The Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda at the edge of the rift valley, it’s a biodiverse mountainous rainforest with almost 400 plant species. Bwindi was gazette in 1991 and declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994 as a way to protect the critically endangered species of mountain gorillas, more than half of the world’s population of the species live within the forest, the national park stands out at an altitude of 1160m-2607m above sea level managed under the Uganda wildlife authority
The Bwindi impenetrable national park contains a series of steep ridges and valleys, a source to many rivers and beautiful waterfalls, about 120 species of mammals are present including several primates such as chimpanzee, baboons, L’hoest monkey, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons as well as elephants and antelopes. It is home to more than 350 species of birds,23 of which are endemic to the region, for example, the African green broadbill, short-tailed warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Red-headed blue bill.
The Bwindi impenetrable national park is dissected into four sectors Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija each of which has several habituated gorilla families available for trekking or habituation, the Buhoma sector was the first place to have habituated gorilla family Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura, Nkuringo has Nkuringo gorilla Family, Ruhija gorilla families are mukiza, bitukura,oruzugo, kyaguriro, the Rushaga habituated families include Mishaya, Nshongi, Bweza, Kahungye and Busingye families some of which have been kept aside for research purposes. Each of the families lives up to groups of 20 individuals led by one male dominant silverback.
The mountain gorillas are a major attraction in the national park, gorillas are herbivorous animals, they feed on bamboo, mimulopsis, roots, fruits and sometimes termites, they are social and intelligent species, trekking mountain gorillas is done once a day in groups of eight, it takes 2 – 8 hours depending on how far the mountain gorillas have moved, it is a tiring and sweaty experience but rewarding by the end of the day as you get to interact with the mountain gorillas. Besides gorilla trekking, one can do bird watching, mountain biking, nature walks or a visit to the Batwa Cultural group.
The Batwa were the original keepers of the forest, they lived together with the forest creatures in harmony until they were evicted from the forest for conservation purposes, they are the last short structured group of people(pygmies) the Batwa give a good cultural experience to visitors that reach out to the national park they guide you through their culture, norms and traditions.
The Bwindi impenetrable national park can be accessed all year round but best during the dry season of December – February and June to Mid-September it should be noted that the park is a rainforest so these seasons are not dry, it’s the best time to see the mountain gorillas as the trails are less slippery and easily accessible. It is advisable to book gorilla permits before the time of trekking, wear boots, carry insect repellants, hand gloves and any other necessary personal needed material.
The park is an 8 hours’ drive from Entebbe passing through beautiful rolling hills, tea and banana plantations, chatter flights can be organized to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrips from Entebbe or Kajansi, there is available accommodation ranging from luxury to best budget in all the four sectors of the national park.