Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Bwindi impenetrable national park is famous for trekking the mountain gorillas. The forest has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world. In addition, this world heritage site is a habitat for wild chimpanzees and forest elephants.
History of Bwindi Impenetrable national park
The government formed this park in 1991. Previously, it was a forest reserve. This area is therefore one of the latest parks of Uganda. Bwindi lies between 1,160m and 2,607m above sea level. The Bwindi national park has a population of around 350 mountain gorillas. However, only an estimated 40% are habituated.
Bwindi forest has at least 120 mammal species. There are ten other primate species in the besides the gorillas. The Blue monkeys, baboons and chimpanzees are some of the other primates that live here. The park has other animals such as forest elephants and antelopes.
There are 350 bird species within the forest. In fact, 23 of these are endemic to the Albertine Rift. Specifically, 14 bird species are not in any other place in Uganda. For example, the chin spot batis and bronze naped Pigeon. These are some of the rare species in Bwindi. The other birds include the African broadbill and green breasted Pitta.
Furthermore, the park has 27 frog species. Likewise, you can easily find the three horned chameleon here. For those that love butterflies, Bwindi national park has 200 species. Altogether, 42 are only within this region.
The size of Bwindi forest: 321 sq.km
Tourism activities in and around Bwindi
Trekking the mountain gorillas in Uganda
The most important attraction is the Mountain gorilla trekking. In addition, you can make nature walks to the falls. You can take part in other activities as well. For example bird watching and guided community tours. There are also cultural performances. Some of the cultural experiences include the daily life of the locals. More so, the Batwas or Pygmies are an inspiration. These are short and small people that choose to live their own way.
The lodges that are located around Bwindi national park
Plenty of accommodations are here. These range from the very luxurious, to the very low budget. There is the Mahogany Springs, Buhoma Lodge and the Gorilla Forest Camp. These are on the northern side of the park. Whereas the Bakiga Lodge and Gorilla Mist Camp are in Ruhija. The Chameleon Hill Lodge, Ichumbi and Gorilla Camp are in the Rushaga area.
The areas that may interest the visitor
There are 4 locations park for gorilla trekking. You can visit any of these throughout the year.
In Buhoma, there are 3 gorilla groups. These include Habiyanja, Mubare and Rushegura. Some of the activities are village walks and cultural performances. Also hikes to the waterfalls.
Ruhija has Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro gorilla groups. There is the bamboo trail that leads to the highest point of the park. Another trail goes to Mubwindi swamp. The valley is famous for the African broadbill bird.
Rushaga has five gorilla groups. These are Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza, Mukiza and Kahungye.
Nkurigo has the one and only Nkuringo gorilla group.
The location of Bwindi forest
Bwindi is found in south western Uganda. It is close to the border of Congo.
Accessibility of Bwindi
From Kampala to rushaga the distance is about 372 kms. The driving time is around 8 hours.
To Ruhija from Kampala, it is 322 kms. Driving time is about 7 hours. The other option is Kampala to Nkurigo. This route is 374 kms. Thus you need about 9 hours. This is because of the rough roads.
The distance between Kampala and Buhoma is around 400 kms. The driving time is about 9 hours.