Distance from Kampala to Bwindi
The distance from Kampala to Bwindi is estimated to be 540 km and within 9-10 hours, you will be able to access Bwindi gorilla park. The time taken to access Bwindi gorilla park from Kampala may be affected by so many factors among which include the season you are visiting the park. During the dry season, the national park is accessed faster because the roads are passable due to little and sometimes no rainfall. During the rainy seasons, the time taken to access the park tends to be long because the roads are bumpy especially those connecting to the park from the main roads due to heavy rainfall.
Distance from Kampala to Bwindi
The different stopovers you have on your way to the park also determine the time you use to get to the park. From Kampala to Kabale or Kisoro, you have different stopovers at places such as Mpambire where drums are made, equator crossing at Kayabwe, and Igongo cultural center where you have lunch and also get to learn more about the Ankole culture.
Getting to Bwindi by road transport.
For one to understand the distance from Kampala to Bwindi one must know the routes one can use to access it from Kampala by and this through Masaka, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale and Kisoro road. Bwindi has 4 four gorilla trekking sectors which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo and these can be accessed using different routes from Kabale – Kisoro highway.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is not only accessed from Kampala, it can also be accessed from Kigali Rwanda in 4-5 hours. Travelers will have to use Katuna border in Kabale, or Cyanika border in Kisoro to connect to any of the regions of the park. Accessing Bwindi from Kigali is quick compared to accessing the park from Kampala/Entebbe.
Travelers from Kampala to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can shorten the distance to Bwindi by using chartered flights. There are domestic flights to Bwindi every day by different airline companies such as Aerolink Uganda, Fly Uganda, and Bar Aviation Uganda. Flights begin from Kajjansi international airport or Entebbe international airport to Kihihi airstrip for those visiting Buhoma region and Kisoro airstrip for those visiting Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Rushaga regions.
A local tour operator can always help you book these flights to Bwindi gorilla park or you can even do it yourself in case it’s you organizing the safari. The airline company needs the dates of the month and year you want to fly to Bwindi so that they check for the availability of the seats. If available, you will need to pay for the ticket for your seat to be booked.
Brief about Bwindi gorilla park
Bwindi is one of the national parks in Uganda lucky to be harboring mountain gorillas. The national park is located in the southwestern part f the country in Kabale, Kanungu, and Kisoro districts. Covering a total area of 331 sq. km, the national park harbors over 70 mountain gorillas that are more than the total population of those left in the whole world.
Bwindi was gazetted in 1991 to protect and increase the mountain gorilla population in the park. The national park is now home to the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world as others are seen in volcanoes national park, Virunga national park, and Mgahinga national park. Bwindi was dived into for trekking regions namely Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo where these mountain gorillas do live.
Main attractions in Bwindi
Mountain gorillas: The main attractions in Bwindi are the mountain gorillas which have attracted thousands of travelers from different corners of the world. Mountain gorillas are said to be closest relatives to human beings with 98% human DNA. They live I n four sectors of the park which are Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Buhoma. The national park has the highest number of mountain gorillas that are said to be more than half of the population remaining in the world
The national park has 19 mountain gorilla families so far habituated and open for gorilla trekking in all sectors. The park also has 2 mountain gorilla families that are semi-habituated and open for gorilla habituation in Nkuringo, and Rushaga sectors. To encounter these mountain gorillas, you need to be with a gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Birds: Bwindi is home to over 350 bird species that can be seen in all the sectors of the park but mostly in Buhoma and Ruhija because they have the best birding spots. Bird lovers should look at visiting Bwindi because it’s among the best bird9ng destinations in the country. To enjoy birding in Bwindi, move along with your birding book, a pen, a camera, a pair of binoculars, and put on long-sleeved clothes.
Notable birds in Bwindi include crested guinea fowl, bat hawk, palm nut vulture, scaly francolin, little sparrow hawk, russ turaco, olive pigeon, black crake, red knobbed coot, common cuckoo, black swift, alpine swift, red blue turaco, black bee-eater, crowned hornbill, African jacana, regal sunbird, greater honeyguide, grey crowned crane, rick martin, grey wagtail, Angola swallow, toro olive greenbul and forest robin among others.
Batwa people: These are shot pygmies that lived in the jungles of Bwindi for their whole life until the government evicted them to protect mountain gorillas that were about to get to extinction as well as the vegetation Most of the travelers who love culture and those that have read about the Batwa before will always ask about their tour operators to organize a visit to their communities.
The Batwa cultural experience is not part of the park activities for it was put in place to enable travelers from different parts of the world to know more about their culture. Money collected from the tourists goes directly to the community and they use it to improve their business and way of living. A visit to the Batwa takes you around the forest boundaries, to their homes, schools, gift shops, and in the end, you get entertained by the traditional dancers.
Best time to visit Bwindi
The best time to have a safari in Bwindi is the dry season of the year and this happens from June to September and December to February. These months attract more travelers because they are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails stay dry, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the mountain gorillas and the roads connecting to the park are passable.
The national park is also open in the rainy season of March to May and October to November for any activity so travelers especially the budget ones can visit the park to benefit from huge discounts on accommodation facilities. During the rainy season, there is plenty of rainfall that makes the trekking trails be muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals and the roads connecting to the park are impassable.