Hosting over 600 mountain gorillas is the Bwindi impenetrable national park located in the south western Uganda in Kanungu, Kisoro and Rubanda districts. The park is on the edge of the western Albertine rift valley at elevations ranging from 1,160m to 2,607 metres. This is one of Uganda’s largest National Parks covering 32,092 ha commonly known for hosting almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas as well as inhabiting rich fauna and mammalian assemblages. An outstanding biological richness neighbouring agricultural landscapes supporting one of the largest population densities in the tropical Africa.
Bwindi forest is known to be a remain of which was once occupied in western Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi and some parts of DRC. This forest has the highest tree species diversity. Bwindi hosts most of the endangered species including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, African elephants, bird such as the African green bold bill, turner’s eremomela and rare butterfly species such as the African giant swallowtail and cream banded swallowtail. The park provides shelter to a further 120 mammals.
These are the top attraction in Bwindi national game park since it habits mountain gorillas estimated to be 400 individuals that are habituated in different sectors but within the park. The sectors are located in different regions and each sector has various exciting gorilla families. These sectors include;
This sector is located in the northern part of the park and is the most thrilling and visited sector in the park. This it is home to 5 gorilla families including the Mubare gorilla family consisting of 5 individuals named after the Mubare hills where this group was first seen.
The second gorilla family is known as the Habinyanja family getting its name from Nyanja meaning a place with water. It was first habituated in 1997 and trekked in 1999. The family has 13 famous members namely Makara, Maraya, Nabukye, Hakato and Bagyenyi.
The third gorilla family is the Rushegura gorilla family that was first habituated in 2000 and trekked in the same year. This gorilla family has 19 individuals and trekking this family gives one chance to see the top dominant and leader of the group known as Mwirima. The Buhoma sector is very easy to access considering routes from Kihihi airstrip from Queen Elizabeth national park since its close to the Ishasha sector.
Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of the park in Kisoro district. This sector has got 4 gorilla families;
Nkuringo Family. This is the first gorilla family in Bwindi national park to give birth to twins. This gorilla family consists of 17 members but many left so only 12 remained.
The second family is known as the Posho gorilla family. This exciting family gives one of the best gorilla habituation experiences. It was first habituated in 2012 and currently the family consists of 15 members and it does not have a leader since it is still the habituation process.
The third family is known as the Bushaho gorilla family. This is a family of 8 members that was formed by numerous individual that divided off from Nkuringo family.
This is the most visited sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park especially by the travellers from Kigali Rwanda using the Cyanika boarder in Kisoro. It is located in the southern region of the park. This sector hosts the largest number of gorilla families and they include, Nshongi gorilla family which is the most exciting family consisting of 7 members lead by Bweza. Kahungye gorilla family consisting of 17 members and is under the leadership of one silverback member known as Rumaz. Busingye family getting its name from the phrase Busingye that literally means peace. This family consists of 9 individuals. Mishaya gorilla family formed in 2010 by Mishaya who split from Nshongi family. It consists of 12 members. Bweza gorilla family that consists of 23 individuals under the leadership of Kakono.
Located in the eastern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park, the sector consists of three gorilla families including the famous Bitukura family consisting of 14 individuals, and first habituated in 2007 when the members were many but later faced some fights leading the others to spilt hence remaining small.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is not only home to the famous mountain gorillas but also other mammals and exciting primates like the elephants, antelopes, side stripped jackal among others. On the primate side we can talk about the playful chimpanzees, white and black colobus monkeys, Vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys as well as the galago species.
The impenetrable forest is also home to some of the rare bird species and it is a perfect spot for montane bird watching. The park is home to over 350 bird species and among these, 14 species are endemic to Bwindi and the rest can only be spotted in the Albertine rift. These bird species include the handsome francolin, strange weaver, twin spot, black bee-eater, regal sunbird, bar tailed trogon, Rwenzori Batis among others. The most exciting spots for bird watching in Bwindi national park is the Buhoma sector trail, bamboo zone and the Mubwindi swamp areas.
The Batwas are the first and ancient habitants of Bwindi Forest and during the gazation of the park they were moved out. They are regarded as the keepers and the seers of the park who majorly depend on hunting and fruit gathering. Once visiting this park, one will get to encounter the Batwa and get to experience the lives of these exciting people. One is able to see how they build shelter using local raw materials, hunting animals, dancing and fruit gathering that will leave you amazed
This is an outdoor activity where tourists are allowed to see mountain gorillas for one hour. Get personal with the exciting mountain gorillas of Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest. This is truly a wildlife adventure of a lifetime. Coming closer the gorillas in their natural habitat, having unforgettable moments while watching the gentleness of the silverbacks, the playful nature of the infants.
Gorilla trekking will begin in the morning at 8 AM with a briefing at the park headquarters that involves diving 8 tourists to trek the puzzling forest that habits half of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas. This thrilling activity can last from one to 8 hours depending on where these gorillas are found on a specific day. Get chance to sight other animals along the trekking way.
This refers to the process of introducing mountain gorillas to the presence of people. Gorilla habituation targets one of the gorilla families that are in the due process of being entitled to tourist visits. This thrilling experience involves 4 tourists who spend some time estimated to be 4 hours with these endangered species in the wild. This activity is so much rewarding because it gives one more time to spend with the gorillas.
Being home to over 351 bird species, Bwindi national park is a spot for birders where one is able to at least spot one of their favourite bird species of all time making Bwindi safaris more interesting. Expert game rangers are able to help you out get guides along the trails through this impenetrable and thick forest
Neighbouring one of the exciting people that is the Bakiga and the Batwa, community visits range from visiting crafts villages, a trip to the traditional leader known for healing people of the land foe years, visiting the dancing groups to be able to learn how to dance. Community walks give an unforgettable touch of the impenetrable forest.
Bwindi impenetrable national game park can be visited between June and august and then December to February. These are the driest months and they are perfect for wildlife viewing.
Bwindi national park can be accessed by road from Kampala through Mbarara covering about 7 to 8 hours by road, it can also be accessed by Air, by boarding a small plane from Entebbe then land in Kisoro or Kihiihi airstrips which are about 40 minutes’ drive to the park respectively