Location. This Park is part of Bwindi impenetrable forest being situated in the South western part of Uganda on Uganda’s border with Democratic Republic of Congo nearing the oldest National Park in Africa known as Virunga National Park formerly called Albert National Park found in the Eastern part of Democratic Republic of Congo, Bwindi national park is also situated on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley.
Geography & Climate. The nearest main town to south east of the park is Kabale town about 29 km away by road. Bwindi Impenetrable National park is composed of two blocks of forest that are connected together by a corridor of forest. Bwindi forest is an important water catchment area whereby much of its rainfall received forms streams but this forest has a characterized dense network of stream.
Bwindi forest is source of many rivers that flow to the north, west, and south whereby major rivers that rise in the park include Ntengyere rivers, Ivi, Munyaga, Ihihizo, and Ishasha rivers which flow into Lake Edward while other rising rivers flow into Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mutanda.
Characterized elevations in Bwindi range from 1,190 to 2,607 m above sea level, and 60 % of the park has an elevation of over 2,000 m. Rwamunyonyi Hill at the eastern edge of the park is the highest elevation with the lowest part being situated at the Park’s northern tip.
A tropical climate is characterized in Bwindi impenetrable National Park, temperature ranges from a minimum of 7 to 15 °C to a maximum of 20 to 27 °C per year. Bwindi’s annual precipitation ranges from 1,400 to 1,900 mm whereby peak rainfall occurs from March to April and from September to November.
Biodiversity. Bwindi impenetrable National Park in the South western Uganda provides habitat to different Wildlife species which include Wild animals, Primates, different plant species, insect species, reptiles and different bird species including Africa’s uniquely spotted species. Over 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species gain habitat from Bwindi, it is also among the most diverse forests in East Africa with more than 1,000 flowering plant species, including 104 species of ferns and 163 species of trees.
Including mountain gorillas, species in Bwindi include the common chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s monkey, African elephant, African green broad-bill, and cream-banded swallowtail, black and white Colobus, red-tailed monkeys, vervet, 744 the giant forest hog, and small antelope species. There are also many carnivores, including the side-striped jackal, African golden cat, and African civets.
Its unique feature. Bwindi is popularly known for habiting the shy endangered ground dwelling herbivores Mountain Gorillas with highest percentage of Uganda’s remaining Gorilla population reading about fourteen Gorilla families for trekking and research in its four major sectors which include Buhoma sector, Ruhija sector, Rushaga sector and Nkuringo sector with each sector habiting more than two Gorilla families for trekking apart from Nkuringo sector which has only one Gorilla family for trekking.
How to get there? Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the South western part of Uganda and by road, Kampala- Masaka- Mbarara highway is the best route of reaching this Park including the enroute stop over at the equator for some brief explanation about it, photographs, snacks and then continue with your journey using suitable 4×4 wheel drive Safari jeep. It’s about 512 kms from Kampala up to Bwindi taking about 9-10 hours for the drive.
What to do. Listed below are the major activities done while in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla Trekking. This is an activity which involves meeting with the shy endangered ground dwelling herbivores Mountain Gorillas in the Jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it’s usually started in the morning after some briefing at the Park offices in a group of eight people with a park ranger guide following the well-established routes heading to the Jungle in search of these apes. After discovering location of these apes in the Jungles you are allowed to stay in their presence for only one hour while seeing them playing with their young ones, feeding, laughing plus taking photos and videos of them for memories. After the one hour session next step is descending back to the park offices. Gorilla trekking in Uganda requires a permit and this permit costs $600 USD per person usually booked in advance before trekking dates.
Gorilla habituation experience. This is almost similar to Gorilla trekking but the only difference is the time spent with these apes in the Jungles whereby for gorilla habituation experience a time period of four hours is allowed to stay with these apes in the Jungles while following their movements plus taking photos and videos of them for memories, the permit for Gorilla habituation costs $1500 USD per person usually booked in advance.
Accommodation. Bwindi is situated with different accommodation facilities provided for different visitors to stay while in Bwindi, these accommodation facilities include self-contained rooms, permanent tents, camping grounds, bandas and more. These facilities are categorized into three which include budget, mid range and luxury facilities.