Best time to Visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is Uganda’s home to the endangered Mountain Gorillas with 20 habituated gorilla families. Over 500 of the world’s surviving mountain gorilla population are found in this forest in southwestern Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a magnificent rain forest across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley covering 331 sq km ancient rain-forest.
Bwindi is a Bird watchers haven with over 360 bird species have been recorded which is remarkably high considering the fact that there are a few water birds compared to other parks. The park is home to over 23 species and at least 14 species recorded nowhere else in Uganda. It also harbors close to 200 butterfly species including 8 Albertine Rift endemics. Dedicated butterfly watchers should hope to identify more than 50 varieties in a day. The White tailed Bee-eater.

Despite the focus on only gorillas and gorilla tracking, there are a wide range of primates to observe. The park is also known to Harbor at least 120 mammal species more than any national park in Uganda except Queen Elizabeth. The list includes mainly small mammals. The park also harbors about 11 primate species such as the white and black colobus, olive baboons, red-tailed and blue monkey and others. The forest itself is lush and green and there are streams of water running through the park.

Location & Getting There
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south western Uganda on the edge of western rift valley bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo shared by Kabale, Kisoro and Rukungiri districts.
Getting there on road; from Kampala to Kabale is a distance of 414 km on bitumen surface and takes 6-7 hours. Headquarters via Kanungu and Kanyantoroogo on murram surface takes 3-4 hours and may require a 4WD vehicle. Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma is 95 kilometers and takes about 3-4 hours. This road is not frequently used by the public. A 4WD vehicle is recommended.

Local people around Bwindi Gorilla Forest
The local people neighboring the park are mostly Bafumbira. Small communities of Batwa also present. The Bwindi area supports one of the rural population densities in Uganda with 350 people. Nature Walks can be arranged for you to tour the neighboring areas surrounding the park. Other interesting activities include Buhoma community walk and cultural performance, participating in community dances.

Best time to Visit Bwindi

Bwindi forest can be visited anytime of the year for all the major activities especially Gorilla Tracking. Your level of tolerance will help you determine when to visit for this great activity.
Peak Season
This period is generally dry and the forest trails are easy to go through easily when they are less slippery. The period is normally between December to February and June to August. Gorilla permits are always on high demand requiring those who intend to do Gorilla Tracking to do it in a period of about 6months before the trip.
Low season
This period is rainy and few travelers come to Uganda during this period due to the unfavorable climate in this period especially for Gorilla tracking. September to November and March to May is the low season which is a wet period in Uganda. Tour activities still go on even with the rain especially for guests who can bear with little drizzles of rain falling off their neck.

20 Gorilla families in Bwindi
Rushegura, HabinyanjaMubareKatwe Oruzogo,BitukuraKyaguriro, Mukiza, Bweza, Nshonji, Kahungye, Busingye, Mishaya and Bikingi,Nkuringo, Bishabo and Christmas in the southern sector of Nkuringo.
This brings the total number of habituated gorilla families in Uganda to 20 Gorilla groups including Nyakagezi family in the sister park Mgahinga gorilla national park. It contains 90% of the Albertine Rift Valley endemics that are difficult to find in any other part of East Africa. An extended visit to the Ruhija area of Bwindi provides not only spectacular vistas but is also home to the African Green Broadbill to be seen in the Ruhija swamp on a lucky day.

Major Tourist Activities include:
• Mountain gorilla trekking
• Birding tours
• Forest walk to waterfall trail
• Community/village Walk
• Mountain Biking in the Buhoma (if time allows)
• Canoeing Lake Bunyonyi vising the Islands
• Ankole long-horned cows