How To Spend 7 Days in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
How to spend 7 days in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is famous for hosting the biggest number of mountain gorillas in the world about half the total. Locally Bwindi means Impenetrable and the park is apt for this name. Bwindi Forest lies in the rugged Kigezi Highland of South Western Uganda protecting a continuum of forest that ranges from montane to lowland areas.
The sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
For gorilla trekking purposes, the vast Bwindi impenetrable forest was divided into different Gorilla trekking areas like the Ruhija area, Buhoma area, Nkuringo area, and Rushaga area.
All gorilla trekking areas in Bwindi either lie in the Northern Bwindi Sector or Southern Bwindi Sector. Each area also has gorilla trekking families visited by a maximum of 8 tourists per day. One needs a valid gorilla trekking permit to visit any of the aforementioned gorilla families. Gorilla permits are issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority on a first come first serve basis.
Birding in Uganda cannot be complete with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as this is the finest African bird destination. A number of birds like Rwenzori Batis, Red-faced Woodland, Western Green Tinkerbird, Collared Apalis, and others spend the day in this forest.
There are several tourist activities that can be done in Bwindi impenetrable National Park including gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation experience, bird watching, nature and forest walks, village walks as well as Batwa experience. Below is how one can spend 7 days in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
7 day safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Day 1 Drive To Bwindi Forest National Park
Day 2 Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest National park
Day 3 Birding in Bwindi National park
Day 4 Second Birding Day
Day 5 Buhoma Community Walk and cultural performance
Day 6 Departure
Details Of 7 Day Safari In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Day 1 Drive To Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Depart Kampala early morning to head for Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park. The park lies in Southwestern Uganda with a dense forest canopy.
Make a stop at Kayabwe to take photos standing at the Equator, perform the water experiment and continue the journey. Break off for lunch en route. On the way, you may meet a troupe of baboons, whose overtime interaction with humans has to lead them to adopt human behavior like begging or grabbing.
This drive from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 530 km and may last about 8 hours.
As you draw closer to the forests, there is a change in Altitude. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has an altitude of 1160 meters- 2607 meters above sea level. The park receives temperatures between 7 degrees centigrade to -20 degrees centigrade. Arrive at the park late evening to check in at your facility.
A number of accommodation facilities are available for booking in and outside Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The majority offer full board services but campsites have restaurant facilities.
Some accommodation facilities to book for gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park include
Clouds Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Engage lodge, Volcanoes Lodge, Gorilla View Lodge, Silver Back Lodge, Bwindi View bandas, Mantana Tented Camp, and Lake Kitandara Camp to mention but a few.
Day 2 Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Pack your gorilla trekking gear in a waterproof light bag and head to the ranger station for briefing. Together with other trekkers, the ranger guide will take you through the rules of gorilla trekking like no littering the forest, only one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas.
Follow the trail where the gorilla trekking family was last seen because they normally do not feed far from the previous day’s location.
A number of other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, olive baboons share the forest with the mountain gorillas.
You may identify some birds that pass by like White-tailed Ant thrush, Red faced Woodland Warbler, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Rwenzori Batis, Strange weaver.
When you locate the gorillas, change into a clean mask and watch the family members reach out to grab some bamboo, juveniles try to show off but do not touch any. The silver back may be watch from his hiding so do not go against the ranger guide’s advice.
Take as many photos as you can to freeze your moment on a gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi forest in Africa.
Return to your lodge to recap after a tiresome day in the jungle.
Day 3 Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National park
An early rise gives you chance to catch the early birds as they de-nest. Ruhija gorilla trekking area is the birding empire of Bwindi Forest, especially in the Mubwindi Swamp. Do not forget to carry packed lunch because return time is quite late
A variety of birds including Albertine endemics find safe haven in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. using your birding equipment like binoculars, you can spot even the small birds in the papyrus reeds.
