Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda and covers 331 square kilometers making it one of the largest natural forests in East Africa. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located 550 kilometers from Kampala and the estimated transit time is between 8-10 hours by road.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has half the world’s populations of highly endangered Mountain Gorillas. Visiting them is one of the most emotional wildlife encounters you will ever experience.
This pocket of huge primeval forest in the Virunga Mountain range is one of the most biologically diverse areas on earth. It has an eco-system that defines the very essence of the continent and has therefore been designated as a World Heritage Site.
The forest floor is damp and laden with leaf mould, matted vegetation and fallen vines, which serve to trip you up as you clamber up and down the slippery slopes in search of a glimpse of the elusive gorillas.
Searching up to altitudes of 6,500 feet (1,982 metres) can be exhausting but the rewards are worth it. Of course it may not be as difficult as that, but when visiting the Bwindi gorillas you should be prepared to unleash the explorer in you.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Visiting the Gorillas
You will be told that if the big male silverback charges at you, you should look down and remain exactly where you are in a submissive pose. These words of wisdom are directly opposite to your natural instincts, but luckily a ranger is there to grab you should your feet disobey the instructions.
The noise of the silverback pounding his chest during this mock charge is akin to overhead thunder and more than enough to make your knees knock and heart miss a beat.
As the gorillas grow more accustomed to human presence, the charges do not happen so often. Each gorilla group is only visited for one hour a day by a limited number of people who have normally purchased permits months in advance.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Animals
There are many other primates in the park including chimpanzees, black and white colobus, red colobus and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey and L’Hoest’s monkey.
Wildlife inhabiting the forest floor includes elephants, giant forest hogs and small antelopes, few of which are encountered.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Seasons
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in January and February plus June to September are the driest months and are the best time for gorilla trekking. Even in the dry season you should be prepared to get wet in the occasional afternoon thunderstorm.
Many roads Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are impassable after the long rains of March to May and it becomes hot and humid with a very slippery forest floor. It also usually rains in October and November.
A pleasantly hot temperature of 80°F (25°C) can be expected in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park from June to September, rising to 85°F (27°C) in January and February.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Highlights
- Unique flora
- Hiking the Virunga Mountains
- Close encounters with mountain gorillas
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Facts
- The Park covers an area of 127 miles² (330km²)
- Permits are limited to 12 per day, African Spice Safaris purchases then in advance
- It is located in the far south-west of the country where Uganda, Rwanda and DRC (Congo) meet
- Getting to Bwindi is an adventure in itself as you have to cross much of Uganda by road to get there