Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is Uganda’s home to the rare Mountain Gorillas with 17 habituated gorilla families. Approximately over 500 of the world’s surviving mountain gorilla population are found in this forest. The forest has dense ground cover of vines and shrubs which make it look mysterious and awesome. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a magnificent verdant swathe of dense rain forest across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, this 331 sq km ancient rain-forest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age – is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas.

A recently proclaimed World Heritage site, its one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth and its unique, precious flora sustains roughly half of the world population of mountain gorillas – believed to number over 600. There’s also a substantial chimpanzee population and research shows that Bwindi is the only forest in Africa in which these two apes live together.

Wildlife- Mountain Gorillas Tours in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Impenetrable Forest is home of atleast half of the mountain gorillas remaining in the world. It is estimated that half of the world’s surviving population of mountain gorillas live within Bwindi boundaries, making it the most important stronghold of this magnificent species. Some other primates and rich variety of Flora and Fauna also inhabit this exceptional Park.
Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer – but we should not let it distract from Bwindi’s broader biodiversity, a result of its immense antiquity and an altitude span from 1,160 to 2,607m. The forest birding ranks with the best in Uganda, with 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics present.

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 running through it.

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.

Birdlife
white-tailed 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. Bwindi is Bird watchers haven. 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

Topography
Regarded to be one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa, Bwindi Impenetrable forest has an altitude range between 1,160m and 2,607m above sea level. It has an average annual rainfall of almost 1,500 mm, and it is a vital a catchment area, the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Albert.

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.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Safaris
Bwindi’s major tourist safari attraction is the Mountain Gorilla. The gorilla safari tracking activity attracts the majority of visitors to the park. Two new Gorilla families were introduced, habituated and opened for trekking in this park and these families are; Christmas and Katwe gorilla families. The two families live in Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors of the park in the north and southern parts of Bwindi respectively.
Gorilla families now are;
• Rushegura, Habinyanja, Mubare and Katwe families in the Buhoma sector.
• Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguriro and Mukiza in the Ruhija region.
• Bweza, Nshonji, Kahungye, Busingye, Mishaya and Bikingi in the Rushaga sector.
• Nkuringo, Bishabo and Christmas in the southern sector of Nkuringo.
This brings the total number of habituated gorilla families in Uganda to 17 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 by a fortunate few.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park safari Activities include:
• Mountain gorilla trekking
• Birding tours
• Forest walk to waterfall trail
• Meet warm & friendly local people in a village Walk
• Mountain Biking in the Buhoma(if time allows)
• Visit Lake Bunyonyi
• Meet Ankole long-horned cows