Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park for Mountain Gorilla trekking safaris and tours

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is situated in the South-Western part of Uganda at the Edge of the Great Western Rift Valley. (Albertine rift)  Bwindi national park is famous for Mountain Gorilla trekking and has half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas population. Mountain Gorillas live in Families like Human beings and some of these gorilla families are habituated for mountain gorilla trekking safaris. The park is rich in biodiversity and many more mammals are found here. This Biologically diverse region is situated in South  Western  Uganda on the Edge of the Western Rift Valley with an altitude rage of 116- 2607 meters above sea level.

More information about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

The Impenetrable Forest was gazetted in 1942 and upgraded to Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park in 1992 and was recognized as World Heritage Site in 1994 by UNESCO.  The major tourist activity taking place here is mountain Gorilla trekking. The forest is dense and are has got steep Slippery slopes with wide valleys and high ridges. It is here that good trekking through in an ancient rainforest in Africa that search of mountain gorillas will encounter the gentle giants of Bwindi.

Apart from Gorilla tracking, there are other are many other tour activities that take place here. Bwindi supports tremendous biodiversity and as a result, forms different habitats ranging from low land Forests and Afromontane vegetation above 2600m. Bwindi represents one of the Oldest Forest that survived the Ice age – 20,000 years ago. It includes 310 species of Butterflies, 5o reptiles, 200 tree species, 88 monkeys, and 120 mammal population including 10 primate species that will include chimpanzees. L’Hoests, red and blue monkeys, black and white colobus baboons and do not forget the prized Mountain gorillas. The park also is a prime Birdwatcher paradise. Over 350 bird species have been recorded and 90% are Albertine endemics which are rare to be seen in other parts of East Africa safaris. An experienced bird enthusiastic cal list over 100 species in a day here.

Around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Bwindi is about 500km from Kampala. The park can be reached by road and by air. Today daily flights fly to Bwindi. We arrange these flying safari to Bwindi from 2 days and above. Morning and afternoon flights are arranged and fly to Kihihi or Kisoro depending on which location you will be tracking gorillas.

Local People around Bwindi

The indigenous people around Bwindi are Bakiga, Bafumbira, and small communities of Pygmies.  The Pygmies are among the oldest human era representing the forest gatherers of Ituri Forest inside Congo. And these used to share the forest with mountain gorillas not until recently when they were removed and settled around the park boundaries.

Now Bwindi  Impenetrable forest National Park has  19 gorilla habituated families which explained below.

  • Mubare Gorilla Family
  • Habinyanja Gorilla Family
  • Rushegura Gorilla Family
  • Katwe gorilla family
  • Nkuringo Gorilla Family
  • Bushaho gorilla family
  • Bitukura Gorilla Family
  • Mishaya Gorilla Family
  • Oruzongo Mountain Gorilla Family
  • Kyaguriro Family Group
  • Nshongi Gorilla Family group
  • Kahugye Gorilla Family
  • Bweza Gorilla family Group
  • Busigye Gorilla Family Group
  • Nyakagezi Gorilla Group

 

Mountain Gorilla trekking/ Gorilla tracking safaris

Gorilla tracking is done inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park. This is a very captivating, unforgettable experience in one’s lifetime which repays more than the effort spent while trekking through the forest.  Trekking takes a minimum of 1 hour to many hours and all depend on where the gorillas will be located in your course of movements.  Gorillas live in families and it’s out of these group families that are habituated that are tracked by tourists. Gorilla tracking started at the Buhoma families of the Mubare group, Habinyanja, and Rushegura.  Later gorilla trekking expanded to other group families that were later habituated now takes place other than Buhoma, there are Nkuringo groups of mountain gorillas, Ruhija Gorilla groups, and Rushaga groups of gorillas.

Nature Walks at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park

Bwindi National Park is rich Forest dense with many layers of tree canopies.  It’s under these canopies that gorilla trekking takes place in search of mountain gorillas. Other natural walks are done inside the park other than tracking gorillas, natural walks will provide more relaxed opportunities to spot birds, monkeys waterfalls, botany explore lots of flowering plants. Bwindi is another Birding watching area in Uganda. All this will be done taking on nature walks at different nature walk trails that include:

BOHOMA AREA

Buhoma is located at the northern park of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest park,  Here we have
Munyaga River Trail: The walk takes place at the river bed along this river and provides an ideal short walk to explore bird watching and watching other primates.

The Popular Water Fall Trail

The waterfall trial provide an attractive feature s of a natural forest providing chance to learn on many tree species, plants of ferns, orchids, and beautiful butterflies’ life cycle that give delight sights.  The falls also give another fascinating attraction in the this park. Water is here very sparkling white freshwater crystal clear waterfalls.

