How many parks can boast of having half the world’s population of gorillas? Welcome to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park! Its rich rainforests host over 600 mountain gorillas – giving you plenty of opportunities for trekking and discovery. It’s a not-too-be-missed African safari experience.
This great jewel of a reserve is actually an ancient forest, dating back 25,000 years, one of the few spots on the African continent to have survived the last ice age. The park’s longevity and literal deep forest roots have created an immense diversity of wildlife and glorious displays of orchids, ferns, and flowers. The densely vegetated trails here are a portal to over 120 mammals – 348 species of birds, and 220 types of butterflies. Besides the majestic gorillas, you’ll discover chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons, and even antelope species.
Bwindi’s population of mountain gorillas is comprised of 36 families, 19 of which are habituated – that is, they are used to visitors trekking in to observe them. With a professional guide, your chances of finding a gorilla family are excellent.
Besides the excitement of the gorillas, Bwindi offers opportunities for colorful woodland walks through luxuriant rainforests. These 3 to 4-hour guided tours will lead you to resplendent waterfalls, views of the Rift Valley, the park’s numerous monkeys, and bouquets of orchids.
Bwindi is also a magical place for birdwatchers and flora-lovers. The more than 1,000 flowering species provide a colorful sense of enchantment.
Not to be missed are the community walks through the local villages. This is your chance to learn about the culture of the Batwa (Pygmy) and Bakiga people living in villages at the forest edges.
This park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, created out of 321 sq. km (123 sq. mi) of forest at an elevation of 1,160m (3,805 ft) – 2,607m (8,553 ft) above sea level.
Climate: The feeling here is tropical with temperatures of 15°C (59° F) to a maximum of 27°C (80° F).
Location: Bwindi is set in southwest Uganda on the edge of the Albertine Rift.
When to go: The park is open year-round and always accessible. However, the best time to visit is when the rains let up slightly – from June to August and December to February. But know that it rains a lot here so bring wet weather gear.
Getting there: By road – you can book a tour with Natural World Kenya Safaris from Kampala.
Air – There are flights from Entebbe or Kampala to 3 airfields near the park.
Gorillas! – Encountering the mountain gorillas is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill you’ll never forget. But some things to keep in mind: the forested paths to reach these fantastic creatures can be steep and sometimes slippery. And, you may have to hike for several hours to reach them, so you might want to hire a porter – about $15 US – to carry your daypack.
Buhoma – Located in the park’s northwest quadrant, look for 3 groups of gorillas. This is the first section of the park that began to host gorilla trekking so there is plenty of tourist infrastructure here. It’s also popular as the gorillas are easier to reach – sometimes in less than an hour
Ruhija – In the northeast section of the park, you’ll find three more groups of gorillas. You’ll also find a good choice of accommodations here.
Nkuringo – There is just one gorilla family here, but it is a large group. This is a challenging trek located in the southern part of the park.
Forest Walks – These half-day walks are led by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and cost about $30 US. The Waterfall Trail as its name implies leads you through verdant forest to three sparkling clear waterfalls. The Muzabijiro Loop Trail brings up startling views of the Virunga volcanoes and western Rift Valley. You’ll likely spot monkeys and chimpanzees along your trek.
Community Walks – Take a walk along the forest edges to visit the villages of Buhoma and Nkuringo to meet the local Batwa (Pygmy) and Bakiga people. Learn about their culture and their lives as guides show how these ancient people have lived in the forest for eons.
This impenetrable forest is thick with animals, rich jungle, colorful flowers, birds, butterflies… and of course, the gorillas. At Bwindi, you’ll experience a land that escaped time to offer you a paradise of nature’s great bounty.
Join us on a wildlife safari to this special park for a 1-day visit or as part of a longer tour. We have safaris departing from Entebbe going to Bwindi and other fascinating Uganda Parks.
Natural World Kenya safaris is Member No.FA/440 - Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) bonding scheme. The scheme is insured to guarantee your holiday safari in the unlikely event that a bonded KATO member ceases operating.