Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi impenetrable National park is located in south western Uganda in East Africa, in the district of Kanungu. Bwindi impenetrable National park is part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest along the border with Democratic Republic of Cong on the edge of the Albertine rift valley.

Bwindi impenetrable National covers a total area expanse of 321 square kilometers characterized with a thick tropical rain forest, moist montane vegetation and some areas covered with bamboo and shrubs.

It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1994 because of its rich diversity in sheltering different flora and fauna and being home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas in the whole world. It is also home to over 120 mammal species, 348 bird species, 220 butterfly species, 27 amphibian species, reptiles, 163 tree species, flowering plants among others.

Bwindi impenetrable National park can be accessed by air means or road means. From Entebbe international airport to Kihihi airstrip and connect to the areas of Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga for 1-2 hours.

Alternatively you can drive from Entebbe airport or Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Kabale to Bwindi Impenetrable National park for 8-9 hours drive.

What to do in Bwindi Impenetrable National park

Gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking is one of the major activities in Bwindi impenetrable National. Mountain gorillas and gorilla trekking is done only in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo in the whole world. In Uganda it is done Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park in south western Uganda.

Gorilla trekking is done in the 4 sectors including Buhoma sector in the north with 4 gorilla families, Ruhija sector in the east with 3 gorilla families, Nkuringo with 2 gorilla families and Rushaga sectors in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable National park with over 9 gorilla families making it all 18 gorilla families habituated for trekking.

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Gorilla trekking is done throughout the year but the most recommended time is during the months of January, February, June, July, August and December when there is little or no rainfall and the roads are less slippery.

Gorilla trekking starts in the morning at the park headquarters with briefing by the ranger guides about the rules and regulations of trekking gorillas, then head out to the forest in search of the endangered species in their natural habitats. On encounter with gorillas, you are allowed only 1 hour in their presence for observation and photography then return back to your lodge for the next activities.

Gorilla trekking permit costs 600 US dollars currently for foreign nonresidents, 500 US dollars for foreign residents and 250,000 for East African residents. Starting from 1 st July permits will cost 700 US dollars for foreign nonresidents and 600 US dollars for foreign residents per person. Gorilla trekking permits are obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority 6 months prior to the trekking date. Each gorilla family is allowed to only 8 members per day.

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Gorilla habituation

Gorilla habituation is the process where the gorillas are trained to get familiar to human beings during the trekking process.


Bwindi impenetrable National park is also a famous destination for gorilla habituation which is only done in Uganda and not in Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.


Gorilla habituation is done in Rushaga sector in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable National park where there 1 gorilla family Bushaho reserved for the habituation process.


Gorilla habituation in Bwindi impenetrable National park costs 1500 US dollars and allows only 4 hours in the presence of mountain gorillas as you learn about their behaviors and photography. It is also obtained from Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Batwa cultural experience and community tours

Batwa people are also referred to as the pygmies and the people of the forest because they were the first inhabitants of the forest who co-existed with the gorillas and wild animals in Bwindi and Mgahinga forests and lived in the forest for so many years. The batwa lived in harmony with the forest and survived by hunting small wild animals like squirrels, rabbits, bush pigs among others and gathering plants for food and medicine.

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Batwa cultural experience is normally done after gorilla trekking or you can organize a whole day trip to the batwa community. A day spent with the batwa gives you opportunity to hike in the forest to the batwa community guided by the batwa guides, learn about their way of life and how they carried out hunting and gathering and you are allowed to participate and try out your hunting skills and using bows and arrows


Visit the batwa home steads and learn on many things like cooking food, hand craft making, making fire, herbalists that make medicine and enjoy the traditional dances and ancient songs that they display to educate their children their traditional culture.

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Nature walks

There are various trails that lead to the different directions where you would what to tour into
the forest. There are trails leading to the magnificent water falls but normally guided by the
armed ranger guides just in case you dangerous wild animals.

There is also the Buhoma Nkuringo trail which may take you 3-4 hours passing through the National park where you also view many different wild animals, Muyanga water fall walk, Muzubijiro loop walk which is over 6km and get to meet the birds and primates.

There is also the Buniga forest nature walk in Nkuringo, the forest reserve adjacent to Bwindi impenetrable National park, there is Nyundo community Eco trails, king Bakyara’s water fall trails among others where you can do your guides nature walks.

