Take your gorilla safari in the forest at Bwindi - it is proper jungle! This ancient forest is set on the steep slopes of the Albertine Rift Valley and boasts richly diverse vegetation. There are over 200 different species of trees, which are hung withvines. Thick undergrowth and huge nettles vie for light between the trees so it is not surprising that it has been nicknamed Impenetrable.
This national park which is a World Heritage Site, is home to about half of the world's population of mountain gorillas making it the ideal place for inclusion in a gorilla safari. Of course the gorillas are the big attraction here, but there is in fact a great deal of biodiversity here. There are 90 mammal species in the park including elephants, giant forest hog, leopards and 11 species of primates -chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and many more.
Despite the name the forest is in fact penetrable as there are numerous trails to enable you to make the most of this environment. Gorilla trekking can be tough work if the group are a long way off and you may have to traipse through the undergrowth to reach them. The forest walks to see the hundreds of butterflies or for birding are much more relaxing, sticking to the trails.Bwindi has a bird list of over 380 species including 23 of the Albertine Rift endemics, 14 of which are only found at Bwindi. Specialities include African Green Broadbill, Grauer's Rush warbler, Ruwenzori Turaco, Ruwenzori Nightjar Lagden's Bushshrike, Ruwenzori Batis, heaps of sunbirds and woodpeckers and hosts of other tantalising possibilities.
The Ugandan Wildlife Authority has developed a partnership with local communities to encourage development through conservation, this enables local people to improve their standard of living through better agricultural practices, thus reducing pressure on forest resources. The park employs local people as wardens, researchers and rangers, local communities receive a proportion of the Park's income. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is rightly renowned as THE place for a gorilla safari.
Time: GMT +3 hours
Flight time: Direct from UK flights 3 times a week or daily via Nairobi.
Language: English is the official language, with Luganda and Swahili also widely spoken.
Visas: Visas are required for UK citizens which can be purchased on arrival at the airport. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months.
Health: No compulsary vaccinations but several are recommended and you should take malaria prophylactics.