Bwindi National Park, located in the Bwindi impenetrable forest lies in southwestern Uganda covering 32,092 ha (321 sq km / 124 sq mi) on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rain forests, which contains almost 400 species of plants. This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes.
This impenetrable forest also protects an estimated 400 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. One of the main activities in Bwindi impenetrable national park is gorilla trekking which is done at four primary locations; Rushaga, Nkuringo, Ruhija, and Buhoma.
Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi National Park
The highlight of a visit to Bwindi – and the climax of the long journey to the Impenetrable Forest. 18 groups of Mountain Gorilla families have been habituated as of 2018. There are 4 trailheads in Bwindi for Gorilla Tracking, which lead to other attractions such as rivers, waterfalls, swamps-all of which have a high level of wildlife concentration.
Gorilla rules and Permits
To protect the gorillas and visitors, a number of rules and guidelines have been set and must be adhered to. Ensure you get a copy of these rules from the reservations office or at the park. Note that visitors participating in gorilla tracking must be aged 15 or over.
Cost of Gorilla Permits in Bwindi
Only 8 visitors are allowed to view the gorillas for one hour per day and they will be accompanied by UWA guides while with the Gorillas. A gorilla trekking permit in Bwindi impenetrable national forest park costs USD 700 per person per visit for foreign non-residents. Foreign residents pay USD 600 per person while East African residents pay only UGX 250,000 per person. If you want a Gorilla habituation experience in Uganda, it costs USD 1,500 per person.
Gorilla permits were discounted in 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic in order to attract more tourists.
An East African Community citizen gorilla tracking permit was reduced from UGX 250,000 to UGX 150,000
Foreign Resident gorilla tracking permits were reduced from USD 600 to USD 300
While for Foreign Non-Residents, gorilla tracking permits were reduced from USD 700 to USD 400
Permits must be booked in advance; At Da Link Safaris we can arrange these permits for our clients.
Best time to visit Bwindi National Park
Tourists may visit the park any time during the year, although conditions in the national park are more difficult during the rainy seasons. The rainy season occurs from March to April and from September to November. Tourists are thus advised to visit in the dry season from June to August and December to February when the Bwindi forest trails are drier and less slippery.
Bwindi being in a remote location, tourists can charter flights to Bwindi impenetrable national park directly
Activities in and around Bwindi National Park
Bwindi is a prime destination for bird watchers. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics which is not found anywhere else in Uganda.
Bird watching is done year round though best in the months of November to April when migratory birds are present in Bwndi.
Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures through performances, workshops, and village walks.
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