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All About Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – Home of the Mountain Gorillas
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered mountains are covered by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse forests, which are over 25,000 years old and have about 400 species. contains seeds. More famously, this “untamed forest” also shelters an estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, with many habitat groups, which can be tracked.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to 120 mammals including many exotic species such as monkeys and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
You can reach Bwindi from Queen Elizabeth National Park to the north (2-3 hours), from Kabale to the south (1-2 hours), or from Kampala via Mbarara (6-8 hours). The roads meet at Butogota, 17km from the Buhoma gateway. A 4WD vehicle is essential during the rainy season. Travelers can fly from Entebbe or Kampala (Kajjansi airport) to the modern Kisoro airport. Flights can also be contracted to Kayonza grass or Savannah airports. Bwindi is well served by three airfields in Kayonza and Kihiihi for the northern side and Nyakabande in Kisoro for those going to track the gorillas in the southern side (Nkuringo, Nshongi and Mishaya).
Several of Bwindi’s trail heads can be reached by car. However there are no roads within the park itself, which is explored on foot. Bwindi is aptly named ‘untamed forest’; The paths pass through thick vegetation and can be high. Use the walking sticks offered at the beginning of the walk.
Good walking boots if you attempt any hikes or climbs, cold weather clothing and warm layers for the evenings – it’s cold and damp at this altitude. The sun is also fierce during the day – especially when it’s cloudy – so make sure you also wear sunscreen and a sun hat. You may also want to bring waterproof bags to protect cameras and other equipment when traveling.
This park has many areas of interest which one can explore on one visit.
Buhoma is to the northwest of the park and faces the dark, high forests of Bwindi. Three gorilla groups can be tracked from here, and there are also local village tours for discovering the culture and lifestyle of the local Bakiga and Batwa tribes. Bird watching is also a major activity with great opportunities to see many Albertine Rift endemics such as the Short-tailed Warbler. Other activities include mountain biking and nature walks to waterfalls and parts of the forest. There is also a range of accommodation to suit all budgets and a range of local service centres.
Nkuringo, in the southern part of the park, became Bwindi’s second gorilla trail leader in 2004. Tracking Nkuringo’s group is difficult, as their forest home is fully 600m below the road in Ntungamo village in Nteko mountain. Walking along the mountain road provides excellent views north towards the forested hills of Bwindi and south towards the Virunga volcanoes. There are also opportunities to explore Bakiga culture through village tours, dance performances and cultural workshops organized by local groups.
Shongi trailhead, in the southeast of the park opened for gorilla trekking in 2009. Three groups (Shongi, Mishaya and Kahungye) can be tracked from this point. The trail descends deep into the woods directly south of the park. This area also offers village tours, bird watching and a spectacular waterfall.
On the eastern side, sitting on top at 2,345m, Ruhija is home to the Bitukura, Oruzoojo and Kyaguriro gorilla groups. This is Uganda’s highest trekking route, and one of only two areas (the other being Nshongi) where elephants live.
A six-hour bamboo trail leads to Rwamunyoni Peak; at 2,607m, it is the highest point in the park and notable for good birding. Also of interest to birders is the three-hour trail that descends to the Mubwindi swamp along which one can see the endemic and endemic African Green Broadbill. Nyundo District, a short drive north of Buhoma, sits on the border of DR Congo and offers wonderful guided tours along the mountain and river areas to explore waterfalls, glorious views, and cultural and historical life. history of the Kigezi people.
The neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both have a variety of luxury lodges, rustic bandas and campsites, as well as restaurants, handicrafts and guide services. Discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy culture through activities, workshops and village tours.
Bwindi is cool in the morning and at night with an average temperature from 7°C – 20°C. The coldest season in Bwindi is July and July, while the coldest seasons are June-May and September-November with an average annual rainfall of up to 2390mm. Rain in March-May is short. They are heavier in September-November but it can be long hours of soft humidity.
On your next visit to Uganda, come to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for the Ultimate Gorilla experience!
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