BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK (The Ultimate Gorilla Experience)
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in the S Western part of Uganda, on the boundary of the Albertine Rift Valley, on an elevation array from 1.160 m to 2.607m. This is a genuine tropical rainforest, spread all over a series of steep ridges and valleys.
The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. It comprises 331 square kilometres (128 sq mi) of jungle forests and contains both montana and lowland forest and is accessible only on foot. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.
The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa
In the local language “bwindi” “mubwindi” means “dark place”, referring to the impenetrable nature of the thick forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Reserve was set up in 1942 and later on renovated to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1992. In 1994, it was acknowledged as the world Heritage site. What makes Bwindi Impenetrable is the fact that it covers an area of about 327km2 of scrambled vegetation draped over an intensively fissured landscape of the steep, haughty ridges as well as the slippery valleys and high.
The park is inhabited by a population of about 340 individual mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), known as the Bwindi population, which makes up almost half of all the mountain gorillas in the world. The rest of the worldwide mountain gorilla population is in the nearby Virunga National Park. A 2006 census of the mountain gorilla population in the park showed that its numbers had increased modestly from an estimated 300 individuals in 1997 to 320 individuals in 2002 to 340 individuals in 2006.
There are 11 species of primates, including chimpanzee, the monkey variants such as Hoest’s, red-tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, olive baboon. Specially, Bwindi is home to 360 Gorilla gorilla beringei*, a half of the total remaining world population. There are 346 species of birds registered (Bwindi contains 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics, hard to experience in any other place in East Africa) and 200 species of butterflies.
Gorilla tracking is the park’s main tourist attraction. Tourists wishing to track gorillas must first obtain a permit to do so. Selected gorillas families have been habituated to human presence and the number of visitors is tightly controlled to prevent degradation of the habitat and risks to the gorillas.
Tourists can visit the park any time throughout the year, although conditions in the park are more difficult during the rainy season. Available tourist accommodations include lodges, tented camps, and cheaper rooms run by the local community, located near the Buhoma entrance gate. The park is in a remote location, and reaching the park involves a long difficult journey
Access: 6 hour drive from Kampala to Kabale. Kabale to Buhoma Park HQ takes 3-4 hours and may require 4WD. Kabale – Ruhija – Buhoma takes about 3 hours. The public does not use this road much and a 4WD is needed. A bus leaves from Kampala to Butogota daily at circa 06:30 a.m. Otherwise you may travel by bus or matatu from Kampala to Kabale for circa Ush 12,000. From Kabale you can hire a car for about Ush 100,000, or take a pickup truck to Butogota. Public transport to Butogota is unpredictable, but most common on market days in Kabale. It is 18 kms from Butogota to Buhoma.