5 Things to do in bwindi impenetrable national park
5 Things to do in bwindi impenetrable national park : Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the most visited destinations located in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kanungu district bordering with Democratic Republic of Congo. The national park was gazetted in 1991 mainly to conserve the endangered mountain gorillas and it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Bwindi impenetrable national park covers an area of 321 square kilometers and harbors over 400 mountain gorillas which are half of the world’s population number of the mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are also found in other destinations including Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
5 things to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park
- Gorilla trekking
Gorilla trekking is an interesting and major activity carried out activity in Bwindi impenetrable national park which allows you to move into the dense tropical rainfb orests in search of the habituated gorilla families and once found spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home of about 19 habituated gorilla families which are found in four sectors of the park and they include Rushaga sector in the southern part with 8 gorilla families, Buhoma sector in the north with 4 gorilla families, Ruhija sector in the east with 4 gorilla families and Nkuringo in the south with 3 gorilla families.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is an adventurous activity which starts in the morning with a briefing at the park headquarters. After the briefing, you will be grouped into 8 people to trek each habituated gorilla family and grouping of individuals is done according to age, physical fitness and personal preferences. After the allocation of gorilla families you will start trekking in the jungle with a park guide who is experienced and well conversant with the gorillas and the trails in the forest.
Trekking of the mountain gorillas takes about 3o minutes to one hour and during trekking you will be able to view some bird species, animals, plant species among others. Once the gorillas are found, you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat where you will get an opportunity of taking photos, recording videos, learning about their habits, lifestyle, behaviors, watching them feeding, carrying out their daily activities among others which gives you unforgettable and lifetime memories.
- Gorilla habituation experience
Gorilla habituation is an activity where the wild mountain gorillas are trained to get used to human presence. Bwindi impenetrable national park is the only destination in Africa which offers gorilla habituation experience and the activity is only carried out in Rushaga sector in the southern part of the park. The habituation process takes a period of 2 to 3 years to be complete and it involves a team of researchers, conservationists, guides, park rangers, trackers, gorilla doctors among others.
During the gorilla habituation process a group of four people are allowed to participate in the habituation experience which takes a full day and visitors are allowed to spend four hours in the presence of the mountain gorillas under habituation. During the four hours you will be able to monitor their movements, learn about their habits, behaviors, participate in naming the gorillas, take photos and record the moments. Gorilla habituation experience give you extra ordinary and exciting experiences as you spend more time with the mountain gorillas compared to the one hour given during gorilla trekking.
- Batwa cultural experience
Batwa cultural experience is one of the interesting activities that shouldn’t be missed on your safari in Bwindi impenetrable national park. The Batwa culture experience is carried out outside the park and gives you an opportunity of interacting with the Batwa/pygmies who used to live in the Bwindi forest before it was gazetted into a national park. During the Batwa cultural experience you will hike through the forest with a pygmy guides who will show you how they used to live in the forest, the food they used to eat, how they set traps to hunt small animals, how they built huts with grass, the plant species which were used to treat different illnesses, teach you their gathering skills and hunting with a bow and arrow. From the forest you will also visit their homesteads where you will taste their local dishes, listen to the traditional songs and stories of how they lived in the forest. Batwa cultural experience will give you an opportunity to learn about other people culture and lifestyle.
- Bird watching
In 2011 Bwindi impenetrable national park was voted Africans number one birding site which makes it one of the best birding destinations in Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable national park harbors over 350 bird species including migratory and forest birds, 23 species which are endemic to the Albertine rift and 14 species endemic to only Uganda. bird watching in the park is commonly done during the nature walk following trails like Buhoma waterfall trail, Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija, Bamboo zone among others therefore on your birding safari in the park you should look out for bird species like short tailed warbler, blue headed sunbird, kivu ground thrush, African harrier hawk, African emerald cuckoo, giant kingfisher, African green pigeon, crowned hornbill, cinnamon chested bee-eater, handsome francolin, rwezori batis, strange weaver, red throated alethe, collared apalis, dusky twinspot, tit hylia, bar tailed trogon, dwarf honey guide among others.
- Mountain biking/Cycling
Mountain biking is an adventurous activity in Bwindi impenetrable national park which is carried out in and around the park. The activity is offered by a local women organization in Buhoma sector called Ride 4 a woman organization. Visitors who want to participate in mountain biking will rent mountain bikes and start riding with an experienced guide who is well conversant with the trails and wildlife species in the park such as birds, primates, animals among others. Cycling starts in the morning following well maintained trails for example a 13km trail from the park headquarters to Ivi River and many others. Mountain biking in the park takes about 3 to 5 hours and during the activity you will have spectacular views of the trees, bird species, primates like monkeys, chimpanzees, animals like the duikers, beautiful scenery, local communities among other. Visitors who participate in cycling activity will be supporting the local communities as well as the women.
Best time to visit Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi impenetrable national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the forest therefore access roads to the national park and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable.
Bwindi impenetrable national park can also be visited during the rainy season in the months of March to May and October to November because during this time there is plenty of food for the bird species therefore bird lovers will be able to view various bird species and migratory birds in the months of November to April. During the rainy season the gorilla trekking permits are easy to purchase in that there are few travellers therefore the last minute visitors will be able to book gorilla trekking permits and the park will have fewer crowds compared to the dry season.
Visitors interested in these 5 things to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park can contact Achieve Global Safaris so that we organize for you an incredible and afford safari to Bwindi impenetrable national park.