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Birding

Bwindi impenetrable forest is a major spot for birding in Uganda and Africa as named by African Bird club. Bwindi forest is well known for birding because it is accessible and has the different areas including water falls where you the birds.

Bwindi impenetrable forest is home to 350 bird species including the 23 Albertine rift endemics and 14 of which are not found anywhere else in Uganda which are seen done on your birding safari guided by the guides in the community who are knowledgeable about the birds in their area.

Where to stay in Bwindi impenetrable National park.

Bwindi impenetrable National park has several accommodations in the different sectors where you can stay on your safari to the park. The accommodations range from luxury, midrange and budget which are strategically located and close to trekking points. They also have friendly atmospheres with the most exciting customer care and high quality facilities. The accommodations include:

Buhoma sector (north)

Silver back lodge
It is a luxury accommodation located in the northern part of the park. It is the latest added
property by Marasa Africa and it is 5 minutes’ walk to Bwindi impenetrable National park with
stunning views of the valley and forest that surround it.

Mahogany spring camp
A luxury accommodation established close to the entrance of Buhoma sector in Bwindi
impenetrable National park. Accommodations in Mahogany spring camp are in superior suites
and presidential suite

Buhoma lodge
It is a luxury accommodation located very close to the park entry point. It has 10 cottages each
with private veranda with the views of the forest, spacious, equipped with comfortable beds.

Gorilla forest camp
It is a luxury accommodation located at the entrance of Bwindi impenetrable National park
which makes it an ideal for gorilla trekking.

Volcanoes safari lodge
It is a luxury accommodation Situated in Buhoma sector north of the park. The accommodation
is presented in 8 bandas with views of the forest.

Buhoma Haven lodge
It is a midrange accommodation situated in Buhoma and 5 minutes’ walk from Buhoma town. It
offers accommodations to travelers that visit Bwindi impenetrable National park.

Ruhija sector (East)

Bakiga lodge
It is a midrange accommodation offering affordable accommodations to the travelers that visit
Bwindi impenetrable National park. It is built on top of a beautiful valley overlooking Bwindi
impenetrable National park and a few minutes to the trekking points.

Agandi lodge
A new Eco friendly lodge in Ruhija sector located a few minutes from the briefing point. It offers
typically African accommodation only made with local material and art including huts, volcanic
cottages and tree nests.

Broadbill forest camp
It is a midrange lodge located in Ruhija sector on the eastern edge of Bwindi impenetrable
forest. The camp is calm and peaceful with stunning views of Bwindi impenetrable forest which
is suitable for relaxation while enjoying wildlife.

Rushaga sector (south)

Chameleon Hill lodge
It is located on the shores of Lake Mutanda overlooking Lake Mutanda, Virunga National park
and Bwindi impenetrable National park. It is a luxury accommodation with over 10 private
cottages

Rushaga gorilla safari lodge
Rushaga gorilla safari lodge is a luxury accommodation located on the boundary line of Bwindi impenetrable forest home to the highest number of mountain gorillas in Uganda and in the world. The lodge offers accommodation in 8 spacious luxurious suites with verandas allowing excellent views of the park and the magical forest.

Bwindi jungle lodge
It is located on Lake Murehe about 10 kms from Kisoro town and 20kms from the southern gate of Bwindi impenetrable National park in Rushaga and Nkuringo

Ichumbi gorilla lodge
Gorilla trekking is the main activity in Bwindi impenetrable National park and Ichumbi gorilla lodge offers comfortable accommodation while preparing your gorilla trekking. It is located just 10 minutes from Rushaga gate, it offers excellent services, comfortable accommodation among others.

Rushaga gorilla camp
Rushaga gorilla camp is situated in Rushaga sector in the southern park of Bwindi impenetrable National park. It is a midrange accommodation overlooking Bwindi impenetrable forest and excellent location for your gorilla trekking experience.

Nkuringo sector (south)

Clouds mountain gorilla lodge.
It is a top notch accommodation located in the remote area of Nkuringo and at 2000 meters above sea level. It is a luxury accommodation and highest lodge in Uganda overlooking the 8 Virunga ranges and Bwindi impenetrable National park.

Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge.
Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge is located on the Nteko ridge overlooking the beautiful Bwindi impenetrable forest. The lodge has panoramic views of the volcanoes of the Virunga ranges, it comprises of 8 cottages, 3 villas made up of 2 superior cottages and 1 family all made with hand crafted local material with en suite bathrooms, private verandas, fire places among others.