The three horned chameleons in Bwindi impenetrable national park; The three horned chameleons are endemic specie that are found in the misty forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park which is located in southwestern part of Uganda in Kanungu district. The national park is also famously known for harboring the mountain gorillas, other primate species like l’hoest monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, mammals like forest elephants, buffaloes, duikers and over 350 bird species including 23 Albertine rift endemic species.
The three horned chameleons are also known as Trioceros Jackson have three brown horns on the forehead that are possessed by mature male chameleons, one horn is on the nose and the other two horns are above the superior orbital ridge after the eyes.
Just like other chameleons, the three horned chameleons change color to blend with the surrounding environment as a way of communication, to easily hunt down their prey and also to hide away from predators like bird and dangerous snakes.
Facts about the three horned or Jackson chameleons in Bwindi impenetrable national park
The three horned chameleon is one of the East Africa’s endemic specie that is mostly found in areas with higher altitude of at least 1,700 meters above the sea level.
The three horned chameleons are endemic to the Albertine rift valley region which means that in Uganda they can only be seen in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Rwenzori national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park and other areas in Rwanda and the eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo.
The three horned chameleons have eyes that can rotate at 360 degrees hence enabling them to see all directions without moving, this helps them to catch their prey and also protect themselves from predators.
The three horned chameleons have tongues with unique muscles at the tip that allow them to trap their prey which are insects including grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, butterflies, bugs among others.
An adult three horned chameleon can grow to a length of 30 centimeters and can live for over 5 years.
Best time to visit Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi impenetrable national park can be visited all year round though the best period is during the dry season also known as the peak season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season the national park receives little or less rainfall therefore access roads and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable compared to the wet/ rainy season when the trails are wet, muddy and slippery which make chameleon tracking difficult.
How to get to Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in southwestern part of Uganda and can be accessed by road transport means whereby you will drive from Kampala or Entebbe through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and then to the park headquarters which takes about 8 to 9 hours’ drive in a 4WD safari vehicle.
Bwindi impenetrable national park can also be accessed from Kigali Rwanda where tourists will fly to Kigali international airport and then connect to the park which takes about 3 to 4 hours’ drive via Cyanika border in Kisoro or Katuna border in Kabale.
You can also access Bwindi impenetrable national park by air transport means whereby you will book charter or scheduled domestic flights with Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters by road.
Where to stay in Bwindi impenetrable national park
There are a number of accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable national park where you can stay during your safari. The accommodations range from budget, midrange and luxury including Four Gorillas lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi lodge, Buhoma lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla lodge, Wag Tail Safari lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Safari lodge, Gift of Nature lodge, Cuckooland Tented lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari lodge, Chameleon Hill lodge, Bwindi Jungle View lodge, Bwindi Guest House, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodge, Gorilla Resort, Engagi lodge, Eco Marvels Gorilla lodge, Mahogany Springs lodge, Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp, Nshongi Camp, Silverback lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort among others.
Tourists who wish to view the three horned chameleons in Bwindi impenetrable national park can engage in an interesting activity like chameleon tracking which can be booked through a trusted tour operator like Achieve Global Safaris. Tourists can also combine chameleon tracking with other activities like gorilla trekking, bird watching, guided nature walks, Batwa cultural tour among others.