors get an opportunity to explore the park on foot. The park has six main hiking trails in Buhoma sector including Muyanga waterfall trail, Rushura hill walk, Muzubijiro loop trail, Buhoma-Nkuringo trail, Ivi river walk and Habinyanja trail. During the nature walks you will be able to view various primate species like l’hoest monkeys, chimpanzees, black and white colobus monkeys, beautiful butterflies, plant and tree species like ferns, orchids, different bird species like African black duck, black bee-eaters, Pel’s fishing owl among others.
Best time to visit Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi forest national park can be visited all year round through the best period is during the dry season or peak season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the national park therefore hiking and gorilla trekking trails will be passable compared to the wet season when the trails are muddy and slippery hence making trekking difficult. During the dry season vegetation is also thin therefore you will be able to have clear views of wildlife species in the park.
Bwindi impenetrable national park can also be visited in the wet season also known as the low season in the months of March to May and November. During the wet season the park receives heavy rainfall and travelers who visit during this period will be able to explore the park with fewer crowds, enjoy great views of colorful bird species and lodges usually offer discounts which favors budget travelers
How to get to Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi forest national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda and can be accessed by both road and air transport means. When using road transport you will drive from Kampala or Entebbe through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and then to the park headquarters which takes about 8 to 9 hours drive.
Air transport means, when using air transport means you will book charter flights with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi airfield or Kisoro airfield and then connect to the park headquarters.