Bwindi Impenetrable 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 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 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 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 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.
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. .
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;
Those who may want to visit Buhoma may take on the charter planes and land off from Kayonza airstrip.
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.
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.
Some Of the Accomodation Facilities in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Book a Gorilla Permit
A 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.
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.