Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a magnificent verdant swathe of forest across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, this 331 sq km ancient rain forest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age – is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is an afromontane forest with dense under growth of fern, vines, and shrubs. About 324 tree species have been recorded here 10 of which occur no where else in Uganda.
The national park has 90 mammal species, including 11 primates, of which the black-and-white colobus, with its lovely flowing white tail, is prominent.
The Uganda Safari forest birding ranks with the best in Uganda, with 23 highly localised Albertine Rift endemics present.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in south western Uganda on the edge of western rift valley bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) shared by Rukungiri, Kabale and Kisoro districts in Uganda.
Bwindi’s major tourist or safari attraction is the Mountain Gorilla. The gorilla safari tracking activity attracts the majority of visitors to the park. Bwindi is home to 6 habituated groups of Mountain Gorilla’s namely the Mubare group of 16 gorillas, the Habiyanja group 23 gorillas, the Rushegura group, Bitukura group in Ruhijja, Nshongi and Nkuringo in Kisoro. All the above groups are tracked daily by not more than 8 vistors who are escorted by National Park rangers and guides. Over 360 bird species have been recorded as well as over 200 species of butterflies. Bwindi is Bird Watchers’ haven! It contains 90% of the Albertine Rift Valley endemics that are difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa. An extended visit to the Ruhija area of Bwindi provides not only spectacular vistas but is also home to the African Green Broad bill to be seen in the Ruhija swamp by a fortunate few.
Apart from Gorilla trekking safaris, guided nature walk following the Munyaga River trail will help you to discover the forest interior. Primates including the L’hoest’s monkey may be seen. The trail leads you to 3 delightful crystal clear water falls that typify ones impression of a tropical rain forest. The Rushura trail leads you to a ridge providing views of the Western Rift Valley escarpment. On clear days the Western part of Congo, Congo’s Parc National Des Virungas, the Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward and the Rwenzori Mountains are visable.
The distance from Kampala to Bwindi is 550km with some 400km on bitumen surface via Kabale. The Kampala via Rukungiri route is a slightly shorter distance however either route will necessitate 9-10 hours on the road to reach your accommodation in Buhoma. African Pearl Safaris is there to drive you to Bwindi in our 4×4 wheel drive vehicles.
Where to stay:
African Pearl Safari has its own own comfortable Bwindi Safari lodge, the Buhoma Lodge located within the forest 200 metres from park headquaters.