Bwindi Forest National Park Safari Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda. It is a renowned for mountain gorilla tracking. Approximately 340 of the surviving  world mountain gorilla population are found in this forest. Bwindi forest National Park covers a total land expanse of 331 sq km, and supports an assortment of jumbled vegetation, steep landscape, high slippery valleys, drought ridges and thick forest with under growth vegetation. People on this Uganda safari holiday in this park are recommended to carry warm clothing plus strong hiking boots particularly for the cold temperatures, mainly in June and July and also to enable you move along the slippery paths. The Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park experiences 2 rain seasons; the long rains are received starting in September up to November while the short rains are received starting in March up to May. More information on how to get there

Mountain gorilla tracking is rather tiresome since it may at times requires hiking for long distances along the damp steep slopes of this dense forest. Bwindi has 4 groups of mountain gorilla open for tourism and these include; Nkuringo, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Mubare. Even though  tourists are allowed to visit this park all year round, only 8 members are permitted to each each of these gorilla families each day. A 3 day gorilla safari to Bwindi should just serve the purpose, although some would like to combine a trek with lake Bunyonyi or  Gorillas and Wildlife on 5 days Safari in Uganda. The time you will spend with the primates is restricted to just one hour and each trekker should have a valid gorilla trekking permit. You will be divided into groups of 8 and then you ranger guide will lead you out in the forest. Also each and every visitor must abide by the gorilla tracking rules plus regulation for the safety of the gorillas and the trackers too. The primary threats to the gorillas are: poaching, habitat loss as well as diseases.

In regards to the tourism industry in Uganda, Gorilla tracking is the main source of revenue. Additional primates living within this park are chimpanzees, blue monkeys, red colobus monkey, black & white colobus monkeys, grey-checked Mangabeys plus the L’Hoest monkeys. You will as well see several other animals like elephants, antelopes plus the huge forest hogs. Bwindi forest is among the best Eco-systems on the African continent that contains montane forest plus the lowland forest. Bwindi has 163 tree species plus 100 different species of ferns all recorded here. This park is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is habitat to over 110 mammal species, over 346 different bird species, 202 butterfly species, 27 frog species, numerous chameleons plus geckos.

This National Park is managed by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), a government organization. The control plus the conservation the park throughout the previous year has lead to clashes with the surrounding local communities since most of them were evicted from inside the park. A good example is the Batwa community that resided in this forest for several generations were severely affected and sadly they weren’t compensated. These people survived on this forest for ages without damaging the ecosystem of the forest. They survived on fishing, cultivating of yams and harvesting of wild honey.

Visiting the Munyanga river trail offers an opportunity to explore an amazing part of the forest. You will see numerous tree ferns, orchids plus Epithectic ferns. This river trail leads to 3 crystal clear falls namely: the Ruizi River trail, the Muzabajirro trail as well as the Rushurra River trail.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in Southwestern Uganda in East Africa. It is part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest. Bwindi impenetrable Forest reserve was gazetted in 1942 and upgraded to a national park in 1992.  Bwindi is most famous for Gorilla Trekking, and you can see a large variety of birds and primates. The name “Bwindi” actually means “impenetrable”. The sort of double warning is so appropriate because Bwindi is for all intents and purposes impenetrable. A trek through the rainforest considered to be one of Africa’s most ancient rain forests is a premier wildlife encounter.

Bwindi National Park Wildlife

Gorilla in Bwindi impenetrable forest
Gorilla in Bwindi impenetrable forest

The park provides habitat for about 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 of butterflies and 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species Its main attraction though is the gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half the world’s population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. There are four habituated mountain gorilla groups open to tourism: Mubare, habinyanja, Rushegura near Buhoma and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo.
Gorilla tracking became a popular activity in 1993, and the park became a popular tourist and safari destination in Uganda.
Other species in the park include; chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkey, African Elephant, African Green Broadbill, the cream-banded swallowtail, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, vervets, the giant hog, and small antelope species. There are quite a number of carnivores too including the side-stripped jackal and African civet.

Game viewing time in Bwindi Forest National Park

Tourists can visit the park any time of the year, although the best time is during the dry season. The park is open for gorilla trekking all year long, but the best time is from June to August. Most wildlife is best seen in the dry season when the vegetation is less thick, and there are no heavy rains to interrupt your trip.
The rains increase from April-May and make the trails difficult to traverse.

