The Parks where you can track mountain Gorillas in Uganda.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This park shelters over half of the mountain Gorillas outstanding in the world that’s why it is noticed as the highly and most toured park in Uganda. Basing on the last statistic, it is therefore vivid that there is a total of 400 mountain Gorillas and more in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This is a UNESCO world Heritage site, blessed with a lot to venture, though those who tour this instinctive rain-forest mainly do engage in Gorilla Trekking.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest is the most bizarre/imaginary place in the all of Africa, its unique in its nature and with plenty to present, not only the incredible mountain Gorillas therefore its logical for one to spend/have a long safari/trip visiting Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
This forest (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) in East Africa is crowned the oldest Afro-Montane Forest, it subsisted/endured the earth’s shift that formed the Albertine Rift that is all over it. – It is alleged that this forest (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) may have been settled 370,000 – 400,000 years ago by the Batwa People-referred to as the initial community of the Rain-forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a hidden treasure/gem in Uganda waiting for you to explore, reliant on its oldness, you can be able to spot plants and trees therein of which they aren’t common and spotted anywhere else. Most times those who explore this forest concentrate on the mystic Gorilla trekking and end up missing on the phenomenon of a lot of the ancient forest. In this park (125 square mile), there exists various activities that one can get involved in, the wonderful setting, plants, wildlife, primates, birds, to mention but a few.
This park (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) is one of the most remarkable assorted forests in Africa featured with both flora and fauna in plenty on the Continent.
- Bwindi is situated in the South western parts of Uganda, with some parts bordering with the Democratic Republic of Congo. This forest (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) is a basis of many rivers, waterfalls, untouched bays, beautiful views, etc. It also shelters about 160 species of trees, over 100 species of ferns, over 1000 flowering plants, and Afro –montane vegetation that is simply unbelievable.
- Bwindi Impenetrable forest is characterized with a tropical type of climate that scopes from 7℃ in the night & raises to 27℃ during the day, its altitude runs from 1,190 m-2,067 m and found at the verge of the Western Rift Valley in the highest part of the famous Kigezi Highlands.
- Still in this forest/park you are able to discover about 120 species of mammals involving Forest Elephants (hairier, smaller, smaller tusks, one extra toe on each foot), trivial Antelopes such as Duikers, Bush pigs, Giant Forest Hogs, several small species of Cats, etc.
- Apart from the incredible existence of plenty of mountain Gorillas, there is plentiful of Primates involving Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, Potto, Demidoff’s Galago, Spectacled Galago, Baboons, Chimpanzees, etc.
- These endangered species of Chimpanzees are seldom located in this park. It is projected that there exists about 300- 400 of them. They are rarely spotted and have not been habituated, still they are not stalked in this place due to protective measures since following them would put more tension and activity into the park apart from Gorilla Trekking.
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a Birder’s nirvana containing 348 species of birds like the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson-wing, the Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls and Chestnut –throated Apalises, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Batis and White-tailed fly-catcher, to mention but a few plus 220 species of butterflies, 27 frog species, chameleons, geckos –in other wards there is plenty awaiting for you to explore in this forest/park (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest).
Here are the 10 Top Things to Do and See in-near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is segmented into four sections and these are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Buhoma found in the Northern region of the Park where Gorilla trekking commonly takes place, then 45-minutes away you are able to reach Ruhija. And in the Southern part of Bwindi Forest there we find 2 sections (Rushaga & Nkuringo). These southern sectors are easily accessed from Rwanda and a picturesque 4-hour plus drive from Kigali, Rwanda.
This is the number 1 activity in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and so it marks the highest of reasons as to why most visitors come to the park. This park offers a far fetched setting/framework for this once venture in a lifetime. There is occurrence of 4 trail heads from which one is able to track one of the gorilla family groups for which you have attained permits for it. Since most of the Gorilla families have been habituated for trackers, this only means one thing that, it’s evident that there are about 100 daily Gorilla permits un taken /existing in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Be certain to have the right clothing for the activity(trek) and carry/pack what is recommended of you.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the finest, Safe, Secure destination in Africa for the incredible Gorilla Trekking with the added value of lower permit prices.
Gorilla Habituation Experience in Rushaga section
Well, record has it that Uganda alone is the only country where one can be able to spend 4 hrs with a mountain Gorilla family (Gorilla Habituation Experience) together with scholars in Bwindi’s Impenetrable National Park. This experience of being with a mountain Gorilla family being Habituated is a breath taking venture in Africa, life time experience, so unforgettable.
At present there were two family groups getting close and used to human contact and wouldn’t run away from the trekkers, so they a presently being habituated. Gorilla Habituation Experience involves few partakers yet you spend more time with the mountain Gorillas of the Jungle.
You can as well have your flight to Kigali- Rwanda and arrive 4 hours later and be in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The choice lies with you, is it of budget, mid-range and luxury lodging and you are able to stay either in Rushaga section/ Nkuringo section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Other Primates you can spot in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
So most times when engaged in this activity (Gorilla trekking) in the park you will definitely be able to view/spot other primates like the Chimpanzees. Instantly you might hear their yells/screams but they are infrequently spotted around Cuckoo Land Lodge in the section of Ruhija of the park. Animals like Black and White Colobus Monkeys are most likely to be spotted definitely while tracking Gorillas / in the Forest hiking.
