Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the most visited Uganda national park covering an area of about 331SqKm, is a home to almost a half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas left in the world, and gorilla tracking is a major high light to very many traveler’s to Uganda, meeting these creatures eye to eye is regarded a breathtaking moment in life difficult to forget. Bwindi impenetrable forest is the oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest with over 4000 species of plants. It lies on the edge of the rift valley in the south-western part of Uganda about 530 km from Kampala Uganda’s capital and it largest city passing via Kabale,kanungu to Buhoma about 7-9 hours. Charter flights can also be used from Entebbe international airport or Kampala (Kajansi airfield) to the modern tarmac airstrip at kisoro town. The scenery is rugged, with deep valleys running between steep sided hills and ridges. There is both lowland and montane rainforest with dense undergrowth of herbs, vines and shrubs, making the Park look impenetrable. Not only gorillas but the park is also a home to over 120 species of mammals , 346 species of birds, 202 species of butterflies, 163 species of trees, 100 species of fern and 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos among many other species. It is a UNESCO designated World Heritage site popular for mountain gorilla, and it’s one of the few parks in the world where you can find gorillas and chimps to co-exist in the same environment. There are very many tourist activities that can be done at the park, these include;
Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a major highlight to most of travellers who visit this park, gorilla tracking is unforgettable experience done on earth, it’s worth the money you pay for this activity and the effort needed to reach the Bwindi and the trek from the forest.
Tracking gorillas begins very early in the morning after reporting at the park headquarters for registration and briefing starts at 8:00 am either at Buhoma, Ruhija,Nkuringo and Rushaga. Then after tracking begins at 830am, follow the ranger guide to the forest to begin the activity, possibly tracking time is unpredictable it can go from half or full day so a reasonable degree of fitness is called for together with tracking gears such as strong shoes/boots, long sleeved shirts or blouses, bottled water and packed lunch. However ounce these species are met you will forget all the troubles you’ve gone through and utilize the one hour you are allowed to stay with these giants, observe their behaviours as well as taking as many photos as you can (a flash camera is not allowed). Apparently bwind has 10 habituated gorilla families and only 8 members are allowed to track in each group so it’s always advisable to book your gorilla permit in advance at least 3-4 months before your safari. Book with your tour company as gorilla permits are issued on first come first served basis so the earlier the better. Having a gorilla permits is a guarantee for tracking, however it’s not a guarantee for seeing the gorillas, although chance of sighting is 95% or more and most of the time park rangers know where the gorillas can be located due to their experience. The minimum age for sighting these endangered mountain gorillas is 15 years and minimum time to stay with gorillas is strictly one hour. Uganda Gorilla permits are at a fee of $600 per person per tracking during the high seasons and they are at $350 during the low seasons. Book your gorilla permit with us to avoid inconveniences.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is also a best place for bird watching as it houses over 346 species of birds some of which are Aibertine rift endemic like the short tailed warbler, 14 species found nowhere else in Uganda, including the African Green Broadbill.
This another interesting activity done at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, exploring the park on foot to various places is considered magnificent, taking various trails will lead you to various interesting places like the Muyanga river trail in the valley below Buhoma provides an ideal short walk to view birds and primates along the forest edge. See also different species of plant, butterflies and ferns during the nature walk. Forest walks can take between 1-4 hours.
This activity gives you more insight about how the African people live, meet the local community around Buhoma village the Batwa community these people will entertain you through their traditional dance and music, explain to you how they have managed to live in the area and also take you through their hunting skills and fire making techniques
Where to stay: Lake Mutanda Chameleon Hill, Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany Springs, Gorilla Resort, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge -Luxury/ Lake Mutanda, Silver Back Lodge, Lake Kitandara Tented Camp, Gorilla Safari Lodge Gorilla Mist Camp, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp Site- mid range/ Buhoma Community Bandas, Wagati Eco Lodge- budget