Overview

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be found in southern Uganda, being recognized as one of the most remarkable rainforests in the country. It hosts over 400 species of plants and immense wildlife diversity, with the notable presence of the rare mountain gorilla. The main attraction of the park is represented by the unique experience of gorilla trekking, accompanied by the fantastic, most breathtaking scenery, as Bwindi offers outstanding, literally to die for sightseeing opportunities.

Mountain Gorillas In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda shutterstock_346927655

Highlights

  • +Driving and camping safari
  • +Ideal for gorilla trekking
  • +The presence of the rare mountain gorilla
  • +Bird watching paradise – more than 360 species
  • +The home to 120 mammal species
  • +The presence of endemic species of butterflies and unique vegetation
  • +River Munyanga walk
Interested in visiting the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Take a look to our hand-picked tours that go there!

About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Being the proud home of more than half of the mountain gorilla population in the entire world, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park attracts tourists, first and foremost, because of the equally fantastic and unique gorilla trekking opportunities. Nothing can actually anticipate the feelings tourists experience once they catch a glimpse of the rare animal through the dense foliage of the rainforest.

However, the presence of the mountain gorilla is not the only reason why traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a unique experience. The park encompasses abundant, lush, misty rainforests, accompanied by an immense variety of birds, wildlife, and butterflies. Soaking in the beauty of the Munyanga River is also a memorable experience. The walk to the river brings tourist close to three pristine waterfalls, as well as the unique, abundant vegetation of tree ferns, colorful orchids and epithetic ferns that build up for the unique charm of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi is officially acknowledged to present the most diverse fauna in Eastern Africa. Hence, you will be able to spot a great number of animals. About 120 mammal species are evaluated to live on the premises of the National Park, ten species being primates. This is more than other National Parks in Uganda. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of the forest elephant, bushbucks, African golden cats, duiker, unique primate populations such as the L’Hoest’s money and the colobus monkey, as well as the scarce giant forest hog.

A safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the ideal outing for tourists who want to live an African adventure on a higher level, soaking in the everlasting beauty of the place, while at the same time experiencing amazing gorilla trekking.

Traditional boats at Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda, Africa, at the borders of Uganda, Congo Democratic mountain gorillas shutterstock_222929164
gorilla mum with baby in the rain forest of Biwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda shutterstock_238792405
Bushwalking at the Crystal Cascades, Redlynch Valley, Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia shutterstock_140527738
A female mountain gorilla with a baby. Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. shutterstock_355162502

Getting There

Whether you choose to travel to Bwindi or other National Parks in Uganda, the spot where you will arrive in the country is at the Entebbe International Airport. From there, Bwindi can be reached by chartered flight or domestic flight, as you choose.

When to Go & Weather

  •   Best
  •   Good
  •   Fair
  •   Poor
    • June-August/December-February: these months are utterly perfect for gorilla trekking, given the fact that the trails are overall dry. The weather is warm, and there is little rainfall, making it easier and more convenient for tourists to spot the beautiful gorillas.
    • April, May, September-November: during these months, it is recommendable you don’t embark on your gorilla trekking adventure, as a lot of rainfalls make it difficult for tourists to travel because of the slippery trails.

Even though you can choose to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park all year long, during the damp seasons, gorilla trekking might be quite uncomfortable, because of the slippery trails. Thus, a wide number of tourists opt for visiting the National Park from June to September, or from December to February, because the weather during these months is more favorable, especially for gorilla trekking activities. Additionally, during the warm season, a wide range of bird and butterflies species can be easily spotted.

Weather climate

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a tropical weather climate, with the average annual temperature varying from the minimum temperature of -7-15°C to the maximum of 20-27°C. The peak of the rainy season occurs during April and May or from September to November. See more info about the weather here

aerial view showing the border of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda (Africa) shutterstock_86884465

Additional Information

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History

In the year of 1932, two blocks belonging to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest were nominated as Crown Forest Reserves. These blocks encompassed about 207 square kilometers. Later on, in 1942, the two blocks of forests were enlarged, and afterward, the area was entitled the Impenetrable Central Crown Forest, embodying more than 298 square kilometers. It was under the protection of Ugandan’s government’s game and forest divisions.
1964 was the year in which the area was designated as an animal sanctuary, given the presence of the many species of gorillas. Two years later, two additional forest reserves were further included in the main reserve, increasing the protected area of the park to 321 square kilometers.

