Forest elephants in Bwindi
Found in the tropical areas of Central and West Africa, forest elephants are a step away from extinction according to the international union for conservation of nature IUCUN. Forest elephants in Uganda can be seen Bwindi impenetrable forest, Kibale forest, Mgahinga, Semiliki, Rwenzori mountain, and Elgon national parks. Forest elephants are one of the species of African elephants and the others are called savannah elephants.
Forest elephants in Bwindi would be no more by now if the government of Uganda had not gazetted the land in 1991. The government went ahead and evicted the Batwa pygmies who used to live in the jungle feeding on different vegetation, fruits, and at sometimes meat from animals. The Batwa were evicted out the park to create more space for the animals and to reduce on poaching.
Evicting the Batwa pygmies out of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park helped a lot in protecting wild animals among which included the elephants because they were killed for meat and ivory. There are about 40-60 forest elephants roaming around the jungles and tourists that visit the park for mountain gorilla trekking won’t live the jungle minus encountering them.
Tourists can still see them during nature walks in the park and the armed ranger guides have away they communicate to them to know that people are actually around them. When one is near forest elephants in Bwindi they will see how they have grey skin, with black coarse hair around the tip of the tail. They have large oval-shaped ears that help to keep heat during cold weather and keep cool when it’s too hot.
First elephants in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park feed on bark, leaves, and different fruits. They drink water from different water sources in the park such as River Ishasha, River Ivy, and River Munyaga among others to supplement their diet.
The population of forest elephants in Bwindi doesn’t grow so fast and this is because they take a long time to give birth and have a low birth rate. On average, forest elephants begin breeding at the age of 23 and they produce every after 5-6 years. The young ones are produced weighing around 105kgs and these are able to stand up and move around. They breastfeed for about 4-5 years and their tusks come at about 16 months.
The big threats to forest elephants would be habitat loss and poaching for meat and ivory but this is not in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park because the area is gazetted and no outside people are allowed in the park. There are well-trained armed ranger guides in the jungles of Bwindi who keep moving around the forest to see animals are safe and in good health.
There are no game drives carried in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to see elephants and other park mammals however tourists will always come across them during nature walks, birding, and gorilla trekking activities. These elephants move around the jungle trying to look for what to eat so while moving around the jungle, tourists will be able to meet them and armed ranger guides will guide you on how to be near them for some time.
Apart from forest elephants, Bwindi is s home to other animals such as mountain gorillas which have made the park famous, chimpanzees, grey checked mangabey, duikers, red colobus monkeys, buffaloes, potto, blue monkeys, giant forest hogs, red and tailed monkeys, bushbucks, l’hoest’s monkeys, De Brazza monkeys, bush pigs, demidoff’s galago, olive baboons, civets, bats, and rodents among others.
When to visit Bwindi
Bwindi can be visited at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. A lot of travelers have confirmed dry seasons from June to September and December to February as the best time to visit Bwindi because they are characterized by little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short and scattered with great views of the park attractions and the roads connecting to the park are passable.
Travelers can still visit for different park activities in the rainy season of March to May and October to November however they should know that there is plenty of rainfall. This makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is very tall with unclear views of the animals while the roads leading to the park are impassable. Travelers that visit Bwindi in the rainy season only benefit from the huge discounts on accommodation facilities.