Bwindi Forest National Park
We are glad to welcome you to the misty Bwindi impenetrable forest national park; the park is situated in the south western region of Uganda covering the districts of Kanungu and Kabale. Bwindi Forest occupies an area of 321 square kilometers and it is famous home to almost half of the remaining the endangered mountain gorilla species in the world, there are about 450 individuals recorded here and about 19 habituated gorilla families that are ready for gorilla tourism. In this article, we are glad to present you a guide about Bwindi impenetrable forest facts, historical background, wildlife, best time to visit, location of the park, top attractions and activities to enjoy when you take a tour to Bwindi plus other useful information that can be of help while planning an adventure road trip to Bwindi forest.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a UNSECO World Heritage Site that was gazzetted with a main aim to protect the life of the endangered mountain gorilla species that was being threatened by the hunting and illegal poaching practices. Originally, Bwindi forest was bisected into two sections and these were termed as Crown Forest Reserves. In 1942, these two blocks were combined to form one protected area and renamed – the Impenetrable Central Crown Forest, therefore this brought transformation point to its set up before it was declared a national park in 1992. By 1964, the crown forest crown was finally established and renamed as Bwindi impenetrable forest national park with great efforts of conserving the Mountain gorilla species.
In 1993, gorilla trekking experience was launched as a star tourism attraction and activity in Bwindi forest, apparently, Uganda is ranked the top leading destination for the safe, affordable and reliable gorilla safaris in the World. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is under the management of the Uganda Wildlife authority a governmental body that is in charge of all Uganda’s protected areas and reserves.
Geographical location of Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park
Magical Bwindi forest is situated on the edges of the might rift valley in south western region of Uganda, it covers up Kabale, Kanungu and Kisoro districts as earlier mentioned and it is found along the border of DR.Congo close to the Virunga national park – another precious home to the rare mountain gorillas.
Attractions and activities in Bwindi Forest Park
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a popular home to many fascinating tourists attractions and activities, the park is bisected into four sections namely; Rushaga sector in the south, Ruhija sector in East, Buhoma sector in the north and Nkuringo sector in south where you encounter different gorilla families that have been habituated ready for gorilla tourism. Some of the attractions and activities found in Bwindi forest include;
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
It is important to note that mountain gorilla trekking is the major key attraction and activity that is done in Bwindi forest national park, due to the fact the park is home to almost half of the remaining Mountain Gorilla species in the world about 450 individuals surviving here, thus there are about 19 habituated gorilla family, ready for gorilla safaris. For anyone to see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest national park, you are required to acquire a gorilla trekking permit and this costs $700 per person per single, however the activity is limited to persons below 15 years of age, the gorilla fees paid cover the professional English speaking guide, rangers, park entry, certificate of appreciation after trekking plus the tracking experience. After locating a gorilla family, you will be allowed to spend only one hour them while taking pictures with them and a maximum of 8 people are allowed to take part in the exercise.
Batwa Cultural encounter
After the awesome experience with the gorillas in the Bwindi forest, if time allowances, take a visit in the Batwa communities where you meet and greet with the local people- the Batwa/ pygmies (shortest people in the world). Here you get an opportunity to experience their culture through the performed cultural dances and songs. With a Batwa guide taking you through a community tour, take up a chance to learn and study more about their exciting lifestyle patterns of life.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is one of the best bird watching sites in Uganda where you encounter many interesting bird species, there are over 350 colorful bird species recorded, although 90% are Albertine rift endemic species, these include; African Emerald cuckoo, red tailed blue bill, sun bird, short tailed warbler among others.
Biking is an outdoor activity that is offered by a Women Organization termed as Ride for Women, mountain biking gives you chance to explore the eye catching scenic natural beauty of the park via the Buhoma mountains trails plus its amazing wildlife.
Hiking is one of the thrilling activities that give travelers long lasting adventure memories in the forest, it gives you chance to delight in a rewarding birding experience as you take a forest walk while exploring the forest, you as well encounter interesting primates like Chimpanzees, black and white monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others. In Bwindi impenetrable forest, Buhoma is the best section for fascinating hiking experience, there are many hiking trails such as; Buhoma-Nkuringo trail, Muyanga waterfall trail, Rushura Hill walk, Habinyanja trail, Muzubijiro trail and the river trail.
Accommodation in Bwindi forest national park
Bwindi forest is home to a wide range of accommodation facilities where you can stay while on safari to the park, it is paramount to note that each sector in Bwindi forest features its own accommodation lodges and camps to favor the mountain gorilla trekking experience to all tourist; these range from Budget, Mid Range and Luxury lodges blessed with impressive facilities and services. These include;
- Rushaga Gorilla Haven
- Ichumbi Gorilla lodge
- Nkuringo Safari Lodge
- Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge
- Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodges
- Buhoma Haven Lodge
- Buhoma Community Rest Camp
- Mahogany springs Lodge
- Gorilla Mist Camp
- Trekkers Tavern lodge
- Ruhija gorilla safari lodge etc.
Best time to visit to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Bwindi forest is a wonderful safari destination that is open to all visitors throughout the year, however the best time to visit the park is during the dry season when roads leading to Bwindi forest park are dry and easy to navigate through compared to the wet season when road plus trekking trails are wet, muddy and slippery making the trekking difficult. The dry season is as well the peak season for tourism and it occurs in the months of December to February and June to October, during these months there is little or no rain expected to interrupt the your safari activities but at the same time, we advise travelers to book their gorilla trekking permits in time at least 5-6 months prior to date of travel due to the fact that permits tend to sold out because of the high demand.
The wet season can be ideal time to travel for budget travelers, since this season is considered off/ low season thus few tourists travel for Uganda safaris, on this note, there are discounted rates for accommodation plus good safari offers from the tour operators. The rainy season features plenty of food for birds therefore it can be best time for bird lovers who get chance to sight many exciting bird species. However, you need to hire a 4×4 safari vehicle that is strong enough to manage the tough terrain in Bwindi forest.
How to get to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
The Park can be accessed by either Road or Air transport; From Kampala to Bwindi Forest is about 8-10 hours drive while covering a distance of 542.3 kilometers and from Queen Elizabeth National Park via Ishasha sector, and it is about 4-5 hours drive to Bwindi forest. Whilst from Kibale forest, it is about 2-3 hours drive and it is important to note that all roads connect to Buhoma entry gate including a connection to Butogota.
Alternatively, travelers that have issues of sitting in a safari car for long hours, can opt to book a chartered flight from the Entebbe airport and you will land in either Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip, upon landing, join a transfer to your booked lodge in the park. Book a transfer flight with either Eagle Air Uganda or Aero link; these operate flights to the safari parks of Uganda including Bwindi forest.
For more information and inquiries about how to book a Uganda safari to Bwindi forest, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our travel experts to assist arrange an awesome adventure road trip – fun packed with lifetime memories. Simply send us an email on email@example.com or call us directly on +256-775630809 or 0784912876 speak to our customer care personnel.