Reasons Why You Should Visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park In Uganda
Visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a key Uganda safari destination selection hence reasons you should visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Gorilla trekking is the main Uganda safari activity only done in two parks, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in the southwestern corner of Uganda.
The Park is a habitat for more than half the total number of mountain gorillas in the world. This forested Nation park is a biosphere reserve on the celebrated remnant of the ice age era.
Most Popular Safaris
Over ten primate species are inhabitants of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some include mountain gorillas, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, olive baboons, chimpanzees, black and white colobus, LHoest’s, and red-tailed monkeys.
Bwindi forest fauna is tangled in vegetation that drapes over ridges, plateaus, and slippery valleys, which may cause a challenge sometimes.
During the gorilla trekking adventure, you walk through a thick forest, feeling the fresh breeze from this natural forest.
A part of wildlife, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has sparkling waterfalls formed by the dense network of rivers that include the area’s water catchment point.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ranks among the premier African safari adventures.
What To Do In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest
The magnetic pull of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is gorilla trekking. Being a large forest, the administrative work of this thick and vast forest and its activities was challenging. Therefore, Bwindi National Park was subdivided into the Buhoma area, the Ruhijah area, the Rushaga area, and the Nkuringo area.
It’s through these areas that gorilla permits are sold. So before reserving accommodation for your gorilla trekking safari, you must know where your permit is secured. This prevents you from rising very early to drive and catch up with a briefing in another area.
Currently, 18 gorilla families are fully habituated and open for tourism. You must get a gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority to participate in gorilla trekking. Only a maximum of 8 tourists are allowed to go gorilla trekking per gorilla family per day.
How much Is A Gorilla Permit for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Bwindi Impenetrable national park gorilla permit costs $800 per person per trek for foreign nonresidents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents.
This gorilla permit cost includes park fees, gorilla conservation fees, ranger guide fees, security, and one hour with the mountain gorillas.
The price for a gorilla permit excludes tipping, transport, drinks, porters, and any other items of personal nature.
Can I Purchase the Gorilla permit For Bwindi Impenetrable National Park In Instalments?
Paying for a gorilla permit in installments is okay for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as long as you purchase it 90 days before the day of trekking. You must remember to top up fully 90 days before trekking or stand to lose it.
Is Gorilla Trekking Permit Reschedule Possible for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Yes, rescheduling your gorilla trekking permit for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is allowed if you follow the procedure below.
Write to the Uganda wildlife authority about why you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit date.
Attach evidence in case you wish to back up your request.
When you are replied with a go-ahead, you must know the date to which you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit.
You are given one other chance in case you wish to reschedule your gorilla permit again. The third rescheduling calls for a 25% surcharge of the total gorilla permit cost.
Mountain Gorilla Habituation Safari in Bwindi impenetrable national Park
Gorilla habituation is getting wild mountain gorillas used to human presence without altering their nature.
During the gorilla habituation safari, tourists accompany trackers and habituation to follow a semi-habituated gorilla family in the forest. Only four tourists are allowed to participate in gorilla habituation for the day. This takes only 4 hours when you locate the mountain gorillas. Expect wild behaviors like going into hiding because these mountain gorillas still have extremely wild behaviors.
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, only two gorilla families in the southern part of the Park are open for gorilla habituation.
What Is the cost Of a Gorilla Habituation Permit for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Each Gorilla habituation Permit for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park costs $1500 per person per trek.
This cost includes 4 hours with the mountain gorillas, ranger guide fees, security, and mountain gorilla conservation fund support, to mention but a few.
The cost of the gorilla habituation permit excludes tipping, transport, drinks, packed lunch, and others.
Uganda Birding In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi forest offers some of Africa’s montane forest birding and is also a prime Uganda Birding destination. Uganda is believed to be hosting over 1000 bird species, a list that may be bigger than the bird population of entire Europe.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park currently hosts over 350 bird species, including about 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic species.
The Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a key highlight of any Uganda birding trip with a tremendously conducive environment. You may spot several birds when you take the road from Kabale to Ruhija. In addition, the Mubwindi swamp hike is a birder’s haven as you go through the bamboo zone to Afromontane vegetation.
Some birds you may identify in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest include Handsome Francolin, pink-footed puff back, White-napped raven, Rwenzori Turaco, African hill babbler, Cassin’s rey flycatcher, African green broadbill, Western Green Timber bird and others.
Nature Walks In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
With a guided, relaxed walk in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you may observe other interesting forest spots like waterfalls, beautiful views, spot birds, a variety of monkeys, and so much more. A few of these forest walks include:
Munyanga River Trail begins from Buhoma and then follows the forest edges. You may spot many stunning points, monkeys, and others with this.