Since there are no nocturnal walks in this National Park, one is most likely to miss spotting animals like Potto & various Galago species, unless you get the chance to spot them near your lodge. You might spot L’Hoest’s Monkeys, De Brazza Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, Blue Monkeys as you are trekking through the forest. All such views improve your time with these Gentle Giants of the wilds.
Cultural Encounters with the first people of the forest-The Batwa
The Batwa People were the first people to dwell in this forest for years, they are pygmies, were hunters, collectors and stayed in forests of southwest Uganda and beyond. They left a tiny organic/natural footprint on the forest and stayed in peace/accord with nature. Preservationists claimed that they were ejected from their traditional home- the jungle. In the early days these people(Batwa) existed as trespassers, vagabonds, sometimes would be accused of being drunk all the time, marijuana smokers, lazy people, etc. They even never had a say, no voice of theirs could be heard, no one to represent them either, completely nothing.
But look at them at present, their voice is now heard, they can even fight for their rights as the first community that was & is still staying in the jungle, have now gotten improved living conditions, medical attention, education, to mention but a few, all thanks to the different organisations that have given them a platform to express themselves.
If you want a slight view and true picture into the lives & traditions of these Batwa Pygmies, you can have that encounter in the Buhoma section of Bwindi and through the Buniga forest walk close to the Southern Bwindi. It also re-establishes a bit of their self –esteem & preserves their cultural observes flourishing so as to be passed on to future creations/peers.
Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This is one of the principal birding destination in Africa. It shelters over 347 species of forest birds verified in the park,70 out of 78 montane forest bird species existing in the Albertine Rift region are found in the forest and 22 out of 36 prevalent species in the area. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been declared Africa’s number 1 birding site where you can find various species prevalent to the forest. Now tourists come from all different parts of the world simply to view and have a sight at some of Africa’s infrequent birds and at the same time entice their safari by getting engaged in tracking mountain Gorillas, plus relishing other close primary birding places.
Hiking through Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest
This activity can take one day or the prolonged hiking that is from the north to the south of Bwindi-referred to as Nkuringo, that one you can be able to stay for a night and then proceed the following day to the beautiful setting of lake Mutanda where you scull across the wooden dugout and continue to Kisoro town.
This is the most famous hike via 2 trails of Bwindi Impenetrable – but still there are other trails plus nature walks, ranging from easy to moderate, in & near the forest that can be on foot and this takes about an hour to a full day.
Always this activity of hiking through the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is done with a guide. These Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hikes have become more prevalent for the last few years, especially with those who decide to Gorilla trek twice, once in Buhoma section of Bwindi Impenetrable and in the South of the same park.
Hikes and Trails in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Sections of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga & Nkuringo there exists some trails and these involve Birding trails, others could focus on the setting of Bwindi Impenetrable forest.
You can still join/add Hikes & Nature walks still on to your Gorilla Trekking Safari or Even on your Gorilla Habituation Experience all in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
It’s not true that you can only hike via the forest alone, No, there still various hikes and nature walks both in & outside of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that can also still match your fitness stages.
To hike through/within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest acquires you pay a daily Park Entrance Fee, the ranger guide Fee per person while once you hike outside the trails of the Park Only Guide Fees is paid for the day.
Village Walks such as the Buhoma Village Walk
This is a 3 hr cultural walk via the village, you get to learn and discover the ways and culture/tradition of these people living in the Buhoma section of Bwindi Impenetrable. Usually this walk is being directed by a local guide with enough/more knowledge about the cultures and customs of these specific people.
You will get to know how people make local crafts like baskets with the most complex designs, beer gotten/brewed from Bananas, and a distillery from which local Waragi Gin from Bananas is made, have chance to meet traditional healer and get to know more of what is collected in the pre-historical forest, how it is reserved and used to infirmities, trust me here you will be astonished
Still view how they do/manage and harvest their local produce, prepare food while using charcoal or open fire, tour a school, and encounter the Batwa Pygmy society as they dance & entertain you, to mention but a few. It is unquestionably a cultural learning venture, and the rate of the walk sustains the local community.
NB: Remember each of these sections in Bwindi Impenetrable forest do involve village walks among their activities, the Buhoma as the oldest, the Nkuringo section being the next second, and probably can embark on a Village Walk in both the Rushaga section & Ruhija section of the Park.
Mountain Bike Rides Buhoma and other areas of the Park.
There are support groups (Ride 4 a Woman) which present mountain bike rentals & directed bike both in and around the National Park (Bwindi Impenetrable) in the section of Buhoma.
