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Discovering Bwindi – Uganda’s Best Kept UNESCO World Heritage Site

Welcome to Visit Bwindi, an online guide which offers everything you need to plan a perfect safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Looking for a guided gorilla tours in Bwindi Forest? Plan your gorilla trek in Bwindi Forest, book gorilla permits and packaged tours online with one of the trusted and reliable tour operators.  Looking for essential information to plan your trip? There is always something to see and do in Bwindi National Park. Looking for accommodation during your gorilla tour? From lodging (budget, mid-range and luxury lodges), camping and dining  to any other information you need for planning a uniquely memorable visit to the Bwindi, we have got you covered! Choose from a wide assortment of accommodation options including budget lodges, mid range, upmarket safari lodges and possible options for camping. We help you with all the information you need to plan a great gorilla watching adventure in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and present to you the amenities and location perfect for you. Have you considered visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park? Bwindi is a magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley. This ancient rain forest – one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age – is home to nearly half of the world’s mountain gorillas. The national park has 90 mammal species, including 11 primates and lots of plants.

Bwindi Tours & Experiences

Would you like to experience something new in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest? Here are some of the best tours, activities and experiences that you can try out during your safari in Uganda.
$2,420 Chimpanzee Tracking in Kibale

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$1,995 Tree Climbing Lions

5 Days Uganda Gorillas & Wildlife Safari

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$1,580 Lake Bunyonyi of Uganda

4 Days Bwindi Gorillas & Lake Bunyonyi

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$1,350 Bwindi Ancient Forest

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Things to See in Bwindi

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a historical forest which endured the massive tectonic plate shift that resulted to the formation of the beautiful western rift valley. Bwindi means dark, complex and ferocious place.

The reason why it was named so is because the name explains the impenetrable nature of the forest considering in some parts the tree canopy is very thick that light cannot easily penetrate down to the ground. Bwindi Forest is notably known for the best gorilla trekking in Uganda and Africa with a myriad of other natural endowments, including flora, birds, mammals, swamps and scenic waterfalls.

Bwindi impenetrable forest is not completely impassable, however the travelers can track through to encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas that live in this park. The park also accommodates other primates such as Vervet monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, civets and wildlife such as Duiker antelopes, bush babies, bush pigs, forest hogs, side-stripped jackals, clawless otter, golden cats and many others.

The park also houses more than 340 bird species and varied vegetation types including bamboo and alpine vegetation species. This tropical rain forest harbors about 480 of the remaining 1060 endangered mountain gorillas left in the whole world.

This means that almost half of the world’s population lives in Bwindi National Park. The remaining population lives in the Virunga Region that is comprised of the Mgahinga National Park of Uganda, the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda and the Virunga National Park of DR Congo.

Bwindi offers the highest number of gorilla permits! Up to 18 gorilla families have been habituated for gorilla trekking and a total of 144 visitors can track the habituated families distributed within the four distinct gorilla regions.

Things to Do in Bwindi

There are lots of things to do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Whether you are an outdoor adventure traveler wanting to hike the trails or looking to meeting the mountain gorillas in the wild, you will find your bliss in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Though Bwindi is most popular for gorilla trekking, there are many other exciting activities that visitors do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park include the nature walks.

After participating in gorilla trekking, you can also hit on any of 5 (five) distinct trails that range from half an hour to 8 hours as you head towards the Buhoma sector which provides you a chance to catch a glimpse of forest biodiversity especially primates, bird and many others. The trails include the Munyanga River trail, Muzubijiro loop trail, the Rushura trail, Bamboo trail that comes with 14 varied vegetation types, Ivy River trail and the water trail.

Around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, you can also participate in Batwa cultural encounters where you will have the most thrilling cultural and traditional performances from the unique Batwa people-the famous forest dwellers of Bwindi who spent over 500000 years in the jungle while hunting, gathering and left without any negative environmental effect.

Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla trekking is a very captivating activity. Every year hundreds of visitors visit Bwindi to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat – an activity referred to as gorilla trekking or gorilla tracking. Find information on gorilla trekking, different locations for gorilla trekking, things to pack, best times to go, and more. Read More

Hiking in Bwindi

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the best places for hiking. Recently it was voted by CNN as the best hiking destination. There are several trails in Bwindi developed to explore the impenetrable forest in depth. Here are the best hiking trails within Bwindi National Park. Read More

Batwa Experience

The Batwa Trail is a must do while in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Enjoy an aunthentic Batwa Experience  within Buhoma or Rushaga, the past home of these people. Get back in time with the Batwa life that they used to enjoy before their eviction from the forest. Read More

About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

An ancient highland rainforest steeped in blankets of mist, discover the allure of Bwindi Impenetrable Impenetrable National Park. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its ecological importance, this rainforest dates back 25,000 years & in this time has accumulated an incredibly diverse range of flora & fauna. Most notably the mountain gorillas, with just under half the world’s remaining population being protected amongst the park boundaries. It’s these ecological marvels that draw visitors from all over the world, & so they too can experience the wonders of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Landscape of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Sectors of Bwindi Forest

Since Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is vast, it has been divided into 4 gorilla regions which are open to travelers who wish to undertake gorilla trekking and these include; Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo. Every region has its own gorilla families that can be trekked on any given day of the year.

Buhoma Sector

Buhoma is the popular region because it is where gorilla trekking started from in Bwindi way back in 1993. This sector is located in the northern direction of the park in the lowest altitude. The region has 3 habituated gorilla groups namely Mubare group, Rushegura group, Habinyanja group. Sometimes these gorilla groups visit different accommodation facilities in the area hence offering a memorable experience for the travelers on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda. Travelers first trekked gorillas in Buhoma in 1993 and Mubare was the pioneer gorilla family to be trekked because it was the only group habituated in the park but other sectors, Rushegura and Habinyanja were habituated and trekked in consequent years of 1997 and 2000 respectively.

Rushaga Sector

Rushaga region is another sector where gorillas can be trekked. It is found in the southern side of the park and the region has 5 gorilla habituated groups, namely Nshongi group, Mishaya group, Busingye group, Kahungye group and Bweza group. Rushaga sector is found in the high altitude, therefore it is dominated by hills and because of this, gorilla families have kept on separating in order to take up different hills in the region. Travelers that trek gorillas in Rushaga sector tend to enjoy great scenic views and at some point, they can as well see the Virunga ranges in Rwanda and Uganda such as Mountain Gahinga, Muhabura, Sabinyo, Karisimbi and others. Travelers can also enjoy a canoe ride on Lake Mutanda, one of the only two lava lakes in Uganda after the gorilla trek encounter.

Ruhija Sector

Ruhija sector found in the eastern direction of the park and has 3 gorilla habituated families namely Bitukura group, Oruzogo group and Kyaguriro group. Ruhija sector is located in an altitude of 2350 meters and it is 1000 meters higher than Buhoma. However this place is also a great point for bird watching, visiting the indigenous Batwa communities and viewing the stunning waterfalls.

Nkuringo Sector

Nkuringo is found in the south western corner of the park and is among the impressive places in Bwindi Impenetrable forest. Nkuringo is steep and a bit more demanding to trek but when travelers meet face to face with the endangered mountain gorillas that are habituated in this area, they will certainly accept that it was worthwhile. Nkuringo only has one gorilla habituated family, named after this region – Nkuringo gorilla group. Gorilla trekking here is not the only tourist activity but there are some other interesting activities travelers can participate in, which include hiking, nature walks, cultural encounter, birding and many others. Bwindi impenetrable forest is the best destination for travelers to face the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

Plan Your Tour to Bwindi

Have you decided to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest? Now let’s get planning so once you step foot in the park you have only the time to experience the forest and its treasures. You do not need to be distracted by the logistics of the trip itself. Whether you are planning a gorilla trek or a hiking tour, the information below is resourceful.

