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A COMPLETE GUIDE to BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST IN UGANDA

BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST IN UGANDA TRAVEL GUIDE

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular of all Uganda’s national Parks. Located in southwestern Uganda, this UNESCO world heritage site features among the most splendid protected areas in East African Region. It lies at the border area between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) just along the Albertine rift valley. It covers an area of about 331 square kilometers comprising of mainly the montane and lowland forests.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park lies between altitude 1160 and 2607 meters and it was gazetted mainly to offer refuge to most of its incredible wildlife species. This park is one of the most biodiverse areas in Africa. It offers refuge to about 120 mammal species, 350 bird species, 27 frogs, 220 butterflies, 1000 flowering plant species plus more than 163 tree species as well as 104 ferns. As you head to the northern sector, you will find numerous Guineo Congolian flora that include 2 endangered species, brown mahogany and brazzeia longipedicellata.

The weather and climate of Bwindi National Park


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park receives rainfall amount of around 1500mm and given the kind of habitat, this park features as a significant rainfall catchment area. This UNESCO World Heritage Site also experiences two wet seasons and two dry seasons with a wet season starting from March to May and from October to November then the dry season begins from June to September and December to February.

The people


Like any protected area, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is surrounded by the Bakiga and Batwa pygmies. This also means that a visit to this park doesn’t only reward travel endeavors with magical mountain gorilla encounters but also with thrilling cultural experiences from the Batwa and Bakiga communities where you will be amazed by their rare dances, music performances and also get a chance to learn more about their life styles.

What to do in Bwindi National Park


BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST IN UGANDA TRAVEL GUIDE

Mountain gorilla trekking


The main activity in this park is mountain gorilla trekking and it takes visitors through the thick forest and steep slopes to look out for the rare mountain gorillas. To track gorillas in this park, there are four main trailheads where treks usually start from and they include Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. Each of these regions feature habituated gorilla families of which Bwindi National Park comprises of about 17 habituated groups which are readily available for this life changing experience. To be part of this lifetime gorilla safari experience, you need $600 to secure your permit.

Gorilla habituation experience


BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST IN UGANDA TRAVEL GUIDE

Unlike other destinations where gorilla trekking safaris are conducted, Bwindi National Park offers both the usual gorilla treks and gorilla habituation experiences. With gorilla habituation experience, you get opportunity to enjoy incredible moments with these great apes in the wild. Bwindi National Park is the only national park in the world where gorilla habituation experience is conducted. With this adventure, you have all the fours to be with gorillas, explore their behavior, take photos as many as you can. It is a rare experience the fact that it takes you through semi-habituated gorilla families.

Bird watching


BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST IN UGANDA TRAVEL GUIDE

For those of you who love birding, Bwindi National Park is one of a few remarkable birding habitats you need to consider a must to explore. About 350 bird species call this park a home and these include 23 species that are endemic to the Albertine rift. Among the many birds that thrive within this park include the African green broadbill, short tailed warbler, blue headed sunbird and others. Bird watching in this forested protected area is conducted in four of its main trails-Buhoma waterfall, bamboo zone, Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija.

Nature walks/hiking


This park comprises of 6 (six) nature trails most of which are found within Buhoma sector and you can embark on guided nature walks which take you through hidden treasures of this protected area. Among other incredible sites for you to explore include the waterfalls, primates, mountain views as well as bird species. The nature trails in this park include the Muyanga waterfall walk, Ivy River walk, Rushura hill walk, Muzubijiro loop, Habinyanja trail and many others.
Other safari activities for you to do while on safari in this park include cycling or mountain biking, cultural encounters.

Where to stay in Bwindi National Park


Bwindi National Park is known for its numerous accommodation facilities where tourists spend a night before or after their strenuous adventures. The available lodges for you choose for your overnight stay in Bwindi include Chameleon Hill lodge, Buhoma lodge, Mahogany springs lodge, Silverback lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Trackers safari lodge, Buhoma gorilla resort, Gorilla safari lodge, Bwindi Jungle Lodge and many more.

Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park


Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is reachable both by road and by air. By road, most routes to this park converge to Butogota approximately 108 kilometers away from Kabale to Buhoma through Ruhija. If you are traveling from Kampala, you will head off to Buhoma via Kabale to Ntungamo. There are also many other routes. Alternatively, you can embark on direct flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip where you can easily connect up to the park within a shortest time.

Conclusively, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is not only popular for mountain gorillas but also for a number of most significant wildlife species for you to catch a glimpse at while on Uganda safari.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.


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