Famous for being home to the world’s majestic primates, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, is ranked as Africa’s best gorilla trekking safari destination. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is home to almost half of the only remaining gorillas in the world. About 1,004 Mountain gorillas remain existent only trekked and seen on either a Uganda gorilla safari, gorilla safari Rwanda or Congo gorilla trekking safaris. With 4 gorilla trekking sectors; Buhoma, Ruhijja, Rushaga and the Nkuringo, the park is host to 18 habituated gorilla families with Mubare gorilla family as the first to be opened for gorilla tours in Uganda in April 1993.
Mountain Gorilla trekking in Africa’s best safari memorable activity that has increased numbers of tourists interested in Mountain Gorilla trekking Uganda safaris. During this activity, you are required to follow trails to trek a gorilla group and have a close view of the great jungle ape. The activity needs a permit that you book early as you plan your safari to Uganda at US$600 per individual per day.
Mountain gorillas are also open for gorilla habituation which is the process of getting gorillas used to the presence of human beings in that they can behave normally. Mountain gorilla habituation costs USD 1500 and you spend almost the whole day with the gentle giants. This experience is one of a kind in Africa and you wouldn’t love to miss more time with the gorillas on your Uganda gorilla trekking safari.
Because Bwindi Impenetrable National Park doesn’t miss on most of the Africa safari travellers bucket lists, it is normally fixed in their travel itineraries like a 3 days Uganda gorilla trekking safari, a 2 Days Gorilla safari Uganda, 5 Days Uganda safari, 8 Days Uganda wildlife safari.
After gorilla trekking, many tourists will wonder what else to do just within the gorilla land, spending a day or two on a hiking experience within the forest is much rewarding.
Hiking safaris in Uganda
Hiking is one of the most amazing Uganda safari activities that keep you active on safari including those on Uganda tours to Bwindi Forest National Park.Though renowned for its impenetrable forest, Bwindi forestis popular as the ultimate Uganda gorilla trekking safari destination hence was named by CNN among the 23 of the world’s finest places with the best hiking experience. CNN placed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda in the 15th position. “Wildlife walks don’t come more fascinating than a trip into Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, where you can get up close and personal with the area’s mountain gorilla population.” CNN wrote.
Besides being ranked among the best hiking places, CNN also ranked it among the most beautiful places to visit as well as 3rd best Africa National Park.
Hiking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park raises to an altitude of 1,190 to 2,607 meters above sea level and therefore offers a hiking task to both gorilla trackers or to those who choose to go hiking. The Bwindi forest offers various forest trails both short and long depending on the traveller’s choice. The trail involves hiking up, sloping down, walking on knees and arms, jumping over streams of water and of course meeting some wild animals and birds.
Hiking trails in Bwindi include the; Rushura Hill Walk; This trail goes through one forest shared by two nations. On a sunny morning, one can see Lakes Edward, George, the Rwenzori Mountains and additionally the funnel-shaped pinnacles of the Virunga Volcanoes.
The Habinyanja Trail; It takes 4-6hrs. After the crossing of the Munyaga River, it takes in a genuinely steep climb of the Habigorogoro and Riyovi Ridge sitting above Buhoma River. Found along this trail is the legendry “African Corner” named after a stone piece depicting the map of Africa. Following the steep ascent, sharp climbers can appreciate a more casual gentle slope to the Habinyanja swamp. Birders on this trail dependably keep an eye out for the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Black Duck, and Black Bee Eaters, among others, a perfect spot for Uganda Birding Safaris.
The Ivi River Walk; It takes you around seven hours is 14km long. The trail passes a place known as Mukempunu – signifying “a place of pigs” – where wild pigs can regularly be found. One can even get a chance to taste these sweet creatures.
The Buhoma Nkuringo trail is the longest stretch in Bwindi forest lasting from over 7 hours. The trail connects the Buhoma sector of Bwindi and Nkuringo sector in the southern sector of Bwindi forest national park.
Muyanga Waterfall Walk; This departs from Buhoma (one of the gorilla trekking sectors) continuing along the River Ivi-Nkuringo trail and culminates in the sensational sight of the falls plummeting 33 meters.
Muzubijiro Loop; This is a 6km long and it takes a walk around a hill, this is where visitors might encounter primates and birds plus enjoy a view of the Virunga’s.
Enjoy a Uganda wildlife safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Besides the mountain gorillas, wildlife of about 120 mammals including several primate species like our closest looks alike – the chimpanzees. This makes it the only park in Africa where Chimpanzees and gorillas co-exist though you cannot trek both of them since the chimpanzees here are not habituated. Others include the Blue monkeys, the African forest elephant, Black and white colobus monkey, L’hoest’s monkey, Grey-cheeked Mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, the giant forest hog, Vervets, more than 45 small mammal species, 51 reptiles and 88 moths making the park an amazing place to visit.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park is one of the best Uganda birding safari spots
Bird species also add up to about 350 birds such as the hornbills and turacos including 23 Albertine rift endemics such as the Neuman’s Warble, Cinnamon – chested bee-eater, African green pigeon, African harrier hawk, Crowned hornbill, Giant kingfisher and blue-headed sunbird. Birding in Bwindi impenetrable forest Uganda doesn’t miss on every passionate birder itinerary while planning a birding safari tour to Uganda, with the 23 out of the 24 Albertine rift endemics that can be seen here.
The national park is also home to 310 butterfly species, 27 frog species, a number of chameleons and geckos.
Floristically there more than 1000 flowering plant species and more than 100 fern species all these within one forest!! just more than you could find in any other forest.
After the trek or birding experience relaxing with the Batwa pygmies who were the original inhabitants of the forest. They take you through their former life as they display hunting and survival skills like lighting fire using sticks.
Many tourists opt for extended safaris in Uganda when they go trekking, and on a visit to Bwindi, it’s wise to tailor in a wildlife safari in Uganda to Queen Elizabeth National Park, home to Africa’s largest population of hippopotami, to Kibale National Park, host to the world’s largest chimpanzee population or to Murchison Falls National Park, home to the world’s most powerful falls.