Bwindi National Park – THE ULTIMATE GORILLA EXPERIENCE
Located in south- western Uganda Bwindi is home to about half of all mountain gorillas. The park covers about 200 square miles of extremely dense rainforest and is a proclaimed world Heritage site. Bwindi Gorilla Forest Reserve was gazetted in 1942, upgraded to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1992.
Bwindi Gorilla Parks rests on 327km2 of tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high, draughty ridges. it is well worth the effort. A trek through Bwindi, one of Africa’s most ancient rainforests, in search of the endangered Mountain Gorillas, ranks among the world’s top wildlife adventure.
Bwindi Forest is characterized by thick tropical rainforest, often shrouded in mist, and is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse forests of Africa. At an altitude of between 1,000 metres and 2,600 metres, it is a true rainforest with 1,500mm of rainfall per annum and at annual average temperature range is 70C-200C with the coldest period being June and July.
Bwindi’s Most Tourist Attractions
Bwindi support a tremendous wildlife biodiversity, Bwindi’s vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list.
Bwindi holds a high density of over 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, baboon, Lhotse’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus and Bwindi’s most famous residents, the mountain gorilla and Do not eat or smoke within 200m of the gorilla among others
Facts about Gorillas
Mountain Gorillas are peaceful primates but very, they are found in the rainforests and woodlands of western and central Africa. Gorillas are herbivores and are fully grown at 10-12 years.. Males are larger than females at 5-6 ft, 400 lbs, and 4-5 ft, 200 lbs respectively. Their arms are longer than their legs and they too have opposable thumbs and big toes. Each gorilla has a specialized ‘nose print’ comparable to our fingerprint. They live in groups of 6-20 called bands and communicate with sounds and gestures
The gestation period is 8-9.5 months. The child stays with its mother until age four. Gorillas live approximately 50 years in captivity and 35 in the wild. They are unable to swim. Each gorilla has to build its own sleeping next daily.
Trekking the gorilla is very restricted and regulations are passed in protecting them from a negative harm from the visitors among the few includes, No one with a communicable disease, such as flu or diarrhoea, is allowed to visit the gorillas, Flash photography is strictly forbidden
Main Tourist Activities
Gorilla adventure trek is the most captivations and an unforgettable experience which more than repays the effort needed to reach Bwindi. Gorilla tracking can be challenging and you need to be reasonably fit. Bwindi has seven habituated gorilla groups that are tracked by tourists. They include: – Mubare group (‘M’ group), Habinyanja group (‘H’), Rushegura group (‘R’ group), The Nkuringo group (‘N’ group), The Nshongi group and Bitukura group (‘B’ group) that was opened recently for tourism in December 2008
Other captivating activities in Bwindi include
- Bird watching
- Cultural community walks
- Guides nature walks
- Primate watching
Lodging/Accommodation in Bwindi
While in Bwindi, you don’t need to worry about accommodation choices, a wide options exist as you can choose a night at Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs, and Volcanoes (High end Lodging), The Haven Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Silverback Lodge, (Mid-range Lodging) and Buhoma community Bandas/Rest camp, Wagtail Eco Camp (budget Lodging) offering tourists a safe, reliable and clean service.
For tourism always a straight route is considered the most accessible Kampala- Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma. This is the quickest and the most direct route from Kampala, following a tarmac road to Rukungiri (390km) followed by 82km on murram roads to Buhoma park headquarters
Alternatively the other access roads are by through Kampala-Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma. The Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma section on this route is 95km on the murram road and takes 3-4hrs. Always 4WD safari vehicles are recommended for use.
By Air or flight
This is made possible, daily scheduled flights are now available either landing Kihihi or Kisoro. Daily 2 scheduled flights fly to Bwindi with a morning flight that leaves at 0745 arriving 0845 and the afternoon flight that leaves 1245 arriving 1355 operated by Aerolink Uganda
Best time to Visit Bwindi
Any time, throughout the year