A charming destination situated in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kanungu district is ‘Bwindi impenetrable forest national park’. It is bordering Democratic Republic of Congo near virunga national park and on the albertine rift valley edges.
The park covers an area of over 321 square kilometers which are equal to 124 sq mi of both montane and lowland forest. The park can only be accessed on foot. It is a habitat for 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds of which 24 species are endemic to the albertine region, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species.
Bwindi national park is well known for its 800 endangered gorillas with a number of gorilla families, Batwa trails, the Batwa people are the first and last forest people who anciently lived in the forest for a long time also known as hunters, gatherers and fierce warrior sand 350 bird species. Buhoma as one of the gates apart from gorillas it’s the right place for bird watching.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a UNESCO World heritage site because of the biodiversity of its setting. It was gazetted in 1991 and a national to mainly protect the endanger species of the mountain gorillas since Uganda consist worlds half of these species.
The major activity in the park is gorilla trekking. However there are other activities like gorilla habituation Batwa community experience, nature walk and forest hiking.
This is the main reason why the forest was gazzetted as a national park. There are over 4 gorilla families and these include: Rushaga, Nshongi, Nkuringo, Buhoma and Ruhija. These sectors are available for visitors interested in gorilla trekking adventure. Gorilla habitation made gorillas less dangerous and harmful to human beings. Visitor interested in gorilla trekking experience obtain permits from Uganda and these cost USD$700 per person per trek
Gorilla trekking is the most interesting adventure in the forest of the area because of the nature of the environment plus flora and fauna. Availability of other wildlife apart from gorilla makes it attractive and enjoyable travel destination.
Gorilla trekking adventure starts with a briefing at the park headquarters and after follow the ranger who will guide you throughout the process of gorilla trekking adventure. Once you gorillas are found, spend an hour observing and talking pictures.
Gorilla habituation adventure
There are two gorilla families which have been put aside for gorilla habituation experience and these are; Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The process of mountain gorilla habituation can take from two to three years to be completed. The purpose of gorilla habituation is for tourism and research. Habituation in Uganda is done by a group of researchers who operated under the department of Research and Monitoring which is under Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Gorilla habituation adventure involves visiting a selected family of wild gorillas every day until it gets used to these researchers/humans. During the adventure, gorilla individuals are identified in terms of their sex, age and later given names. Once researchers are confident enough that these gorillas can be visited by tourists, they conduct a mock safari for six to eight months. When the work is successful, the habituated family is opened for tourism.