Visit Bwindi – A Compete Guide to Planning a Safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
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.
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 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
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
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
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.
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
Whether you planning to travel independently using a self drive car or public transportation here are the directions to the park. Read More
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
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.
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. 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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 take a gorilla trek or a nature walk, Bwindi Forest is a great place to be.
5 Steps to Planning a Trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Step 1: Read about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and get to know the different things to see and activities to do within the park. If you get stuck in anyway, contact us vial email so that we can help you plan your trip.
Step 2: Decide how you’ll travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Most people do a road trip vacation either starting from Kampala or Entebbe. There are also road trips from Kigali, Rwanda. You can also fly to a smaller airport at Kihihi or Kisoro and get transferred by car to the lodge. Once you get to the park, you’ll need a vehicle, bike, or tour transportation to get around.
Step 3: Choose the different Bwindi attractions that you are most interested in seeing during your visit. Bwindi Impenetrable Park is a large park with several entrances and if you are planning to take a gorilla trek, you should be knowing the sector where you are to track the endangered gorillas from. You can also visit our safari ideas page to get suggested itineraries and tips on traveling on Bwindi Forest. Decide what you want to do and see before you search for lodging options available.
Step 4: You can make your tour reservation or make direct reservations with your preferred safari lodge. You sould also book your gorilla permit well in advance with the UWA or a local tour operator. Depending on what time of year you are visiting Bwindi, you’ll need to make your necessary bookings well in advance.
Step 5: Before you go, check our page about Bwindi Forest, when to visit, weather and climate,things to pack, clothing and more so you can get the right gear for your tour.
We know you’ll have a wonderful time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Gorilla trekking within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda is the height of your Ugandan safari. The country and the park are recognized as very safe and secure places to be thus you will be in position to see gorillas in their peaceful environment.
Which company should I use to trek gorillas in Uganda?
There are many credible companies to book with for your gorilla safari in Uganda. We advise you to book your gorilla safari with a legitimate tour operators in Uganda.
When to go and see the mountain gorillas?
Mountain gorilla trekking can be carried out throughout the year though the best season is June to September as well as from December up to February.
Where can you stay when you trek gorillas?
To choose the best safari lodge, it will depend on how much you can afford some lodges and among best lodges to include Clouds Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla forest Camp and Mahogany springs and Nshongi Gorilla Resort
How much does a good Gorilla safari Cost?
Different tour companies do give different quotes though the cheapest gorilla safari should have a price of $ 1000 while the super luxury should cost $ 1500 to $ 2000 per person however, based on the reviews of most tour operators in the country most tourists prefer the mid- range which affordable.
How can one get a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda
A gorilla permit goes for US $ 600 though you are highly encouraged to book your gorilla permit with a safari agent and also book according to type of gorilla family to avoid inconveniences in your accommodation. Booking with a tour operator, you will have to inform them about the dates for your tour, your preferred dates available for gorilla trekking and the tour operator will send you the bank details. An acknowledgement email will be for money transfer and you will have to remember to instruct your bank details in order to transfer money for the gorilla permits. A copy of the passport will be required to send a copy of your passport which also avails the details to be used and normally you need your full names, nationality and the passport number. Then after, your names will be registered and then you will acquire a gorilla permit.
Which clothing is required during a gorilla safari?
You require good quality walking boots, warm layers of cloth for the cold evenings and clothing for wet weather since it becomes cold and wet at this high altitude.
How do mountain gorillas look like?
The males which are the Silverbacks are two times the size of the females and they grow up to 6 feet tall and even weigh 350-500 pounds. They are referred to as silver backs because they mature the hair on their back turns somewhat silver thus the name Silverbacks. The strength of the males is ten times stronger compared to the strongest boxer. They do posses long plus darker hair which compared to their lowland counterparts since they stay in colder climates and higher altitudes and the most interesting fact is that Gorillas share 98 percent of their genetic composition.
Are mountain gorillas a dangerous species?
Mountain gorillas are very strong though shy animals and are very threatened and they do attack so as to protect their very own. When the different mountain gorilla groups meet, there is a fight between the leader Silverbacks to death.
How are the predators of mountain gorillas?
The main predators to mountain gorillas is human encroachment for settlement and there are additionally threatened by various diseases which are transmitted by human visitors.