TOP THINGS TO DO IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
There are a number of top things or activities to do in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park Uganda. These include, gorilla trekking, Hiking, birding and nature/ forest walks. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home to half of the endangered mountain gorillas and so a number of tourists’ flock the park to have a life time encounter with the gorillas. Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site with many activities that all visitors need to add on their itinerary to make their safari trip to Uganda or Africa complete.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in south western Uganda harboring over 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies and over 200 tree species. Below are some of the top things to do in Bwindi national park.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking is the most sought after activity in Bwindi forest. Mountain gorillas are only found in three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. More than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas lives in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. A number of gorilla families have been habituated and opened for trekking. Each family is visited by 8 people who are allowed only one hour with the gorillas once found but the whole trekking process may last up to 6 hours. Gorilla trekking is done in the four sectors, Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. All visitors going for trekking are required to buy gorilla permits that cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and 250000 Ugsh for east African citizens.
Gorilla habituation is the process of training gorillas to get used to human presence. The process takes up to 2 years after which gorillas are opened for trekking. Gorilla habituation is done by experienced rangers and researchers. Visitors are allowed to take part and they get to spend up to 4 hours with these endangered species. You get to learn about their behaviors, feeding habits and they daily lives. Gorilla habituation permits go for $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and Ugx 750000 for East African citizens. The gorilla habituation experience happens in southern part of Bwindi, in Rushaga gorilla trekking sector. You will be amazed to encounter and spend good time with Bikingi gorilla family accompanied by senior trackers, guide and researcher.
Bwindi is one of the top birding spots in Uganda with over 350 bird species inclusive of 23 Albertine Rift endemics. There are many trails along around bwindi where birding is done. Each trail will reward you with new bird species. The birding trail include; Mubwindi swamp trail, Buhoma waterfall trail, Rushura trail and more. Some of the birds you may expect to see in Bwindi are African Emerald Cuckoo, common Bulbul, Rwenzori hill barbra, Short tailed warbler, Mountain masked Apalis, African green broadbill, Bar tailed trogon, turaco and more,
The communities around Bwindi national park are inhabited by the Bakiga, Bafumbira and the Batwa who were the first inhabitants of the forest before it was gazzeted as a national park. Visiting the Batwa people allows you to learn about their traditional lifestyle in the forest and their current living styles.
Nature/ Forest Walks and Hiking
Bwindi impenetrable national park has a lot of undiscovered beautiful nature and visitors are given a chance to get close to this nature through the forest walks and hiking. A number of trails are open for visitors to trek such as the Ivi river trail, Rushura hill walk, Habinyanja trail and so many more. Visitors are led by park guides to help them through the trails as they interpret nature.