Fairend Safaris

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Home to the Mountain Gorillas

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is where to find the ultimate gorilla experience with more than 700 mountain gorillas living in this region. The Park is home to more than half of the population of the world’s remaining endangered mountain gorillas and  21 habituated groups are available for trekking after acquiring a permit.

In addition to the endangered gorillas, Bwindi has other remarkable biodiversity species including trees, birds, insects, and many more. Around the park, there are local communities that are usually visited during cultural encounters. Bakiga and Batwa (pygmies) are the tribes of the locals surrounding the park.

Our top Safaris To Bwindi Impenetrable national Park

3 Days Uganda Gorillas

5 Days Gorillas, Wildlife and adventure

8 Days Gorillas and wildlife

How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable national park

Travelers can get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park using either air or road means. The park is located about 478 kilometers from the capital city – Kampala.
When using a flight, you board from Entebbe International Airport to either Kihihi and then drive south to the park. Alternatively, fly from Entebbe International Airport to Kisoro and drive north to the park. Both airstrips are about 40km away and usually take about 1 hour and 30 minutes to get to the park.
When using the road it takes between 7 to 8 hours of driving and the journey is mostly on a smooth surface tarmac road. One can also access Bwindi from Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector.

Activities done in Bwindi Impenetrable national Park

Gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking is the top activity done in Bwindi  and is done in the four trekking sectors. These include Rushaga sector , Ruhija sector , Nkuringo sector , and Buhoma sector. Trekkers move deep into the tropical rainforest in search of the gorillas on a trekking day. There are 21 habituated gorilla families that can be accessed after buying a gorilla permit. You spend an hour with gorillas learning and observing how they live their daily lives. 

8 permits are available each day to track each of these 21 groups, giving a daily total of 168 permits. These permits are very competitive, one needs to book at least 3 -4 months before the safari. A permit costs $ 700 per person for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and Ugx.250,000 per person for East African citizens.

Gorilla habituation

Gorilla habituation is the process of training mountain gorillas to live closer to people. This enables them to continue with their day-to-day lives regardless of human presence. This experience can only be obtained from Bwindi impenetrable National Park.

Travelers get to spend 4 hours with the gorillas compared to the one hour of gorilla trekking. A permit for gorilla habituation costs $1500 compared to $700 for gorilla trekking. Gorilla habituation is only in Uganda and takes place in Rushaga’s southern part of Park.

Birding

Birding is one of the activities one can enjoy at Bwindi’s impenetrable national park. There are about 350 bird species that one can see as you trek deep into the forest.

The birds that can be seen are Common Bulbul, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Flycatchers, African green Pigeon, Western Green Tinkerbird,  and Chestnut-throated Apalis among others.

Bird Watching in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is commonly done along the main trail, the Buhoma Waterfall Trail, Bamboo Zone, and Mubwindi Swamp Trail in Ruhiija.

 

Biking Or Cycling

Biking Or Cycling is an adventurous activity to do when visiting Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. It is usually done in Buhoma with the help of guides who are all expertly trained. 

There is a 13km trail leading cyclists around the forest leading to River Ivy and one can be able to see monkeys, occasional chimpanzees, and sometimes Mountain Gorillas, squirrels as well as duikers.  The trail takes about 6-7 hours including time to have snacks and a drink, and enjoy incredibly beautiful scenery. 

For experienced bikers, this park offers the ideal setting for such an activity since it is at a higher altitude.  

Nature walks

Nature walks / Hiking in Bwindi forest, is another fun activity that can be done in this great forest. There are mainly 6 hiking trails in the Buhoma region where one can enjoy beautiful views, tree species, birds, primates, and butterflies. 

There is a ranger assigned to you who leads through the forests during these walks done in different trails. He or she answers questions about something one may not understand. The six trials  are; Ivy River walk, Buhoma-Nkuringo, Habinyanja / Railegh trail, and the Muyanga waterfall trail among others.

When to Visit Bwindi impenetrable national park

Activities like gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest take place all year long. However, there are varied weather patterns around this area because of the tropical climate. Daytime temperatures range from 23 – 260 C while at night they drop to around 15 -110C. Given the tropical nature of the forest, rainfall can happen anytime in Bwindi. June and July receive the lowest rainfall, while there is a period of low rainfall from December to February. The rains are heavy from March to May and October to November. The best time to visit Bwindi is during June, July, and August and from mid-December to February.

What to pack for a safari at Bwindi impenetrable national park

One needs to have warm jackets or sweaters to be put on during cold mornings. Pack enough drinking water, snacks, and food because once you set off for gorilla trekking you have no place to get eats and drinks. Hiking boots are a must-have for steep mountainous terrain and thick vegetation. Have long trousers/ pants that can dry quickly but most importantly protect your legs against thick undergrowth forests. Pack long-sleeved shirts or sweaters with environmentally friendly colors. Always have gloves to protect your hands, breathable rain jackets or poncho, and some insect repellants. There are mosquitoes, wasps, and other insects, a first aid kit is required in case you get an accident. Pack a sunscreen to protect you from sunburn and a camera to capture the moments.

Where to stay

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge is located in the Nkuringo sector which is in the Southern section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  It is about 10-15 minutes’ walk from the gorilla trekking point. The Lodge has a dining space and lounge, serves homemade meals, has a fireplace, and an in-house craft shop. Six cottages are run on both Solar and generator. The rates range from USD500 – USD 900, these rates are inclusive of breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Tea, and Coffee.

Buhoma Lodge

Buhoma Lodge is one of the two lodges that are situated just outside the park within a short distance from the headquarters. It has a lounge, bar, and dining area which offers a comfortable and cozy atmosphere perfect for relaxation after the day’s activities.

Buhoma has a fireplace that keeps you warm in cold evenings and also has 10 chalets each with a private veranda. In addition, it has comfortable beds, bathrooms, and some chalets have bathtubs. This place runs on environmentally friendly solar lighting, has Wi-Fi, and also offers spa treatment.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Sanctuary Forest Camp is a unique living camp with tents that offer a living space located in one of the remotest areas in Uganda. It has a comfortable lounge with a bar, and dining area which gives great views of the great forests.

The camp offers great prepared dishes from fresh local ingredients and each tent has a spacious bathroom (stoned –wall). There is a standing shower and during evenings guests gather around a campfire and share stories about adventurous activities done during the day.

Chameleon Hill Lodge

Chameleon Hill Lodge is a spectacular and colorful lodge is located at Lake Mutanda, which is in the south of Bwindi National Park. It has a spacious dining area with an adjacent wooden deck, bar, and unique rooms each with a private garden.

Most rooms give a stunning view across the lake and each room has an en-suite bathroom and shower. The Lodge serves 3course meals each made using the best local produce. The rates range from usd230 to usd350.