Top Things to Do and See – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Posted by on November 30, 2017

Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Top Things to Do and See

Activities in and near  Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda

Things to Do and SeeDiscover the Things to do and See in the Ancient Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a park that is home to the most Mountain Gorillas in Africa. 

The only Park in Africa Chimpanzees and gorillas coexist in the same park.  Home to other Primates, Forest Elephants, and rare Birds not found elsewhere.  Foremost, Bwindi Forest National Park is Gorilla Country with over 400 Gorillas that live there and are thriving because of sound Conservation Practices.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is Gorillas and more, the more is not discovered by most Visitors to the Park since they focus on Gorilla Treks.

They miss the Hikes, Climbs, Biking, Birding, intercultural visits just to name a few. The ancient forest offers many things to do and see – Discover that the Forest is not so impenetrable, but a place of Discovery like no other in East Africa.

CNN picked Bwindi Impenetrable Forest if May of 2017 as one of Africa’s 5 Best Parks. Lonely Planet Picked Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as one of the most unusual Honeymoon Spots in the World.

reason –over half of the mountain gorillas remaining in the world live here – and the good news is that they are thriving and growing in numbers. According to the last Survey – there are 400 Mountain Gorillas plus in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and here is some practical Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – Information – Tips – Advice.

Most visitors who come here, come for Gorilla Trekking, there is however much more to this ancient – primeval rainforest – this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One could spend many days  on a Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Safari  seven days or more in length – this is simply one of the most fantastic places in all of Africa – not to be found elsewhere – Bwindi Forest is simply unique and has much more to offer than the magnificent Mountain Gorillas

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the oldest Forests in East Africa, it survived the platonic shift that created the Albertine Rift that is all around it – It is thought that Bwindi Impenetrable Forest may have been inhabited 370,000 – 400,000 years ago by the Batwa People, the original people of the Rainforest.

Due to its age, one can find plants and trees here, that are not found elsewhere.  Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a hidden pearl in Uganda awaiting to be discovered by you, though many come here, the focus is gorilla tracking the magic and wonder of the ancient forest are missed.  This 128 square mile park has much to offer – there are many activities that one can partake in, amazing scenery, plants, wildlife, birds, primates, the list is endless.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the most bio-diverse forests with one of the best ecosystems in all of Africa.

Here you can find 160 species of trees, over 100 species of ferns, over 1000 flowering plants, and Afro-montane vegetation that is simply incredible. It is located in southwestern Uganda and some of it along the border with the Democratic Republic – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the source of many rivers, there are pristine creeks, waterfalls, sights beautiful to behold.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest, at the edge of the Western Rift Valley in the highest part of what is referredMap-of-Bwindi-Impenetrable-Forest_thumb.jpg to as the Kigezi Highlands.  The altitudes of the park range from 1,190 to 2,067 meters, though Bwindi has a tropical climate which can range from 7 degrees Celsius at night to 27 degrees Celsius during the day.

Here at Bwindi you can find over 120 species of mammals including Primates such as the Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Black and White Colobus, Red-Tailed Guenon,Vervet Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Guenon, Baboons, Nocturnal Prosimians, Forest Elephants (hairier, smaller, smaller tusks, 1 extra toe on each foot), small antelopes such as Duikers, Bush pigs, Giant Forest Hogs, several small species of Cats, 348 species of birds including African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson-wing. Other birds include the Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Green Tinker bird, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Green buls, Mountain Masked and Chestnut –throated Apalises, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Batis and White-tailed fly catcher among others.  , 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos – there is simply a lot of Discovery awaiting you at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Please note:  One does not track Chimpanzees here – though they are found here  – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is Gorilla Country.

Here are the Top Things to Do and See in – near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

There are four areas in Bwindi Impenetrable where activities take place – Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.  Each area brings out unique aspects of the ancient Rainforest and many visitors stay at one or more areas to do the various activities that are unique to the area.  Gorilla tracking is the major activity that visitors to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest partake in – some visitors track gorillas twice.

