Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is well positioned at the rim of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley (the Albertine rift valley), in Southwestern Uganda. The park is shared by three districts: Kabale, Rukungiri and Kisoro.
Bwindi impenetrable rainforest – is one of those very few found in Africa which flourished throughout the last Ice Age and covers approximately 331 sq km at an Altitude Range between 1160 meters within the Ishasha gorge and 2607 meters up the Rwamanyonyi Peak. It has a yearly average temperature ranging between 7 C and 20 C with the coolest time being from June to July and as well receives the heaviest rains in March and April as well as September and November, the rest of the year is normally dry.
This huge rain forest is habitat to more than half of the total mountain gorillas population in the world therefore it is Uganda`s leading and also main Gorilla safari area. An in-depth look into their appealing beautiful brown large eyes of these giant peaceful shy creatures is undoubtedly the most fascinating unforgettable Uganda wildlife Safari encounter which Uganda and Africa as a whole have to offer together with Bwindi’s extensive biodiversity which as well supports the Eco-Tourism industry. At an altitude between 1,160m and 2,607m, this national park features ninety species of mammals, among which are eleven primates and the black and white Colobus being the most prominent due to its characteristic beautiful curving white tail hence similarly making the Bwindi a thriving Uganda wildlife safari spot.
Bwindi prides in 23 greatly localized endemic Albertine Rift species hence ranking it among the finest bird watching or birding safari destination in the country.
Annual rainfall: 1130 mm to 2390 mm
Coldest months: June and July
Major tribes; Bakiga, Bafumbira plus a couple of marginalized Batwa and these form the most populated settlements in the country with 233 people per square kilometers.
SPECIAL SPECIES DIVERSITY OF ATTRACTIONS;
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to more than 326 endangered mountain gorillas which is approximately half the total world’s mountain gorillas population, it has more than 30 elephants as well as 120 mammals species among which are 7 diurnal primates. Having 360 bird species and 200 species of butterflies, the Afro-montane rain forest possesses a thick undergrowth of shrubs, ferns plus vines and more than 324 species of trees recorded there, among which 10 cannot be found in any other part of Uganda thus making Bwindi a “must trek” for enthusiastic tourists.
With 326 Gorillas, gorilla safaris and gorilla trekking tours are the main tourist activity within the Bwindi. Each day, 2 gorilla groups are normally accessible for tourists to see. The Mubare group consisting of Sixteen gorillas with One Silver back, was officially opened up for tourism back in 1993.The second group is the Habinyanja group that consists of Twenty three gorillas with Two silver backs which was opened up in 1998, July . The final and 3rd gorilla group has Seventeen gorillas with two silver backs, is soon to be opened-up for tourism.
-All gorilla trekking permits are officially sold at the head offices of Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala and just 8 gorilla permits each day being sold for every one of the Two Gorilla groups. Prior booking of a minimum of 3 months earlier is advised to prevent losing out.
– This Gorilla tracking activity begins at 8:30 in the morning and may last the entire day.
-you are allowed to spend only one hour with the Gorillas on meeting them.
– Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi is tiresome and as a result tourists are advised to be in good physical shape and bring jungle boots as well as rain jackets with them since the forest is constantly wet.
The Bird watching safaris;
As mentioned earlier, the Bwindi is the finest birding safari destination in Uganda with more than 348 species of birds that are extremely hard or challenging to see in a number of other areas within East African. Some of the other special species include; the Dusky Crimson, honey guide, Bar-tailed Trogon, the Wing, Warbler, White-tailed Blue Monarch Short-tailed Warbler, Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher, kivi ground thrush as well as Rusty-faced woodland Gruel’s Rush Warbler and even a passionate bird watcher may be in a position to identify up to 100 species every day.
The Nature Walks to Bwindi Forest;
Visitor having 2 or more days within Bwindi impenetrable national park may take part in a hiking tour across the 4 outland hiking-trails that are popularly conducted within the park. On each one of these trails, you’ll be able to experience and acquire information about the different bird species, the various primates, several butterflies, different trees plus the other species in this Eco system. It is recommended that you request for services of a guide or a tour company from the reception mainly for your personal safety so as to achieve a better understanding of the Eco system of this park.