What to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Although Bwindi Impenetrable park is best known for gorilla trekking, there are other fun activities and attractions to be enjoyed during a visit to the park.
This is the richest rain forest in Uganda in terms of plant species. The area is one of the few large expanses in East Africa where lowland and mountain communities merge.
There are walking trails to be enjoyed. Munyaga River, Muzabajiro loop and the River Ivi will occupy a few hours to a whole day
Buhoma Village walk; you can enjoy a guided walking trail starting at Buhoma community Rest camp.
Bird watching is another fun activity to enjoy on  trip a  to Bwindi. The park boasts of about 350 bird species. Other activities include; cycling, mountain biking, cultural encounters and hiking. A tour in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is well worth the trip.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in Southwestern Uganda in East Africa. It is part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest. Bwindi impenetrable Forest reserve was gazetted in 1942 and upgraded to a national park in 1992.  Bwindi is most famous for Gorilla Trekking, and you can see a large variety of birds and primates.
The name “Bwindi” actually means “impenetrable”. The sort of double warning is so appropriate because Bwindi is for all intents and purposes impenetrable. A trek through the rainforest considered to be one of Africa’s most ancient rain forests is a premier wildlife encounter.

Bwind Lodge....
Bwindi Lodge….

How would a gorilla trekking expedition in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest be described?

The best way to describe a gorilla trekking expedition in Bwindi is to tell it in detail.
Morning: The mornings in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are beautiful. When you get out of your room just before dawn, you see the beautiful Bwindi forest enveloped in mist even as the sun rises from the east. The peace and quiet broken only by the sound of a bird here and a cry of a primate there is just the perfect setting for a rejuvenating cup of coffee to kick start your day. The scenery of the Bwindi Impenetrable forest is rich and beautiful. The kind of beauty that artists and poets dream about.
You need a heavy breakfast to start of a day of gorilla trekking. There is a sense of contentment and as you have your breakfast outside and continue to watch the sun rise over the Bwindi. See a sample 3 day Uganda safari with Gorillas

The Gorilla Trek in Bwindi Forest National Park

After your gear is all parked and ready you proceed to the appropriate park office. It is still morning so the mist is usually still over the tree tops somehow creating an atmosphere of expectancy.
There is a short orientation for the visitors about your visit with the mountain gorillas, outlining what you should and shouldn’t do and basically providing guidelines on how to enjoy and survive your trip. There is a limit of 8 participants per gorilla trekking group. You guide is usually someone who was part of the habituation process for the group of gorillas that you are going to track. The guide has a lot information and insights to offer about the gorilla family that you are going to visit.
Each group of participants also gets a military guide for protection. Although there have never been any incidents, the Uganda Wildlife Authority will do anything to ensure your safety.
If your bags are too heavy for you to carry and at the same time enjoy the trek, you can hire a porter to do the heavy lifting for you so you can be free to look and take pictures without the hindrance of a back pack.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable can take up to 8 hours. The visit itself once you find the gorillas is one hour. But the most exciting part of a gorilla safari is the trek. The time spent in the rainforest as you search for a gorilla family, follow ancient trails and discover the history of a people within the forest.
The gorillas move to a new location in the forest almost each day, so as you trek along the forest trails your guide’s job is to pick up from where they were the day before and try to find them again.
The real trek begins once you reach the gorillas’ previous location. From there on in the guide begins to look for signs and directions of movement. Signs such broken twigs, footprints and other signs that show which direction the gorillas took. Tracking gorillas takes time, patience and good knowledge of the forests and ways of the mountain gorillas particularly the group you are tracking.
When you finally find your gorilla family, you have an hour to see marvel, and be in their presence. Mountain Gorillas are simply captivating, and many are often at a loss of words when they find themselves finally standing just a few meters away from them. It is a truly magical moment that will forever be ingrained in your mind.
The one hour could be the shortest hour in your life. It passes quickly probably because you are so taken up with what you are looking at and experiencing. Such moment cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.

Gorillas near the Bwindi Lodge
Gorillas near the Bwindi Lodge

Are gorillas the only thing to see in Bwindi Impenetrable forest?

While you track gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest you might come across other primate species. There are a number of chimpanzees in the Bwindi; these however have not been habituated like the gorillas, so they might not be that tolerant of human presence. There are also baboons, L’hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys.
Bwindi is not only a home to primates; there are other animals in the forest such as forest elephants, bush buck antelopes, forest duiker antelopes. The Forest is also rich in Birdlife with over 350 different bird species, and over 200 butterflies. It is a rainforest so of course there are numerous exotic trees and plant, all of which you will see and marvel at as you track the gorillas.
Gorilla trekking adventures are why gorilla safaris have become so popular. It is a true Africa safari adventure from start to finish.