Some birds you may get to identify by sound or physically include Cinnamon-Chested Bee eaters, Africa Sooty Fly catchers, Petite’s Cuckoo shrike, Canopy and Mid-storey flocks, Grauber’s Warbler, Banded prinia
Return to your lodge to relax.
Day 4 Second Birding day in Bwindi Forest National park
Take breakfast and head for another birding adventure in Bwindi forest. Bwindi forest being the Africa Birder’s haven deserves another day to identify birds you may have missed the previous day. Take your treats and gears.
You may have a chance to identify more birds like strange weavers, Eastern Mountain-Greenbul, Montana nightjar, Fraser Eagle-owl, Rwenzori hill Babbler, White-headed Woodhoope, Blue headed and regal sunbird, stuhlmann’s starling and Luehder’s Bush shrike. All day long you may identify over 100 bird species.
Head back to your lodge to relax
Day 5 Buhoma Community Walk and Cultural Performance
A moment to learn about the locals around Bwindi impenetrable National park and their rich heritage. Take a community walk through the close by villages with a local guide. This local community operates a village walk lasting about three hours.
Learn and take part in the day-to-day activities of the rural people around Bwindi. Take an excursion to a traditional healer, banana brewery, or homestead.
When organized in advance, traditional dancers give a colorful dance break. You may join the fiesta to stretch some muscles.
Your visit to this community is direct support to sensitizing the relevance of mountain gorilla conservation to the locals. The proceeds collected are used to do development projects that benefit the local community like water, road maintenance, and building schools to mention but a few.
Get back to your lodge
Day 6 Departure day
After gorilla trekking and birding in Bwindi impenetrable National Park return to Entebbe Airport to catch up with your home return flight.
How to Book Gorilla Trekking Permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
When you send us an Enquiry about gorilla trekking package with the dates you wish to do this safari, our Tours consultant checks availability from Uganda wildlife Authority. Our Turnaround time is 24 hours.
After forwarding feedback, booking the gorilla permits is only confirmed upon payment. The Uganda Wildlife Authority has a policy of first come first served so no permit is secured without payment.
Gorilla permit availability status changes any time as few permit are sold to the public each day even when the demand is high. They are sold according to area of trekking and each area has gorilla families each allowing a visit of maximum of 8 tourists. The cost of a Uganda gorilla trekking permit is $ 700 per person per trek.
How To Get To Bwindi Forest National park
Getting to Bwindi by Road
A number of routes are available for anyone heading for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park some of which are:
Kampala to Kabale to Kanungu to Buhoma
This tarmac road is 414 km from Kampala to Kabale but continues with a winding marram road for about 120 km through Kanungu and Kanyantorogo.
Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kihihi to Buhoma
If you have a safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park but have to proceed for gorilla trekking, this is the ideal route. Bwindi forest is about 160 km from Mweya and 64 km from Ishasha sector all in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Enroute chances of spotting tree climbing lions are high.
Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri to Kihihi to Buhoma
Taking this route takes about 8 hours without stops and it’s the most direct route from Kampala. Drive on the turmac road to Rukungiri for about 390 km then continue on a murram road to Buhoma for 82 km.
Kampala to Kabale to Rujija to Buhoma
This road is more remote going through Kabale to Rujiha and Buhoma for about 95 km. The road is in a poor condition
Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo
From Kabale, Nkuringo is about 150 km lasting about 4 hours on a winding murram road
At times travelers have a break in Kisoro which is 80 km from Nkuringo gorilla trekking area. This road is about 35km so any one can overnight here and do gorilla trekking the following day. The drive lasts about 1 hour and a half.
Scheduled Flights or Charter flights to Kisoro or Kihihi Airstrip
Daily domestic flights commence from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi. You can secure a seat on the scheduled flights in advance because at times during the peak season flights are overbooked. For more private up-market gorilla trekking packages, Charter flights can be booked in advance but all procedures necessary have to be arranged. Transfer by vehicle to the lodge in Bwindi is necessary because the flights do not land in Bwindi. All these arrangements require advance booking.
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