Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is situated in the misty valleys Kabale, Southwestern Uganda. It lies within the Albertine Rift and covers an area of 331 square kilometers. Bwindi is mainly comprised of the montane and lowland forest and reachable on foot. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO Heritage Site that features 120 mammal species including forest elephants, 360 species of birds;-23 of them are endemic to the Albertine Rift, 14 not recorded anywhere else in Uganda including the white tailed blue flycatcher, Brown necked parrot and Fraser’s eagle owl, the African green broad bill; Cream banded swallowtail, 1000 flowering plants, 163 tree species and 104 fern species. It also offers refuge to 11 ape species including the wild chimpanzees, the rare mountain gorillas with about 400 individuals representing half of the world’s remaining gorillas, colobus monkeys, L’Hoests monkeys, Red tailed monkeys, vervet and many more. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of the only conservation areas in the world where chimpanzees and mountain gorillas share the same habitat.
In 1964, Bwindi was designated as an animal sanctuary mainly to offer protection to the critically endangered mountain gorillas and it was renamed Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve. Being a UNESCO heritage site in Uganda, it also offers refuge to several butterflies about 200-eight (8) of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift, reptiles, giant frogs and moths.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park was designated as a national park in 1991 and in 1994, it was listed as UNESCO site due to its abundant ecological importance and a 10 kilometer area was added into the park. Bwindi is incomparably one of East Africa’s most exceptional protected areas and popular as one of Africa’s old habitats dating about 25000 years ago making it one of the biologically rich sites in Africa.
Where is Bwindi Forest?
The park lies between altitude 1160 and 2607 meters above sea level. It straddles within several steep slopes and valleys which make the Eastern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. The park receives an average rainfall of about 1500mm and it is a major water catchment area, source of 5 main Rivers that flow into Lake Albert.
Other places are usual, but Bwindi is a different case to talk about given the fact that its Uganda’s ancient and most biologically rich tropical rain forest. There are probably several forests in the world but few of them offer distinct attractions like the thick Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in East Africa. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO heritage site in Uganda ever since 1994.
Explore Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park your dream destination? Have you ever heard about gorilla highlands in Africa? Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is situated in South-Western Uganda just at the extreme Rift Valley. The park has one of the most astounding varied elevations sloping down and upwards with incomparably spectacular flora and fauna specifically the uncommonly seen forest birds and the world’s largest wild Apes as well as river gorges and misty hills. The Park spreads up to 321 square kilometers of which; the largest part is mainly forested with bamboo and shrubs. Bwindi’s elevation is between 1160 and 2607 meters above sea level.
Tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park primarily depends on mountain gorilla trekking which occurs within the four main sectors which include the Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector. There are 11 habituated gorilla groups, 10 of which are set for gorilla tourism and one for research purposes in the park. They include Mubare, Rushegura, Bitukura, Habinyanja, Oruzogo, Nshongi, Nkuringo, Bweza, Mishaya, Kahungye, Busingye and the Kyaguliro for research. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park started in 1993 making it the main tourist attraction in the park.
If you are planning for your safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, make sure that you carry out adequate research on gorillas and their habituated groups. Besides trekking adventures, there is a newly introduced tourism product known as Gorilla Habituation Experience which makes Bwindi the only tourist destination in the world with this unique adventure that offers visitors opportunity to spend all the four hours face to face with the apes in the wild.
There are several ways of accessing Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park; there are charter flights from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi town which links up to Buhoma sector or Kisoro Airstrip which links to Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga sector. Visitors to Bwindi can also take flight from Kajjansi Airfield.
On road, one can take the Kampala-Kabale-Ruhija route or Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma/Nyondo. Alternatively, you can take the Kampala-Kabale-Kisoro-Rushaga/Nkuringo route.
Bwindi’s biodiversity is still undiscovered which makes it a true haven of authentic wilderness experiences in Uganda, East Africa. Despite the popular mountain gorilla experiences, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park also has a range of wildlife species for tourists to enjoy. Come and enjoy Bwindi’s naturalness and you won’t regret in life.
In conclusion, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of Uganda’s magnificent national parks. It offers refuge to the rare mountain gorillas that make up about 400 out of 900 individuals that still thrive on earth as well as several wildlife species including chimpanzees and other primates, endemic birds that make this park one of the best destinations in Africa.