Which top things can i do in bwindi impenetrable forest national park-uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a protected area in Uganda that is home to half of the total remaining population of mountain gorillas worldwide. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is found in the southwestern part of the country, neighboring the districts of Kisoro, Kabale, and Rubanda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is close to Kigali City, and travelers from Rwanda can only take between 4 and 5 hours’ drive to access Bwindi. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park offers one of the greatest species biodiversity in Africa, with over 120 mammal species, 346 bird species, 202 butterfly species, 163 tree species, 100 fern species, 27 frog geckos, chameleons, and many other endangered species recorded over the years. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable is the most active activity, but there are many other activities to do and see in Bwindi Impenetrable, as detailed below.
Activities to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest
Gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi’s major activity, which involves hiking or walking through the impenetrable forest searching for mountain gorillas. Enjoy walking through swamps, crossing rivers, and all the trails as you penetrate into the forest until you locate the gentle apes in their natural habitat. Once you have seen them, you can spend up to an hour interacting with the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is done in four major sections, which include the Buhoma sector and Ruhija in the North part of Bwindi, the Nkuringo sector, and the Rushaga sector situated in the southern part of Bwindi. For travelers to trek in any of the above-mentioned sectors, it depends on the location of the mountain gorilla permit they purchase. A mountain gorilla tracking permit allows travelers to trek mountain gorillas, giving you the opportunity to spend an hour with a mountain gorilla family in Bwindi, A gorilla permit can be purchased directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or Devine African Safaris. A mountain gorilla permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and $70 (250,000 Uganda Shilling) for East African citizens per trek. We recommend that travelers interested in mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park book their gorilla trekking permits at least 3 to 4 months prior to their travel dates to the park for a gorilla trek; however, last-minute gorilla trekking booking is possible as long as the gorilla trekking permits are available.
Another exciting activity is gorilla habituation experience, and Bwindi is impenetrable. Gorilla Habituation Experience is a gorilla activity that involves travelers trekking, hiking, and walking in the forest searching for the habituated mountain gorillas, leaving together in a given mountain gorilla family once you have located the gorillas. Once you have located the gorillas, travelers are allowed to participate in many activities that gear mountain gorillas to get used to human beings. The Gorilla Habituation Experience allows visitors to spend more time with the gorillas, lasting from an hour to four hours, as opposed to the standard one-hour gorilla encounter during Bwindi Impenetrable National Park's normal gorilla trekking. The gorilla habituation experience is unique, which gives travelers an opportunity to learn so much about the gentle apes. Because they only allow a group of four people to trek a given semi-habituated mountain gorilla family, the gorilla habituation experience is less crowded. The gorilla habituation experience permit costs $1500 for foreign nonresidents, $1000 for foreign residents, and 750,000 Ugandan shillings for East African citizens. Just like normal gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation permits sell out quickly, so we advise you to book your permit early enough.
Birding in Bwindi Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is among Africa’s best birding destinations. Bird watching is mostly done within Mubwindi Swamp, which is situated between the Ruhija and Buhoma sectors in the northern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable. Bwindi Impenetrable offers over 350 bird species that have been recorded over the years in this park, including those that are endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley. Birds found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park include the African Green Broadbill, Grauer's Rush Warbler, Forest Ground Thrush, the Great Blue Turaco, Green Pigeons, Red-Breasted Sparrow Hawk, Ross's Turaco, Francolin, Red-Faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, White-Headed Wood Hoopoe, Re-Throated Aletha, Ruwenzori Bwindi's impenetrable bird watching is done with the help of a hard-working professional park ranger guide who is knowledgeable about the birds and their location within this forest.
Hiking from the Nkuringo sector to the Buhoma sector
Bwindi Impenetrable is also great for travelers who love hiking, and the most hiked trail lasts from the Buhoma sector to Nkuringo sector walking tours and the Nkuringo sector to Buhoma hiking trail. Hiking offers travelers an opportunity to encounter most of the park’s biodiversity, ranging from butterflies, a variety of waterfalls, mammal species, and primate species, depending on luck, among other animals.
Go one on one with the Batwa pygmies for Cultural encounters
Community walks within the villages offer a great insight into the way of life of the Bakiga and Batwa pygmies, who are the local people surviving near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
How to approach Bwindi National Park?
By Road: Bwindi Forest National Park can be approached from Entebbe or Kampala, taking approximately 8–9 hours’ drive with a stopover at the Equator. Your driver needs to turn from Muko along the Kabale-Kisoro road, then you will spot the signpost of the Uganda Wildlife Authority, which will take you up to your booked accommodation in any of the four sectors: Bwindi Rushaga sector, Ruhija sector, Nkuringo sector, and Buhoma.
By Air: Travelers can opt to fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Kisoro Airstrip or Kihihi Airstrip to access any of the sectors of Bwindi. Scheduled and chartered flights are available and operated by Aerolink Uganda. Travelers need to plan with their trusted tour operator for a transfer from the airstrip to the booked lodge.
What is the best time to visit the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park?
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is visited throughout the year, although it is best visited in the dry season between the months of June, July, August, and September, and from December to February.
Mountain gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experiences are done in the forest, where travelers encounter insects and stingy trees. Hence, we advise every traveler to wear a long-sleeve cotton shirt, a lightweight jacket, and long trousers, among others. Suggested Items for Mountain Gorilla Trekking and Habituation Experience in Bwindi include Insect Repellent, Wet Wipes, torch/Flashlight, water bottle, comfortable walking boots & socks, camera lenses, and Spare Batteries
Most accommodation facilities in Bwindi Impenetrable are situated outside the national park; only Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and Buhoma Lodge are located within the park premises. Other lodges include Bwindi Lodge, Ruhija Safari Lodge, Trackers Safari Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Clouds Gorilla Lodge, Ichumbi Lodge, and Nkuringo Bwindi Lodge.