The name Bwindi means “Impenetrable” given due to its swampy, muddy and dark forest that is full of darkness and light rarely penetrates down to the ground. It covers a surface of 331 square kilometers in a triangle area where Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo converge. The national park mainly consists of forests with bamboo trees and shrubs.
The forest is home to 120 mammal species. The most notable species are the famous Mountain Gorillas which are endangered. The park houses around 340 endangered Mountain Gorillas, about half the world’s Mountain Gorillas that remain in the wild. Other species include 10 primates, 350 species of birds and 310 species of butterflies, 22 types of moths and 51 types of reptiles. This rainforest has over 200 species of trees and 100 species of ferns.
The main attraction is the Mountain Gorillas, and the forest is the only place where they happily co-exist with the chimpanzees. The forest houses such primate species as Velvet Monkeys, Olive Baboons, Red Tailed Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Monkeys and many more.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a wonderful place for the active visitor. The park offers you a lot of activities during your visit. The most popular being the Gorilla Trekking. The Mountain Gorillas have always been the most popular tourist attraction in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable has the world’s largest Mountain Gorilla colony in the world. While trekking you can meet these magnificent creatures eye to eye in a thrilling, adrenaline pumping experience. The trekking can be conducted all year long, and you can visit the 11 out of the 36 gorilla groups within the park. Be aware as the gorillas are curious and can come close to you. While trekking, stay in your group and keep your voice low so that the whole group remains relaxed.
Another popular adventure in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the gorilla habitation. This tour was introduced in 2014, and since then you can book a 4-hour adventure of gorilla trekking and then when you find the gorillas, spend 4 hours with these magical animals. During that time you will observe, photograph and learn how gorillas behave in their habitat and how they react to human presence. There are currently 2 gorilla families available for habitation. They say that it took almost 3 years for these gorillas to start ignoring the visitors visiting their habitat.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The park houses over 350 species of birds most notable are the 23 Albertine Rift endemics such as Bar-tailed Trogon, Rusty-faced woodland Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrust, White-tailed Blue Monarch and the Short-tailed Warbler amongst others. The park has the privilege of being voted the #1 birding site and bird watching destination in Africa.
Other popular activities include the Batwa Experience. The Batwa were the inhabitants of the mountains where they lived for thousands of years even before the Bantu people arrived. This tour shows you the way they lived as they were hunter-gatherers and settled in these jungles.
Nature walks are popular in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are beautiful trails through the forest, and this activity allows tourists to explore the flora and vegetation of the forest and numerous waterfalls. You might even get the chance to see some primate species as well as some butterflies and birds.
Another popular activity is the Buhoma Village community walk where you will spend 3 hours experiencing the culture of the rural Ugandan household.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Forest is protected by UNESCO, and it is included on the list of world heritage sites since 1994. And for a reason as it is a treasure in the heart of Africa.