Bwindi Forest National Park a home to the rare endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, is strategically located at the edge of the western rift valley (Albertine rift valley), in South Western Uganda. Bwindi Forest National park is well known for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and is shared amongst Rukungiri, Kisoro and Kabale Districts.
Having an annual average temperature Range of 7-20 degrees Celsius with its coldest period being June and July and experiencing its heaviest rains during March-April and September – November, Other months are usually dry.
The park is home to over a half of the world’s mountain gorillas thus it is the major Uganda Gorilla safari destination to visit the endangered mountain gorillas. Tracking mountain gorillas in Uganda is arguably the most exciting Uganda wildlife tour encounter that Uganda and Africa at large have to offer coupled with Bwindi’s broad biodiversity that gives support to the Eco-Tourism industry as well.
With an altitude range of 1,160 to 2,607m, the forest boasts of 90 mammal species, including 11 primates, with the black-and-white Colobus, which is prominent for its beautiful flowing white tail to show which makes it a flourishing Uganda wildlife safari destination as well.
Things to do in Bwindi Forest National Park
Gorilla trekking safaris
Gorilla trekking tours & safaris form the major tourist activity/attraction in Bwindi. Tracking mountain gorillas is done on a daily basis and groups of up to 8 people visit each gorilla family at a ago. Gorilla permits are sold by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) throughout the year at $700 during peak seasons and discounted during low seasons.
Bird Watching Safaris
Bwindi is the one of the best birding safari tour destinations in Uganda and is a sanctuary to over 348 bird species that are otherwise impossible or hard to see in most other East African regions. Bird watching tours can be arranged in Bwindi Forests especially for bird lovers. Bird species in Bwindi Forest National Park inlcude; the honey guide, the Wing, White-tailed Blue Monarch Short-tailed Warbler, Kivi ground thrush, Wilcock’s, Rusty-faced woodland Gruel’s Rush Warbler, Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher, Warbler, Bar-tailed Trogon and Dusky Crimson. An enthusiastic bird watcher can be able to identify as many as 100 species daily.
Nature Walks in Bwindi Forest National Park
Visitors with two or more days in Bwindi Forest National Park, can ably engage in a hiking tour along the four hiking trails that are famously done in the park. On all these trails, you will get educated about the various bird species, the primates, butterflies, the trees as well as the other members of this Eco system. Its advisable that you arrange for a guide’s services and company from the reception for your safety and to attain an excellent understanding of the park’s entire Eco system.
Where to stay:
Safari Lodges in Bwindi Forest National Park include; Gorilla Forest Camp, Trackers Safari Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Trekkers Tarven Camp, Wagtail Eco Camp, Chameleon Hill lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge among others.
How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park
Bwindi Forest National Park is accessed using several routes all converging near Butogota.
- From Kabale it is a 108km drive to Buhoma via Ruhija that takes about 3hr but a bit longer if it rains and 4wd vehicles are highly recommended.
- From Kampala to Buhoma, the best route is the surfaced road to Kabale up to Ntungamo about 60km from Mbarara. From Ntungamo a right turn for 45km leads to Rukungiri, from here through Kambuga to Kanungu finally connects to Butogota 17km to Buhoma Park Headquarters. The whole journey distance of 534 kms, takes 9-11 hours. An early morning start for the journeys is recommended as well as the use of a 4WD vehicle.
- From Kasese/Fort Portal there are two routes: one via Katunguru, Ishasha and Kihihi taking 3-5hrs.The other route follows the Mbarara road as far as Ishaka, 33km from here to Kagambe on Kabale road at the junction with the Ntungamo-Rukungiri from here further directions to Buhoma are as given above.
AeroLink Uganda operates scheduled flights to Kihihi airstrip, x2 daily flights making it much easier reaching Bwindi in only 2 hours than by road where you spend over 9 hours. Gorilla flying safaris are now regular in to Bwindi Forest National Park.