What to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park?

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park is well known for the gorilla trekking experience because of the presence of mountain gorillas

Which Part Of Africa Is Bwindi Forest National Park found?

Which part of Africa is Bwindi Forest National Park found? Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park is a Ugandan park found in southwestern Uganda in the district of Kisoro and Kanungu district bordering the democratic republic of Congo. The national park lies on the edge of the Albertine rift and the park covers an area of 321 square kilometers and it is characterized by different vegetation including montane vegetation and lowland vast forests. Because of its great importance, Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park was declared as the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in the year 1994. The park spans the steep ridges characterized by valleys and this makes Bwindi the water catchment area with 5 rivers from the forest flowing into Lake Edward. Bwindi forest features over 400 species of plants and over 120 species of mammals including chimpanzees, endangered mountain gorillas, baboons, monkeys, forest elephants, and antelopes. Additionally, the park features over 348 species of birds meaning that the park is an abiders paradise thus as you go for gorilla trekking, you can also do the birding trips in Bwindi. Bwindi shelters more than half of the world’s total population of mountain gorillas and the park has over 450 mountain gorillas with 19 habituated gorillas families that are available for visitors to see via activity known as   Mountain Gorilla tracking. Mountain gorilla tracking can only be done in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. The highest point of Bwindi park is at Rwamunyonyi Hill and the local community here are believed to be the Batwa who were once the occupants of the forest before it was gazetted. The Batwa are short people and they lived as fruit gathers and hunters and they used the forest herbs as their medication. These people were later relocated and now they live adjacent to the park and visitors can move and visit these people with rich in a cultural experience.

At Africa adventure vacations, we arrange and organize all safari packages to Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable forest National park ranging from the high end it low end that is budgets, mid-range to luxury trips for visitors to go to Bwindi forest park for mountain gorilla tracking and other activities within the forest such as birding trips in Bwindi, forest natural walks and the Batwa trail experience.  We make sure that we customaries all our safari trips to make sure that they match with the client’s demands and the fore contact us as soon as possible and we will give you the safari package at the best offer.

What to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park?

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park is well known for the gorilla trekking experience because of the presence of mountain gorillas making it possible for the visitors to trek and see gorillas. Other than gorilla trekking, there other different activities and more things to visualize while in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park including the unique gorilla habituation experience which is only done in Bwindi in the whole of East Africa if not all of Africa.

Gorilla Trekking Safaris 

Gorilla tracking involves visitors moving on foot in the forests in search of the habituated gorilla family. This activity starts in the morning at the park headquarters with a briefing and then after briefing journey to the forest starts while following the well-established trails with the help and guidance of the ranger guides, researchers, and trackers and once you find the gorilla family that you are searching, then you will spend one hour seeing it while standing in a distance of 7 meters away from the gorillas family. After you will return to the headquarters for the certificate to show that you successfully engaged in the gorilla trekking in Bwindi.it is important to note that you will be required to book and obtain a gorilla trekking permit before you engage in gorilla tracking. We book for you the gorilla trekking permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority basing on your preferred dates.

A gorilla trekking permit cost united states dollars 700 for  Foreign Non-Residents, then United states dollars for 600 for Foreign Residents, and Uganda shillings 250,000 for East African citizens. That very day of the gorilla trekking, you will have to drive to the headquarters and be oriented on the rules and instructions for gorilla trekking that you will follow while in the forest. Immediately the strenuous journey via the impenetrable forest with green vegetation starts and after seeing the gorillas, you will forget all the hurdles that you have passed through to see the gorillas and the moment of joy the starts. See the gorillas learn their feeding habits, breeding, and their family living behaviors. Remember that you are limited to one hour of viewing these magnificent endangered species.

Gorilla habituation Experience

It is only in Bwindi Impenetrable forest National park where gorilla habituation proves takes. The activity is similar to normal gorilla trekking only that with gorilla habituation experience, you will be able to spend with the gorillas for 4 hours as compared to the 1 hour spend for gorilla trekking. The uniqueness of the gorilla habituation process is that visitors trek and see gorillas are not fully habituated, I mean gorillas that are being trained to get used to the people. You will see how researchers train these gorillas and also participate in this activity. The gorilla family to be fully habituated, it takes between 2-3 years and with this time, gorillas are fully habituated and used to the people and thus the habituated gorilla family is open for gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking permits cost the United States 1500 and this gives you a 4-hour experience with mountain gorillas. With the gorilla habituation process, only 4 people are allowed to go per day to see gorillas in Bwindi National Park.

