The ultimate Gorilla Experience
Bwindi National Park is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas, whose encounter and consequent eye contact is the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter in the whole of Africa.
With mist covered hillsides, this impenetrable forest is the oldest and most biologically diverse rainforest, with over 400 species of plants.
Bwindi NP lies on the edge of the rift valley in southwestern Uganda, and protects at least 120 species of mammals, 346 species of birds, 2022 specie of butterflies, 163 species of trees, 100 species of ferns, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, among many endangered specie.
Bwind NP is a Unesco designated World Heritage site popular for mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, the two great African apes listed as endangered animals in the IUCN Red Data Book.
Bwindi National Park has gorilla tracking as the major tourist attraction with 4 gorilla tracking trailheads; also 9 groups of mountain gorilla families have been habituated and only 8 tourists booked per group per day.
Forest trails in the park lead to various attractions including rivers, waterfalls, swamps and high level of wildlife concentration
Birding is another attraction that provides great opportunities to see various Albertine rift endemics such as the short-tailed warbler or Neumann’s Warbler.
A 6 hour bamboo trail leads to Rwamuonyonyi peak, at 2607 m, is the highest peak and notable spot for birding; while a 3 hours descend to Mubwindi swamp could lead a visitor to endemic and localized African green broadbill.
Other rewarding activities are mountain biking and nature walks to waterfalls and parts of the forest.
A short drive north to Buhoma, which sits on the Congo border, offers wonderful hikes along the hill crests and rivers to discover waterfalls, glorious views and the traditional lifestyle and folklore of the Kigezi people.
Activities in Bwindi
Tracking is a captivation and unforgettable experience which more than repays the effort needed to reach Bwindi and to trek through the forest.
Gorilla tracking can be challenging and one needs to be reasonably fit before undertaking to venture into the activity.
Other activities around the park
Though gorilla tracking is the main attraction, a range of other walks provide more relaxed opportunities to spot birds and monkeys while exploring one of the Uganda’s loveliest rainforests.
Mountain biking is also a good activity around Bwindi, this is usually done through a well maintained trail.
The following walks can be arranged:
- Munyanga River Trail in the valley below Buhoma provides an ideal short walk to view birds and primates along the forest edge
- Waterfalls Trail leads through one Uganda’s most pristine tracts of rainforest, passing beneath tree fens, epiphytic fens and orchids to visit three sparkling waterfalls
- Rushura Hill Trail provides expansive views across the plains of the western rift valley to the west and Lake Edward and Rwenzori Mountains to the north.
- Muzabajiro Loop Trail climbs to the summit of Rukubira Hill for breakthtaking viewsof Bwinidi forest, the western Rift Valley and the Virunga volcanoes.
- River Ivi Trail follows an old road through beautiful forest emerging near Nkuringo on the southern edge of the forest; it is highly recommended for bird watchers.