Things that you can do and see in the different areas of Bwindi Forest

Gorilla Tracking:Track-Mountain-Gorillas-Rwanda

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is best known for Gorilla Tracking, that is the reason that most visitors come to this park.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest provides an incredible backdrop for this once in a lifetime adventure.  There are four trailheads from which one tracks one of the gorilla families for which we have obtained permits for you.

More Gorilla Families have been habituated for visitors. That means that there are over 100 daily gorilla permits available in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.   Be sure to wear the right clothing for the trek and bring the things needed.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – one of the best places in Africa for gorilla trekking

Gorilla Habituation Experience in Rushaga:Best Gorilla - Chimpanzee - Golden Monkey - Habituation Experiences

It is only in Uganda that you can be with a Mountain Gorilla Family for 4 hours on a Gorilla Habituation Experience along with researchers in Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest – this amazing experience – to be with a Mountain Gorilla Family as it is being habituated is a one of a kind experience in Africa.

There are presently two family groups being habituated, meaning that they becoming used to human contact and will not run away from visitors trekking them.

You can fly into Kigali Rwanda and 3 hours later be in the Rushaga Region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.  You have the choice of budget, moderate and upmarket lodging and can stay either in Rushaga or scenic Nkuringo area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

mountain-biking-buhoma-bwindiMountain Bike Rides – Buhoma Area: 

Ride 4 a Woman which is a community support group offers mountain bike rentals and guided bike in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the Buhoma area of the park.

You can even do the Village Walk on a bike with a guide.  There are Birding Bike Rides, or simply a ride into the Forest such as the Ivy River Trail.  The average Bike Ride is 3 hours or longer in length with much to see along the trail or road.

The guides are all well-trained, some specialize in birding, others in culture but all know Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which they all love and want to conserve.

The Batwa Forest Experience:Batwa-Experience-Buhoma-area-Bwindi

The Batwa were the original people of the forest, they were here for thousands of years before the Bantu People, the Cultivators of the Land arrived.

The Batwa People – are pygmies – were hunter-gatherers and lived in the forests of Southwest Uganda and beyond. They left a small ecological footprint on the forest and lived in harmony with nature.  You can visit the forest (actually outside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) with the Batwa People and learn of their traditional ways of hunting and gathering.

The Batwa Experience takes place in the Buhoma area – if you are in South Bwindi you can visit the Buniga Forest with the Batwa people there.

Buhoma-Community-Village-WalkThe Buhoma Village Walk:  

Here you have a 3-hour cultural walk through the village – you learn the ways and culture of the people that live in the Buhoma area on the edge of Bwindi Forest. The Village Walk is with a local guide who is friendly and knowledgeable about local culture and customs.

You will see how people make local crafts such as baskets with the most intricate designs – beer made from Bananas, and a distillery that makes the local Waragi Gin from Bananas, meet a traditional healer and learn of what is gathered in the ancient forest and how it is taken and applied to ailments – you will be amazed –

See how the growing of local produce is done and harvested, food preparation over charcoal or open fire, visit a school, and meet the Batwa Pygmy community as they perform a dance for you just to name a few.  It is certainly a cultural learning experience and the cost of the walk supports the local community – so a win-win for everyone. (3 hours in length and difficulty level is easy – Location – Buhoma Area)

Hiking through the Forest:hiking-thorugh-Bwindi-Impenetrable-Forest

The Hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be one day or the longer hike from the north of Bwindi to the South – called Nkuringo- there one can stay overnight and continue the next day down to scenic Lake Mutanda where you paddle across in a wooden dugout and continue to the town of Kisoro.

This is the most popular hike along two trails of Bwindi – there are however other trails and nature walks, most from easy to moderate in and near the Forest that can be explored on foot and require from an hour to all day long.

Hiking through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is always with a guide.  The through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hikes have become more popular over the last few years, especially with those who choose to trek gorillas twice, once in Buhoma and once in the South of the Park.

bwindi-forest-hiking-trailsHikes and Trails in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Park:

Not only can you hike through the forest, there are many hikes and nature walks in and outside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that matches various fitness levels.

Trails can be found in Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.  Some of the are birding hikes, while others focus on the scenery of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

The Hikes and Nature Walks can be added on to your Gorilla Trek or gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Let us know at the time when you plan your safari with us about your hiking plans.

