Attractions in Bwindi

Why Visit Bwindi Forest National Park

Attractions in Bwindi impenetrable national park

Bwindi Park is a heritage site with a number of attractions; listed under UNESCO and located in south western parts of Uganda, Bwindi Park is the most attractive tourist destinations in the whole world. The park has various tourist attractions and they include;

Mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas is the famous attraction that is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwndi Park is a home of various mountain gorilla individuals and they are approximately 400 individuals and they habit in various sectors of Bwindi Park. The sectors are found in various regions of the park and mountain gorilla live within the park and for sure you will enjoy the memorable moments with mountain gorilla families. These sectors include;

BUHOMA SECTOR

Buhoma sector is found in the northern parts of Bwindi. This is the most visited sector in the park and was the first sector that was established for gorilla trekking alongside Mubare gorilla family. Mubare gorilla family was the first gorilla family to be habituated in 1992 in both Bwindi Park and Buhoma sector.

Buhoma sector is composed of three gorilla families and these are;

Mubare gorilla family

Mubare gorilla family was first habituated in 1992 and it is the first gorilla family that was established for gorilla trekking. The group recently includes 5 individuals.  This family got the name after Mubare hills where the group was first spotted. Kanyonyi is the leader of Mubare gorilla family which is a dominat silverback with 2 sub adult female, 1 adult female and 1ninfant.

Habinyanja gorilla family

Habinyanja gorilla family got the name from a Rukiga word called Nyaja which means a place where water is and was habituated in 1997 and the first trekking happened in 1999.  This family was first spotted close to swamp ponds of Bwindi. This family comprises of 13 individuals with Makara a dominant silverback as the leader and namely Rwansigazi, Makara, Kisho, Maraya, Binyonko, Nabukye, Nyamuhango, Rugyendi, Hamusini, Elsa, Gacyaro, Hakato and Bangenyi

Rushegura gorilla family

Rushegura gorilla family habituation was started in 2000 and it was established for trekking in the very year. This group too separated from Habinyanja gorilla family. This family too comprises of 19 gorilla members and as you trekking in this family you will spot Mwirima the dominant silverback and the leadership of this family is under Kabukojo the blackback. 5 adult female such as, Kibande, Kyirinvi, Nyamunwa, Buzinza and Karungyi plus 2 sub-adult female Ruterana and Kalembezi and 5 juveniles such as Kafuruka, Kanywanyi,  Nyampazi, Karungyi, Kibande, 5 infant gorillas such as Buzinza, Kyirinvi, kibade, Nyamunmwa and katabazi

Buhoma sector is reached through paths from Kabala and using Kihihi airstrip as you are from Queen Elizabeth national park because it is near to Ishasha sector which is found in the southern region of Queen Elizabeth national park

NKURINGO SECTOR

Nkuringo sector is found in Kisoro district which is located in southern region of Bwindi impenetrable national park

Nkuringo gorilla family was first habituated in 1997 and is the first gorilla family to be habituated and is found south western parts of Bwindi. Nkuringo gorilla family comprise of 12 gorilla members and they include 2 adult females,1 silverback, 2 sub adults, 2 adult females, 3 juveniles and 2 infants. Nkuringo gorilla family is famously known as a family that first produced the birth of twins. Nkuringo gorilla family formerly was composed of 17 family members but later the family members were separated from the park and currently 12 are in this group.

Bikingi gorilla family

Bikingi gorilla family is a wonderful gorilla family and was habituated in early 2012 and it currently comprises of 15 family members and they include 5 adult females, 1 silverback, 2 juveniles, 2 sub-adults and 5 infants. Bikigi gorilla family does not have a leader yet because is still in habituation process.

Bushaho gorilla family

Bushaho gorilla family is made up of 8 members with 1 silverback, 3 adult females, 1 blackback, 1 juvenile, 1 sub-adult, and 1 infant. Bushaho gorilla family was created by various members that separated from Nkuringo gorilla family and is led by dominant silverback Bahati.

RUSHAGA SECTOR

Rushaga sector is common visited sector in Bwindi by travelers who are from Kigali using the Cyanika border that is located in Kisoro district which is found in the southern parts of the park. Rushaga sector habits the largest population of mountain gorilla families in Bwindi and these include;

Nshongi gorilla family

Nshongi gorilla family is an amazing gorilla family in Bwindi and it comprises of 7 family individuals with the leader as Bweza a powerful silverback. There is 1 silverback, 1 juvenile, 1 infant, 3 adult females and 1 sub adult.

Kahungye gorilla family

Kahungye gorilla family is an exciting family with with 17 members and the name originated from Kahungye hill where Kahungye gorilla family was first spotted in the area. The leader of the family is a dominant silverback Rumaz. It has 3 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 3 juveniles 2 infants and 3 sub adults.

Busingye gorilla family

Busingye gorilla family is a wonderful family with 9 individuals and split from Kahungye gorilla family and being led by the dominant silverback Busingye.  The names comes from a local word “obusigye” meaning peace.

Mishaya gorilla family

Mishaya gorilla family is a loving family with 12 individuals and being led by dominant silverback Mishaya. Mishaya family was established in 2010 by Mishaya who split from Nshongi gorilla group.

Bweza gorilla family

Bweza gorilla family is also a nice family made up of 23 members being led by silverback Kakono. The family comprises of 4 black backs, 2 silverbacks, 3 adult females, and 1 sub adult and 2 infants.