In 1991, the zone was designated as an official national park, and given the current name of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. At that time, the National Park encompassed 330.8 square kilometers. The main reason it was officially made a National Park was the great wildlife diversity, with the unique presence of the mountain gorilla.

Given the establishment of the National Park, the Batwa pygmy people had to go through a number of changes, as they were no longer permitted to dwell on the premises of the newly-nominated National Park.
Gorilla tracking became an important tourist attraction beginning April 1993. One year later, the park was registered on the World Heritage List, and 10 square kilometers were further added to the National Park. In the same respect, the park was administered by Uganda Wildlife Authority. In 2003, 4.2 square kilometers were also incorporated into the park, growing its surface.

Wildlife & Flora

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park includes a myriad of wildlife species. This particular aspect is one of the main characteristics of the National Park. Given its immense biodiversity importance, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The main attraction of the National Park is the presence of the mountain gorillas. To be more precise, 340 mountain gorillas dwell on the premises of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is nearly half of the entire gorilla population in the whole world.

Concerning the flora diversity, Bwindi forest encompasses a broad range of populations of trees. The forests of the park are Afromontane, which is acknowledged as an equally unusual and infrequent vegetation type in Africa. This particular kind of forests occurs when plain and mountain forests encounter one another. The park includes at least 220 distinct tree species, which is more than 50 percent of the tree population in Uganda, as well as 100 fern species. Also, the presence of the brown mahogany has been depicted on the premises of the park, which is an endangered plant.

Enthusiast birdwatchers will find Bwindi Impenetrable National Park a heaven on earth as it incorporates about 360 species of birds, as well as a range of endangered species such as the African green broadbill. You will certainly spot at least 100 species of birds during a regular stroll around the National Park. In the same respect, the National Park is also the proud home to the unique montane butterflies, encompassing 202 species including Papilio leutcotaenia, Graphium gudenusi, and Charaxes fournierae.

Ecology

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is administered by Uganda Wildlife Authority, which is a governmental division. The National Park benefits from total protection, even though, at the same time, the surrounding communities can use a certain amount of its resources.

The areas surrounding the premises of the park include about 300 people per square kilometer. A great number of the communities who dwell on these premises deal with poverty. Given the growing population accompanied by ineffective agricultural practices, Bwindi forest is liable to suffer from these outside factors. About 90 percent of the people living in the proximity of the National Park rely on the income provided by agricultural practices.

Before the official gazetting as a National Park, the locals engaged in hunting, mining, as well as apicultural practices, all these detrimentally affecting the integrity and conservation of the setting. The unique wildlife diversity the park offers was one of the main reasons Bwindi Rainforest was designated as a National Park. Nonetheless, this aspect has lead to the appearance of a myriad of conflicts among locals and park administrators.

The Batwa Pygmy people, who relied entirely on the resources of the National Park, suffered a lot. Their income was based either on harvesting wild yams, or collecting wild honey, fishing and so on. After they had been evicted from the premises of the park, they didn’t benefit from national compensation, even though they have inhabited that particular area for centuries. This stressing issue has raised a wide range of concerns, and the tension remains.

Another stressing aspect concerning conservation is that the gorillas are in the immediate proximity of the people. Hence, they are threatened by the carrying of human diseases given the ever-growing tourism activities. Thus, at the moment being, UWA concentrates on improving the conservation of the National Park, to assure a more effective preservation of its unique biodiversity.

Interesting Facts

  • The first evidence of forest clearance goes back 4.800 years ago, given the presence of the Batwa Pygmies, who were hunters and controlled the growing vegetation with fire.
  • 2000 years ago, the Bantu agriculturalists made it to the region.
  • The Batwa pygmies present a great deal of knowledge concerning the immense wildlife diversity of the National Park, which is sadly threatened with extinction if their knowledge will not be officially recorded in writing.
Interested in visiting the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Take a look to our hand-picked tours that go there!

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