Bwindi Impenetrable national park is situated in Southwestern Uganda and covers an area of 331 square kilometers. It is located on the rim of the Western Rift valley (Albertine rift) and it is shared by Kisoro, Kanungu as well as Kabale districts. This park is characterized with different vegetation zones however mainly a tropical rainforest. This is among the surviving forests in the whole of Africa that survived in the last Ice Age. Bwindi Impenetrable national park hosts approximately half of the total population of mountain gorillas (which is 326 mountain gorillas). At this present time, it is believed that there are about 700 surviving mountain gorillas.
Other than the uncommon mountain gorillas, this park even offers more than 120 species of mammalian among which are 11 primates, 324 tree species and 200 butterfly species. Among these primates are the L’Hoest Monkey, black and white colobus as well as Red Tailed monkeys among others. The forest is as well abundant with birds (with 360 species) among which 23 are Albertine Rift endemics present in this park. Some of the distinctive bird species are the Rusty-faced woodland Warbler Kivu Ground Thrush, Short-tailed Warbler, Wilcock’s Honey-guide, Gruer’s Rush Warbler, White-tailed Blue Monarch, Bar-tailed Trogon, Dusky Crimson Wing, as well as the Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher among others. Most of these birds can’t easily be cited in any other place across East Africa. The Ihimbo hot springs is yet another tourist place that was discovered by Bakiga settlers back in the 1950s, and its boiling water which bubbles from these springs swiftly acquired national popularity for its healing powers. A legend speaks of a flat-chested girl that bathed in this place and emerged with an amazingly curvy bosom, also a man who has lost his leg in an accident and obtained it back after swimming in this hot water. Due to its fame, Ihimbo has drawn in as many as 1000 individuals each year from all parts of the country.
Visitors that go to Bwindi Impenetrable forest can as well visit the town of Kanungu to see the church in which over 500 members of this Movement for the “Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God” (MRTCG) disappeared in the fire; following them being persuaded that they were reaching heaven through that fire. This occurrence happened on 17th March, 2000 and it’s among the big religious massacre activities in the entire world.
How to reach the Gorilla Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National park can be reached by road or air transport. Traveling from Kampala through Mbarara highway this drive takes 6 to 8 hours. From here the here you will drive on for 2 to 3 hours to Kabale and then you will reach the park in about one to two hours. However those who would like to get to the park by air, there are private charter flights which can be organized from the Kayonza airstrip to the park.
Tourism Activities within Bwindi National Park
Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi
This is the primary tourism activity within the park. You will find 4 habituated gorilla groups including the Nkuringo group with 19 gorillas, Mubare group with 10 gorillas and a silverback, the Habinyanja group with 18 gorillas and a silverback as well as the Rushegura group with 10 gorillas and a silverback.
Bwindi Guided Forest Walk
Within the park are 4 hiking trails on which you will have the chance to see as well as learn about the different species of trees, birds as well as butterflies, in addition to spectacular features inside the forest such as the Munyaga waterfalls on River Munyaga, plus the breathtaking views of the Rwenzori Mountains and Lake Edward.
Bwindi Community Cultural Tours
Visitors in the park take part in fascinating and unforgettable traditional performances displayed by Women and the orphan groups and normally this is normally carried out the evening.
Birding in Bwindi National Park
Bwindi is a bird watchers paradise! It supports 346 bird species among which are 90% of Albertine endemics that can’t easily be seen in other areas of East Africa. The Buhoma plus the Ruhija areas provide experienced tourists a chance to identify around 100 species of birds in only one day!
UWA Tips on Gorilla Tracking
Maintain your voice down or perhaps be quiet as you are tracking. You’ll see and listen to the gorillas in case you see that.
Maintain a distance of 7 meters or 21 feet from the mountain gorillas
Don’t waive or even point at the mountain gorillas- this could be viewed as a hazard.
Move slowly, and In case you are approached by a mountain gorilla, retreat slowly and maintain a 5 meter separation.
Avoid using the flash when taking your photos. This could endanger the mountain gorillas and even bother other guests.
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