Bwindi impenetrable forest of Uganda is located in Kanungu district, south west of the country and it covers an area of about 330 km sq along the rim of the rift valley. Bwindi forest/Bwindi gorilla perk is located in a very hilly area and it is among Uganda’s oldest and also biologically diverse existing rain forests. Bwindi is dated over 25,000 years ago and has about 400 different plant species. More to the biodiversity, Bwindi impenetrable forest protects half of the worlds remaining mountain gorillas – almost half of the entire population across the world. This includes the different habituated mountain gorilla groups which are accessible to tourists and researchers too. Bwindi forest is one of the most visited Uganda holiday destination parks majorly because of the gorillas.
The biologically diversity of this forest has enabled the survival of more than 120 different mammals which include the different primate species like the baboons, the chimpanzees and there are other mammals like the elephants, antelopes. For bird lovers the forest is a home to over 350 bird species including 23 Albertine endemics.
Tourism activities done in Bwindi
Gorilla tracking/ Primate watching
Bwindi forest is very famous for being a home to a very big population of mountain gorillas both the habituated gorillas’ family that are accessed by the tourists as well as the researchers and those that are not habituated. Gorilla tracking begins with a briefing from the head quarters, you will be allocated a ranger who will walk with you in the jungle and help you locate them. Gorilla tracking permits have to be purchased prior to avoid an kind of disappointment especially since only a limited number of people get to visit a particular gorilla group every day.
Besides the gorillas, Bwindi impenetrable forest is a home to a big number of animals and these include other endangered primates.
Nature walks and Bird
Nature walk is a very interesting activity in any forested area because it is the only chance you get to see most of which such a forest hosts. For instance, a nature walk in Mabira gives you the opportunity to see variety of tree species since there are over 312 different species, you will see other primates like the red tailed monkeys and also the birds which means, birding can be done at the same time so you will get to see more than half the total population of 315 bird species that live in this forest. This forest is very well known for being a home birds like the well established trails that include the dusky long tailed Cuckoo, Cassin’s Hawk-eagle, Cassin’s Spine tail, White-spotted Fluff tail, Sabine’s Spine tail, the white bellied Kingfisher, Afep Pigeon, speckled Tinker bird, the Grey Parrot, Black-shouldered Nightjar, the Blue-throated Roller, the African Pied Hornbill, the African Dwarf-kingfisher, Forest Wood hoopoe and Black-and-white-casqued Hornbill as well as so many other bird species. The forest is a natural Out of the 312 different tree species, you may get to see the species like the Diphasia angolensis, a species that is hardly found anywhere else in Uganda. There are also about 5 other species recognized internationally and of a global conservation concern for example the Lovoa swynnertonii, Cordia Millenii, Milicia Excelsa, Entandrophragma angolense, and Irvingia gabonensis. There is also the Warbhugia Ugandenesis plant which known to have a lot of different medicinal properties that cure about forty different illness.
This is usually a guided hiking and it is such an interesting adventure done with the help of a local but also well trained guide because such people know the trails very well. The hike takes you the jungle following different trails along the trails you will find lots of birds. Hiking is however only suitable for those that are physically fit because it can be tough and strenuous so those that are not that fit might find it really hard to handle.
The best time visit this forest
An experience in Bwindi impenetrable forest is very interesting but may be exhausting and almost undoable during the wet seasons which come in between the months of March to May and then returns around September to December. You can always visit any time of the year but the dry seasons may be more favorable when the trails are not slippery.
How to get to the Forest.
The Forest can be accessed through two sections, one which is commonly referred to as Main Bwindi or Buhoma and the other referred to as Southern sector of Bwindi.
Bwindi forest can be accessed through Mbarara Butogoto to get to Buhoma sector or through Mbarara, Kisoro road to get to the Southern sector of the forest. The drive is 6 to 8 hours and we recommend a 4 wheel drive.
There is an option of flying to airstrips closer to the park and scheduled flights are available once a day to any of the airstrips. Bwindi forest is serviced by three airstrip which is Kayonza, Kihihi and Kisoro. These airstrips are 45 to 1 hours drive away from the park.
For more information about Bwindi Forest contact us