Butterflies in bwindi
Most butterfly species in Uganda are found in tropical vegetation areas and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is one of them. Bwindi comprise of thick tropical forest cover and is located in the western part of the country sharing Kabale, Kanungu, and Kisoro districts. Bwindi is a UNESCO heritage site that harbors over 10 primate species among which include the mountain gorillas, 350 bird species, 120 mammal species, 51 reptile species, 27 amphibian species, and over 310 butterfly species.
Bwindi is home to over 310 butterfly species of which 8 are endemic to the Albertine rift region. Some of the butterfly species living in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are cream-banded swallowtail, African giant swallowtail, spalgis lemolea, pentila alba, graphium gudenusi, charaxes fournierae, lachanocnema vuattouxi, eresina bilinear, geritola liana, papilio luecotaenia, and cigaritus homeyeri.
Other butterfly species in Bwindi include belemois theora, nepheronia thalassina, lachaocnema triangularis, mylothris agathina, eurema senegalensis, nepheronia argia, palilio cynorta, papilio Zenobia, pseudopontia gola, graphium anthenus, eurema brigitta, graohium junodi, eronia cleodora, dixeia aurota, and belonois theuszi among others.
Most of the butterfly species in Bwindi are day-flying so they attract a lot of attention with their bright-colored wings. Butterflies feed mainly on nectar from the flowers inside the park. They also feed from pollen, rotting fruits, dung, tree sap, and minerals in wet sand. Butterflies don’t carry pollen from the flowers like birds but they can do so for a short distance.
Butterfly watching in Bwindi can be done in all four sectors of the park which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Rushaga is however said to be the best area to watch butterflies and this is located in the southern region of the park. Butterfly watching can take 3-4 hours and during that time, you have chances of meeting different park mammals, primates, and birds.
How much is butterfly watching in Bwindi?
Butterfly watching in Bwindi costs $30 for foreign non-residents, $15 for foreign residents, and UGX10,000 for East African citizens. Butterfly watching is done in form of nature walks where rangers who know well about butterflies lead the search and take you through different trails of the park.
To enter Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for butterfly watching, you need to pay the park entrance fee and which is $40 for foreign non-residents, $30 for foreign residents, and UGX20,000 for east African citizens. Travelers that are visiting the park for gorilla trekking and butterfly watching don’t have to pay the entrance fee because it’s included in the gorilla permit.
When to visit Bwindi for butterfly watching?
Bwindi can be visited at any time of the year for butterfly watching and other park activities but there are times that are better than the rest. The dry months of June to September and December to February are the best to visit Bwindi for butterfly watching because there is little or no rainfall in the park which makes the walking trails dry, the vegetation is short with good views of different butterfly species and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit Bwindi for butterfly watching in the rainy season and these months favor budget travelers. These months are from March to May and October to November when lodges are at a discount They are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the walking trails muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall with unclear views of the butterflies while the roads leading to the park are impassable.
When to stay on a butterfly safari to Bwindi
Several accommodation facilities are in Bwindi and there for travelers that are intending to visit the park would worry about where they will spend a night or more while in the park. Each sector of the park has got enough accommodation facilities for travelers and these range from budget to mid-range to luxury options.
Some of the accommodations on Bwindi are Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Silverback Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Agandi Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Broadbill Forest Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, and Cuckoo Land Tented Lodge among others.