Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Boasting one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, Bwindi is also world famous for it's population of the endangered mountain gorilla. The park is also a sanctuary for colobus monkey and chimpanzee.
- Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees and 8 other primate species
- 350 + species of birdlife
- Mountain gorilla trekking
- Bird safaris
- Forest walks
- Wildlife safaris
- 327 sq km
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south-western Uganda on the edge of the western Rift Valley bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park found in South Western Uganda offers visitors the African jungle experience. In local language(Lukiga) Bwindi means ‘impenetrable’. The warning is apt as the park is 327 sq kms of tangled plant life draped over a deep fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high, drafty ridges. The terrain is difficult to manage, but it is well worth the effort.
Bwindi is one of Africa’s most ancient rainforests and a trek through this forest in search of the endangered mountain gorilla ranks as one of the most rewarding wildlife encounters in the world. Bwindi is home to approximately half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. There is also a substantial chimpanzee population and Bwindi is the only forest in Africa in which these two primates co-exist.
Bwindi is home to approximately 120 species of mammal in one of the richest ecosystems in Africa. It is home to the mountain gorilla, chimpanzee and 8 other species of primate including black and white colobus, olive baboons, red colobus and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey and L’Hoest’s monkey.
Bwindi’s major tourist safari attraction is the mountain gorilla. Bwindi is home to 2 habituated groups of Mountain Gorilla’s namely the Mubare group of 16 gorillas and the Habiyanja group 23 gorillas.
Over 360 bird species have been recorded which is remarkably high considering the fact that there are a few water birds compared to other parks. Bwindi is a bird watchers haven. The park is home to over 23 species and at least 14 species endemic to Bwindi. It is also home approximately to 200 butterfly species including 8 Albertine Rift endemics. Dedicated butterfly watchers should hope to identify an amazing more 50 varieties in a day.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest is also home to Elephant, bush pig, giant forest hog, many species of bats and rodents, at least 14 species of snakes, 27 species of frogs and toads, 6 chameleons, 14 lizards, skinks and geckos and an amazing 202 species of butterfly.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an exceptionally rich and varied ecosystem. It is one of the most unique and important forests in Africa. The park ranges from lowland to afro-montane forest, a moist tropical forest that is unique in Uganda and rare among East African protected areas. It has remained a forest for millions of years.
The landscape is rugged, with deep valleys running between steep sided hills and ridges. Barely a square kilometre of the park is flat. The vegetation is dense, especially in areas regenerating after disturbances such as fire, hence the name ‘impenetrable’.
The forest is an important water catchment area. It is the source of 5 major rivers which carry about 80% of the runoff into Lake Edward.
Dry Season: January and February plus June to September are the driest months and are the best time for gorilla trekking. Even in the dry season you should be prepared to get wet in the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. Rainy Season: many roads are impassable after the long rains of March to May and it becomes hot and humid with a very slippery forest floor. It also usually rains in October and November.
Temperatures: a pleasantly hot temperature of 80°F (25°C) can be expected from June to September, rising to 85°F (27°C) in January and February
A trek to view the gorilla’s can entail anything from a 1 to 4 hour trek through the forest, led by experienced trackers who have spent their entire life living in or close to the forest. The trek can be quite arduous and conditions can be challenging at such high altitudes.
Viewing of the mountain gorilla’s is limited to 1 hour and there is a maximum of 6 visitors per group. Booking to secure a place on a trek are recommended as soon as practicable.
WHEN TO VISIT
All activites in Bwindi are run year round.
Accommodation at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Buhoma Community Rest Camp is a local community project and benefits the local people in the Buhoma area by providing employment.
After an exciting and exhilarating day on a gorilla trek in the forest, return to hot showers and the comfort of the Buhoma Lodge.
At this stunning eco lodge with eight bandas, you can spend the day on the terrance, which juts out into the forest, mesmerized by its exotic sound watching primates and birds in the canopy.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda. This eight tent camp is one of the most remote and atmospheric in Africa.
At Silverback Lodge birdwatching and primate viewing is possible right from the front door of your room.
Dian Fossey visited this hotel many times to relax, meet people and do paperwork. She described the hotel as her ‘second home’.