Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda and is home to 13 species of primates, including half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas, which is why it has been dubbed as the primate capital of the world.
The park was established in 1991 and covers an area of 321 square kilometers.
The park boasts 120 species of mammals, 220 species of butterflies, 163 species of trees, 27 species of frogs, 104 species of ferns, and about 1000 flowering plants, apart from mountain gorillas.
Most people on short tours to Bwindi nowadays opt for Kigali to Bwindi gorilla trekking tours.
Top 10 Things to Do in Bwindi
Below are the top things to do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking is the most commonly done activity in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Gorilla trekking is the most sought-after tourist activity in Africa, though it is the most expensive. Bwindi has habituated mountain gorillas that tourists visit daily, and eight permits are available to trek each gorilla family. Tourists are given one hour of observation once they find mountain gorillas.
- Gorilla habituation. Gorilla habituation is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and usually takes about 2-3 years of trackers and rangers visiting a gorilla family daily while observing each individual’s behavior and then later naming them according to each of their characters. Uganda is the only country that offers gorilla habituation experience, allowing tourists to join trekkers in their daily schedule of habituating gorillas.
- Birding. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to 351 species of birds recorded, with some of the species endemic to this area. Some examples of birds include Kivu ground thrush, dusky crimson wing, Ruwenzori nightjar, short-tailed warbler, collared apalis, purple-breasted sunbird, Ruwenzori Batis, dwarf honeyguide, black flycatcher, strange weaver, yellow-eyed flycatcher, handsome francolin, and red-faced woodland warbler.
- Nature walks. Nature-guided walks can be done at Bwindi National Park, apart from gorilla trekking. There are many established walking trails ranging from 30 minutes up to 7 hours, where you will be able to spot various other primates like velvet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons, blue monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys, among others. Some of the trails include the waterfall trail, Rushura hill trail, Munyaga river trail, Buhoma trail, Muzabajiro loop trail, and river ivy trail.
- Cultural encounters. Tourists can also include cultural visits while on their tour to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Tourists can visit the Batwa people who used to live in the forest before it was established as a national park. The Batwa guides will take you through the forest and show you how they used to survive in the forest for shelter, medicine, and food.
Other activities include bicycle tours, butterfly tours, sun-downers, lake tours, and scenery viewing.
Best Time to Visit Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be visited all year round, but some months are better than the rest, like from June to August and December to February.
Gorilla permits in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park cost $700 per person for trekking and $1500 for gorilla habituation.
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