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Plan Your Journey To Bwindi Gorilla National Park

visit the rushaga mountain gorillas in rushaga

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and is best known for its Mountain Gorilla populations and gorilla tracking and not only this but it is also one othe best birding destinationas in Uganda with a number of bird spacies.

Amongst the numerous possibilities are no fewer than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics, including spectacular, globally threatened species such as Shelley’s Crimson wing and the African Green Broadbill.

Bwindi is one of the few national parks in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age and it is home to over half of the world’s mountain gorillas.

Though it is best known for its outstanding gorilla tracking, it also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzee, monkeys and a number of small antelope and bird species.

The biodiversity is supported by the fact that Bwindi is extremely old and also its slopes extend over a broad altitudinal range of 1447m above sea level.

Location of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is found in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley, about 530km from Uganda. Actually as you plan your gorilla tracking safari to bwindi, you may combine it with a wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth national park where you will find a chance to see the climbing lions in Ishasha, the southern region of queen Elizabeth national park.

climbing lions at ishasha

Size

The park occupies the size of about 321 sq km. This park is divided into four gorilla tracking sectors including Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors;

The Buhoma sector was the first to be developed for gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda and is the most popular of all the four sectors. It is at this sector where other walks have been developed including; the Munyanga River Trails in the valley of Buhoma, which is a short walk for viewing birds and primates along the forest edge.

The waterfall trail which passes beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns as well as orchids to visit three dazzling waterfalls. The Rushura Hill Trail, Muzabajiro Loop Trail and the River Ivi Trail of which the latter follows an old raod through the forest, emerging near Nkuringo on the southern edge of the impenetrable forest.

The Buhoma community walk and cultural performances which takes up to three hours visiting a typical homestead, the traditional healer and a banana beer brewery is organized by the local community.So do not miss out the local banana alcohol and feel its sweetness.

The Nkuringo sector which lies closely to the Buhoma sector is about 10km from Buhoma and as you travel you will be seeing and passing through impenetrable forests.

And you can take a nature walk through the forest that  takes about 4 hours. Connecting by the car from the two points takes about 6 to 7 hours.

The Ruhija sector which is famous for its abundant birdlife on top of the gorillas is considered the most remote sector of all the four.

There is a three hour hike to visit the Mubwindi swamp and this rewards birder lovers with countless bird species. Gorilla families in this sector include; Ruhija, Bitukura and Kyaguriro.

The Rushaga sector boasts the highest number of gorilla family to include; Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, and Busingye. It lies between Kabale and Nkuringo coming from  Ruhija and Kampala.

Getting there

Bwindi can be accessed either by air from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip or by road from Kampala.

from Entebbe international airport, there are scheduled flights to Kihihi which is close to the northern sector of Bwindi and also flights to Kisoro which  is close to the Southern sector of Bwindi.

book you flight to bwindi

Flights to Kisoro only leave in the morning while Kihihi has both morning and afternoon departures from Entebbe. You can also do charter flights from Kajjansi Airstrip to either Kisoro or Kihihi.These are always done by either Aerolink company.

 

 

Travelling by road, there are alternatives that include;

Kampala-Kabale-Kanungu-Buhoma which follows a tarmac highway up to Kabale for about 414km spending about 6-8 hrs and it conntects to murram road through Kanungu and Kanyantorogo for about 120km to Buhoma.

For the latter route, it is highly recommended to have a 4WD vehicle and this journey can take about 4-5 hrs via Kanungu.

Kampala-Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma which follows to Kabale-Ruhija-Buhoma section is about 95km on  murram road and may take about 3-4 hrs also highly recommended to have a 4WD vehicle.

Kampala-Kabale-Nkuringo follows  to Kabale and 105km about 4-5 hrs drive on a mountainous murram road to Nkuringo from Kabale.

Some drivers like spending a night in Kisoro which is about 80km from Kabale and in the morning they continue to Nkuringo for gorilla tracking activitires

Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi-Buhoma is known to be  the quickest and most direct of all the routes from Kampala and follows a tarmac rout to Rukungiri about 390km followed by murram roads to Buhoma for about 82km.

Another route that goes through Queen Elizabeth National Park via Kihihi and to Buhoma passing through the Ishasha southern sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park known as a home for the tree climbing lions.

What to do

The major activity in Bwindi is Gorilla tracking which is 8 people per particular gorilla group per day – Permits are booked before since they are on a very high demand every time. You can do this by getting in touch with us by BOOKING WITH US.

Guided forest walks, birding and other primates viewing. Batwa (Pygmies) whereby recently the Batwa Cultural Experience was introduced.You will be guided by one of our professional drivers/guides who will take you through as you visit the bwatwa trails.

When to visit

Uganda is suitable for visit any time of the year, but not advisable to visit during rainy seasons. Uganda is sunny most of the year with temperatures rarely rising above 29 degrees (84 degrees Fahrenheit).

The average annual temperature is about 26 degrees Celsius (78° Fahrenheit).

The rainy season starts from March until May and October till November. Light rain season falls in November and December.

Dry seasons are from December to February and June to August.

The best time, the best months of the year would be December to late February and from June to September.

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