The Rushura Hill Trail

This trail commands expansive views across the Rift Valley floor. It commands great views of Mount Rwenzori, Lake Edward, and the Congo Basin. To the West will view the Congo National park des Virunga in Congo.

The Muzabajiro Loop Trail

The trail offers spectacular views of Bwindi Impenetrable Fore national park to the western part of the forest including The Western Rift Valley and the Virungas. While on the trial will witness hundreds of prehistoric trees and ferns will climb some of the hilltops to capture nice views of the forest.

River Ivi Trail

This Trail is the longest and follows the old road connecting to Nkuringo from Buhoma on the southern edge of Bwindi Forest national park. It is good for bird watchers to be explored and will avail more bird species.

Bamboo trail
This trail is situated at the highest point at an elevation of 2,607m/8,550ft above the sea level at Rwamunyo forest taking approximately 6 hours to reach the endpoint. The bamboo trail enables travelers to walk through different vegetation types which include bamboo forest, alpine vegetation until when you will the afro montane vegetation which is at the highest point.

Kashasha river trail

The trail starts at Buhoma point and will be ending in Nkuringo and takes 5-6hopurs to the end of the trail and is roughly 600 meters above the sea level.
Altogether you take part in forest nature walks in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park taking you to different tourist spots in the park hence rewarding you with a memorable experience. This trail is inside the forest and about walking from Buhooma to Nkuringo and several bird species, plants/flowers, and trees especially ferns can be spotted. If you want to enjoy the most stunning views, then go through this trail. It is more interesting to use this trail from Buhooma to Nkuringo, taking 7 hours or more.  The trek from Nkuringo to the Buhooma Park headquarters while using this Kashasha River Trail is just 5 hours.  Kashasha River Trail  is one of the most interesting trails because it offers an intimate experience of the natural wonders within this misty rain forest environment

The Habinyanja trail

This trail is amazing after or before you have tracked mountain gorillas around the Habinyanja group. It is a 4 to 6-hour trail. It passes River Munyaga from where visitors can link up to a very steep ascent of the Riyovi and Habigorogoro ridges that directly overlook River Buhoma. It is from here that you can explore the legendary African corner that derived its name from the piece of rock whose shape resembles the African map. The trail takes visitors up to the great Habinyanja swamp. And for bird watchers, this is the best site for you to see African black duck, black bee-eaters, and Pel’s fishing owl and others.

Mountain Biking/ Cycling.

This is a new activity at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park. Mountain cycling inside Bwindi is an initiative by communities near Buhoma and popularly refers to it as “ Ride for a woman”  It is arranged by women communities of the Buhoma area sector and takes 13 kilometers to depart from park headquarters in the morning and trail round-up takes around 6-7 hours. The trail may help you see bushbucks, black and white Colobus and red-tailed monkeys, and enjoying lots of forest canopies.

Mubwindi Swamp Trail

Mubwindi Swamp is located at Ruhija side and is famous for the bird-watching trail. Will be able to view or to watch many bird endemic species. This may take 4-5 hours a fantastic trail goes along a path in the jungles and slopes/descends through the magical rainforest with breathtaking viewpoints along the way of rich valleys and the Virunga massif. While on the Mubwindi Swamp trail, tourists are likely to encounter some primates especially the Chimpanzees and monkeys, numerous bird species, forest elephants, luckily even the mountain gorillas, and the bush pigs because the majority of that wildlife are found within this area of the Forest. Unlike other trails, tourists using this trail need to first seek permission/authorization from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Bird watchers will find this trail the most favorable and perfect for their adventure.

Bamboo trail

Hiking through the Bamboo Trail takes 7 hours and involves climbing a steep area of up to the highest point in Rwamunyonyi hill at 2607 meters above sea level.  As you hike using this trail, you will encounter different vegetation and plant species that include the Bamboo forest with over 14 different plant species until when you reach the Afro-montane vegetation zone.  During this trial, you will encounter different birds and plant species. The viewpoint of this trail (top of Rwamunyonyi Hill) rewards hikers with a spectacular view of Lake Bunyonyi and the breathtaking views of the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is one of the mind-boggling trails and worth your time and effort. Since this trail is conducted from Ruhija sector/area yet it is about one hour from Buhooma, tourists are always advised to stay in the Ruhija sector so that they can connect easily and faster for the activity.

Traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park|How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

There are four discrete trailheads for gorilla trekking in Bwindi. These are Buhoma and Ruhija in the north, and Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. They are several hours apart by road. If coming straight from Entebbe or Kampala, the trip by road will take about eight to ten hours. During the rainy season, travel by 4WD vehicle is necessary for some trailheads. Bwindi can also be reached by a scheduled or chartered flight. Kihihi is the closest airport to the Buhoma and Ruhija trailheads, Kisoro for the more southerly Rushaga and Nkuringo.

Traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park by road

Bwindi can be reached from Queen Elizabeth National Park to 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, 17km from the Buhoma entrance gate. A 4WD vehicle is necessary during the rainy season.

One can also use the Daily bus service that leaves Kampala for Butogota via Rukungiri and Kihiihi. A matatu (public minibus), hire car, or boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) can be taken from Bogota to the park entrance gate at Buhoma.

Kampala-Kabale-Kanungu-Buhoma: The route has a tarmac highway to kabala and covers an area of about 414 km and it’s a 5-6 hour’s drive. The next route has a murram road and has about 120km. the route goes through Kanungu as well as Kanyantorogo and it takes about 4-5hours. The most convenient vehicle is A4WD.

Kampala- Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma: The easiest and most convenient route is from Kampala direct to the tarmac road Rukungiri and has about 390km in addition to murram road to Buhoma.

Kampala-Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma: This route covers an area of about 95km2 on the murram road and it takes about 3-4hrs.The only vehicle that can pass through Ruhija is a 4WD.

Kampala-Kabale-Nkuringo: It covers a distance of about 105kms from Kabale town and it takes about 4 hours to get to the mountainous murram road. Many tourists take up nights in Kisoro town and the remaining distance is about 80km from Kabale prior to Nkuringo. Kisoro road is a meandering 35km and takes about 1-1.5 hours. The most suitable car for this area is the 4WD.

Traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park by air

Travelers can fly from Entebbe or Kampala (Kajjansi airfield) to the modern tarmac airstrip at Kisoro. Bwindi is well served by three airfields at 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).

Airline and Ticket prices.
Information on airlines and ticket prices for flights to Uganda can be found on Skyscanner for those looking for flights to multiple destinations, and also on Expedia.

WHERE TO STAY AT BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Buhoma Sector:

  • Buhoma Community Rest Camp – Budget Facility
  • Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp  – Luxury /Upmarket Facility
  • Buhoma Lodge –  Luxury/Upmarket facility
  • Silverback Lodge –  Upmarket Facility
  • Mahogany Springs Lodge – Upmarket facility
  • Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge – Luxury facility
  • Engagi lodge – upmarket/Middle facility
  • Gorilla Resort – Middle facilty
  • Bwindi Guest House – budget  facility
  • Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort
  • Gorilla Friends Lodge
  • Jungle View Lodge
  • Lake Kitandara Camp Lodge

Ruhija Sector:

  • Ruhija Gorilla safari Lodge – Upmarket Facility
  • Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp –  Middle facility
  • Trekkers Tavern cottages – Middle Facility /Budget
  • Ruhija Gorilla Resort  –
  • Ruhija Community Rest Camp – Budget facility
  • Coockland Facility

Rushaga Sector:

  • Gorilla Safari Lodge

Nkuringo Sector

  • Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite
  • Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge

Kisoro town

  • Bwindi Travelers Motel

Uganda Safari itineraries that cover Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park where you can enjoy various activities that include; Gorilla Trekking visiting the many habituated gorilla families home in the forest. Bird watching, Bwindi his a prime Birdwatcher paradise with over 350 bird species recorded, lots of monkeys and mammals.

3 Days Uganda Flying Gorilla Trekking Safari
3 Days Bwindi Gorilla Mountain Trekking Tour
4 Days Uganda Gorillas and Wildlife Safaris to Queen Elizabeth
4 Days Bwindi Trekking Gorillas Twice
4 Days Gorilla safari in Bwindi and White Water Rafting
6  Days Uganda Primate Watch safari to Kibale Bwindi and Queen Elizabeth National Parks    
The Apes Circuit 6 days Chimpanzee Gorilla Safaris
6 Days Safari Tour in Bwindi, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks
7 Days Bwindi Gorillas and birding and Wildlife safari at Queen Elizabeth Park
7 Days Uganda Primate Safari Tour
8 Days Uganda Chimpanzee, Gorilla, Wildlife safari
8 Days Uganda Safari Holiday Tour
8 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari Holiday
10 Days Uganda Holiday Tour
10 Days Uganda and Tanzania Flying Safari
10 Days Best of Uganda Safari Tour
12 Days Uganda Wildlife Safari Tour
15 Days: The Uganda Mountain Rwenzori Trekking, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi Gorilla Tracking Circuit
15 Days Best of Uganda Wildlife Safari Trip
16 Days Adventure Uganda Vacation Safari Tour
18 Days Uganda Holiday Safari
Uganda Wildlife Safari Tour 18 Days
Tailor-Made  Birding 20 days: Uganda Tour – The Pearl of Africa
Uganda Rwanda Relax Safari 22 Days