Waterfall Trail passes beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns, orchids to sparkling falls, among others.
Muzabajiro Loop trail, where you climb to the summit of Rukubira Hill and enjoy the breathtaking views of Bwindi forest, enjoy the fantastic view of western rift valley plus the Virunga ranges. The Virunga ranges six, and some of them include Mountain Gahinga, Mountain Muhabura, Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Karisimbi, Mountain Bisoke, and others.
River Ivi Trail takes the old road route through stunning forest views and comes out from the Nkuringo area in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Local community walk
To include the local community in the mountain gorilla conservation campaign, local community visits for tourists are present. As a result, the tourists are immersed in the daily life of locals around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. To conserve the endangered mountain gorillas, the local community must be sensitized to the relevance of protecting them and their environment.
Some of the community walks include:
Buhoma community walk and cultural performances.
The locals operate this walk taking visitors into the village to glimpse what they do for a living. Some of the points you may visit include; a traditional healer, a banana brewery, visit a homestead, and others. In addition, you may attend a local cultural dance performance, but this is upon arrangement.
Nkuringo Community Walks
In the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you may visit a blacksmith, beer brewery, traditional healer, and others.
When Is the Best Time To Visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is open all year round for every activity, but people prefer the dry season. This tropical rainforest is known for receiving rain anytime without warning. The forest gets less humid during dry seasons, typically June to September and December to January.
The traits used for gorilla trekking and other activities may be less slippery and soil not soggy. In addition, the rivers flow within their boundaries because of less rain received in this period.
Most of the forest dwellers are active in Bwindi forest and may be seen moving around the forest searching for a day’s meal or going about there day to day activities.
Combining gorilla trekking with other Uganda safari activities like game drives is more interesting in the dry season.
For those hoping to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the wet season, which is usually March to May, these are some of the benefits;
If you have a limited budget but wish to enjoy upper-class services, this is more possible in the low season when chances of receiving discounted prices are more open. In addition, some safari services providers like accommodation, vehicle hire, and ranger guides may offer discounts.
The chances of going on an unprepared solo gorilla trekking experience are more open in the low season when fewer people are booked for the day.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
The time of locating the mountain gorillas in Bwindi’s impenetrable National Park is still being determined because of different factors in the forest. The gorilla feeding area’s proximity may push them closer or further into the wilderness from the trek starting point.
The prevailing weather condition of Bwindi Forest whereby the ground may be slippery and soggy during the severe rainy season. This may delay your time to reach where the mountain gorillas may spend the days.
Some level of patience is necessary during gorilla trekking to succeed in locating where the mountain gorillas may be.
How Difficult Is Trekking Through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s topography is generally volcanic, so the soils are soft. However, when it rains, the ground is sometimes slippery and soggy. During the trek, you may occasionally have to hike some ridges and plateaus. It would be best to carry safari boots that can go through such conditions and not cause a twisted ankle as you move.
Do exercises to stretch your muscles more to find the mountain gorillas or golden monkeys.
What To Pack For A Safari In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
- Safari boots that can withstand the boggy conditions in the wilderness.
- Rainproof wear because the weather conditions of this forest change anytime without warning.
- Warm clothes like a shawl or jacket because temperatures in this Park sometimes drop up to 7 degrees centigrade.
- Insect repellant to keep away buzzing insects in the wilderness that may sting you
- Rainproof backpack to keep in your gorilla trekking gear and hand them to a porter in case you need to.
- Some cash in case you need to do on-ground transactions. Credit cards are rarely used in Africa because of the lengthy procedure of obtaining money from them.
- A pair of stockings to tack in your trousers to prevent insects from crawling into your clothes.
- When you trip and fall, garden gloves protect your palms from touching contaminated surfaces.
- First aid box with emergency items in case you need assistance.
- Duffel bag to carry with your belongings in case you get no help.
- Pajamas to wear when going to bed should be warm enough to protect you from getting cold.
Which Are The Donts Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
- No dumping garbage in Bwindi Forest as it’s the productive ground for foliage on which mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers feed.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the forest dwellers, especially the mountain gorillas.
- Spitting on soil or vegetation is forbidden because you may pass germs to the primates in the wilderness.
- Never use flash photography in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park because you may scare the mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers.
- Do not surround the mountain gorillas when you find them. They get agitated and move into the deeper ends of the forest.
- Only children of 15 years and above are allowed to see the mountain gorillas.
- One hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you see them. This is because they are habituated to being in front of humans for just that one hour.