Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Altitude: 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level.
Bwindi was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.
The Mubare gorilla group was the first to become available for tourism in Uganda in April 1993. Nine groups are now habituated for tourism, and one for research.
Spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, Bwindi is the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas
– roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
The neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both have an impressive array of luxury lodges, rustic bandas and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, craft stalls and guiding services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures through performances, workshops and village walks.
Where to go Gorilla trekking Uganda and Rwanda?
If you want to go gorilla trekking
but have to choose between visiting Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, Congo’s Virunga National Park and Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetreble National Park, concentrate on Bwindi.
It is a tranquil UNESCO world heritage site that offers a maiden experience of wild life, with guaranteed chances of encountering the biggest primate species in Africa, Mountain Gorillas. This is thanks to it’s rich concentration of over 40% of the world’s last population of surviving gorillas (over 450 gorillas of the total 1004).
Fast forward, Bwindi is a 321km2 highland enveloped by a 25,000 year old tropical forest. Its lush jungle is primarily made of 324 indigenous tree species and over 104 species of ferns and shrubs. This vegetation mix comprises of edible plants and wild fruits that provide the gorillas sufficient food. It’s partly for this reason that they haven’t migrated to any other park in Africa. As such, you have a 95% chance of encountering them anytime of the year. What’s more, the verdant earthly paradise which lies at 1160m – 2607m above sea level has 17 habituated gorilla groups, compared to Volcanoes 10 and Virunga’s 8 much reasons you should choose safaris to Uganda .
Although Bwindi’s landscape is hilly, you don’t need prior hiking experiences to be able to conquer its gorilla trekking excursion. There are trails for every level of physical fitness ranging from those that are gentle to those that offer tough climbing challenges. In both, there are stopovers where you can take a break whenever you need your system to recharge. If you wish to hire a porter to carry your luggage or give you extra support as you hike, we can get hire for you one. The average cost per porter is $20, and caters for the full hike.
As you delve deeper towards the heart of the park, the altitude keeps getting higher. Each step forward will wow you with jaw dropping views of vast lowland and montane vegetation ranging from unique species. Such include Xymalos monospora, an Afromontane endemic that is native to Africa, Allophylus abyssinicus, a large tree with spirally arranged leaves and greyish-green bark, Neoboutonia macrocalyx, a Medium sized evergreen tree whose veins are set with stellate hairs and Teclea nobilis, an unarmed evergreen tree that can grow as high as 12 m.
Other animals found here Bwindi impenetrable forest
Gorillas aside, Bwindi hosts 120 mammal species that thrive in forests. Such include forest elephants, forest buffaloes, antelopes and 7 diurnal primates. The cherry on the cake is 200 species of butterflies.
On the part of bird watching, it is the third most visited park by tourists interested in encountering the 23 Albertine endemics to which it is home, inclusive of Neumann’s warbler, Blue-headed sunbird, African Green Broadbill, Shelley’s Crimsonwing, Short-tailed Warbler, Doherty’s Bushshrike and Bar-tailed Trogon. In total, the park has 360 recorded species most of which thrive in Mubwindi, a swampy part of the park from which Bwindi got its name.
March and September present the most remarkable birding experiences because they are the peak of the breeding season. On the other hand, migratory species can best be seen from November to April.
Bwindi is as wide as 331Km2. In the interest of effective management, it is divided into four zones, each with 4-7 habituated gorillas. Each of these has 8-32 members of different age brackets. As such, you will be able to understand how gorillas behave at different stages of growth. Mj safaris Uganda we offer memorable gorilla trekking safari tours
at affordable safari prices