Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is an Ultimate gorilla experience since it is home to the largest population of endangered mountain gorillas in the entire world with over 21 habituated gorilla families trekked on a daily basis since Mountain gorilla trekking in the leading tourist activity in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Uganda at large. Bwindi impenetrable national park was gazette in 1991 alongside Mgahinga gorilla national park and is situated in south western Uganda within 3 districts of Kisoro, Rubanda and Kanungu. Bwindi impenetrable national park covers about 321 Square Kilometers of land thrilling at an altitude ranging between 1160M to 2607M above the see level and is one of the UNESCO world heritage site in Uganda since 1994 after the introduction of mountain gorilla trekking activity of the 1st habituated gorilla family Mubare which underwent a habituation process from the year 1992 to 1994 when habituators were convinced that the family was ready and available for trekking making it the first gorilla family trekked in Uganda.
Bwindi impenetrable forest consists of 4 gorilla trekking sectors well distributed across the park in both northern part, southern part and eastern part of the park. These sectors include, Buhoma sector, Nkuringo sector, Rushaga sector and Ruhija.
Buhoma sector is the oldest sector in Bwindi impenetrable forest situated in the northern side of the park. This is yet the most visited sector amongst the 4 sectors probably due to the fact that it harbors the first habituated Mubare gorilla family. Buhoma is also a closest sector to Queen Elizabeth national park a home to tree climbing lions thus it is easy to connect from Queen Elizabeth national park after a game drive to Bwindi impenetrable national park for a fascinating mountain gorilla trekking. Bwindi also provides best and affordable accommodations both within the park and outside the park.
While in Buhoma sector, it is very easy to enjoy a community tour to meet and interact with the local Batwa people and as well the best sector to enjoy the forest walk via well designated hiking trails to various attractions like the waterfalls, primates and many more. Some of these trails include; Muzabairo loop trail, Ivi River trail, waterfall trail, and many more.
Rushaga sector is another thrilling sector visited in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Rushaga sector lies in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park alongside Nkuringo sector. The most fascinating thing about Rushaga sector is that it is the only sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park that conducts Gorilla habituation experience in the whole world. Rushaga sector is the best choose for those who wish to explore Lake Mutanda alongside visiting Gorillas in Bwindi and it is as well the best sector for tourists entering Uganda from Rwanda since it is the nearest sector to Rwanda making it the most visited sector for gorilla trekking safaris from Kigali. Rushaga sector also has stunning accommodations that cater for both budget, midrange and luxury.
Nkuringo sector as stated above is also situated in southern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park with Rushaga sector though it lies on abit higher altitude. Nkuringo sector is the best choose for tourists who wish to combine gorilla trekking with birding as it offers the best birding spots with unique species of birds spotted.
Ruhija sector is located in Eastern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest and is also amongst the 4 sectors of the park where Gorilla trekking is conducted. Ruhija sector rewards trekkers with a stunning view of Mount Rwamunyonyi. The advantage of trekking gorillas in Ruhija sector is that tourists can opt to sleep in Buhoma and drive for about 1 hour to Ruhija sector for gorilla trekking.
Top things/ tourist activities in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Without any doubt, Bwindi impenetrable national park is a famous destination in Uganda for mountain gorilla trekking safari and yet the best destination for this adventure in the entire East Africa region and world as a whole. Gorilla trekking is such a fascinating and a memorable experience that one should enjoy at least once in a life time. Since Bwindi impenetrable forest thrills with 4 sectors, tourists are free to trek in a sector of their choices provided there is availability of the gorilla permits and the accommodations depending on their choices of accommodations. However, it is also possible to sleep in a different sector and trek in another sector provided they are close to each other like Ruhija and Buhoma, Rushaga and Nkuringo. To participate in gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park, one must obtain a gorilla trekking permit in advance about 6 months earlier since without a permit, you can never be allowed to access the gorillas in their natural habitats. As of now 2021, Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda to trek gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable national park costs $700 per person for Foreign Nonresidents, $600 for Foreign Residents and Ugandan shillings 250,000 for Ugandans and all the East African community member states.
To participate in gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest , there are particular rules and regulations that must be followed including the minimum age limit at 15 years, the maximum number of trekkers of which Uganda Wildlife Authority recommends only 8 persons per gorilla family and many other park regulations like no eating, drinking or smoking near gorillas, no littering the park, no making noise, no un necessary movements and many more.
Gorilla trekking permits can be directly obtained from the Uganda Wildlife Authority provided you have a Uganda working permits for foreign Residents or opt to use a trusted tour company like Achieve Global Safaris to organize an entire trip at ease.
Apart from Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest , one can as well trek similar gorilla species in Mgahinga gorilla national park which harbors only 1 habituated gorilla family, Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo as well as Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. For Mgahinga Gorilla national park, the price remains the same while for Volcanoes national park Rwanda, the cost of permit is $1500 equivalent to the cost of a Gorilla habituation experience permit in Uganda and the permit to trek similar gorillas in Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla habituation experience,
Bwindi impenetrable national park is not only a place for gorilla trekking but as well the only place in Uganda where one can enjoy spending about 4 hours with the gorillas in their natural habitats. A permit to enjoy a gorilla habituation experience costs $1500 per person allowing 4 hours with Gorillas in their habitats within Rushaga sector in southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest.
Bwindi forest has a lot to explore on foot through different trails stretching from a few hours to several hours leading to various attractions including waterfalls and other stunning attractions in the park including primates, mammals, birds and the entire thrilling flora of the park. During the walk, tourists are rewarded with a breath taking and scenic view of the stunning forest that consist of different vegetation zones.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is yet one of the Important birding area in Uganda the pearl of Africa harboring over 350 species of birds which include forest birds, water birds, endemic species, migratory birds and many more. On a good day, birders are able to spot Great Turaco bird, Broadbills and a lot of other bird species. Birders are advised to hire experienced birders who knows the best trails to take for a great encounter with abundant of birdlife such as Mubwindi swamp and the bamboo trail are the best birding spots in in Bwindi impenetrable national park. A pair of binoculars is crucial for a birder.
The best way to wind up with a safari in Bwindi impenetrable national park is by taking on a Batwa experience to meet and interact with the Batwa people around the park. This activity can be enjoyed after gorilla trekking and it is usually concluded with fascinating entertainment of the music, dance and drama.
Getting to Bwindi impenetrable national park is accessed in 2 different ways that is either by car or by air depending on one’s wish. A drive from Kampala to Bwindi takes about 7-9 hours regarding the sector one is heading to. Bwindi impenetrable national park can as well be accessed from Kigali Rwanda. From Queen Elizabeth national park and many other parks in Uganda.