LARGE GROUP SAFARIS TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Large group safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park explained. Gazetted as a forest reserve in 1942 long before Uganda got her independence from British colonial masters in 1962, Bwindi has grown by leaps and bounds into a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site of unimaginable global ecological value. In the indigenous community dialect, “Mu Bwindi” loosely translates to the place of complete darkness or hazy visibility; a direct reference to thick rainforests covered in clouds of mist. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covering an average 330km2 geographical area is located southwest of Uganda. With astounding conic volcanic mountains of undisturbed serenity, the Bwindi forest is a natural habitat that attracts travelers in search of mammals, colorful birds, unique insects, reptiles amongst others. The bwindi impenetrable national park welcomes all categories of adventurers through large group safaris that need extra safari planning with a travel agency, great safari experiences, and current updates to offer high-quality service.
About Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Highlands: Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the Kigezi highlands on the edge of Virunga volcanic. The Bwindi region is notable for iconic tip-pointed hills and mountains an effect of historical volcanic activity. Exploring any mountain with stiff cliffs and gullies is challenging on any normal day. Thick rainforests cover volcanic mountains in Bwindi with unpredictable weather patterns. Rains pour at will in rainforests; vegetation thrives and grows thicker while soils become extremely slippery. Members on group safaris into the Bwindi may need some degree of body fitness and the ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions.
Rainforests: thick rainforest of the Bwindi area is like no other on Ugandan soil. The Bwindi rainforest is so thick, captivating, raising curiosity, and inviting. Adventurers on tour into Uganda cannot resist the magnet to simply explore deep into the world of the unknown and make their own discoveries. Large groups on a tour of the Bwindi rainforest need to be aware of a large population of wildlife species resident in the forest; mountain gorillas, forest elephants, forest buffalos, reptiles, biting and stinging insects, and poisonous plants amongst others.
Weather: Uganda lies in the African tropics. Assumed to have equatorial climatic conditions because of geolocation along the equator line that bisects Uganda, Uganda is actually largely tropical weather with two rainy and two dry seasons annually. Several factors like plant and vegetation cover, altitude, open water bodies, and human impact on vegetation cover other than the movement of the sun along the equator line are also a big influence in the weather conditions of a place. The long rainy season with thick cloud cover, poor visibility, thunderstorms, heavy coldness, heavy showers long hours, landslides, rain runoffs, and flooding valleys starts mid-March through May. Short rains with tamed intensity begin late September to November. During the rainy season, dirt roads get messed up, travel is disrupted, venturing outdoors is hard, safari business reduces, and some safari camps offer discounts. The rainy season is ideal for large groups traveling to Bwindi impenetrable national park.
Uganda’s long dry season runs from June to September and the brief dry season starts mid-December to February. The sky is dry season clears of clouds, there is increased sunshine and a rise in temperature, dirt roads get thick clouds of dust, some trees shed leaves, visibility is clear and the fruiting of many trees coincides with the dry season. Wildlife safaris into Bwindi hit top levels, safari camps get fully booked and Bwindi bursts with large numbers of adventurers. Large group safaris into Bwindi impenetrable national park need proper planning bearing in mind climatic and weather conditions at particular times in relation to the safari activities they intend to take part in.
Indigenous community: a large part of Bwindi is 3302km north and the eastern sector is largely in the Kigezi highland area with Bakigaas the indigenous community. The Bakiga are a warm, welcoming, cheerful and hardworking community. The Bakiga are a largely subsistence food crop growing community with Irish potatoes, sorghum, sweet potatoes, beans, cowpeas, bananas, cassava, coffee, tea, and vegetables amongst their main crops. Many homesteads keep few livestock; cows, goats, sheep, chickens, pigs as insurance for unforeseeable calamities. The Bafumbira community inhabits south and western edges of the Bwindi forest extending beyond the Ugandan international border into Rwanda and DR Congo. Like their Bakiga counterparts, the Bafumbira are also a subsistence crop growing community with sorghum, cassava, banana, maize, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, wheat, vegetables, beans, and groundnuts among their main grown crops. The Bafumbira homesteads also keep few livestock; cows, goats, sheep, and chicken. The Batwa, close cousins of the Bambuti community of the larger Ituri forests of the Congo basin, are a unique community of indigenous Ugandans with ancestral homesteads in the Bwindi forests. In their traditional forest settings, the Batwa lived a fruit-gathering, game hunting, and fishing hand-to-mouth lifestyle sharing wilderness habitat with mountain gorillas, elephants, and other wildlife in Bwindi forests. The Batwa, whose traditional lifestyle is on the edge of extinction, vacated deep forests and settled on edges to give room to Bwindi wildlife protection and conservation. Large group safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable national park explore the different indigenous communities to make new discoveries, share life experiences, empower the indigenous communities with finances, and boost wildlife protection and conservation efforts.
The Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the Kigezi highlands and has challenges with road movement and connectivity. The park has four sectors in strategic locations to ease the provision of services;
Sectors of Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Buhoma Sector located north of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Kanungu district is the headquarters of the park. The successful habitation of the Mubare group in 1992 in Buhoma was a great milestone in Uganda’s wildlife safaris. It marked the beginning of mountain gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Originally, a small village inhabited by the indigenous Bakiiga community, Buhoma has reaped from the mountain gorilla and other wildlife tourism activities. Buhoma boasts of improved travel on a dirt road network, a power grid line, running tap water, a hospital with improved health services, different qualities of safari camps, an urban trading center with all basic services, and an increased population with improved skills and high-quality services. With a wide range of activities; gorilla trekking, bird watching, hiking, nature walk, community visits (Batwa community) amongst others, and improved quality of lifestyles, the Buhoma sector is a perfect rendezvous for large group safaris into Bwindi national park.
