Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National park lies in south western corner of Uganda. Bwindi is a local Lukiga word meaning Impenetrable and this double meaning soots the natural forest that Bwindi is. In 1942, Bwindi was gazette as a forest reserve and in 1994 it was recognized as a World heritage site.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest occupies an area of 327 square kilometers of tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high, draughty ridges. This terrain is quite challenging to hike but worth a try. Searching and hiking this ragged terrain to get up-close with the famous mountain gorillas is one of the loveliest and premier African safaris.
What Flora And Fauna To see in Bwindi Forest National park
Mountain gorillas top the list of numerous primates that Bwindi forest National park harbors. They live in families under the care of a silver back who is an autocratic leader. The silver back defends the family from other intruders and searches for new feeding grounds.
Having existed for over 2500 years, Bwindi Forest has also become a fantastic home to most Primates like the chimpanzees, olive baboons, grey cheeked mangabey, vervet monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, L’hoest, to mention but afew.
What you may expect
in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Some other animals also call this home like over 51 reptiles, 310 butterfly species, about 88 months can be identified, over 120 types of mammals
Bwindi forest is a confortable habitat to countless birds. Over 350 bird species have been recorded in IUCN red data list including about 90% of the Albertine rift endemics. Keen birders have a big chance of spotting over 100 bird species in a day. The Ruhijah gorilla trekking area hosts the biggest number of birds in Bwindi forest.
Bwindi being a forest is made up of interesting to look at huge old trees. Its slopes extend over broad altitudinal range of about 1447 m to form suitable habitats like from lowland forest at 1169 m to rare Afromontane vegetation above 2600m.Bwindi is one of the survivors of the ice age period that wiped out several forests in East Africa.
What activities to do in Bwindi Impenetrable forest
Gorilla trekking stands out amongst the activities that you can be part of while in Bwindi Forest. This starts with an early morning briefing from the briefing center and trekkers are divided into groups of 8 to track the habituated gorilla families. The time taken to find the gorillas varies according to the conditions in the forest and behavior of the gorilla family. Only one hour is allowed to be in the presence of the mountain gorillas. Gorilla trekking is booked according to areas that is to say the Buhoma gorilla trekking area, Ruhijah gorilla trekking area, Nkuringo Gorilla trekking area and Rushaga gorilla trekking area
Birding in Bwindi forest National park is the best choice one can make while on a birding African Safari. Bwindi is a birder’s have according to Africa Bird Society. Ruhijah area gives the best opportunity to identify birds especially in the Mubwindi Swamp. The ridge top route offers vistas into deep valleys containing undisturbed rain forest with both forest and grassland bird species.
Batwa Pygmy Excursion/ Buhoma community walk
A visit to the pygmy land contributes to supporting the local community. The Batwa were sharing home with the mountain gorillas and Bwindi forest was there soul provider until the early 1990s when they were evicted from there ancestral home for conservation reasons. They now depend on the support from toursist and the government. Listen and watch the demonstration of their interesting and amazing folk songs, home activities and rich culture.
Nature walks can also be requested from Buhoma center. You may take the Munyanga River Trail where numerous birds and primates can be spotted, Water fall trail leads through one of Uganda’s most pristine tracts of forest, passing beneath tree ferns, Rushura hill trail provides a wonderful view of the western arm of the Rift valley, Muzabajiro loop Trail heads to the summit of Rukubira hill where you can enjoy the view of Bwindi canopy and River Ivi Trail which follows the old trail road through beautiful forest emerging hear Nkuringo on the southern edge of the forest.
How To Get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
From Kampala Bwindi is about 530 km by road.
From Queen Elizabeth National Park you may drive through Kihihi to Buhoma providing you the chance to see the tree climbing lions. The drive is about 160 km from Mweya and approximately 64 km from Ishasha sector. Kampala- Kabale-Kanungu- Buhomafollows a tarmac highway to Kabale. This route is about 414km and may last 5 to 6 hours on a normal day.
The route follows winding murram road for approximately 120 km going through Kanungu and Kanyantorogo which lasts four to five hours.
Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma is the quickest route from Kampala following tarmac roads to Rukungiri for about 390 km followed by 83 km on a murram roads to Buhoma.
Kampala- Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma is about 95 km on murram road and takes about 3 to 4 hours. The Ruhija sectin is in poor condition and should only be attempted with a 4 WD vehicle.
Kampala-Kabale-Nkuringo . Nkuringo is about 105 km from Kabale and the drive lasts 4 hours on a mountainous murram road. Most visitors overnight in Kisoro which is 80 km from Kabale before proceeding to Nkuringo. The road from Kisoro is winding for about 35 km taking about 1 hour and half.
Daily scheduled flights can be arranged from Entebbe or Kajjansi to Kihihi then a transfer is required to the main Buhoma gorilla trekking center. Chartered flights can also be arranged on request.
Which accommodations to book During Gorilla trekking
Bwindi forest National park is surrounded by variety of accommodation ranging from Up-market, midrange to Budget accommodation. On request, the accommodation of your budget can be arranged and most of them are on full board basis.
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