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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Uganda Gorilla Tours And Gorilla Safaris

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of the parks located on the peripheral of the western side of the great western rift valley located in southwestern Uganda around the border of Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo in the created district of Kanungu. Bwindi Forest turned into a recognized park in 1991 with 331 square kilometers of forest and immediately after its declaration as to the park, the following year 1992 tourism was introduced and this made a landmark for its conservation since it contains the endangered and rare Mountain Gorillas. Due to its biodiversity strength, UNESCO declared the park as a world heritage site and has been ranked as one of the best destinations for gorilla trekking for the last 26 years now.
Gorilla tourism experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is not new to the ears of many travelers across the globe, it has emerged many years ago as you may imagine with travelers experiencing the practical actions, behaviors as well as bravely of this great Ugandan impressive specie and the process that leads you to this middling practice experience is what is called Gorilla Trekking. However, most of the travelers and tour operations have not clearly defined what it takes to exhaust this experience and its only African Adventure Vacations that have swung into action to avail you with detailed information of what, when, where and how to entrench with this experience.

What is the best time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for Gorilla Trekking in Uganda?

All safaris in Uganda can be done throughout the year because of favorable climate conditions that Uganda as a destination is proud of. Despite this great climate conditions, most tourists find it easier to go for Gorilla safaris during the dry months of June up to the genesis of October and from December to February (Peak season). The chemistry behind this variation in Gorilla safaris is that during wet seasons the part becomes muddy and thus makes tracking a bit harder for tourists however this presents an opportunity as tour operators as well as to lodge operators always subsidize the price of gorilla permits and lodges to increase the level of visitation.

How easily can Bwindi Impenetrable National Park be accessed?

map and location of Bwindi Impenetrable national park Uganda

This map shows the location of Bwindi Forest national park Uganda

The Bwindi impenetrable national park is only Park that houses half of the Gorilla total population in their natural habitat without captivity which has made to be the most adored park in the country. International visitors have to book an air ticket from their generating countries to Entebbe international airport, the country’s main airport and after a well-trained guide will kick off his work by picking the trekker for Bwindi impenetrable National park to answer the main reason for visitation of the client. This magnificent park can be easily accessed by visitors using both air and road transport and this depends on the time and the portion of the park to be toured.

Depending on the main motivation of the visitor Uganda, one can access the park using different routes especially when the visitor is interested in incorporating gorilla trekking experience while discovering other parks case in point Queen Elizabeth National Park for wildlife safaris, a tour to tree-climbing lions and launch trip at Kazinga channel and another park better en route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Lake Mburo National park commonly for zebra and Giraffe tours as well as a boat cruise. Importantly, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can as well be accessed through Kigali internal airport quicker than using Entebbe international airport and thus clearly shows that there several routes that will lead your mighty park as your final destination.

How visitors can find themselves in Bwindi from Kampala or Entebbe

This can be both by air and road straight to Bwindi impenetrable National park from Kampala or Entebbe International Airport

Using the road

Travelers will spend an approximate of 9 hours’ drive using a wheel drive on a well-tarmacked road through the Kampala Ugandans major city, then to Masaka, Mbarara Kabale and to Kisoro. Though the journey is relatively long, this route selection will keep visitors eyes open as provides a clear view of several tourist spots such as cow farms that harbor long-horned cattle the equator line at Kayabwe as well as several folded hills as you start approaching Kabale and Kisoro town which keeps the journey so interesting. It is also very much possible to travel from Kampala to Buhoma through Kampala, Mbarara, via Ntungamo to Rukungiri then to Kihihi and finally to Buhoma in Bwindi, further using Kampala-Mbarara, Ntugamo- Kabare then to Nkurigo road one can get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Through the use of air transport

The potential travelers and those who find long distances tiresome can as well access the Park right from Entebbe international airport drive to Kajjansi airfield then by use of both chartered flights and domestic flights once can fly to modern Kisoro airstrip and then use the road transport to access the park headquarters for further instructions and guidance on the trek. Additionally, the park is well served with another airfield where chartered planes can as well land for example a traveler to trek gorilla in the southern sector of Nkuringo and Nshongi can land at Nyakabande airfield.

Other than using the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda, many of the travelers fly to Kigali International Airport in Rwanda and by use of road they can connect to the southern part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park in Rushaga sector through Cyanika border in Kisoro district or the traveler with the guide can access Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by use of the road from Kigali international Airport via Katuna border in Kabare district and then connect to park headquarters of Buhoma in the northern side which makes it opportune to trek gorillas in both Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Volcanoes National Park.

Top Tourist Attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an ideal tourist destination for key activities done in most of the sectors. Gorilla tracking is the major activity and highly demanded experience however; there are many other activities that you shouldn’t miss on your visit to the gorilla land.

These include:

  1. Gorilla Trekking
  2. Gorilla Habituation
  3. Bird Watching
  4. Batwa Cultural Experience
  5. Bwindi Forest Walks to the waterfalls
  6. Community Walks
  7. Mountain Biking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  8. Photography and filming
Mountain gorilla tracking

This is the highlight of a visit to Bwindi and a climax of the long journey in Uganda. It is always a magical experience to encounter a family of mountain gorillas. Tracking mountain gorillas takes two to eight hours depending on the location of the gorilla family.