Ruhiija Sector with gently sloping hills unlike other sectors of Bwindi impenetrable national park is located east in the Rubanda district. Ruhiija sector is easily accessible with a dirt road passing the edge of the park offices and the gorilla trekking assembling point. Set in laid-back natural settings, the Ruhiija sector has several safari camps offering high-quality hospitality service to a wide range of visitors. Ruhiija sector rainforest is less thick with gently sloping hills and ideal for large group safaris with mobility challenges and an opportunity to explore the purity of the wilderness. Although the Ruhiija sector has few mountain gorilla groups, each gorilla group has a high population of individuals. Ruhiija sector with colorful and hard-to-spot forest bird species is a very popular large group destination for bird-watching safaris.
Rushaga Sector: forms the southerly boundaries of Bwindi impenetrable national park in Kisoro district. Rushaga sector is at the highest elevation in altitude of Bwindi forest, has the lowest temperature, and possibly the most challenging terrain that offers the most authentic mountain gorilla trekking challenges. With 8 mountain gorilla groups of habituated mountain gorillas, the Rushaga sector has the highest number of mountain gorillas for mountain gorilla trekking expeditions. Multiple safari camps offering a wide range of services give large group adventurers varied options for accommodation. For large group travelers into Bwindi, the Rushaga sector is possibly the first point of call because of her large selection of mountain gorillas groups than other sectors. Rushaga is the only sector offering mountain gorilla habituation expeditions.
Nkuringo Sector in Kisoro district forms the western extremes of Bwindi forest close to international boundaries with DR Congo. Nkuringo sector currently with one mountain gorilla group is another high altitude area and possibly the most remote of the sectors. Large group travelers in need of mountain gorilla trekking experiences in Nkuringo need to make extra efforts to be in the 8 only slots available each day. Nkuringo sector has some unique and rare mountainous forest bird species and is very popular for bird-watching expeditions. A few high-end and mid-range safari camps offer a wide range of services.
Activities for Large group tours in Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Mountain gorilla trekking safaris: Interacting with mountain gorillas is only possible in their natural wilderness settings; globally available in Virunga massif and Bwindi impenetrable national park. More than 53% of the world’s total mountain gorilla population inhabits the thick forests of Bwindi impenetrable national park. The Mountain gorilla trekking expedition is a group activity limited to 8 individuals per day. Individuals who make prior confirmed bookings must be of sound health, above 15 years of age, and able to follow other mountain gorilla trekking regulations. Adventurers in large group safaris split up into smaller groups to carry on mountain gorilla trekking expeditions in a single day.
Mountain gorilla habituation expeditions: mountain gorillas in their natural settings are shy, protective, and feel insecure with humankind’s presence. Habituation is a periodic physical exercise where groups of skilled scientific research teams tame wildlife to make them used to human presence. Mountain gorilla habituation is an exciting though rigorous and tiring exercise that gives a limited number of adventurers opportunities to move along researching teams as they go about their routine interaction with mountain gorillas. Though largely a group activity, mountain gorilla habituation regulations limit large group visitors to only 6 per day. Teams on mountain gorilla habituation expeditions rise up early morning to link up with the gorillas in their overnight nests. The group spends the rest of the day interacting with and moving in the footsteps of mountain gorillas until evening.
Bird watching safaris; The Bwindi forests formerly touched the Ituri forests of the Congo rain basin but human settlements split them up. The Bwindi forest is an intersection between the East African savannas and West African rainforests vegetation. A handful of very rare and beautiful bird species with both East and West African origins are easier to spot in the Bwindi forest than anywhere. With more than 23 forest endemic bird species, Bwindi forest is an Important Birding Area in Uganda and a top destination for large group bird-watching expeditions. Large groups bird watching safaris are possible but split up into smaller manageable groups to ease mobility in the forested Bwindi environment.
Forest walks /Hiking expeditions: Bwindi impenetrable national park with more than 300 tree and plant species is a unique habitat with a rich wildlife presence. At 330km2 Bwindi does not boast of large area coverage. However, what Bwindi forest lacks in area coverage, she compensates for with high wildlife species presence notably; more than 150 mammals, 350 birds, 50 reptiles, 300 butterflies, and 80 moth species. The steep volcanic mountains look threatening and the rainforests are eye-catching and inviting. The combination raises adventure adrenaline and large groups of adventurers cannot resist the temptation to drown in the wilderness, explore and make individual discoveries. Large groups of adventurers have an opportunity to explore other unique natural features notably waterfalls, and craters or hike into the mountains to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Voluntarism; Bwindi impenetrable national park is located a distance away from urban areas with improved health, trade, education, entertainment, and other social services. The indigenous have limited exposure to lifestyles outside their usual environments. Voluntarism is one of the mediums of skills and technology transfer to empower indigenous communities to rise to global challenges. Large group specialists in health, bakery, knitting, entertainment and sports, education, and wildlife management amongst others have an opportunity to visit communities around Bwindi forests, interact with communities, share life experiences and improve livelihood.
Road travel to Bwindi impenetrable national park sometimes is an adventure of its own. It is an average 9 hours of road travel from Kampala in the east on paved tarmac roads to the nearest big towns of Kisoro, Rukungiri, and Kabale. From then on dirt roads with bumps in some places access the 4 Bwindi sectors. Large groups traveling to Bwindi need to make thorough consultations about weather patterns and make appropriate choices of means of travel; private bus, mini bus, safari vans or safari land cruisers. Kihiihi town north of Buhoma sector and Kisoro town south of Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors have airstrips with scheduled light craft flights that connect to the rest of Uganda. Contact Encounter Africa safaris for details about Large group safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable national Park.