Bwindi impenetrable national park is a UNESCO designated world heritage site with one of the richest ecosystems in Africa and a diversity of animal and bird species. It was set up in 1942 as a reserve and after wards elevated to Bwindi impenetrable national park in 1992. It is found in southwestern Uganda along the democratic republic of Congo border next to the Virunga national park on the edge of western great rift valley. the biologically diverse park derives its name from the local language Bwindi (Dark place) which defines the impenetrable nature of its thick forests. What makes it impenetrable is the fact that it has twisted vegetation wrapped over an intensively fissured backdrop of the sheer ridges as well as slippery valleys and hills. The park is renowned for its coldness in the morning and at night with June and July being the coolest months. It has two rain seasons, little rains in March- May and heavy rains between September and November.
The park provides habitat for about 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 of butterflies and 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species Its main attraction though is the gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half the world’s population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla tracking became a popular activity in 1993, and the park became a popular tourist and safari destination in Uganda. The park is the best place for gorilla safaris in Africa being a shelter for the highest number of the world’s mountain gorillas. There are 12 habituated mountain gorilla groups split in the four sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga in all corners of the park. Gorilla trekking is the core activity in Bwindi with over 400 mountain gorillas.
Other species in the park include; chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkey, African Elephant, African Green Broadbill, the cream-banded swallowtail, black and white colobus, red-tailed monkeys, vervets, the giant hog, and small antelope species. There are quite a number of carnivores too including the side-stripped jackal and African civet.
There are many other activities besides gorilla trekking and these include; Cultural walks which can be undertaken to Buhoma village community for seeing traditional homestead, the healer, the banana brewing exercise, traditional hand craft and cultural concerts.
Bird watching with over 220 butterflies and over 348 species of birds registered. Hiking trails are open to people to view birds, butterflies, primates and trees along the Munyaga, waterfall, Rushura, River Ivi, Mubswindi swamp among others.
Nature walks lasting between 2 to 4 days in the park and there is likelihood of seeing and gaining knowledge about primates like chimpanzees, monkeys, different bird species, butterflies, trees, plants among others through trails under the direction of a skilled guide.
The trails include the Munyanga river trail which 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, epithetic ferns, orchids and Bwindi’s colorful array of butterflies. Rushurra trail which Commands expansive views across the western rift valley floor. Muzabajirro trail Offers breath taking views of Bwindi Forest. Western Rift Valley and the Virungas. On the way, you witness hundreds of pre-historic tree ferns. The top of this trail is a great place for a picnic lunch. Ruizi river trail So far the longest in the park will occupy you for a full day. It is highly recommended for bird watchers. Bamboo trail which offers 14 vegetation types and is one of the areas of highest diversity in the park. At the top of this trail, you witness panoramic views encompassing Lake Bunyonyi and Mafuga Forest.
Bwindi is exceptional with numerous accommodation facilities of almost all classes of people including deluxe, midrange and budget nature.