Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi is simply one of the very best places to see the endangered mountain gorilla.
When a huge silverback gorilla looks you in the eye, it is a heart-stopping moment. You look down quickly as you've been taught, but the connection was there. Touching the wild is utterly magical.
Bwindi is proper jungle with steep slopes of ancient forest, swathed in mist, huge trees hung with vines, thick undergrowth and nettles vie for light between the trees. It’s not surprising that it has been nicknamed impenetrable. Bwindi is home to almost half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas and it’s considered the perfect place for a gorilla safari. These magnificent beasts are the main attraction, but the biodiversity of the area is incredible. There are over 90 mammal species and over 380 species of birds recorded in the area, so that’s plenty to keep you busy during your visit.
- Gorillas: Bwindi is the most popular place to view gorillas in Uganda, but they can also be seen in Mgahinga National Park, Uganda’s smallest park which borders Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
- Mammals: In addition to the gorillas there are 11 species of primate in Bwindi. These include chimpanzees, black and white colobus, blue monkeys and red-tailed monkeys. Other mammals that you may come across are baboons, elephants, civets, duikers and buffalo.
- Birds: There are 23 Albertine Rift endemics in amongst the 380-odd species recorded here. These include African green broadbill, Grauer’s rush warbler, Ruwenzori turaco, Ruwenzori nightjar, sunbirds, woodpeckers, weavers and much more.
- Forest walks: Impenetrable by name, but not by nature. Thankfully there are some excellent trails or pathways that you can follow to explore the park and get closer to the flora, fauna and waterfalls.
- Conservation: The Uganda Wildlife Authority has developed a partnership with local communities to encourage development through conservation. As well as enabling local people to improve their standard of living through better agricultural practices, reducing pressure on forest resources, they are also employed as wardens, rangers and researchers. The surrounding communities also receive a proportion of the park’s income.