Batwa Cultural experience 

Culture experience is one of the activities sold alongside gorilla trekking safaris. It is important to note that Bwindi Forest before gazetted into a national park was occupied by the indigenous communities of the Batwa pygmies who were later relocated to the areas surrounding the park. This was done to ensure that the gorillas and other primates are well conserved. interacting with Batwa provides worth interesting activity as they narrate to you their traditional ways of live the fact that they were hunters, and food gathers and they used the forest mainly as the center of treatment where they could get herbs to treat themselves. The Batwa cultural trail will lead to the forest as the local Mutwa person demonstrated to you how best they hunted and gathered the fruits and performing rituals.  Batwa have been mobilized into community groups and they are now appreciative of their culture and they are being supported by part of the park gate collection fees to support them in their community livelihood projects. The local community of the Batwa around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park makes a lot of crafts where you can bypass by and buy souvenirs and where possible you can visit community schools and give a hand by donating scholastic materials at your wish.

Bird watching in Bwindi Forest Park

Bird-watching safari is one of the interesting activities that most visitors have done even when they are on the gorilla trekking and habituation expedition in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. The Bwindi forest boasts over 350 bird species which are spread all over the four sections of the park that is Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Buhoma. You can spend the whole day on bird watching and the most known birding trail is the four-kilometer birding trail to Mubwindi Swamp which houses different birds that are hard to spit in any other destination, birds such as including African Green Broadbill, Regal Sunbird, and Archer’s Robin-Chat can be sighted here.  There are also other bird species  found in Mubwindi Swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park which among others include Handsome Francolin,  Grauer’s Scrub-Warbler, Ross’s Turaco, Red-chested Owlet, Blue-throated Roller, Olive Woodpeckers, Rock Martin, White-tailed Ant-Thrush, Rufous-necked Wryneck, Narina and Bar-tailed Trogons, Ruwenzori Apalis, Augur Buzzard, Yellow-spotted Barbets, White-headed Woodhoopoe, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird, Crowned Hawk-Eagle, African Emerald Cuckoos, Lagden’s Bush-shrikes,  Red-faced and Dusky Crimson, Cabanis’ Greenbuls, African Hill Babbler, Barred Long-tailed, Petit’s Cuckoo-Shrike, Dwarf Honeyguides, Stripe-breasted Tit, Thick-billed and Tullberg’s, Olive Pigeon, Speckle-breasted, Black Goshawk, Mackinnon’s Shrike,  Kivu Ground-Thrush, Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Waller’s, Narrow-tailed, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Jameson’s and Woodhouse’s Ant-peckers, White-eyed Slaty- Flycatcher,  Red-faced Woodland-Warbler, Northern Double-collared, Ruwenzori Hill Babbler among others.

Nature walks in Bwindi Forest National Park

Visitors can also experience nature in Bwindi forest National Park by engaging in nature walks safaris in the forest. The Park management under the guidance of the Uganda Wildlife Authority established nature walk trails within the park that the visitors follow while conducting this activity in Bwindi. Nature walks in Bwindi start any time of the day depending on your preferred time, different species of the forest such as ancient tree species, bird species, and some mammals can be spotted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Cultural and Community Encounters in Bwindi

As earlier said, Bwindi Impenetrable forest national used to be inhabited by the Batwa an indigenous community group of people who are characterized by their shortness who lived in the Bwindi forest as food gatherers and hunters. For years these people were housed by the forest but to their disadvantage, the forest was gazetted into the national park and later relocated from the park to the adjacent areas. As of today most of these people have been integrated into mountain gorilla conservation programs and visitors visiting this park will be able to see these people and interact with them to learn their old style of doing things and how best their culture is interesting. They will entertain you with their traditional dance music and drama competitions and you can mingle into their community life which is so exciting.

How to get to Bwindi Forest National Park

Bwindi forest national park can be accessed from Entebbe international airport or Kigali international airport in Uganda. Getting to Bwindi Forest National Park via Kigali international airport is so easiest and shortest route as it will take you about 4 to 5 hours to reach the park through Katuna or Cyanika borders between Uganda and Rwanda. Our professional drivers will pick you from Kigali international airport or at the hotel where you slept and traverse with you through the city of Kigali and then start the cross country journey and have your lunch in Kisoro for lunch and a night and then wakeup for gorilla trekking in Bwindi forest park. However, visitors can use 8 to 9 hours to arrive from Entebbe international airport to Bwindi Park with good interesting stopovers. You can as well opt to fly from Entebbe international airport/Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip which is about two hours Aerolink Uganda limited operated flights in addition to other chartered flights such as that land at Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip and then use an airport transfer to your hotel.

Where to stay in Bwindi Forest National Park?

Accommodation facilities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park range from budget, midrange, and upmarket accommodation facilities. The budget accommodation facilities include Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Buhoma Camp Lodge, Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Ride 4 a woman, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, and visitors can pay around 90-100 dollars a night per person. Midrange accommodation facilities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park include Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Buhoma Havens Lodge among others and here visitors can have rooms ranging from100-200 dollars per night per person for those interested in luxury options, they can go for Engagi Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Sanctuary Camp, Mahogany Springs and several others where visitors can pay a price ranging from 200-400 dollars per night per person.

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