About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi is an old forest which survived the massive plate shift that lead to the formation of the beautiful western rift. Bwindi in the local language means dark, complex and ferocious place, and it was named so to best explain the impenetrable nature of this forest considering in some parts the tree canopy is very thick that light can hardly penetrate down to the ground. This forest is best known for its gorilla trekking safaris, and within this verdant forest you will also find a deep swamp.
On the lighter side, this forest is not very impassable but you can track through to see the endangered mountain gorillas which live here.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is found in the south-western part of Uganda near the democratic Republic of Congo situated on the border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift.
The park can be accessed by road and it is 520 Kilometres from Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. Normally for one to enjoy the journey, 4Wheel drives are recommended taking the below routes:
Move from Kampala-Kabale about 414 Kilometres, about 5-8 hours drive, then Kabale-Kanungu- Kanyantorogo – Buhoma Park Headquarters, about 120 kms, a 3.5 hour-drive.
WHAT TO DO IN BWINDI NATIONAL PARK
There are a plethora of activities one can do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Independent of what you are looking for, you will find something here.
The Mountain Gorillas are among Uganda’s top tourist attraction .While trekking these great creatures, the experience and excitement you encounter while with them is really worthwhile. Tracking mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest can be conducted all year round. Some gorilla trekkers prefer visiting from June to September as well as from December up to February. You can visit Bwindi at any time of the year, the low season calls for cheaper gorilla permit price but generally there is slight difference in the seasons.
Besides the popular gorilla trekking adventure in Bwindi, the Uganda Wildlife Authority introduced gorilla habituation since January 2014. This activity can only be done in Bwindi Forest! Gorilla habituation experience is not available in the other sections of Virunga Conservation Area including Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park- Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Batwa cultural experience was put in place by the displaced Batwa pygmies to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. The Experience takes place outside of the park in an old-growth forest on land that is next to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park. The Batwa experience begins with a nature-walk, hike through the forest seeing the forest in a new way, through the eyes of the original people of the Forest. Learn how they hunted the small animals they used for food, what things they gathered, how traps and nets were used.
The Batwa Experience will also show you how they lived in huts made of grass, trees, the use of tree-houses, caves. Experience the Batwa village life of old, the sharing, of living as a community, as a people, learn the things that they revered and cared for and almost lost.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the best birding destinations in Africa. There are 348 bird species have been recorded at Bwindi. They include 25 restricted-range species, of which 23 are confined to the Albertine Rift and four are globally threatened: African Green Broadbill -Pseudocalyptomena graueri-Vulnerable, Grauer’s Rush Warbler -Bradypterus graueri; Endangered, Chapin’s Flycatcher -Muscicapa lendu; Vulnerable and Shelley’s Crimson-wing -Cryptospiza Shelley- Vulnerable.
Tourists can not only visit Bwindi for mountain gorillas but the place is also a bird watchers haven. Bwindi has three bird species that are the only surviving representatives of their respective genera: African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Warbler (Graueria vittata) and Short-tailed Warbler (Hemitesia Neumann). Indeed, both the broadbill and Short-tailed Warbler are thought to be more closely related to Asian- than to African species!
Activities in Pictures ~ Gishwati-Mukura
WHERE TO STAY WHILE IN GISHWATI-MUKURA NATIONAL PARK
Being a new National Park; a few accommodation facilities have been established within and near Gishwati-Mukura National Park.
Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge
Rushaga Gorilla safari Lodge is an up market facility tucked away at the boundary line of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – home of the endangered mountain gorilla.
You can easily reach the lodge using Charter Flights from Entebbe or Kajjansi to Kisoro, with a road transfer from the airstrip in Kisoro to the lodge.
You can hire a car from Car rental Uganda for those who need private transport. You will travel through Kabale at about 427km.
Once you reach Kabale, break off and drive past Muko to Nshongi where the lodge is located.
The lodge offers accommodation in eight, en suite spacious luxurious units with individual verandahs allowing excellent views towards the pristine tropical rain forest.
It is a newer lodge in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and if you are tracking the Nshongi Gorilla Family Group this is the place for you to stay.
This nicely designed Lodge straddles the boundary line of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and if you are coming to Bwindi to track gorillas in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest this is the place to stay.
This is also the only area in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where you can go on a Gorilla Habituation Experience which means 4 hours with the Mountain Gorillas.
Trips and Safaris