Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Bwindi Forest National park) is a typical tropical rain forest with an annual mean temperature range of a minimum of 7–15°C to a maximum of 20–27°C. Its annual rainfall ranges from 1,400 to 1,900 millimeters. The heavy rains climax from March to April and from September to November.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest became popular to the world because of Gorilla trekking! It is a habitat for more than half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorilla population. These gentle primates are highly endangered species and the forest possesses more than 360 individuals of the plausible 800 plus mountain gorillas in the entire world. They are highly endangered because of poaching, habitat loss and diseases. This national park generates one of the highest revenues to Uganda Wildlife Authority amongst all the safari parks in Uganda.

Bwindi, located in the southwestern region, on the edge of the rift valley. Commonly referred to as the impenetrable forest, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the western side; Kabale town to the southeast is the nearest main town to the park, 29 kilometers away by road. It covers an area of 331 square kilometers and is located in the highest parts of Kigezi highlands with an altitude of 1,190 to 2,607 meters above sea level and 60% of this magical park has an elevation of over 2,000 meters above sea level. The highest elevation in the park is Rwamunyonyi hill at the eastern edge and the lowest part of the park is located at its most northern tip.

Bwindi Forest National Park is approximately an 8 hour or 9 hour drive from Entebbe by road and just 1 hour away by chartered flights. Usually the first and last days of Uganda gorilla tours are reserved solely for traveling and a few other minor activities along the way. The journey is quite long especially when you are traveling by road but definitely worth it after when you experience a close encounter with the mountain gorillas in it’s forests. There is just a lot behind this destination appearing among the most visited Uganda safari parks and am sure you will see it when you travel. Please check out the list of recommended gorilla safari companies that can organize for you exceptional safari expeditions in the wilderness of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You can also browse through some of our most popular safari packages below;

Safaris to Bwindi Forest National Park

 

Activities in Bwindi

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Trekking is an experience where a group of people get to hike/trek through the thick forests in order for them to capture a glimpse of what gorillas look like and be able to view the environment in which gorillas stay.

Bwindi forest national park currently has six gorilla trekking sectors namely; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, Nyundo and Rubugiri, with Buhoma and Nkuringo emerging as one of the most visited sectors.
The proximity of the national park to the border of Rwanda has long made it possible for tourists to combine Uganda gorilla trekking and Rwanda gorilla trekking experiences in a single itinerary. Such trips can begin either way depending on a client’s preference making it possible to do Gorilla trekking in Bwindi from Rwanda – about (4 – 5 hours drive) from Kigali.

When is the best time to trek Gorillas in Uganda?

The best time to visit the mountain Gorillas in Uganda is mid-June through October, December running through March. This period is the busiest and best time of the year . These are dry months of the year and are the high season or peak seasons for Gorilla Trekking. Though mountain Gorillas can be trekked all year long in Uganda, with no seasonal closures.

Gorilla Habituation

Gorilla habituation is an experience where one gets to visit the mountain gorillas for more than the usual hours time, since these gorillas are being trained to live among-st human beings. The experience is so fascinating as it gives the tourist more time to learn about the mountain gorillas and their behaviors.

In Uganda gorilla habituation only happens in Rushaga gorilla sector which is south of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
The best time to do gorilla habituation in Uganda is during June to September and December to March.

Bird Watching

Bwindi National Park is a home to over 320 bird species and 23 species. The bird species include Western Green Tinker bird, African Wood Owl, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Handsome Francolin, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Regal Sunbird, Collared Apalis, Montana Oriole, and Short tailed Warbler, Kivu Ground-Thrush, Chapin’s Flycatcher and African Green Broadbill and Green-breasted Pitta, African Green Broadbill, Great Blue Turaco Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Standard-winged Nightjar, flycatcher, Short-tailed Warbler, Doherty’s Bush shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-breasted Barbet and many more. .

Uganda gorilla trekking tour

Gorilla Trekking Sectors

Bwindi impenetrable national park has four gorilla trekking sectors which include Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Mugahinga which was recently added. Rushaga has 5 gorilla families and is actually the only sector that is permitted for Gorilla Habituation in Bwindi National Park. For one to be able to visit Uganda and Bwindi national park, one ought to be prepared for the experience because it will be mind blowing.

Getting to Bwindi

Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda is located about 478 kilometers from the capital city – Kampala and can take between 7 to 8 hours of driving. The journey is mostly on a smooth surface and a dirt murram road for the last part into the forest. Bwindi National Park can also be accessed from Queen Elizabeth National Park, diving through the Ishasha sector with 3 to 4 hours of driving.

Daily buses operate from Kampala to Kabale, Kisoro as well as Rukungiri via Kihihi. From those towns, you can easily connect to Bwindi National Park or arrange with a local guide to pick you up. The park can also be accessed by air, flying from Entebbe airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip on a domestic flight.
Aero link is a domestic operator with daily flights to Kisoro (only in the morning) and Kihihi airstrips of Bwindi.
Below are the flight schedules and times;

FromToDepartArrive
EntebbeKisoro07:45AM08:55AM
KisoroEntebbe09:10AM11:25AM
EntebbeKihihi07:00 AM08:45AM
KihihiEntebbe09:45AM11:25AM
EntebbeKihihi12:45PM01:55PM
KihihiEntebbe12:45PM03:55PM

Those who may want to visit Buhoma may take on the charter planes and land off from Kayonza airstrip.

