Bwindi is found in South Western Uganda on the edge of western rift valley. It covers an area of 321 square kilometres, it also lies a long the border of Uganda an the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is well known as the home of the world’s mountain gorillas.
Uganda is ranked number one in the world as a destination to experience the thrill of a mountain gorilla safari. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda has been designated as a world heritage site for the protection and conservation of these amazing animals.
Within Uganda there are, six habituated gorilla groups – five in Bwindi and one in the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Each of the habituated gorilla families is named where in Bwindi they are Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushugura, Bitukura and Nkuringo.In Mgahinga the group is named Nyakagezi.
Today there are about 650- 700 gorillas left in the world, half of which are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park a lone.
The Bwindi Forest is described as impenetrable, due to its shear density of vegetation and the vast area it covers. It’s no wonder that in the local language “Bwindi” means a place of darkness because of the thick vegetation which indeed makes it impenetrable.
The park is covered by the thick tropical afromontane forest with dense under growth of fern and vines. There are over 324 species of trees, 90 species of mammals, 11 species of primates, 360 species of birds and 23 Albertine rift valley endemic species.
Bwindi’s major tourist activities are gorilla tracking, bird watching, forest walks and village walks. A maximum of eight visitors may track each of the gorillas groups daily. The permit tracking fee is $500- per person.
Where to stay
Accommodation may be found in Buhoma, Nkuringo and Ruhija at each of the gateways to the park. Both Buhoma and Nkuringo are able to cater for both up-market and budget travellers. Ruhija has limited accommodation that is currently suitable for budget travellers.
- Buhoma Community Rest Camp – Budget
- Bwindi View Bandas – Budget
- Buhoma Lodge – Upmarket
- Gorilla Forest Camp – Upmarket
- Engagi Lodge – Upmarket
- Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp – Mid range.
- Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge – Upmarket
- Gorilla Resort – Upmarket
- Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite and Bunkhouse – Budget
- Cloud’s Gorilla Lodge – Upmarket
- Institute of Tropical Forestry Guest house – Budget
What to bring
- Wear stout shoes or walking boots suitable for steep muddy slopes.
- Gardening gloves are excellent in the forest when pulling on vines and nettles.
- Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) and insect repellent.
- Carry packed lunch and water ( porters are available to hire).
When you’re with Gorillas
- Keep your voice down or be quiet.
- Don’t point or wave your arms this can a threat.
- If approached by gorillas, move backwards slowly to keep a 5m distance
- Do not use the flash on the camera as this could cause gorillas to charge.
Buhoma, Ruhija and Nkuringo are all about 11 hours drive from Kampala. A 4WD vehicle would be preferable to get to Nkuringo and Ruhija.