Bwindi-Forest-Africa-number-one-birding-siteBirding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, it is one of the prime birding destinations in Africa.  There are over 347 species of forest birds recorded in the Park, at least 70 out of 78 montane forest bird species occurring in the Albertine Rift region are found in the forest, and 22 of the 36 endemic species in the region.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has been picked as Africa’s Number One Birding Site where you find many species endemic to the forest.

Now visitors come from far and wide to spot some of Africa’s rarest birds and at the same time, they can track the Mountain Gorillas and the enjoy other nearby prime birding spots.

Bwindi-Forest-NkuringoThe Stunning Scenery of Nkuringo:

One cannot leave out the Stunning scenery found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – especially the Nkuringo area.

There are now 6 gorilla group families in the area, new lodges have opened and visitors are not only enjoying visiting the Mountain Gorillas but taking in the breathtaking scenery found in the area.

The Virungas in the distance is an amazing sight to behold.

From Nkuringo you can travel either to Lake Mutanda to Lake Bunyonyi where you continue to enjoy more scenic wonders.

Rushaga-Bwindi-ForestRushaga – Best Area for Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

Rushaga for most visitors was not even on the map a few visitors a few years, overnight it has become the area in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with the most gorilla groups to track.

It is also the area for the Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience with two Gorilla families.

Rushaga, unlike Buhoma or Ruhija, can easily be accessed from Kigali Rwanda, a mere 3 – hour drive there. There are countless of add-ons that can extend your time on Safari in Uganda and Rwanda that will enhance your time of Gorilla Trekking.

Where To Stay in or near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

Where to stay while stay while visiting Bwindi Impenetrable ForesBwindi-Lodgingt and gorilla tracking, hiking, biking, cultural walks, birding in the ancient rainforest.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest ranges from budget to exclusive luxury lodging.  The range of lodges is extensive, especially in the Buhoma Area of the Park.

In recent years added lodges have sprung up in the other areas of the park giving visitors a range of options and selections.

Bwindi is home to the Mountain Gorillas but it also a place for many activities – Top Things to Do and See – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest- the above were just a few.

best-gorilla-trekking-safaris-sidebarBest Gorilla Trekking Safaris:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with 480 plus Gorillas remains the best place in East Africa for Gorilla Trekking, besides it has more Habituated Gorilla Groups than anywhere else.

Not only can you trek Gorillas on safari here but Bwindi is the only place where you can go on an all-day Gorilla Habituation Experience – spending 4 hours with a gorilla group being habituated.

The added benefit is that Gorilla Permits are discounted in April, May, November to 450 USD in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Gorilla Trekking – a once in a lifetime experience.

Luxury Gorilla Safaris   Fly in Gorilla Safaris

Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a 9 hour plus drive from Entebbe International Airport.  We break that long drive into smaller drives by incorporating different parks and activities.

Kigali – Rwanda is the gateway to Southwest Uganda.  A mere 3 1/2 hour drive and you are in Rushaga or Nkuringo in the Southern End of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with some of the best Gorilla Trekking in Uganda.

You can also fly from Entebbe to Kihihi and stay in the Buhoma area of the Forest or fly to Kisoro and stay in the southern region of the Forest.

Most of our Clients choose to fly into Kigali Rwanda and trek Gorillas in Nkuringo or Rushaga.

Our Take on Bwindi Forest:

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the top destinations in Uganda.  We will do our best to make your experience in and around the ancient forest most memorable.

There are lots of things to do and see here in this ancient forest, we know it well, beyond the guidebooks and offer you our ability about Uganda and Bwindi Forest.

You can even fly into Rwanda and track Gorillas in Bwindi at a lower price, have a fly in safari from Entebbe or have Bwindi be part of your longer safari in the Pearl of Africa.  Feel free to contact us about Bwindi Forest.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest – the oldest Rainforest in Uganda. Not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site but a CNN Pick for 2017 as one of best 5 parks in all of Africa, all more reasons to come and visit the park

Contact us if you want to include any of the above activities in your Mountain Gorilla Trekking Safari