Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi is one of Uganda’s finest and popular tourist spots in Uganda. Travelers who visit Uganda to see mountain gorillas can tell that it is the most rewarding place one can encounter these great apes. The 331sqkm forest is made of both lowland and montane forest and unless you are on foot you cannot access the forest and it is for this reason that it was called Impenetrable.  The park is located on the border of DR. Congo north of Mgahinga Gorilla National park in the Kigezi highlands of Southwestern Uganda often referred to as the Switzerland of Africa due to its cold climate. It is in districts of Kisoro, Kanungu, and Rubanda with 4 different sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo and is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. 

It is at the edge of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley that was formed by up-warping and its underlying geology is made of quartz, schist, granite among others. Due to the up-warping, the park has got a rugged topography and steep hills that gorilla trackers will have to conquer so as to see these great apes. Bwindi elevates from 1190m to 2607m and about 60% of the park is above 2000m. Bwindi boasts great diversity and it includes 11 primate species in the park-like the black-and-white colobus, L’Hoest’s monkeys, baboons chimpanzees, the gorillas among the many. Of Bwindi’s 200 butterfly species, 42 are endemic to the Albertine Region, 350 species of birds, 23 Albertine Rift endemics. In order to safeguard this rich and varsity, the forest was gazetted as a national park in 1992 and declared a UNESCO world natural heritage site in 1994.

Gorilla tracking

This is the major and the most thrilling encounter with wildlife one could ever have (spending a magical 1 hour) with the mountain gorillas in their prime home. The park has 459 gorillas of the 1063 global population and these are in 50 groups of which 19 are open for tracking. Therefore, 152 permits are issued daily at 600USD, and starting from July 2020 it will be 700USD and trackers must be 15 years plus. A walk starting at 8.30 am will take travelers through the dense forest with the guidance of a ranger and guide who will help you to locate the gorillas. The activity can take about 2-8 hours and this depends on the location of the gorillas because they roam in the forest and are not restricted to a particular location. A visitor to this park should come prepared with light clothing, long pants, rain jackets, hats, and you should carry snacks and packed lunch.    

Nature walks

It is not only gorillas that will make you walk into this forest. The virgin and lush forest offer nature walk that run from 3-4 hours as you try to penetrate into this impenetrable forest from 9am and 2pm. Each sector has unique trails. While at Buhoma, a walk to the waterfall trail takes you to the magnificent 33m waterfalls. Also, the Muzabijiro and Rushura trails offer views of the Virungas and DR Congo. This is one of the relaxed ways to explore the forest.


Bwindi is the Bird watcher’s haven holding up to 350 species of birds with 90% of all Albertine rift Endemics hard or not possible to see in any other part of East Africa. The four trails of Bwindi are all excellent for birders with the prospect of checking off the forest rarities. The River Ivi trail between Buhoma and Nkuringo is rewarding as is Buhoma’s forest-edge Munyanga River Trail. Ruhija’s Bamboo trail, leading to the 2607m Rwamunyonyi peak and the Mubwindi swamp trail is renowned for the Albertine Rift Endemics. Tick off the endemic and rare birds that rattle in the forest like Shelly’s crimson wing, Handsome Francolin among others. 

Batwa community visits 

The Batwa People (pygmies) are believed to be one of the oldest tribes in Uganda and they had lived in the Bwindi forest for over 60,000 years. They were fruit gatherers and hunters but when the forest gained national park status in 1992 they were evacuated to the villages surrounding the forest. But now a new product has been developed in the Rushaga sector of the park to allow travelers to experience what a life of these people was and directly benefit from tourism.

For a few days as two, you can be a Native African as you visit the lush green forest for an encounter with these gentle giants with us at Native Africa Tours. 

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