What to know about Bwindi National Park – Gorilla trekking in Uganda with Guaranteed Gorilla permits
What to know about Bwindi National Park – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of Uganda’s most spectacular conservation areas. It is situated in South-western Uganda along the Rift Valley. Its misty valleys feature Uganda’s ancient and most biodiversity tropical rainforest. Bwindi covers an area of about 331 square kilometers and mainly composed of montane and lowland forest, offering refuge to over 420 plant species, 120 mammal species including apes like Chimpanzees, Baboons, the rare Mountain Gorillas, Colobus monkeys, L’Hoests, Red tailed monkeys, Black and white colobus monkeys, Velvet monkeys as well as elephants and antelope family and 350 birdlife including the 23 Albertine Rift Endemic species, 1000 flowering plants, 104 fern species and 200 species of trees. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a UNESCO Heritage Site that lies between altitude 1160 and 2607 meters above sea level.
For any Uganda Gorilla safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, below are a few things you need to know before you plan your visit.
Trekking along with Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
For Uganda Mountain Gorilla safaris, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park offers refuge to about 550 individuals which represent about half of the total population that is believed to be still thriving in the World. Enjoy life time experiences, only 18 habituated Gorilla families are available for tourists to track every day in any of the four sectors of Buhoma in the North, Ruhija in the East, Nkuringo and Rushaga in the South. Each Gorilla family offers a different experience and if you have adequate time, you can visit more than one family while on your safari. Only 8 tourists are permitted to track one Gorilla family per day. For magical adventures, visitors are allowed to spend only one hour with these endangered apes in the wild. Gorilla tracking adventure is unpredictable. This adventure depends on the Gorilla family that is allocated to you and your level of physical fitness. For visitors who intend to visit Buhoma sector, the families for you to track are Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Katwe, and Binyindo Gorilla families. Ruhija sector comprises of the Oruzogo, Bitukura, Mukiza and Kyaguriro Gorilla families. In Rushaga sector which features as one of the best sectors for Gorilla tracking comes with Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahungye and Busingye Gorilla families. Nkuringo sector has got Christmas, Bushaho and Nkuringo Gorilla families. Besides, you can also engage in Gorilla Habituation Experience which is only conducted in Bwindi Forest which makes it one of the extra-ordinary National Parks for you to catch a glimpse of these rare species while in their natural habitat. Gorilla permits in Uganda are purchased at USD700 per person per trek and if you are interested in habituation experience, permits are sold at USD1500 per person per trek and only four people are allowed to participate in this activity per day.
Lake Bunyonyi and Lake Mutanda
After your Gorilla trek, you will become tired and you will need a better environment to chill and relax. If you are at Buhoma or Nkuringo sectors, Lake Bunyonyi is one of the best places for you visit to catch up with boat cruises and other several water sport activities to make you relax after that breath-taking adventure. Lake Bunyonyi is undoubtedly one of the natural wonders in the world. It comprises of about 29 islands. If you are at Ruhija or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, you can visit Lake Mutanda in Kisoro town. The exciting activities for you to engage in include boat rides, cycling, hiking and community walks.
Community and forest treks
what to know about Bwindi National Park – If you are interested in community walks or forest treks, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has a lot to offer. Explore in addition to Mountain Gorilla safaris. You can choose to trek personally but for safety reasons, you may need a guide and your lodge for guidance especially when it comes to routes. As you go deep into the forest, you may require hiking for instance if you are visiting the Muyanga waterfalls which departs from Buhoma, Rushura hill walk that passes via one forest shared by 2 nations, Buhoma-Nkuringo trek, Ivi River walk, Habinyanja trail and Muzubijiro loop which is next to trails used by the park wildlife. Those treks may require an armed park guide to make sure that you are safe. For community treks, they can be conducted without an armed guide provided that you follow the paths properly. You may also engage in bike ride treks with the local residents which reward visitors with yet exceptional experience.
The lodges in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has a wide range of accommodation and lodges, bandas and budget campsites, restaurants, craft stalls and guiding services for visitors who come for gorilla trekking and other safaris. There are several options ranging from budget, mid-range to luxury facilities. Some of the lodges are closely situated around the park and while planning your gorilla trek, make sure that you choose accommodation based on your preferred tracking sector. Some of the notable lodges for you to choose include Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Bwindi Guest House, Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Bwindi Camp and many more.
The people and culture
For authentic cultural experiences, you can visit the communities around the park and explore the Bakiga and Batwa pygmy’s cultural and traditional practices through performances, workshops and village walks. A cultural tour around the communities rewards you with exceptional cultural practices like the hunting and gathering techniques of the Batwa-the renowned forest dwellers who stayed for over 500000 years.
In conclusion, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is one of Uganda’s most exceptional destinations for you to experience more than Mountain Gorillas. With the above tips, we believe that you won’t be left out of choice given as you have a variety of exciting activities in offer for you to choose from to make your safari in Uganda very memorable. You can also visit Mgahinga National Park for Gorilla tracking experiences. Great Adventure safaris offers more detailed information about what you need to about Bwindi National Park in Uganda and gorilla trekking safaris.