Bwindi Impenetrable National park is situated in the
south western Uganda, on the edge of the Western Rift
valley known as Albertine rift and is shared by Kanungu,
Kabale and Kisoro districts. It is 331 square kilometers
n size and on an altitude range of 1,160 metres (Ishasha
gorge) to 2,607 metres temperature range is 7 C°
-20C° with the coldest period being June and July.
Of the local people neighbouring the park, the majority
are Bakiga and Bafumbira, constituting the most dense
settlements in Uganda (350 people / square Kilometre)
a few Batwa are also found.
Bwindi is home to about 340 gorillas, almost a half
of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.
There are also about 346 species of birds and over
200 species of butterflies. This afromontane forest
has dense under storey of fern, vines and shrubs.
About 324 tree species have been recorded here, 10
of which occur nowhere else in Uganda.
This is the major tourist activity in Bwindi, with
four (4) Gorilla groups currently available daily
for tourists. The major three are:
- Mubare group with 10 gorillas
, and I silverback was opened for tourism in 1993
- Habinyanja group with 10 gorillas,
and 1 silverback was opened in July 2002, while
- Nkuringo group with 19 gorillas,
2 silverbacks was opened for tourism in April 2004.
Book at least 3 months but not more than two years
in advance to ensure that requested dates are available.
Departure times: 9.00a.m and 2.15p.m
in Bwindi can be challenging, therefore ensure physical
fitness. Gorilla tracking experience starts at 8.30a.m
local time and can last from a few hours to a whole
day! Registration at the gate commences at 7.45 a.m.
What to bring
- Wear jungle shoes suitable for
steep muddy slopes and carry a rain jacket because
the park is often wet.
- Put on ear plugs for those who
feel uncomfortable with jungle sounds.
- Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion,
a hat (as the weather is un predictable) and insect
- Carry packed lunch.
For conservation reasons,
visits to the gorillas are tightly controlled. The
following rules apply and must be strictly adhered
- No one with a communicable disease
(e.g. Flu, diarrhoea) is allowed to enter the park.
- Stay together in a tight group
while with the gorillas, don’t surround them.
- Don’t use flashes while
photographing the gorillas.
- Don’t eat or smoke when
with the gorillas or within a distance of 2000 metres
from the gorillas.
- Turn away from the gorillas if
you have to sneeze or cough. cover your nose and
mouth in the process.
- Burry all human feaces a minimum
of one foot deep and ensure that the hole is properly
- Don’t leave litter. All
litter must be carried out of the park and disposed
- No person under 15 years is allowed
to track gorillas.
- Don’t make loud noise or
- You are allowed a maximum of I
hour with gorillas.
- Don’t spit on vegetation
or soil while in the park, use hankie or other garment.
- Your group must not be more that
6 tourists and must all be over 15 years old.
For the visitor who has 2 or 3 days in Bwindi, the
park has 4 fantastic hiking trails. On all these trails,
you have opportunities to see and learn about primates,
many species of birds, butterflies, trees and other
organism. Arrange at the reception for a guide. The
guide's company is obligatory and affords you an excellent
Book at least 3 months (but not more than two years)
of nature’s system at work in the park.
The Munyaga river
trail is an ideal short walk for visitors with little
time to spare. Here you can see birds and primates
of the forest edge.
The popular waterfall trail provides
an attractive feature of the forest with a profusion
of tree ferns, epithytic ferns, orchids and Bwindi's
colourful array of butterflies. This trail which leads
to 3 delightful crystal clear waterfalls typifies
your impression of a tropical rainforest.
The Rushura trail
commands expansive views across the western rift valley
floor. To the west, Congo’s parc Nationale des
Virunga provides a spectacular backdrop and on clear
days Edward and the Rwenzori Mountains are visible.
The 5.2 km Muzabajro Loop
trail offers breath taking views of Bwindi Forest,
Western Rift valley and the Virungas. On the way,
you witness hundreds of prehistoric tree ferns. The
top of this trail is a great place for a picnic lunch.
The River Ivi trail,
so far the longest in the park, will occupy you for
a full day. It is highly recommended for bird watchers.
village Tourist Walk
The village tourist walk, takes up to three hours,
is managed by the local community and the proceeds
received here are ploughed into the community to improve
on their welfare.
The walk introduces
you to a number of interesting sites such as a typical
rural homestead, a visit to the local traditional
healer, a banana beer brewing demonstration site and
In the evenings, participate in captivating traditional
performances presented by Women and Orphan groups.
Proceeds from these g directly to improve the welfare
of the families around the park.
trail in your car
Visitors with their own 4-wheel drive vehicles should
consider crossing the rugged centre of the park through
Ruhija. This transect affords the visitor to see Uganda’s
finest vistas of deep undisturbed forests. Watch out
for duikers, primates and both forest and grassland
bird species. At Ruhija, visitors (especially birders)
can take three – hour scenery packed hike to
the Mubwindi swamp. Visitors may also walk to the
Bamboo trail offers 14 vegetation types annd is one
of the areas of highest diversity in the park. at
the top of this trail, you witness panoramic views
encompassing L.Bunyonyi and Mafuga forest.
Bwindi is the Bird watchers haven! It holds 346 species
of birds and contains 90% of all Albertine rift endemics,
difficult or impossible to see in any other part of
East Africa; and even IUCN red data listed species.
An experienced bird watcher can identify up to 100
species in a day! Visit Ruhija and Buhoma for this
dream. Indicate your interest to the park management
so that appropriate early morning departures can be
Accommodation and meals
There are a number of choices to cater for the upmarket
as well as the budget tourists’ accommodation.
This is a self Guest house which must be booked in
advance through Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kampala.
Savanna Resort Hotel is 43 kms to Buhoma and is adjacent
to Ishasha sector, of Queen Elizabeth National park.
to Bwindi Impenetrable National park
We assume you are starting from Kampala to Kabale
is a distance of 414 km on bitumen surface and takes
6- 7 hours. Ann additional 120 km from Kabale to Buhoma
Park Headquarters via kanungu and Kanyantoroogo on
murram surface takes 3 – 4 hours and may require
a 4WD vehicle. Kabale – Ruhija – Buhoma
is 95 kilometres and takes about 3 - 4 hours. This
road is not frequently used by the public. A 4WD vehicle
There is also a bus from Kampala to Butogota. Taxis
for hire are available for about $US 15 from Butogota
to Buhoma Park Headquarters. You may travel by bus
or public taxi from Kampala to Kabale. In Kabale you
can hire a car at about US$ 50, or take taxi to Butogota.
Public transport to Butogota is unpredictable, but
most common on Thursdays. Arrange in advance to be
picked from Buhoma after visit; you don’t have
your own vehicle.
Niche Africa Holidays,
being a tour operator based in this region offers
safaris in a 4x4 land cruisers to Bwindi from Kampala.
Some of the safaris are as follows:-