A magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, this ancient rainforest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age – is home to roughly half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas and the safest place to track these magnificent giants. Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer – but we should not let it distract from Bwindi’s broader biodiversity, a result of its immense antiquity and an altitude span from 1,160 to 2,607m.
Explore Bwindi Forest
Bwindi impenetrable national Park is one of the world greatest mountain gorilla homes in Africa and still the choice destination for gorilla tracking safaris in the world. The diversity of primates and other forest habitats attracts hundreds of visitors a year across the world.
Mountain Gorilla population
Did you know Bwindi national park has the highest concentration of the remaining mountain gorilla’s? Though the gorillas also live in Rwanda and Congo but Uganda has half of the total estimated number of 880 mountain gorillas living in Bwindi forest and one habituated family in Mgahinga National Park. Actually Bwindi forest should be your gorilla safari tour park and who knows what you will encounter both during the trek and after when chilling at your lodge of residence. It’s amazing when you chose a lodge close to the park rain forest.
There is More to See
The national park has 90 mammal species, including 11 primates, of which the black-and-white colobus, with its lovely flowing white tail, is prominent. The forest birding ranks with the best in Uganda, with 23 highly localized Albertine Rift endemics present.
Even after a thousand years, the Batwa forest people will never transform to modern culture hence being one of the most amazing tourist attraction that takes deep to the land of true local Africans. They lived and still lice in the forest and the ancient tradition is their life treasure. Never miss it out during your safari to Bwindi forest.
Things to Do
Bwindi national park has the most exciting wildlife encounter in the world “Gorilla trekking”and it’s the park main tourist activity. However, there is much more than gorilla trekking since the vast rain forest is a habitat for many animals, insects, birds and people. Bird watching, forest walk, waterfall hikes, cultural tours, community excursions and volunteerism are the other tour activities that tourists enjoy during their gorilla safari tours in Uganda.
Gorilla tracking is the most popular activity in Bwindi, with four gorilla groups. It can be challenging to hike along the dense forests searching for the gorillas therefore physical fitness is a must. In the end, the pay off is indescribable.
Butterflies, Birds, mammals, wildlife, primates, and reptiles are the many forest habitats you will encounter during the search of the beautiful endangered mountain gorillas the main attraction of Bwindi forest national Park. Great numbers of habituated gorilla families is all you find here though only eight people are allowed to meet one habituated gorilla family per day. Many have baby gorillas and looking at how mother gorillas care for the little ones and other family members its pure proof that love reigns even among the wildlife creatures.
Nature Walks & Hike
The park also offers fantastic nature trails through the picturesque features the forest is endowed with. The Muyaga river trail is an ideal short walk for visitors with little time to spare. The 30 minute nature walk leads to the beautiful falls of the Muyaga River. Here one can see birds and primates of the forest edge, and learn about the flora and fauna.
The 3 hour popular waterfall trail provides an attractive feature of the forest with a provision of tree ferns, epiphytic ferns, orchids and Bwindi’s colorful array of butterflies.
This trail which leads to 3 delightful crystal clear waterfalls typifies your impression of a tropical rainforest.
The Rushura trail commands expansive views across the Western rift valley floor. To the West, Congo’s Parc Nationale des Virungas provides a spectacular backdrop and on clear days, Lake Edward and the Rwenzori mountains are visible.
The 5.2 km Muzabajiro loop trail offers breath-taking views of Bwindi Forest, Western Rift Valley, and the Virungas. One the way, you can witness hundreds of pre-historic tree ferns. The top of this trail is a great place for a picnic lunch.
For a cultural experience, the Buhoma Village Tourist Walk is ideal. The walk introduces you to a number of interesting sites such as a typical rural homestead, a visit to the local traditional healer, a banana brewing demonstration and many more. Also cultural dances and story telling can be enjoyed.
Bwindi is a bird watchers haven. It holds 346 species of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift endemics, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa, and seven on the World Conservation Union-IUCN red data listed species. One can identify up to 100 species a day!
The crossing to the rugged centre of the park through Ruhinja affords one to see Uganda’s finest vistas of deep undisturbed forests. Duikers, primates and both forest and grassland bird species can be seen. At Ruhinja, visitors especially birders can take the three-hour scenary packed hike to the Mubwindi swamp, and also to the bamboo zone.
The bamboo trail offers 14 vegetation types and is one of the areas of highest specie diversity in the park. At the top of this trail, one can witness panoramic views encompassing L. Bunyonyi and Mafuga forest.
When to Visit Bwindi
It’s a year round destination for gorilla tracking and every time is good for gorilla viewing in the forest. Make sure you arrive to the park a day before your trek with all the trip essentials settled especially the gorilla permit which is agate pass into the forest to see mountain gorillas.
Gorilla Trekking Pack List
The time for your trek doesn’t matter but after reserving all your trip essentials, carry or bring right trekking gears especially the comfortable trekking shoes, rain jacket and sweaters, long sleeved clothes, insect repellant, cotton long socks, sun cream, gorilla permit, valid passport, lunch boxes, drinking water, walking stick that you can hire at the park as well as a local porter to easy your trek in the forest. Many lodges and campsites at the park have these trekking gears and always hired by travelers who travel light but ready to track gorillas in the forest. Whatever time you head out to Bwindi forest, be sure to have an unforgettable experience.