The river Munyanga walk;
A brief walk for the visitors with less time to spend on the edge of the forest offers tourist an unforgettable view of birds together with primates. This well-known waterfall walk offers a beautiful feature of this forest with a vibrant variety of butterflies, an all natural blend of orchids, tree ferns plus epithetic ferns, and colorful – characteristic of Bwindi impenetrable forest. This walk ends up in three appealing very clear waterfalls a normal ingredient of any tropical rain forest. Actually, The Rushurra walk, offers a comprehensive view over the western rift valley floor, to its west, and then Parc Nationale Des Virungas in Congo all in all offering an excellent view, and it is seen to both Lake Edward and the majestic Rwenzori Mountain. The Muzabajirro walk offers a memorable sight Bwindi Forest, Virungas plus the Western arm of the Great Rift Valley. A variety of pre-historic tree ferns are usually seen as you head to the peak, which is an excellent spot for lunch or simply a picnic.
The ivy river walk:
Mainly appropriate for bird viewing, it is the longest within the park and often will take the entire day. the Buhoma village walk, provides tourists appealing views similar to those of a standard Ugandan non-urban homestead setting within this area, visiting a local traditional healer, the local banana beer brewing exhibition site, fascinating cultural performance later in the evening that are normally performed by the Women groups give you the chance to experience their traditional dressing trends too. This walk which takes more than 3 hours is an activity which is overseen by the local community therefore money obtained is invested in the community to enhance their overall welfare normally.
Visitors might also walk to this Bamboo zone that is a distinctive area within Bwindi impenetrable national park.
The Bamboo trail walk;
This ends up in one of the places of high diversity within the park which offers fourteen vegetation zones. At the end of this walk, you’ll be offered memorable views like Mafuga forest plus Lake Bunyonyi.
Where to stay and eat:
Numerous accommodation options is offered to tourists based on which area of Bwindi you are in and the amount of money you are willing to spend on accommodation among which are:
– Luxury tented accommodation managed by Abercrombie together with Kent
– A medium-range accommodation homestead managed by African Pearl Safari
– A well appointed luxury tented facility managed by Mantana luxury tented camp.
– A Rest camp managed by the Local community having clean plus basic Bandas with a restaurant offering scrumptious simple traditional meals – breakfast, lunch as well as dinner. Additional camps include; Gorilla forest camp, Volcano Bwindi camp as well as Lake Kitandara Bwindi camp. Please remember that you are allowed to carry your personal tent.
– Offered is a self-catering Guesthouse found at Ruhija within the eastern part of this park.
– At Kahihi is Savanna Resort Hotel found approximately 40 km to Buhoma and is next to Ishasha sector found in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
How to get and leave this park;
Bwindi is reached through a number of routes which converge close to Butogota
-it is a lengthy drive of 108km From Kabale to Buhoma through Ruhija which takes approximately 3 hours however much longer when it rains and we greatly recommend that you use 4wd vehicles .
-From Kampala up to Buhoma, the finest route is through the surfaced road through Kabale to Ntungamo approximately 60 kilometers from Mbarara. Driving from Ntungamo take a right turn for 45 kilometers will take you to Rukungiri, and from here via Kambuga up to Kanungu and lastly reach Butogota 17 kilometers to Buhoma Park Head office. The entire journey goes for 534 km and lasts 9 to 11 hours. Setting off early in the morning is recommended in addition to using a 4WD vehicle.
– From Kasese or Fort Portal are two routes: one through Katunguru, Ishasha and then Kahihi going for 3 to 5 hours. The second route takes the Mbarara road up to Ishaka, 33 kilometers from here up to Kagambe along the Kabale road at the junction with Ntungamo to Rukungiri road, and from here more directions heading to buhoma are as stated above.