Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda
Lying on the edge of the Rift Valley, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to more than half of the remaining mountain gorillas found within the Virunga transboundary in Uganda.
Everything you need to know about Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is an ancient, deep, and complex ecosystem cloaked in mist. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 25,000-year-old pristine wilderness covers nearly 130 square miles of ridges and undulating valleys lined from jungle floor to tree canopy with thick forest. The word “Bwindi” means “place of darkness” and a trek through the rugged terrain and dense undergrowth of this magnificent forest will certainly unveil why. A gorilla trekking destination for the adventurous and fit, Bwindi is home to around 300 of the world’s remaining critically endangered mountain gorillas.
Where is the park located?
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located along the south western border of Uganda, set along the slopes of an ancient mountain range and the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. Covering over 32,000 hectares, the park is a biodiversity hotspot with the greatest number of fauna species for its altitude in East Africa.
About the park
What type of wildlife will we see?
The incredible diversity of flora and fauna that is found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is unique to its altitude and antiquity. The 331 km² park survived the last Ice Age and some areas reach heights of over 8,000 feet. There are around 120 species of mammal, 350 species of bird, 200 species of butterfly, 160 species of tree and 100 species of fern in this diverse habitat.
It is known as the “Impenetrable Forest” for its rich and dense habitats that provide sanctuary to mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and colobus monkeys throughout the park. The landscape is green, lush and hilly which is perfect for the endangered gorillas and chimpanzees, as well as other locals that call this thriving jungle home such as the De Brazza and l’Hoest’s monkey, rare forest elephant, buffalo, and giant forest hog.
Top experiences to enjoy at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi National Park is the ideal destination for the daring adventurer. Encountering a group of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat is the main focus of many travelers that visit Bwindi, and is one of the top experiences in the country. A gorilla trekking adventure is for the adventurous and fit, with the challenging hike involving steep climbs and ranging anywhere between 3 to 9 hours. The reward however is worth the work as the incredible valleys of Bwindi create the perfect backdrop to your life-changing gorilla encounter.
The beautiful rainforest is also a haven for bird watchers, with over 350 species of bird including the Elliot’s woodpecker, blue turaco, red-tailed bulbul and the black bee-eater.
When to visit
The best time to visit Bwindi is during the dry months, when gorilla trekking is at its best. Rain can create slippery muddy trails which makes the already challenging trek more difficult to navigate.
Though it can rain at any time of the year, December to February, and June to August are typically the drier months. The highest concentration of travelers to the park takes place between June and September, and this is considered the high season.
Low season occurs from March to May and October/ November due to the rains. However, migratory birds are present from November to April in the park which allows for extraordinary exclusive bird watching tours.