Bwindi impenetrable national park has its fame, mainly, for being a home for the endangered species of the world called the mountain gorillas; however, it is also a home for a great array of other primates which supplement and make the gorilla safaris memorable, life-changing and full fun. Bwindi impenetrable national park, perhaps, would not be known, but Gorilla trekking highlights many Ugandan wild safaris and east Africa as well of African at large.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a safe haven and home for the largest population of mountain gorillas in the world. Bwindi impenetrable national park holds about half the total population of mountain gorillas in the whole world. From many reviews of several bloggers, Bwindi national park is being explained about one of its kind in terms of diversity of wildlife. Bwindi impenetrable national park sits on an elevation of about 1160m – 2607m above sea level; this variation in the altitude is attributed to the areas vegetation cover and the wildlife therein.
Bwindi national park is dominated by steepening rocky hills which are laid over by a swathe of a thick moist tropical rain forest. Bwindi national park covers an area of about 331 square kilometers on a rocky and steep part of the Virunga mountain ranges which are also shared by Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park and Congo’s Virunga national park. Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the south western region of Uganda with the nearest national parks being Queen Elizabeth national park, Mgahinga among others.
Bwindi forest was subscribed as a national park in 199, then after; Bwindi inscribed under the protection of UNESCO as a world heritage site in 1994. The inscription under the UNESCO world heritage sites, followed the declaration of the mountain gorillas as an endangered species, and a much-consolidated organization needed to chip in for progressive protection of the wildlife in the area.
Attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The mountain gorillas in Bwindi national park stand out as the major attractions in the national park to give a highlight to almost all the safaris conducted in Bwindi impenetrable national park and uganda at large. Bwindi impenetrable national park has been protecting over eleven mountain gorilla families over the previous decades, from 1993, and the tourists have been looking for all the time basing on the family that better describes their interests. Of the eleven mountain gorilla groups, four groups are habituated and ready for visitors every year and these include mubare, habinyanja, rushengura, and Nkuringo.
There are about 3 families which are found in Buhoma area in the northern part of Bwindi national park. There gorilla families in buhoma include; Rushengura, mubare and Habinyanja. Within Ruhija area of eatern Bwindi, there are mountain gorilla families such as Bitukura, Kyanguriro and Oruzongo gorilla family, and one family is found in nkuringo area, called nkuringo mountain gorilla family. The other mountain gorilla families are found in Rushaga area which is found south of Bwindi impenetrable national park, they include; Mishaya, kahungye, Busingye, Nshongi and Buhoza. However, recently there was found a new mountain gorilla family in Bwindi impenetrable national park, this year 2019 around March.
Other wildlife in Bwindi impenetrable national park
There is a lot of other wildlife species which harbor in the thick of rest of Bwindi. Your visit to Bwindi impenetrable national park will give you a lifetime chance to see a lot of rare primates like the red colobus monkeys, the black and white colobus monkeys, the vervet monkeys and the rare golden monkeys, l’hoest’s monkey and a few chimpanzees among others. You can also get a chance to see a few forest elephants, giant forest hogs, small antelopes, cats like the jackals in the lowlands, African civets and a number of rodent species among others.
Bwindi national park has over 120 mammals including the gorillas and the monkeys in their different type. Bwindi host over 207 butterflies and other insects, of which 42 are endemic to the areas within the rift valley region of western Uganda. Bwindi is a home for a unique array of birds estimated to be over 350 of which 23 species are endemic to the albertine rift; they include the cream banded swallowtail, the African green broadbill, shelleys crimson wing, among others.
Activities to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Gorilla trekking is one of the most sought for activities in Bwindi. Mountain gorilla trekking is a one-time life experience which will give you a life-changing moment. There is no other experience comparable to hanging out with the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Bwindi impenetrable national park is the best destination to see the mountain gorillas in the whole world, majorly because it holds the largest mountain gorilla population; about 400 gorillas dwell peacefully in the steep hills of Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest starts earlyh in the morning, commencing from the office which is near the booked gorilla family at around 7 am. The trackers go fast into the forest to find the gorilla family to be trekked and then bring back the information for the trekkers to start moving. You should take coution that gorilla trekking in Bwindi can be challenging especially when the mountain gorilla family booked for is far away from the starting point. Therefore it is good if you solicit help from your tour operator to book your gorilla trekking permit.
Forest walks in Bwindi impenetrable national park are so much rewarding even if you can afford gorilla trekking. The forest walks in Bwindi national park will give you a chance to explore a lot in the swathe forests of the park. The forests walks in Bwindi forest are mainly conducted around the buhoma area. There are defined trails within Bwindi impenetrable national park where forest walks are conducted.
For example, the waterfalls trail in Bwindi impenetrable forest leads to the spectacular falls on Munyaga River and you have a chance to see the ecological mutuality around the waterfalls. From the muzabijiro loop trail and rishura hill trail, you are assured of the great views of the smoky Virunga volcanoes and the steamy congo forests plus the rift valley escarpment in the democratic republic of congo. Lastly but not least the river ivi trail will take you around buhoma and nkuringo, through the forest and uphill in nkuringo village.
The cultural tour in Bwindi forest is such a rewarding and educating activity that you don’t want to miss. The three hours tour in buhoma village, gives you a chance to learn about the bakiga culture and the batwa villages therein. the handicraft shops are your first encounter during the community walk in buhoma village, you can support the families of these poor locals by buying a few of their carvings, fabrics and beewax candles among others. There is a lot to entertain you like the cultural or traditional songs, local dances and school visits among others.
Birding is also awesome when done in Bwindi forest national park because; as you watch the beautiful uncommon birds you get a chance to see the gorillas too and the monkeys who dwell in the tall tree canopies of Bwindi impenetrable national park. This ancient rainforest of Bwindi national park holds over 350 birds ready for you to watch, of which 23 species of these birds are endemically found in the Albertine region. Birding in Bwindi is a chance for you to see birds like the blue headed sunbird, short-tailed warbler, the red bill, African emerald cuckoo, flycatchers, bul- bul among others. The morning hours are the best to do your bird watching around manyaga river falls in buhoma; it is the best spot for birding activities in Bwindi impenetrable national park.
The best time to visit Bwindi
It is all about you to visit any time of the year because Bwindi forest national park is open for tourists all year-round. However, the best time to visit Bwindi is the dry season. The dry season is experienced in the months of june to august, this is also the peak season for tourism in uganda. It is characterized by a high visitor count in almost all the national parks in uganda, so you have to expect crowds in the Bwindi forest.
Alternatively, you have a free wet season which is experienced from April to May to visit Bwindi. The mountain gorillas tend to run away from the extreme coldness in the highlands during the wet season, so you can find the mountain gorillas in the lower areas of the Bwindi impenetrable national park. The wet season is such a free time in Bwindi and others because a few people visit Africa for wildlife safaris. However, you should expect heavy rains in Bwindi impenetrable national parks.
Bwindi national park is the best-protected area where you can have gorilla trekking tours and the permits are cheaper compared to other places.