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Bwindi Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park is one of the most visited and most sought-after destinations in Uganda. Uganda is one of the homes of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world and these are found in two of the country’s national parks. Uganda is a landlocked country in the eastern part on the African continent.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park just like the name suggests is a thick primeval forest sited on 331 square kilometers in Kanungu District, a district in the south western part of Uganda. The Bwindi impenetrable Forest national park is a very biodiverse forest with up to 160 different tree species as well as 100 different species of Ferns. This forested national park is not only limited to flora but also rich in fauna with a great number of endemic butterflies and bird species.

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is famous for its gentle giants, the mountain gorillas however besides these gentle giants, this forest boosts of some African forest elephants, chimpanzees and a number of L’Hoest’s monkeys. Some of the bird species found in the Bwindi Forest are the African green broadbill, Shelley’s crimson-wing, to mention but a few.

Have you recently picked interest in visiting Uganda and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in particular and would love to know what to engage in? There are a number of activities and these are further detailed below.

Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Mountain gorilla trekking

Mountain gorilla trekking is the most booked activity in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. The world statistics show a population of about only 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the world and these can be visited only in the wild. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park is one of the four only destinations in the world that are still a home to this endangered species. The mountain gorilla population in Bwindi Forest is said to be about 400 gorillas while the others are spread out to the Mgahinga gorilla national park, the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda and the Virunga national park of the DR Congo.

Mountain gorilla trekking is a 2 to 7 hour thrilling nature activity to and back where guests set out into the forest in search of the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Once the trekkers find the mountain gorillas, they are allowed a full hour to enjoy the home of the mountain gorillas as the gorillas go about their day. In this hour, the trekkers are allowed to capture the beautiful moments by video or photography.

One can purchase a permit for this activity from a trusted tour operator or Uganda Wildlife Authority and a permit goes for 800 USD per person for this magical experience.

Mountain gorilla habituation

Mountain gorilla habituation is another thrilling activity of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park where the trekkers are allowed a longer time with the mountain gorillas. This activity is familiar to the mountain gorilla trekking however the trekkers join the team of rangers and set out to accustom a new gorilla family to human presence. This is a full day activity and can only be done in the two gorilla parks of Uganda.

A permit to take part in gorilla habituation goes for 1,500 USD per individual and can be purchased from a trusted operator or the Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Bird Watching

With the great number of bird species of up to 350 different birds in the Bwindi Forest, one can engage in some birding if interested. The birding safari in Bwindi is one must do for a birder for a chance to spot the African Green Broadbill, the Congo short tailed warbler, the Rwenzori night jar among others that are endemic birds.

You will surely need binoculars for this experience.

The Batwa cultural experience

It would be a shame to visit an authentic site like the Bwindi Forest and not take a visit to one the communities that originally inhabited there. The Batwa tribe is one of the most primitive and oldest tribes that ever settled in Uganda and in this part of the country in particular. There is an experience where visitors get to spend time in their homesteads and see how they lived back in the day and take part in their practices like fire making, alcohol brewing and also select some herbal medicines from the existing plants.

The Batwa centered and still center their livelihood in the forest and nature and you also get to enjoy some entertainment from the Batwa community.

Forest nature walks

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has a number of nature’s trails that guests may opt to take on for the rich in forest experience and each of these trails have a special elements like waterfalls, birds, forest animals to encounter. Some of these trails are the Munyaga River trail, that is undoubtably the most thrilling. The walks can last from 2 to 6 hours depending on one’s interests and capability.

Mountain biking

Being a forested and yet hilly area, Bwindi offers the biking lovers a chance to take on mountain biking experience and there are some organizations that can organize this experience such as Ride for a woman, a women run community group. You will need to book for this activity in advance if interested.

Get to explore Bwindi Forest on two wheels enjoying the fresh air of the region.

Lake Mutanda

The Lake Mutanda is another beautiful natural feature in the region that guests may take sometime off to visit and cool off the hectic trekking. The Lake Mutanda has a number of small islands that give a beautiful backdrop for your images and can also be visited on a dugout canoe. The sunsets are another to look out for on this tour and this is best as a guided tour.

Buhoma community walks

Looking for an easier activity to compliment your mountain gorilla trekking experience, you could consider one of the other community walks. The most popular is the Buhoma community walks but even in the Rushaga sector, you could engage in one. Get to visit a local community in their day-to-day setting, the local schools or hospital.

When to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park.

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park receives visitors every month of the year depending on one’s schedule however to determine the best time to visit, there are a number of aspects to consider such as schedule, interests, budgets and flight plans. The seasons in the park are a major determinant however both seasons favor visitors accordingly.

The dry season runs from June to August and later mid December to Mid February while the wet season in Bwindi runs from March to May then September to November. Being a rain forest, a rain shower is expected any time even during the dry season. Best to get in touch and let us advise how best your preferred month can be the best time to visit.

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