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Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park; Into the Realm of the Silverbacks

by | Jul 18, 2023 | 0 comments

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park; Into the Realm of the Silverbacks

Deep in the ancient heart of Africa, among the awe-inspiring rolling hills and vast landscapes, lies a natural sanctuary of extraordinary ecosystems and biodiversity well known as the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a natural wonderland and home to the endangered mountain gorillas.

Uniquely located in the southwestern region of Uganda the Pearl of Africa, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park stands as a symbol of the gorilla and wildlife conservation efforts in the country and all over Africa.

The park spans an area of 331 square kilometers within the district of Kanungu and was designated as a park in 1991 as well as declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site in 1994.

The park is one of the largest national parks in the world and is the World’s best tourist destination for trekking mountain gorillas with over 300 individuals and other rare primate species like the Black and white Colombus Monkeys, chimpanzees among others. The park also harbors over 120 mammal species, 350 bird species, and 200 tree species.

Sectors and families in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

There are four (4) sectors in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park including Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma & Nkuringo. Each sector is different in accessibility, trekking experience, and altitude.

Despite the different locations of these sectors, it is very possible to connect from one sector to another with ease.

Buhoma Sector

The Buhoma Sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. This sector can be easily accessed from the Kihihi airstrip and is the most visited sector more than the others.

The sector is a 2hr drive from Kabale town which is close to the park and also a 4hrs drive from Ishasha Sector well known for its tree-climbing lions.

Buhoma is well known because its home to the first habituation family of the Gorilla called the Mubare and it’s the easiest sector to trek even more convenient for older people.

Ruhija Sector

Located on the Eastern part of the park, the Ruhija sector is more suitable for you transferring from Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector.

The sector is home to habituated gorilla families including the Bitukura family, Kyaguriro family, and Oruzungu family, and it is the coldest among all the 4 sectors.

Rushaga Sector

The Rushaga Sector is located in the southern part of the park, and it has the highest number of habituated gorilla families. This is one of the sectors where gorilla habituation is currently taking place.

The sector is easily accessible from Kigali through the Cyanika border in Kisoro which is a 3hr drive. It is home to 5 gorilla families including the Bweza, Busingye, Nshonji, Kahungye, and Mishaya.

Nkuringo Sector

The Nkuringo sector is also located in the southern part of the park and is home to the Nkuringo habituated gorilla family. The sector is well known for its views of Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira. This is one of the most challenging sectors to trek in due to its higher altitude however it has the best views of the surrounding landscapes because it has high altitudes.

The sector is easily accessed from Kabale District which is a 3hr drive on the Kabale-Kisoro highway.

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

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Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was named after the famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, one of the largest rainforests in Uganda. The park is home to abundant wildlife species including 120 mammal species, 11 primate species, 350 bird species, and over 1000 different plant species.

Primates

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famously known as the best destination for gorilla trekking due to the presence of over 400 mountain gorillas. The park also harbors other rare primates like the Chimpanzees, Black, and white Colobus monkeys, rare L’Hoests’ monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and baboons among others.

chimpanzee in Bwindi

chimpanzee in Bwindi

Mammals

Different mammal species that inhabit the park include forest elephants, Bush Pigs, Giant Forest hogs, Black-fronted Duikers, Yellow-backed duikers, Clawless otters, Civets, and Side stripped jackals as well as bats and rodents.

Birds

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to 350 different birds including the African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Shelley’s Crimson wing, the African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Warbler and short-tailed warbler, the Fraser’s Eagle Owl, Western Bronzenaped Pigeon, White-bellied Robin-Chat among others.

Reptiles and Amphibians

The park harbors over 27 amphibian species including the Western Rift Leaf folding frog and Ahl’s Reed Frog as well as several reptile species such as 14 snake species, 6 chameleon species, and 14 species of lizards.

Things to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is the number one activity that yields great lifetime experiences. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of the best tourist destinations to trek gorillas with over 400 gorilla individuals.

The basic requirement to come for gorilla trekking is a gorilla permit costing USD600 that allows you in the national park. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park has four sectors including Rushaga, Nkuringo, Buhoma and Ruhija all offering different gorilla experiences.

Batwa Cultural Experience

Cultural experience is one of the highlight activities in Uganda’s Bwindi National Park, where you encounter the Batwa Pygmies in the forest who were evacuated as a conservation measure of the endangered primates.

The Batwa cultural encounter exposes you to their unique dance, culture, and their traditional forest way of life.
Following the trail, the Batwa get to lead towards the forest where they demonstrate their traditional forest life such as hunting, fruit gathering, collecting honey, and performing rituals among others.

Birding Safari

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a birder’s haven harboring over 350 bird species and offers bird-watching safaris. You get a lifetime opportunity to encounter different bird species including the African Green Broadbill, Mountain Oriol, Great Blue Turaco, and Rwenzori night jar, among others.

Mountain gorillas
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Gorilla trekking in Uganda.

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5-Days Uganda-Gorilla & Wildlife Safari

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Best time to visit.

It is crucial to note that Bwindi Impenetrable national park is open for visiting all year long, however, there are peak seasons that are so favourable such as during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February when the trekking and hiking trails are less slippery.

How to get there

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is accessible either by road or by air means of transport.
By road transport means, the park is a 9-10 hours’ drive from Kampala/Entebbe and the road trip is awe-inspiring as you have stopovers at the Equator for Photography, Lunch in Mbarara, and other stopovers to view the beautiful scenery.

While using air transport means, there are daily flights from Entebbe Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip where you can fly to Kisoro or also to Kihihi Airstrips which is about 1-2 hours and then drive to your lodge.

Safari Accommodations

Bwindi Impenetrable national park has a variety of lodges where you can stay on your gorilla trekking tour. These range from budget, midrange, and Luxury hotels which include Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Four Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, and Gorilla Forest camp among others.

Gorilla Forest Camp

Gorilla Forest Camp

There you have it, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a natural enchantment haven teeming with abundant wildlife and also a sanctuary for endangered primates including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and various bird species.

Book your safari to Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with Friendly Gorillas Safaris today.

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About the Author

Frank

Enthusiastic Tour Consultant. Self-Motivated and passionate about crafting Un forgettable African safari experiences.

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