Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies to the southwestern part of Uganda on the peripheral of Albertine Rift which is the section of the Great Rift Valley. Its altitude ranges from 1190 to 2607 metres above sea level and more than have of the park at around 60% has an elevation of over 2000 metres which is 6600 feet. Rwamunyonyi hill on the eastern edge has the highest elevation of the park. This is a UNESCO – World heritage site with over 330 square kilometres of jungle forests with exclusive montane and lowland forest that is accessible only on foot.
The hillsides are covered by mist and blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rain forests that date back over 25,000 years and boasts of over 400 plant species. This is the genuine tropical rain forest that is one of a kind spreading across the steep y landscape and valleys of east Africa and central Africa. This is one of the richest ecosystems of Africa with diversity in species having been names depicting dark place equated to its thick and impenetrable nature of the packed rain forests.
Things to See
There are lots of things to see in Bwindi impenetrable park. The park is home to 120 species of mammals, about 350 bird species, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. Bwindi is rich with flora with more that 1000 flowering plant species comprising of 163 tree species and 104 species of ferns. The northern sector which has the lowest altitude is rich in brown mahogany among other few that are endangered species.
Bwindi is one of the most spectacular rain forests in Africa in the of mammal diversity, supporting at least 120 known species. It contains about half of the world’s mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei; IUCN category ‘Endangered’)
It is also a special habitat for 11 species of primates, the most attraction that include Chimpanzee, the monkey varieties. The globally threatened primate is the Eastern Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthi; Endangered). Bwindi also hosts Blue Monkey (Cercopithecus mitis), Red-tailed Monkey (Cercopithecus ascanius), Black and White Colobus Monkeys (Colobus guereza), and olive baboon. Specially, Bwindi is home to 360 Gorilla gorilla beringei*, a half of the total remaining world population. Mammals count only 30 (buffaloes, leopards, elephants).
The adjacent towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both provides comfort stay in luxury lodges, rustic bandas and budget campsites, as well as modern restaurants, craft stalls and guiding services.
- While in Bwindi you can do Mountain biking that follows a well-maintained trail from the park headquarters at Buhoma to the Ivi River. Along this 13km trail you may see wildlife such as bushbucks, black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkeys. This is also suits the birdwatchers as the varied habitats of forest means its ideal for a variety of birds with 350 species recorded including 23 endemics (90% of all Albertine Rift endemics)
- It is a humbling experience to stand just meters from Chimpanzee as they eat rest, play and bond with their young. Follow the mountain gorillas as they range freely in the impenetrable forest, and discover their gorgeous natural habitat and the many species they share it with.
- With six main nature trails in Buhoma for those who wish to explore the “impenetrable forest”, including waterfall walks, forest walks, primate encounters, mountain views and impressive birdlife.
- There is also an opportunity to come close to the culture of the local Bakiga and Batwa communities through village walks, blacksmith visits, craft shops and vibrant dances