RUHIJA SECTOR

Ruhija sector is located in eastern region of Bwindi. Ruhija sector comprises of 3 gorilla families that are being trekked. They include;

Bitukura gorilla family

Bitukura gorilla family is an amazing family made up of 14 individuals with 4 adult families, 4 silverbacks, 3 infants, 2 juveniles and 1 baby. Bitukura gorilla family was habituated in 2007 and was comprised of 24 family members before the constant conflicts led to split of some members form the group.

Oruzogo gorilla family

Oruzogo gorilla family is an exciting family with 17 members with 1silverback. The family was put outdoors in 2007 for tourist.  The dominat members of this family are Bakwate “old silverback”, Kasumali (silverback), Kaganga (silverback), six adult females with names as Katoto, Nyangaro, Mutesi, Ruchura, Nyakina and Mukwano, three sub adult males Nyakashunja, one black back Bwengye, Nyabirano, Musenene and two infant males Mufuruki and Paska, Muhumuza,  one infant female Musana.

Kyaguliro gorilla family

Kyaguliro gorilla family is an exciting family of 20 individuals and the family was reserved for research purposes and that is the reason it is not commonly visited. After the leader being stuck to death by lightening, the group separated into two groups, i.e, Kyaguliro A and Kyaguliro B.

 Kyaguliro A   comprises of 10 family members with 1 silverback, 2 juveniles 3 adult females, 2 black backs, and 2 infants with a dominant silverback Rukara as their leader.

Kyaguliro B comprises of 10 members too with 4 adult females, 1 silverback, 1 adult and 4 infants. Dominant silverback Mukiza is the leader of the family.

Mammals and other primates

Bwindi impenetrable national park is famous for habiting mountain gorillas plus also being a home of amazing mammals that inhabit from the hearts of forests of the park. Mammals located in Bwindi Park include antelopes, forest elephants, giant forest hog, African civet, side stripped jackal, and among others.

Primates are available in the park and they include black and white colobus monkeys, De Brazza monkeys, vervet, L’hoests, , chimpanzees, red tailed monkey, nocturnal potto and galago species.

Ancient rainforest

Bwindi impenetrable national park is an area of well vegetation with an amazing ecological system and it is covered with tropical forest and montane and lowland vegetation zones meet here. Bwindi has small rivers crossing over and they include ihihizo, Ivi, munyaga, ishasha and ntengyrere and they pour their water in Lake Edward thus being famous as a water catchment area. The park is composed of canopy of plant species that include East African yellow wood, Red stinkwood, Symphonia globulifera, Newtonia and Strombosia scheffleri. Below the main forest there are species such as Monospora, Xymalos, Neoboutonia Macrocalyx, Teclea nobilis, Myrianthus holstii and Allophylus abyssinicus. Bwindi impenetrable national park is sheltered by afro montane forests which is a rare vegetation in the continent and it has 100 fern species and 220 tree species hence being one or the attractions of the park.

Hiking trails

Hiking trails in Bwindi are exciting attractions found in the park. These trails take you through various parts of the park and you will be able to encounter many mysteries of the park. The trails used in the park include;

River Ivi trail. This trail is famous for bird watching, the trail takes you via the cliff of Nkuringo, as your hiking on this trail it needs you7 hours to cover 14 kilometers and finish it.

 Waterfall trail. This trail is done in 4 hours’, trailing to hikes heading to the park’s waterfall.

Habinyanja trail. This trail take 4-6 hours, the trail takes you via river Munyanga, this trail is commonly used by tourists for trekking Habinyanja gorilla family.

Kashasha river trail. This trail takes a traveller 5-7hours, Kashasha river trail goes around Nkuringo and buhoma sectors of Bwindi Park.

Bamboo trail. This trail is an amazing trail to do hiking of 6 hours as your heading to Rwamunyonyi peak. Bamboo trail is well known for viewing birds.

Muzabajiro trail. This trail is a wonderful trail that offers amazing views of western rift valley and Virunga, This trial covers 6 kilometers and as you’re on it, you will encounter beautiful ferns, peaks of Virunga volcanoes and variety of bird species.

Bird Species 

The park has a variety of bird species like forest and water bird species, Bwindi impenetrable national park is best place to spot for montane forest bird watching in Africa. This park is home to over 350 bird species, among these bird species 23 species are found in Albertine rift and14 species are endemic. These are some of bird species can be spotted in the thick forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park include African wood owl, Chapin’s fly catcher, Black bee-eater, Handsome francolin, Rwenzori Batis, Tit Hylia, Strange weaver, Dusky Twin spot, Montane Oriole, Regal sunbird, Bar-tailed trogon, Dwarf honeyguide, Western green tinker bird, Shelly’s greenbul, Grey gecko-shrike, Kivu ground-thrush, Yellow-sreaked greenbul, Red-throated alethe, collared apalis, handsome francolin, strange weaver

Buhoma waterfall trail, bamboo zone and mubwindi swamp trail are the most fantastic areas for bird lovers in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park.

The batwa pygmy people

The Batwa or pygmies are the ancient inhabitants of Bwindi forest. However during the gazatting of Bwindi as a national park, they were forcefully evicted from their land “Bwindi Forest” to settle outside the park. The Batwa are well known as hunter gatherers and keepers of the forest who mainly depend on hunting of wild animals and gathering of fruits. When you visit Bwindi Forest, it is a must encounter of the Batwa community and it is an exciting experience as your exploring the cultures of the ancient life style. They local community members do a lot of day today activities like hunting small animals, constructing houses using local materials, local dances and drama and among others. For sure this is a mind blower experience.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing is not specific, all the time is good for visiting Bwindi Park to explore different attractions. It all depends on the traveler’s choice of time he or she wants to visit the park. However dry seasons are best and they occur in months of June and August plus December and January. During this season, the trails are less muddy and slippery because of the rainfall being low.

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