Gorilla Families

Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are grouped in gorilla families which are given a gorilla sector to live in. The gorilla families usually have a silverback as the male and the one who runs the family. Gorillas are trekked according to the gorilla families and where they are located(Gorilla Sector). We provide you with a complete list of gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Cost of  Gorilla trekking in Uganda.

Gorilla trekking is an activity which takes place in Bwindi Impenetrable National park Uganda/ Bwindi Forest Nationa park and Mgahinga National park.

When considering the cost of Gorilla trekking in Uganda, note that the gorilla permit costs 600 USD. In the past years, it used to cost 450 USD during the low season however after sometime the discounted permits no longer exists. There are 13 gorilla habituated families and only eight people are allowed to trek the mountain Gorillas every day. Book your gorilla permit three months before travel.

How Long Does Gorilla Trekking Take

Mountain Gorillas inhabit the rainforest of Bwindi Impenetrable National park,(Bwindi forest national park) Mgahinga National park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking is an activity where tourists have a chance to trail through the forest in the wild. Gorilla trekking can be done in Africa in only three countries including Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republican of Congo with  Uganda Bwindi forest national park being with the most traffic.

Booking Gorilla Trekking

Booking Gorilla trekking; Mountain Gorillas are habitats national parks in Africa in three countries. The most profound national  parks where gorilla trekking  takes place include Bwindi impenetrable national park ( Bwindi forest national park) ,Mgahinga in gorilla national park both in Uganda. others include Volcanoes Rwanda park  and Virunga Congo national  park in DR. Congo.

Booking Gorilla trekking requires one to get a gorilla permit which is a card issued to Gorilla trekkers in the jungle to authorize their access to trek. The trek takes 30 minutes and 7 hours to meet the endangered species this depends on where they last fed and how faster the trekkers are. You are given one hour to see the mountain Gorillas as they play, feed, groom each other and many more.

Gorilla Conservation

The mountain Gorillas are one of the most successfully Conserved species which have increased to 370 individuals in the early 2000s. However of recent the gorillas have increased to 900 species inhabiting the area this happened in the recent census of 2018.

Bwindi Forest national park ( Bwindi impetrable national park) has for sectors, to metion: Ruhija, Rushaga ,Nkuringo and Buhoma. Each sector  has their own family members, the silverback male is the  leader of the group with a number of females and the off springs.

The park is a rain forest with thistles and nettles in the bamboo producing new shoots.

Gorillas start giving birth at the age of 9-12 years, the gestation period takes 9 months and the baby is weaned at the age of 3-4 years. When the males grow their pushed out of the family  to create other Gorilla family at the age of 12years the males will develop the silver back ,when the silverback is old it defends its family.

Uganda conserves two populations including Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable National park.

The borders of Uganda, DRC and Rwanda form Uganda portion of volcanoes.

Mountain Gorilla conservation and research activities in the Virunga, Volcanoes in DRC and Rwanda the conservation started in 1970s and 1980s.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in 1980s was discovered that the site was not only a habitat for the mountain Gorillas but was for many endemic and threatened species. Considering this information, this led to the designation of Bwindi as a park in 1991.

Biking Safaris

Biking Safaris is an interesting experience where travelers instead of using tour cars or walking treks, they move on bicycles. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park (Bwindi forest national park) offers biking safaris for its guests.

Bwindi biking safaris through the park gives the traveler an amazing view of the park as you enjoy a village bike ride. You also get a chance to spot a number of bird species, wildlife ,butterflies ,primates  all on the ride.

Sometimes the bikes are provided by the Organization in the names of Ride 4 a woman Organization.

Explore the forest as you enjoy the mountain bike, you can ride in a day with a well-informed guide, its very fun with a guide and you won’t miss out a thing on the trek.

The guide is well informed and trained in wildlife species, plant species, birds, trees of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest half a day or full day on a bike this is one of the reasons most people stay behind for another day for a mountain bike

Where to stay

Bwindi national park has a wide variety of budget and luxury accommodation facilities that can be offered to its visitors. Be sure to visit the accommodations to be able to make a selection of your preferable choice. Some of the accommodation facilities offered around and inside Bwindi Forest National Park are all in budget, mid-range & luxury settings. Lodges
Some Of the Accomodation Facilities in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Book a Gorilla Permit

gorilla permit is an identification that shows that a traveller has been approved either to trek the gorillas or to do gorilla habituation. Gorilla trekking permit is cheaper that gorilla habituation permit. Be sure to choose the right Tour Operator to help you book a gorilla permit in advance.

What Safaris Company should one use?

Be sure to choose a genuine safari company that will offer you a wide range of services that will suit you. They should be able to provide you with suitable transportation and guide your trip perfectly.

Safari Packages

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park offers a number of safaris packages which one can choose from and be able to have a proper planned trip. A traveler is advised to choose a safaris package of his/her choice so that their bookings, accommodation, movements and activities are planned and organised for them. Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park offers trips that cover both Uganda and Rwanda.

Bwindi forest plays a key role in regulating the outside area’s environment and climate. Bwindi National Park was designated as a national park in 1991 and in 1994, it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site because of its ecological importance and a 10 square kilometer area was incorporated into the park.