Planning to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park for a holiday but you are not sure when it is best to get there? Well, depending on what your travel interests are, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park can be visited at any time of the year. This park is situated strategically in southwestern Uganda and it is ideal for a number of safari activities that reward travel endeavors with lots of lasting memories. They include among others gorilla trekking-the fact that it is a host to about 440 mountain gorillas which represents about half of all the mountain gorillas that still thrive on earth today. It is among the four primate gorilla destinations where you can strike your imaginations with these incredible creatures while they are in their natural habitat. Other exciting safari activities to enjoy while on safari in this park include bird watching where you have a great opportunity to sight at some of its 350 bird species that are inhabited here including the rare African Green Broadbill; nature walks/hiking, cultural encounter with the Batwa or Bakiga and others.
When to Visit Bwindi:
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be visited any time, given that Uganda is an all year round destination. Though conditions are more challenging during the rainy season, many travelers have successfully visited the mountain gorillas and the success rate is over 99%.
Weather Conditions of Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an ultimate gorilla destination in Uganda with half population of the mountain gorillas in the world calling it home. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a tropical rain forest which receives rain fall most of the time. Though there have been slight changes in the season, it is hard to predict the weather.
However, the month between March and May, September and November receive heavy rain fall while the month of December to February are considered dry seasons. No matter the season, gorilla trekking is a life time experience that should not be missed, all seasons are good and the satisfaction of seeing the gentle giants is forever unforgettable.
A break down of what each season comes along with will help make a choice of which month is your favorite to travel in comparison of these two seasons.
Dry season – June to August and December to February
- Dry trails and Gorillas are easier to view in an open space.
- The temperatures are always cool and warm
- chances of clear photography.
Wet season – March to May and September to November
- Thick vegetation hindering clear views and photography
- Slippery trails while tracking and some finder roads become impassible
- It is always likely to rain amidst while in the jungle
The only advantage is that you will be likely able spot migratory birds for bird watching and trek a short distance since gorilla tend not to move further during the rainy season.
Recommended Time to Visit Bwindi
When planning for a trip to this park, you need to put into consideration two important seasons-the dry and wet season. These are two most significant seasons any visitor on Uganda safari to Bwindi Forest should bear in mind. Each season has its own advantages and disadvantages. The dry season comes in two phases with the first phase starting from June to September and this is normally considered as the longest dry spell which is encountered in Bwindi and most parts of Uganda.
This season is also regarded as the peak/high season and normally preferred by most visitors on Uganda safari due to its ideal conditions. It is characterized by low rainfall and because of this; the habitat remains relatively drier making it easier for visitors on gorilla safari to embark on a hike through the park’s steep slopes and dense vegetation to search for the rare mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat. But given the nature of habitat where these creatures thrive, you have to expect it to rain at any time of the day. What is remarkable about it is that it can rain but for a short time after, you can still proceed with your adventure.
On the other hand, the wet season which is also known as the rainy season or low season is equally ideal for safaris. It starts from March to May and October to November which equally represents two phases. This season comes with heavy rainfall which favors growth of plants in the habitat which means availability of plenty of forage for these creatures to depend on. This also denotes that they keep within and thus making it easier for you to track them compared to the dry season which comes with food shortage and makes these primates to move to distant areas in search of what to feed on which also means longer hours of hike. The disadvantage with it is that it comes with plenty of rainfall which means the ground becomes muddy and slippery making it a bit more challenging for one to hike through the steep slopes and dense vegetation while in search for these amazing creatures. But if you are good at birding, the wet season is perfect period for you to spot out variety of bird species as most of them are attracted.
Whether you plan to visit Bwindi during the dry season or wet season, how you pack also matters a lot. When considering which items to pack, put in mind the essentials first. That said, in your packing list, don’t miss to include waterproof hiking boots which are light weight and offer support to your ankle while you are hiking, gardening gloves, waterproof daypack, first aid kit, insect repellent, camera but with no flashlight, walking stick which you can get at the park headquarters, hat, sunscreen, long sleeved shirt or t-shirt, trousers a mention but a few.
In conclusion, in case of any plans to visit Bwindi National Park for a safari, put into consideration the dry and wet season. However, you can get to this park at any time of the year depending on what your travel needs are.