Distance from Kigali to Bwindi
Distance from Kigali to Bwindi: Bwindi is located in the southwestern part of Uganda near the borders of Rwanda and DR Congo. The national park is home to endangered mountain gorillas that have attracted a lot of travelers from different parts of the world. Entebbe is the main entry to Uganda for travelers to Bwindi but Kigali being so near to the park than Kampala, travelers can now fly to Kigali and access the national park.
Distance from Kigali to Bwindi
There are two border points from Rwanda to Uganda that travelers coming to Bwindi from Kigali can use. The first border is Katuna which is in Kabale district and then Cyanika border which is in Kisoro. From any of these borders, a traveler can access all the park sectors – Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Buhoma.
From Kigali to Bwindi road distance is 197km if you use Katuna border in Kabale and 247 km if you use Cyanika border in Kisoro. The driving time from Kigali to Bwindi is 4-5 hours and the time taken depends on the border used, the nature of the road, and the stopovers on the way. From Kigali to the to Katuna border is about 80km and it takes about 2 hours to get to this border point. From Kigali to Cyanika border is about 119km which takes about 3 hours to get to this point.
Here is the road distance from Kigali to different sectors of the park using Cyanika border- Kigali to Nkuringo is 162km, Kigali to Rushaga is 165km, Kigali to Rushaga is 199km and Kigali to Buhoma is 247 km. Using Katuna border to get to Bwindi from Kigali is 197km to Buhoma region, 170km to Rushaga region, 186 km to Nkuringo region and the shortest is 160km to Ruhija sector.
From Kigali to Bwindi, travelers will have opportunities like stopping at some of the country museums among which include those where people who died in the Rwanda genocides were buried, markets, and they will see different rolling hills by the roadsides as well as rivers and lakes such as Bunyonyi in Kabale.
Travelers that are planning to visit Bwindi and would want to access the national park from Kigali can contact us and we organize for them an amazing Kigali Bwindi safari at an affordable price. We have professional driver guides who can pick you up from Kigali international airport or any hotel in Kigali and drive you carefully to any of the sectors of Bwindi.
Attractions in Bwindi
Endangered mountain gorillas: Mountain gorillas are the main attractions in Bwindi and it’s because of them that the national park is famous to the outside world. The national park harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas in the whole world. More than 700 mountain gorillas are found in Bwindi and these are seen in different regions of the park namely Nkuringo, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Buhoma
Most of the mountain gorillas in Bwindi gorilla have been habituated and are open for gorilla trekking and some are still going through habituation with only two open for habituation purposes. Gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation are the most done activities by not only people from Kigali but even Kampala to the park. Encountering mountain gorillas can be 1 hour or 4 hours in this park depending on the gorilla permit you purchased.
Birds: Bwindi has over 350 bird species that have been so far recorded and of these 14 are endemic to the Albertine region. Travelers from Kigali can always be part of the birding activities in any of the sectors of the park they visit. Birding activities are always headed by the armed ranger guides who have got enough information about a variety of park species that live in this park.
Birds of Bwindi include rock martin, angola swallow, lesser honey guide, least honey guide, black sawing, toro olive greenbul, olive thrush, cape robin chat, wood warbler, Rwenzori batis, African shrike flycatcher, green hylia, dusky tit, chin spot batis, green crombec, olive green camaroptera, swamp flycatcher, sooty boubou, red chested sunbird, violet backed starling, common waxbill, and fan-tailed waxbill among others.
Batwa pygmies: Batwa people are an attraction in Bwindi simply because they were forest dwellers. A lot of travelers want to visit these people and interact with them to know how they used to survive in the jungles. They stayed in the forest until the government evicted them to protect mountain gorillas that were getting to extinction. Most of the travelers on their safaris to Bwindi ask to visit the Batwa that are nowadays living around the park boundaries. A visit to their community helps to know their stories of long ago, get into their daily activities, and get entertained by traditional dancers.
The best time to drive from Kigali and visit Bwindi
Travelers can drive from Kigali to Bwindi at any time of the year however there are certain months that are better than the dry. The two dry seasons of June to September and December to February are the best to drive to Bwindi because the roads are passable since there is little or no rainfall. The dry season is even the best time to visit the park because the trekking trails are dry making them easily passable and the vegetation is short with good views of the park’s wildlife.
Travelers can still drive from Kigali to Bwindi in the rainy season and the 4×4 safari vehicles are recommended for the roads are bumpy and rough. The rainfall sometimes makes the roads muddy and impassable which increases the time taken to get to the park. Visiting the park from Kigali is recommended for budget travelers who would benefit from huge discounts on accommodation facilities. Inside Bwindi in the rainy season, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, and the vegetation is thick and tall with unclear views of the wild animals.