Doing a survey about the main motives for most of tourists to Uganda through interviewing them, obviously Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can’t miss the list. It’s one of Uganda’s frequently visited Parks that visitors taking Uganda safaris do not miss.
Bwindi is set at the edge of the Western Rift valley just in the highest part of Kigezi Highlands. Its altitudes range from 1190 to 2067 meters and temperatures range from seven degrees Celsius at night to 27 degrees Celsius during day time.
This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to the biggest percentage of Uganda’s mountain Gorilla population (about 400 Mountain Gorillas or more).
This highlights clearly why a number of travelers from different parts of the World pack for it particularly lovers of gorillas. Gorilla trekking is the main activity offered in the park.
If not gorilla trekking, there are other activities to occupy your days in Bwindi impenetrable National Park, one of the most fantastic places in Africa unusual to find anywhere else.
This Park is occupied by the impenetrable Bwindi forest and has a lot to marvel more than the incredible gorilla apes. Together with being one of the oldest Afro-Montane forests in the Eastern part of Africa, Bwindi forest survived the platonic shift that created the Albertine Rift.
With its age, it’s not a surprise finding plenty of unique plants and trees not found somewhere else while on a gorilla trek. Bwindi is actually a hidden treasure with much to offer including various activities that lets you take in amazing scenery, Wildlife, primates as well as bird species.
Things to see
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is among the most bio-diverse forests in Africa featuring one of the best ecosystems around the globe.
Over 100 species of ferns, 1000 flowering plants, 160 species of trees thrive in this impenetrable forest. Bwindi is as well a source of many rivers, waterfalls, flawless creeks and exquisite sights that are incredible.
There are 120 species of mammals embrace the lush habitats of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You can sight some including Mountain Gorillas, Forest antelopes, small antelopes like Duikers, bush pigs, forest hogs and more, Black and White colobus, Red-tailed monkeys, Vervets, Baboons to mention but a few.
The total number of 348 species of birds gives a reason why Bwindi is listed among Uganda’s top spots for bird watching.
The most common species of birds include the cinnamon-chested bee-eaters, green tinker bird, mountain and yellow-streaked greenbuls, Mountain masked and chestnut-throated Apalises, Red-faced woodland warbler, white-browed crombec, African green broadbill, White-tailed fly-catcher.
Other species in the Park include 27 species of frogs, 220 species of butterflies, geckos and chameleons.
Things to Do
When you talk about Bwindi Forest National Park, it’s mostly known for Gorilla trekking and the main to most of visitors to the Park. Meeting face to face with the Gorillas in the Jungles is such an inspirational experience.
There are four sectors in Bwindi to have this experience of a life time. The sectors include Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija sector located in different regions of the Park. Bwindi currently has over eighteen Gorilla families that are proved trekking experiences.
Bwindi has variety and each Gorilla family is allowed for trekking by one group of eight people per day.
It’s started in the morning from the park offices, distance moved and time taken in the Jungle depends on where these apes spent their last night. The permit for trekking Gorillas is a must and it costs $600 USD per person.
Gorilla Habituation Experience
Almost similar with Gorilla trekking but what differs is the time spent with the Gorillas. For gorilla trekking, only one hour is allowed while in presence of these apes. Then Gorilla habituation tourists spend four hours with the Gorillas in the Jungles.
It’s only in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Rushaga sector where you can have this experience. The permit for the experience costs $1500 USD per person.
A Visit to the Batwa People
Batwa people were hunters and gatherers who migrated from Ituri forest reserve of Democratic Republic of Congo and settle in the Western wing of Uganda. Used forest and caves as their shelter, fed on bush meat and tree leaves as their medicine.
With interest of conserving Wildlife, these people were evicted from the areas occupied by the Parks. By that time, the Batwa had no voice but currently numerous organizations have come up to defend their rights and improved their standards of living.
Setting off for a hike in Buhoma area or Buniga Forest walk is the best way to delve into the ancient lives and traditions of these people. This is often offered in the evening after your incomparable Gorilla trekking experience.
Hiking through Bwindi Forest
The always offered hiking expedition starts from the north of Bwindi to the Southern region for overnight stay as you get prepared for next day to continue up to the scenic Lake Mutanda.
Definitely this is the most popular hike in Bwindi, it rewards with sweeping views of rolling hills, stretching forests and towering volcanoes.
However there are other simple trails you can explore in one hour or full day depending on what you want. Hiking adventures in Bwindi are usually done with a guide to lead you through the Jungles.
Over 347 species of birds enjoy the fascinating habitats of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park including the Albertine rift endemic species.
All these numbers and unique species can’t leave the park unlisted among hot birding spots in Uganda. Now visitors come in from different parts of the World just to spot some of the rarest bird species in Africa.
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