Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park ( Bwindi forest )
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, a size of 331 km2, is located in South Western Uganda on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, in an altitude range from 1,160 m to 2,607 m. This is a real tropical rain forest, spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys. It is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa, gazetted in 1991 and was first available for tourism in 1993. In the local language “Bwindi” (from “mubwindi”) means “dark place”, referring to the impenetrable nature of the forest.
Species in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
There are 11 species of primates, including Mountain Gorillas, L’hoest’s, red-tailed and blue monkey, black and white Colobus, olive baboon. Particularly, Bwindi forest is home to 360 mountain gorillas, a half of the total remaining world population. There are 346 species of birds recorded (Bwindi Impenetrable contains 90% of all Albertine Rift endemic, rarely seen in any other place in East Africa ) and 200 of butterflies. Mammals count only 30 (buffaloes) leopards, elephants, There are 324 species of tree.
Activities in Bwindi Forest National Park
The main activity is “gorilla tracking” to the habituated 12 families of mountain gorillas, Gorilla filming is also possible, Hiking trails are open to people to sight birds, butterflies and primates, nature walks can be done to sight different tree species which are 400 in total, birding of over 350 birds is a great adventure and bird lovers are sure to see so many unique birds. Cultural walk to Buhoma village community, to see the traditional homestead, the local healer, the banana brewing, handicraft and cultural performances for Batwa.
Accessibility to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable forest can be reached from Queen Elizabeth National Park in the north (2 – 3 hours) from Kabale to the south (1 – 2 hours) or from Kampala via Mbarara (6 – 8 hours). The roads meet at Butogota, 17 km from the Buhoma entrance gate. 4×4 recommended during the rains. There are daily bus services leaving Kampala for Butogota via Rukungiri and Kihiihi.
A matatu can be hired from Butogota to Buhoma the park entrance gate. The Kabale – Ruhija – Buhoma segment on this route is 72 km on a murram road branching off at Harutenga junction on the Kabale – Kisoro road. Air transport: Travelers can fly from Entebbe or Kampala (Kajjansi airfield) to the modern tarmac airstrip at Kisoro.
Visitors to Buhoma can also use charter planes to Kayonza or Savannah airstrips. Bwindi is well served by three airfields of Kayonza and Kihiihi for the northern sector and Nyakabande in Kisoro for those going to track gorillas in the southern Sector (Nkuringo, Nshongi and Mishaya as well as Nyakagezi family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park).
Accommodation facilities in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park
Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park has got quite wide range of accommodation facilities which include the Gorilla forest camp, Gorilla resort, Mahogany springs, Silverback lodge, Buhoma home stead, Lake Kitandara tented camp, Ruhija lodge, Engagi lodge (Luxury, Cuckoo land lodge, Buhoma rest camp, Nkuringo safari camp ( Mid-range / Budget).