Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Experience Safari Gorilla Trekking
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a wonderful forest on the slope stacks of Albertine Rift Valley, it is 331 kilometers. The rainforest is one of the few people that thrived in the last ice period in Africa, which belongs to rare mountain gorillas.
Uganda has only half of the world’s population and now has 459 out of 400 in 2011. The total number of mountain gorillas in the world has reached 1,063 individuals, including Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Congo, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, which all have 603 individuals. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Forest Park is an Afro-montane Forest with dense landscapes of ferns, vines, and scrub. Approximately 324 species of trees have been recorded here, 10 of which are endemic to Uganda.
Where is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park?
It is located in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Western Rift Valley on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), divided between the Rukungiri, Kabale, and Kisoro districts of Uganda. This park is adjacent to the Virunga National Park in the Congo and was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1994 due to its national and ecological significance.
History of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The name of the park is derived from the local expression “Mupwindi Bwa Nainamuragi”. The name comes from the fact that many years ago a family from Kisoro migrated to the southern part of the park. So, when they reached Mopondi Swamp, they could not cross the swamp and go to the other end.
The family members asked the spirits of the swamp to choose their most beautiful daughter as a sacrifice so they could cross the impassable Mwendi swamp. So after two days of waiting, they sacrificed and threw into the swamp their most beautiful and beloved daughter, whose name was Nainamuragi, and they were allowed to cross over to the other side of the swamp.
After the news spread among the community, they started calling the Swamp Muwindi Bwa Nainamuraki, which means the dark place of Nainamuraki, so the park became known as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Initially, the park was appointed a large forest in 1932, where the case reserve was named the southern part of the park as a Game reserve in 1964, and the reservoir grew into a rare mountain slogan by 1991.
Gorilla National Park and Mountains Rhodeningri were upgraded to The National Park as a unique national park. It consists of 330.8 square kilometers, and today manages the Wildlife Commission of Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has various sections for gorilla trekking including Buhoma Section, Ruhia Section, Rushaka Section, and Nkuringo Section. They all have different groups of gorillas to trek, but a gorilla permit can be obtained once you confirm which site you have booked for gorilla trekking.
Main tourist activities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Tracking Mountain Gorillas
Uganda offers an unforgettable experience of gorilla migration around the world and is Africa’s premier wildlife gathering. These rare mountain gorillas are found only in the remote Virunga forests and volcanoes of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in southwestern Uganda. Gorilla trekking involves finding a known group of mountain gorillas for clients in the forest with the help of ranger guides.
Gorilla tours start at 8 am and each gorilla family is divided into groups of 8 per day to minimize disturbance and preserve their natural behavior. It will take about 2-6 hours, and customers will spend 60 minutes and 1 hour looking for these rare monkeys, remembering that these monkeys are the closest creatures to humans. Indulging in this exciting and exclusive event is worth a trip to your African safari and a ride in a comfortable safari car with an experienced safari guide. The group of rare mountain gorillas is led by Silverback, a 200-kilogram male gorilla.
Deks Africa Safaris recommends that you book your gorilla trekking permit at least one year before your track date to avoid any issues with your gorilla trekking permit. A gorilla permit costs $700 for non-foreigners and $600 for foreigners residing in Uganda.
Experience the gorilla habitat at Bwindi Forest National Forest Park
The experience of getting used to gorillas is a little different than trekking with gorillas. This only happens in the Rushaka region, where only one gorilla family is involved in this long-term operation. After the briefing at the UWA office, unlike gorilla trekking, you will only be accompanied by rangers.
This allows customers to spend more time (4 hours) with the gorillas, as customers are accompanied by researchers and rangers who show and guide customers through the entire process of the experience. So, depending on when and where you get the gorilla, habituation can take from 5 to 10 hours a day.
The number of customers is limited to 4 people per day. Therefore, we advise our customers to obtain permits one year before the travel date before transporting other customers.
The Batwa Cultural Experience
The Batwa people were residents of the Bwindi Forest National Forest Park until they were evicted from the forest in 1992. They are believed to have inhabited the Virunga Mountains, including Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, for over 500,000 years. The Batwa people, also known as pygmies, depended on the forests, especially for hunting wild animals, gathering fruits, and gathering medicinal herbs for medicinal purposes.
The Batwa was forced to leave the forests to protect the mountain gorillas, and since then they have had access to their primeval forests as guides. The Path of Batwa started on June 7, 2011, so that they can preserve their traditional culture. During the Batwa trip, the guide will also show you hunting techniques, different trees and their use as medicinal plants, how to collect fruits, make natural fires from forest trees, make wooden crafts, etc. For example, bamboo dances to make cups. After all, you will visit the Karama cave. The women perform traditional music and folk dances that will make you believe that the culture of Padua is dying out.
Bird watching in Bwindi Forest National Park
With over 350 species of birds, Bwindi is a paradise for bird watchers. It contains 90% of the native Albertine Rift Valley species that are difficult or difficult to see anywhere else in East Africa, especially short-tailed and blue-headed sunbirds, as well as seven IUCN Red List species. African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Nightingale, African Blue, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, and Red-headed Bluebill are easy to see. A long visit to the Ruhia area from Bwindi offers great views, but the lucky ones spotted the African Green Broadbill at the Ruhia Swamp.
There are several bird-watching trails in Bwindi including Buhoma Falls, Bamboo Zone, and Muwindi Swamp Trail in Ruhija.
A trip to nature
You can explore the interior of the forest by following the Monyaka River Trail. You can see animals, including the monkey L’hoest. This trail takes you to 3 beautiful crystal waterfalls that give the impression of a tropical rainforest. The Roshur Road takes you to a ridge that overlooks the West Rift Valley Pass. On clear days you can see western Congo, Des Virunga National Park, the Virunga Volcanoes, Lake Edward, and the Rwenzori Mountains.
Access / How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park
Across The Street (By Road)
The distance from Kampala to Bundi is 550 km, which is about 400 km on the tarmac through Kabal. Although Kampala is slightly shorter via Rukungiri, it takes 9-10 hours to reach your accommodation in Bohomo. African Pearl Safari can take you to Bwindi in our 4×4 vehicles.
The park is accessible from Kigali, Rwanda via the Kaduna border crossing into Uganda. The journey takes 4 hours and from the Rwandan side, our guides will take you to Bwindi in our 4×4 vehicles.
Domestic flights to Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest Park can be arranged and it only takes 2 hours to fly from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi or Kisoro depending on your location for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Having a gorilla license will determine the location of your gorilla tracking operation, which will also determine where the aircraft will land clients.
If clients are under supervision in Bohom and Ruhije, they will disembark at Kihei Airport and our driver will guide them to their reserved accommodation. For tracking in Rushaga and Nkuringo divisions, clients will be dropped off at Kisoro Airport from where they will be met and taken to their accommodation.