Bwindi national park has 17 habituated gorilla groups that can tracked in all the four sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo with eight permits are available to track each of the 17 habituated gorilla groups, giving a daily maximum of 136 permits issued for gorilla trekking experience. Gorilla permits must be booked in advance through a tour operator or UWA Booking Office in Kampala. Registration starts at 07.30 hours followed by a briefing at 08.00 hours and tracking in Bwindi commences at 08.30

Birding

Bwindi national park has four sectors offering excellent birding opportunities for bird watching tours. The River Ivi Trail between Buhoma and Nkuringo is more recommended for birding as well as Munyaga River Trail at the edge of Buhoma sector. Bamboo Trail in Ruhija sector to the 2607m Rwamunyoni peak is another fantastic spot for unique bird species while Mubwindi Swamp Trail is well renowned for Albertine Rift endemics such as the green broadbill.

Nature walks

Though gorilla tracking is the major activity, Nature walks are also fantastic optional activity to explore the forest. This activity starts in the morning at 09.00 and in the afternoon at 14.00 at Munyanga River trail, in the valley below the Buhoma sector. There is always endless opportunities to spot a number of birds and primates along the forest edge.
The Muzabajiro Loop trail takes you to the top of Rukubira Hill for magnificent views of Bwindi forest, Virunga volcanoes and the Albertine Rift Valley.

Community walks

Community walks through the surrounding villages of Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors provide deep life insight and interaction of the local Batwa Pygmies and Bakiga people. The Buniga Forest Walk in Nkuringo- southern Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is conducted by Batwa local guides who demonstrate their traditional forest lore.

Tips for Gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda

Pack a rain gear since our weather is unpredictable and Bwidi forest is always misty

Gorilla trekking safaris

Gorilla in the Bwindi Forest

Pack your Insect repellent

We recommend to put on long trousers and long-sleeved shirts while in Bwindi forest to avoid insect and plant stings.

Put on sturdy hiking boots during your gorilla tracking sessions

Cary your drinking water during hiking. Please note that eating and smoking near gorillas in forbidden.

Cary your camera to take as many photos as possible however; you must not use flash

You may decide to hire a porter to help you carry your day-pack for a small fee of about $15

Ensure that you don’t have communicable disease like flu or cough. Otherwise you will not be allowed trek gorillas

Local people around Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park

Bwindi area is the home of the Bakiga with the main economic activity being farming and tourism. Farmers are responsible for the striking terraced hillsides that extend up to the edge of the forest. Initially interior of Bwindi forest was a home to Batwa Pygmy hunter-gatherers who were reallocated by the government to stay in the surrounding community in order to conserve and protect the park for future generation.

Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park

Accommodation facilities at the four sectors in Bwindi cater for up-market, mid-range and budget visitors. Ruhija sector can also be reached from hotels in Kabale and lodges in Lake Bunyonyi while visitors to Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors can stay in Kisoro town and Lake Mutanda a night before tracking gorillas the following the day.

Gorilla Trekking Rules before you set out to Bwindi

Do not visit the gorillas when sick of cold or flu. Mountain gorillas share 99.9% of human genes, this makes them susceptible to most human illnesses more so communicable diseases.

Minimum age to go for gorilla trekking is 15 years. Children below 15 years are not allowed to go gorilla trekking however; if a child is about to get 15 year, parents or guardians may write a letter to UWA, seeking permission for their child/children to under taking gorilla tracking in Uganda; taking full responsibility to anything that nay happen during this adventure!

Do not litter in the park to keep the natural environment clean and fresh.

Each mountain gorilla family is visited in a maximum group of eight travelers per day. If you booked for gorilla habituation, only four people are allowed for this experience

You are advised to keep within your allocated groups and do not move alone in the forest jungle

Rules and Regulations when you are with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park Uganda

You will Keep a distance of seven meters away from the gorillas to prevent the spread of human-wildlife diseases.

Do not eat before the gorillas

Do not smoke before the gorillas

Avoid drinking while with the gorillas

Avoid using flashlight camera

One hour is allowed to stay with the gorillas during gorilla tracking while four hours are given to visitor doing gorilla habituation.

Avoid touching the gorillas

Do not run when gorilla charge

Avoid looking directly into the eyes of mountain gorillas

Speak at a low tone voice

Turn back your faces when sneezing or squeezing.

Listen and follow guidelines of the ranger guides on your gorilla trekking adventure. The rules and regulations of the of mountain gorilla trekking tours are similar to those of chimpanzee trekking in major sites such as Kibale Forest National park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, Kalizu forest reserve among others

Tariffs & Payment in Bwindi

Information on park entrance and activity fees, kindly inquire with us. Our sales team will be glad to serve you better. Payments may be made using Uganda shillings, US dollars, Euros, British pounds and Visa. Please note that 20% of all park fees are shared with communities around the protected areas to share the benefits of ecotourism and generate local support for conservation.