Situated in Southwestern Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park one of the most exceptional destinations in East Africa. It spans to about 331 square kilometers and features the montane and lowland forest. It is undoubtedly one of the most diverse destinations in Africa and stands at an elevation of about 1160 and 2607 meters above sea level. It features among the few tropical rain forests that are still remaining in the world with several steep ridges and misty valleys which make up the Albertine Rift Valley. It receives an average rainfall amount of about 1500mm and it is an important rainfall catchment area featuring all the five main Rivers that flow into Lake Albert. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is mainly for gorilla trekking which is largely conducted in the four major trailheads of Ruhija, Buhoma sector, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector. There are about 400 mountain gorillas that are inhabited in the park. As well, there are also small mammals like the Rodents and Bats and other primates like the chimpanzees, Red tailed monkeys and Blue monkey, Black and white colobus monkeys, olive baboons. About 30 forest elephants are also inhabited within the park. For birding safaris, there are over 360 different avian species in Bwindi for you to look out, 23 of them are endemic to the Albertine Rift and 14 are not sighted anywhere else in Uganda and they include the African green broadbill, white tailed blue flycatcher, brown necked parrot and Fraser’s eagle owl. 200 butterfly species are also inhabited in the park with eight of them that are endemic to Albertine rift. The park also offers refuge to 51 reptiles, 88 moths and 120 mammals and many more.
Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are only complete when there are notable lodging and accommodation facilities for visitors to spend a night thereafter. In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park the lodges range from luxury, mid range to budget and they include; Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla forest camp, Bwindi Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge (Luxury); Gorilla Mist Lodge, The Haven Lodge, Lake Mutanda Resort (Mid-range); Buhoma Community Rest Camp and Broadbill Camp for budget and many more.
What to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
A safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park offers visitors opportunity to engage in mountain gorilla trekking in the 11 habituated gorilla families set for tourism, Gorilla Habituation Experience in two gorilla groups, Batwa cultural encounters, nature walks, birding to explore the 360 distinct bird species and many others.
When to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is in the months of June to August and December to February. This is because, during this season, there is little amount of rainfall received in the park and this simplifies visitor’s movements in the steep slopes and high altitude of the area. Also, during these months especially June to September, it is a peak season while in the month of March, April, May, October and November it is a low season and it is also regarded as rainy season.
For the most ideal weather conditions in the park, it is better to visit in the month of June, July and December to February when there is less rainfall.
The people around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is surrounded by the Batwa community and Bakiga whose cultures have also proved to be tourist attractions. There is Batwa encounter for visitors to explore the life style of these rare human species. The Batwa are popular to have lived in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for over 500000 years without any effect being caused, hunted and gathered fruits. They are best described as forest dwellers.
How to reach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Interested visitors can access the park through various routes which converge around Butogota about 108 kilometers from Kabale to Buhoma via Ruhija which is about three hour drive.
From Kampala to Buhoma-the finest road that links up to Kabale to Ntungamo about 60 kilometers when you are in Mbarara town or drive from Ntungamo then follow your right about 45 kilometers to Rukungiri and then Kambuga to Kanungu and finally you arrive at Butogota about 17 kilometers to reach Buhoma park headquarters. The whole journey covers nearly 534 kilometers from Kampala and visitors spend at least nine to eleven hours driving.
You can also follow the Kasese or Fort portal that feature two routes one that goes via Katunguru, Ishasha and then Kihihi about three to five hours. The second route is through Mbarara to Ishaka, 33 kilometers to Kagambe via the Kabale route at the junction with Ntungamo to Rukungiri road where you will then head to Buhoma sector.
In conclusion, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is Uganda’s biodiversity paradise, offering several activities especially gorilla trekking, hiking trail adventures, birding, nature walks, cultural encounters and many others for visitors on safaris to Uganda.
Visit Bwindi Impenetrable National park‘s website for more information about the park.