Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is derived from a local Kikiga word,”Omubwndi and as the world suggests, the forest is almost impassable and is regarded as one of the oldest and unspoilt tropical forest dating back as 25,000 years. According to the latest mountain gorilla census, it was established that half of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas live in bwindi. The number of mountsinn gorillas out of this, 400 are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and this park is the only one where gorillas co-exist with wild chimpanzees although there is no trekking chimps since no community has been habituated.

UNESCO World Heritage

Because of its importance in protecting given bio diversities, Bwindi Impenetrable forest was recognized and upgraded to a status of being a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1994. Due to its location, attitude and influence of local winds, Bwindi National Park receives approximately 1500mm of rain evey year and almost all the time. Its attitude ranges between 1,106 to 2,607 with thw lowest point located in the North (Buhoma) and the highest point in the southern section Bwindi in Rushaga and Nkuringo.

Gorilla Families and Birds

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has several habituated families located in different sections of the park. 3 gorilla families are in Buhoma and these are Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura. Nkuringo side located in the southern part of Bwindi has only one family known has Nkuringo, Ruhija side has Oruzongo, Kyaguriro and Bitukura while Rushaga in the south as well as Nshongi, Busingye, Mishaya, Bweza and Kahungye make 11 habituated gorilla families. Over 350 bird species have been recorded here and about 25 of them are Albertine endemics.


Accessing Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be accessed by Air as Aerolink operates daily flights from Entebbe to Kihihi Airstrip for the Northern and Eastern side of Bwindi while Kisoro Airstrip for the Southern parts of Rushaga and Nkuring. The drive time from Khihi or Kisoro to your lodge is approximately 1-2 hours.


When driving from Entebbe to the Northern part of Buhoma, it may take up to 9hours and 10hours if one drives to Nkuringo or Rushaga. One can use the Masaka Mbarara, Ntungamo, Khihi, Butogota and then to Buhoma. For those going to Kisoro and respective regions.


Popular Lodges in the Northern Part include Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Volcanoes Lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Mahogany Springs, Gorilla Resort, Engagi Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Buhoma community Bandas and Bwindi Gorilla Conservation Camp. In the East Bwindi theres Ruhija Gorilla Safari, Gorilla Mist Camp, Ruhija community Rest Camp among others while in the South (Nkuringo) we have Clouds Mountain Gorilla lodge, Nkuringo gorilla Camp, and Chameleon Hill Camp. In Rusghaga we have Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge and other small Lodges.


Top activities done in Bwindi Impenetrable National park


Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla trekking is the main and popular activity done in Bwindi were you get a chance to trek a few of the habituated gorilla families in the forest. Depending on which region of Bwind Forest you are holding permits, experienced guides and trackers will accompany your party on an early morning trek into the dense rain forest on mountain slopes. The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is abundantly rewarded with the lifetime experience off viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within meters of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day to day activities. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with only an estimated 700 remaining in the world. This experience you won’t soon forget


Batwa Cultural Experience in Bwindi

The batwa commonly known as the pygmies in most books are short people who used to inhabit Bwindi Forest as their home but when it was gazette as a National Park, they were chased out and have now started to live a normal life. They used to feed on wild animals, honey and herbs and could stay in trees or caves. Hiking to a Btwa village takes 3 to 4 hours in the midst of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest allows you the opportunity to meet Batwa elders and their families at the same time you learn more about their daily lives. Through the assistance of a skilled interpreter you will discover the unique traditions and practices the Batwa people do and these include their attachment to the forest, the cuisine they enjoy, how they harvest their food, the style of their homes, and their burial rites. Visitors are even given the chance to learn how to light fire with just a stick and how to shoot with the traditional weapon.


Hiking/walking Safari through Bwindi

Visitors have an opportunity for a guided nature walj between Nkuringo in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to Buhoma on the opposite side of the park. This 3 to 4 hours guided hike provides a leisurelt opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest, view the native wildlife, and learn about the many animal and plant spieces present in the park. You may meet the gorillas on your way through the forest.


Quick Facts

  • Location: Kanungu District, Uganda
  • Nearest Town: Kisoro
  • Area: 331km (128sq mi)
  • Established: 1991
  • Governing body: Uganda Wildlife Authority


UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Type: Natural
  • Criteria: Vii, x
  • Designated: 1994 (18th session)
  • Reference no: 682
  • State party: Uganda
  • Region: Africa