One of the two national parks in Uganda that is home to the endangered mountain gorillas, along with Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is well-known throughout the world for epic gorilla trekking adventures. However, it is more well-known than Mgahinga because it contains nearly half of the world’s total gorilla population.
As Uganda’s most popular tourist attraction, it serves as the tourism industry’s main pillar in gorilla trekking safaris. More than half of the 1060 mountain gorillas in the world find refuge here, with the rest residing in the nearby Virunga Ranges, which include Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Bwindi, which means “darkness” in the local language, is the name of this amazing forest and a hike through it will explain why. Along with the dense vegetation, which includes about 400 different plant species and 324 different tree species, ten of which are only found in this area in the entire country of Uganda, you will also be able to quickly comprehend why the forest is actually said to be impenetrable on top of that are its steep slopes and ridges that are constantly shrouded in mist.
There are at least 200 butterfly species, 350 bird species, 120 animal species, and several reptile species in addition to gorillas.
Because there are so few habituated gorillas (gorillas trained to tolerate human presence and unlikely to attack) in this area, the time offered to see them is limited. Permits are currently available for $500 per person. There are no regrets after spending time in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of the most breathtaking rainforests you will ever see, with these incredibly fascinating mountain gorillas.
Since 1993, the park has welcomed a significant number of visitors from around the globe who want to go gorilla trekking in all its glory.
Experience the beauty of ‘gorilla land’, which offers a wealth of opportunities for wonderful exploration and photography. It is home to gorgeous vegetation, fascinating fauna, spectacular waterfalls, pristine rivers and much more.
Enjoy adventures into the dense Bwindi jungles, from the well-known gorilla treks to wildlife hikes on well-maintained trails.
The park is a haven for nature lovers, hikers, family vacationers, outdoor enthusiasts, and photographers of all levels.
While gorilla trekking is the main activity, visitors can also partake in a variety of adventurous pursuits while they are here.
Tourist Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Mountain gorillas have been unquestionably present in Bwindi since 1993, when pioneer families were first habituated. It currently has four sectors with over 19 habituated groups, 18 of which are accessible for tracking gorillas, and the 19th group was set aside for research and habituation experience. Bwindi is the most popular gorilla trekking destination and most affordable for tourists.
Gorilla habituation experience.
This intriguing experience is only available and possible in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, during this activity tourists are only allowed to spend up to four hours with a mountain gorilla family undergoing habituation. This charming experience is one of a kind in the entire world. Tourists can visit one of the two gorilla groups that are currently undergoing habituation and experience what others describe as fascinating.
Birdwatchers will love Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is home to over 351 bird species, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics such as the Rusty-faced Woodland Warbler, Bar-tailed Trogon, Short-tailed Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, and White-tailed Blue Monarch, which are difficult to find elsewhere in East Africa. This park was also named Africa’s top birding destination.
Cultural tours to the Batwa People
The Batwa were the forest’s indigenous inhabitants, having lived there for thousands of years before the Bantu (known as land cultivators) arrived. The Batwa, also known as pygmies, were originally hunters and fruit gatherers who settled in the jungles of South-western Uganda and beyond. This fascinating Batwa experience involves tourists learning about the ancient way of life of these people.
There are numerous routes spread out across the four sectors (Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija, and Nkuringo), so visitors can combine their gorilla hike with a wildlife walk. Visitors can learn about different kinds of trees, some monkey species, butterflies, and even bird species by taking nature walks. This activity is majorly done by tourists on longer stays like 2–4 days within Bwindi.
The Buhoma Village walk is a popular community walk where tourists take a 3‑hour cultural walk through the villages to see how rural Ugandan households live. Community tours are led by a tour guide who is typically a village native who is very knowledgeable about the people’s cultural values, customs, and practices.
When to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
The park is open to visitors throughout the year, though it is more difficult to navigate during the wet season. Road travel from Kampala to the park is expected to take 8 hours due to the park’s isolated location and bad road conditions.
Domestic flights from Entebbe International Airport arrive at Kihiihi and Kisoro Airstrips, providing easy access to the park.
A resort, tented campers, and rooms managed by the neighborhood are available for tourists close to the Buhoma entrance gate. The park can easily be accessed from Kampala in Uganda and Kigali in Rwanda