What to Pack

Are you planning to take a gorilla trek in Bwindi? Learn about the travel accessories and trekking gear that you need to pack so that you can have a successful trek in Bwindi. We have created a standard packing list to guide you in packing for your trek. Remember packing and travel preparation has never been easier and our checklist will guide you not to forget everything. Read More

Getting There

Most travelers reach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park from either Kampala and Kigali in Rwanda. Most all inclusive safaris either start in Kampala or Entebbe (uganda) or Kigali (Rwanda). Whether you planning to travel independently using a self drive car or public transportation here are the directions to the park. Read More

Gorilla Permits

For one to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi, you must have a gorilla permit. Currently gorilla permits cost US$ 700 per permit for all bookings and you can save if you travel during the low season. Passes are booked on first come first serve basis and can be booked at the Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices in Kamwokya, Kampala or through local tour operators who get availability updates online from UWA. Read More

Gorilla Trekking

Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer. Gorilla tracking is a very captivating activity; it involves walking in the wilderness in search of these great apes. It can be a challenging activity, therefore ensure physical fitness. Eight people are permitted per group per day. So far, there are 18 habituated gorilla groups for viewing in the forest.

How to get to Bwindi National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the far southwestern corner of Uganda, close to the borders with Rwanda & Democratic Republic of Congo. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be accessed from four park entrances; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga & Nkuringo, which can be accessed by a mixture of paved & unpaved roads when traveling overland. Daily flights also operate from Entebbe International Airport, to Kihihi airstrip & Kisoro airstrip, a popular option to shorten journey times. While it’s possible to visit the park independently, most visitors travel through a local tours & travel agency who also assist in booking safari lodges & gorilla trekking permits.
Flights to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Plan Your Trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Congratulations on choosing to travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You’ve decided to Visit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park! You won’t regret it – now let’s get planning. Whether you are planning to go on a Uganda safari? Would you like to go gorilla trekking or take a nature walk, Bwindi Forest is a great place to be.

What is the Cost of Bwindi Gorilla Permits?

Gorilla permits are essential tools on any gorilla trip and each is issued to guests at USD 700 per person (for foreign nonresidents), USD 600 per person under category of foreign residents, while all East African citizens of East African Community member states pay shs. 250,000 per person.

What Comes with your Gorilla Permit?

A valid gorilla permit allows you not only to track a family of gorillas but to spend 1 hour face-to-face with these amazing species while in their natural habitat. This is a rare experience, a great opportunity to also explore in depth more about their daily behaviors.

When Should you Travel for a Gorilla Tour in Bwindi?

All habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open to tourists to track at any time of the day, week, month or year. However, the most preferred time to have excellent trek with a family of mountain gorillas in the wild is during the dry season –June, July, August, September or December, January to February.

With the dry months of the year, there is minimal or completely no rains recorded and the ground remains relatively drier. This makes it easier to search for a family of habituated gorilla group in the park unlike the wet or rainy season which is characterized by heavy down pour and steep slopes tend to be slippery and the ground in most cases is muddy.

What are the Key Things to Carry for Your Gorilla Trek?

A well-planned gorilla tour requires you to have packed appropriately. The essential items to carry with you for a successful gorilla trek in Bwindi include waterproof hiking boots/shoes, a valid gorilla permit, long-sleeved shirts, a rain jacket, safari hat, long trousers, a sweater, energy giving snacks, bottled water, a tin of insect repellents, gardening gloves, first aid/medical kit, and many more.

 

Where to stay at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park hosts an incredible variety of safari lodges & camps, with something to suit every traveler’s budget. When choosing your gorilla trekking base from which to explore Bwindi rainforest you should consider; your preferred comfort level, overall safari route & which of the gorilla trekking trailheads in Bwindi you wish to track from. Of the four gorilla trekking trailheads into Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga & Nkuringo, each has its own advantages when planning your safari itinerary.

Where to stay at Bwindi?

Learn about popular budget, midrange & luxury lodges for your trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

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