BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi impenetrable national park is found in western Uganda in Kanungu district. It was gazzeted in 1942 and later 1992 was upgraded to Bwindi impenetrable NP and by 1994, it was recognized as the World Heritage Site in Uganda.
The Bwindi forest is found on the rim of the Albertine rift valley, the western branch of the east African rift valley at the elevation ranging from 1160-2607 meters, 3806 -8553 ft. The hillsides which are mist covered are sheltered by one of the ancient and very biologically varied rainforest in Uganda that are estimated to be about 25000 years comprising of about 400 different plant species. The most interesting thing about this national park is that it harbors over 320 mountain gorillas approximately half of those in the whole world. This makes it an interesting and easy game park for gorilla trekking. The meaning of the ward Bwindi means darkness and coming to this marvelous place, you will know it was named so. In addition to the gorillas, there are over 346 bird species and more than 200 butterfly species, 324 tree species and notably ten of these species are only found here in the whole country. No visitor has ever complained spending a time with these fascinating mountain gorillas, the same place habituate over 120 other mammals among these include primates like baboon chimps. Elephants Antelopes and many other animals are here too
ACTIVITIES AT BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
This is an interesting activity when visited Bwindi impenetrable NP from hike to the jungle itself looking for endangered mountain gorilla with the help and guidance of ranger, guides and trackers. This an activity done by visitors in different sectors at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park like, Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushago and Nkuringo trekking sectors. The choice of the place to trek is done by the visitor according the way how he or she enjoys trekking be of more benefit. The four gorilla trekking regions making total of 24 families as of 2022
Visitors are advised to book their trekking permits before their time of arrival in Uganda through a trustworthy tourism company or any tour agent with registered company. The permits can be paid in two years’ advance.
Only eight people are allowed to trek in a group and must be grown up people of 15 years, above and trekkers are given one hour to spent their desired experience with the gorillas for a particular group
Trekking is unpredictable which may take from 2-8 hour depending on the place where these mountain gorillas had gone in urge to look for food and each trekking group should consist of 8 visitors. Because these gorillas can contract human diseases, visitors are advised to make sure they are in good conditions health wise and in case they are having any disease, they are advised to hold the trip and reschedule when in good conditions. Visitors are also advised to carry their own lunch raincoats, and all materials needed to walk in the jungle at their own expense
The Batwa forest and culture experience
These were the original native of place before it was set into a game park and before the Bantu settlement. They had lived in this land for thousands of years. The Batwa people are pygmies who were hunters, gatherers and lived in the forests of the southwestern Uganda and even beyond to Democratic Republic of Congo. These people left a small ecological footprint on the forest and lived in harmony with nature. Many of them are working as tourist guides rangers, in case they guide you in a visit, they will explain more about the culture and how they used to live in these jungle. Traditional ways of hunting, gathering fruits in ancient age of their grand ancestors so many issues. the Batwa experience is carried out in Buhoma and many times the activity is taken outside the park. You will get the chance of talking to them and show you how they cooked traditional food and you also get chance to test it. These are so interesting if they try to narrate their back ground about their living is so amazing and interesting living in caves and trees with these wild animals.
Mountain bike rides in Buhoma village and around the forest
This act is led by women organization called Ride 4 a woman organization, you renting the bike is a good thing because your supporting the women organization and women themselves to reach their goals. The ride starts in the early morning following a well maintained trail from the park headquarters at Buhoma to lvi River. The ride mostly takes 6-7 hours and on the way animals are seen such as black and white Columbus monkeys, red tiled monkeys, hush bucks, squirrels, and chimpanzees.
Birding at Bwindi impenetrable game park
When it comes to spots of birding, the major spots are the Buhoma waterfall trail, the Mubwind swamp trail and the bamboo zone. The best month for birding here is March, and September but the birding is good generally throughout the year. The month of March and May receive higher amount of rainfall so plotting a visit in that month may limit easy movement of vehicles and making the trail and roads sleeper and muddy. Birds here include Rwenzori bats, handsome fly catcher, tit hylia, strange weaver, handsome falcon, red throat alethe, African wood owl, regal sunbird, montane oriole, western green tincker bird, kivu ground thrash
Habituated gorilla experience
Here, wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to people and here. Gorilla habituation may take bit longer (2-3) years and the activity is allowed to all interested clients. According to Uganda Wild Life Authority, two gorilla families have been put aside and dedicated for this experience in Rushaga region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park. After putting mountain gorillas aside, researchers keeping visiting these gorillas to make them used of people as well as studying their behavior and with time these gorillas get used to people and once researchers notice that they are ready to be trekked, they then introduce a mock exercise where some few people can visit them and after these gorillas are ready and finished the mock exercise, they introduce the activity to visitors for trekking. This park has about eleven habituated gorilla families which are Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura in the northern section of the called Buhoma, then Bitukuru, Oruzogo and Kahungye in Rushaga and then Kuringo gorilla family and all in the south
The advantage here, visitors spend more time with the mountain gorillas compared to gorilla trekking which is restricted for one hour. Though, visiting these mountain gorillas may have restrictions for those with any disease are not allowed to visit these gorillas in fear for gorillas to contract these gorillas. in case a person is sic, he/she is advised to reschedule incase the disease is cured to protect the life of primates