Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the Parks that the African continent is most proud of! The Park which was gazetted in 1991 and made a UNESCO natural world heritage site in 1994 nestles the southwestern region of Uganda, East Africa. Bwindi is most famous as the best mountain gorilla refuge on the planet. This legendary destination is characterized by both montane and lowland forests, which covers a total area of 331 square kilometers, 128 square miles. From Kampala (Uganda’s capital), it is about a 7 hours’ drive to reach the remarkable misty impenetrable forests of Bwindi. However, the Park can also be accessed via air, as the Park consists of various airstrips like Kihihi, Nyakabande, the grass Kayonza and Savannah airstrips as well as the modern tarmac airstrip at Kisoro.
Attractions in Bwindi:
With a remarkable number of almost 500 mountain gorillas, gorilla trekking is the highlight of visiting this southwestern Park in Uganda. With the aforementioned number of mountain gorillas Bwindi resides, it’s close to the total population of mountain gorillas on the planet. The planet has only four national parks protecting the endangered mountain gorillas, that’s to say; Bwindi Impenetrable, Volcanoes (in Rwanda), Virunga (in DR Congo), and also Mgahinga (still in southwestern Uganda). However, the number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi alone is almost the same as mountain gorillas in the other three Parks – and it’s clearly the best Park for mountain gorilla excursions.
Trekking the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitats is really fascinating but also strenuous. Nevertheless, the effort you put in, in search/trek for gorillas is really worthy the experience – think of that moment you are close to these so-lovely creatures in their natural habitats, it’s really memorable! Meanwhile, gorilla trekking in Bwindi is even more unique as there are four gorilla trekking sectors; Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo sectors – all these sectors reside 20 habituated gorilla families.
Gorilla trekking is done in shifts (morning and evening shifts) and groups of which a maximum of 8 individuals are meant to be in a particular trekking group. The gorilla trekking expeditions normally kick-starts with the briefings, at the starting point, where you will be given a detailed briefing about the activity. Once you meet the gorillas, you are strictly allowed to spend one hour with them and view them from a certain reasonable distance of at least 7 meters away.
A Uganda Gorilla Permit:
Uganda has an affordable gorilla permit which costs US$ 600, though as of July 2020 on wards the permit will be costing US$ 700 – which is still very affordable as compared to a Rwanda permit that costs US$ 1500. Gorilla permits are however on a very high demand, annually, and so you are advised to book it prior to your trip, especially in the peak season (June to August, January to February), to avoid inconveniences.
Accommodations in Bwindi:
In Bwindi’s four sectors there are several accommodations of all types, such as budget, mid-range and luxury accommodations to match every tourist’s desires. Among the accommodations in Bwindi, include: Buhoma lodge, Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Silverback Lodge, Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge, The Gorilla Resort, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Nshongi Camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodg, Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Broadbill Forest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort & Campsite, Trekkers Tavern Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Wagtail Eco Safari Camp, and Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, and many others.