Still more you can embark on the Village Walk using a bike with a guide. There are exclusive Birding Bike Rides, a simple ride through the forest like the Ivy River Trail and these rides usually last for 3 hrs or longer since there is much to view/sight as you trail/road. These guides are professionals, all well-skilled, some specify in birding, others dedicate themselves in culture teaching but all much aware and knowledgeable about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which they all treasure and want to protect.
NB: The Buhoma section offers the finest Biking venture. Unluckily, there no planned biking encounters in the other parts of the park.
Bwindi Community Hospital – one of Uganda’s Best Rural Hospitals
This Hospital is situated in the Buhoma sector and being reinforced in portion by the donations made by Gorilla trekkers, it gives it a purpose to be on the critical verge of medical care.
The Hospital offers excellent care, Dental and Sight care inclusive. The infant mortality rate that has intensely deteriorated in the area and life expectancy expressively accumulated. The hospital contains a fine children ward, presents dental care and sight care to the society. It is mainly reinforced by the current and previous Gorilla Trekkers to the National Park. This Hospital does offer a fore taste of what health care is and can be like for Rural Ugandans, therefore tourists/visitors are free to come and see them anytime.
Is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Safe and Secure?
This park/forest is one of the safest National Parks in all of East Africa. There are absolutely 4 National Parks where you can track Mountain Gorillas from of which 3 of these for the past 20 years have no security issues ,yet one (Virunga National Park)- the oldest park in Africa & situated in Eastern area of Congo where there were insecurities & Havoc created by Rebel Groups like the Mai-Mai, Criminal Gangs like the Charcoal Gangs.
It is evident that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is non-violet and secure of which you can’t exist this park without an armed Ranger bodyguard/ Escort. Rangers and the Ugandan Military 24/7 observe/inspect the park and activities therein. And never do you go on a Gorilla Trek without armed bodyguard/escort.
This park (Bwindi Impenetrable) grosses more income for Uganda Wildlife Authority compared to any other park. The permit and the entrance charges are used for protection of the Gorillas, the forest and local societies offering infrastructure for those close to the park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park/Forest is the peak trinket for Uganda Wildlife Authority, and therefore everything is done to conserve the park, the gentle giants (mountain gorillas) & tourists that come to tour here from all corners of the world.
Where to stay in or near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Where to stay is a question that rings in most of the visitors ‘minds when they tour Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and engage in activities like gorilla tracking, hiking, biking, cultural walks, birding in the prehistorical rain-forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park sorts from budget to luxury accommodation. The series of lodges is widespread, most especially in the Buhoma section of the Park.
In the present years, auxiliary lodges have leapt up in the other places of the park offering tourists a series of choices and preferences.
Lodge costs tend to be complex around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest compared to other parks in Uganda, on the good side, lodge costs are lower than in neighboring countries like Rwanda for Gorilla Trekking.
We use usually consider and use eminence Lodges reliant on the response gotten from our visitors and our reflections.
Best Gorilla Trekking Safaris that include Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest sheltering about 480 plus Gorillas out-stands the finest destination in East Africa for Gorilla Trekking activity/venture, in addition to that it has gotten more Habituated Gorilla Groups compared to any other destination elsewhere.
It’s not a guarantee that you will only trek Gorillas on your tour/trip, No, but still in Bwindi Impenetrable forest is the only destination where you can embark on an all-day Gorilla Habituation Experience, having 4 hrs all to yourself with these gentle giants/ gorilla group being habituated.
Gorilla Trekking – a once in a lifetime experience.
Luxury Gorilla Safaris include Safaris, fly into Rwanda-Trek Gorillas in Uganda Safaris. Gorilla trekking is a once in a lifetime venture.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
This park (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) is a 9-hour drive from Entebbe International Airport. So do breakdown that long transfer into smaller transfers by integrating various parks and activities.
Your flight into Kigali (Rwanda) & do Gorilla Trekking in Uganda – Kigali International Airport is the entry to Southwest Uganda. Just a simple transfer of about 4 hrs and you arrive in Rushaga section / Nkuringo section in the Southern close of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with some of the fine Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.
Fly-In Gorilla Safaris: Here you can be able to fly from Entebbe to Kihihi and reside in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable forest or have a flight to Kisoro and reside in the southern region of the park.
Most of our clients decide to fly into Kigali Rwanda and do Gorilla trekking in either Nkuringo sector or Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which is just a 4 hr transfer from Kigali.
Best Time to visit Bwindi Forest:
This National park contains a rain-forest, so then it can rain year in and year out.at any time of the year and in this case most rainfall falls during the night or perhaps early in the morning. The sun does come out on most days.
Months of January through March, June through October and the last 2 weeks of December is the best period of the year to tour Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
This activity (Gorilla Trekking) takes place in both rain or shine. There have never been any annulments due to intemperate weather in the area.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest-our Take
We by now know Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the activities done therein and as listed above, stayed and been accommodated at several lodges in this park, aware of the local communities like the Batwa and gotten used to the trails as we have used them more often.
We also have an idle and knowledge all about the gorilla families that are sheltered in this park because we normally tour various groups to view and sight how the treks are. We keep up with the latest updates about Bwindi Forest and the Gentle Giants that live here