Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Was once a Forest Reserve, impenetrable of course, it was gazetted in 1942 and upgraded to park status in 1992. ‘Bwindi’ in the local lukiga language means impenetrable and rightly so for Bwindi is virtually impenetrable. Bwindi is unique because it not only the most diverse of Uganda’s national parks but is also one of Africa’s most diverse forests.
Its 327km2 of forest is ancient and it’s been thriving over at least 25,000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list which includes 350 species of bird, 310 of butterfly, 51 of reptiles, 200 of trees ,88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammal including 10 primates.
The latter include chimpanzee, L hoests, Red tailed and Blue Monkey, Black and White colobus and Baboon. Most famous of Bwindi yet unmentioned resident is the mountain gorilla whose estimated number is 240. Although Bwindi terrain is difficult to negotiate it’s well worth the effort to appreciate her biodiversity. Gorilla tracking though is Bwindi’s main attraction. Mountain gorillas can be tracked from two locations Buhoma and Nkuringo. Buhoma on the northern edge of the forest has three habituated gorilla groups –Mubare, Habinyanja A and Habinyanja B and is by far the busier site.
Nkuringo on the southern edge of the forest is 10km away from Buhoma and it takes four hours to wall the opened footpaths between the two sites which is quicker than the bumpy and circuitous drive around the edge of the forest.
The Nkuringo trailhead lies on Nteko ridge a remote and undeveloped area with beautiful scenery. The ridge enjoys grand views of the Nkuringo sector of Bwindi forest to the north while the Virunga Volcanoes slash zig-zaggedly across the southern horizon. The entire chain is visible including the active cones in Congo, Nyirangongo and Nyamuragira.
The easy water fall trail is a delightful hike and the community walks by villagers interesting insights into the rural lifestyles including visits to traditional healers, blacksmiths and brewers.
Where to Stay in Bwindi Forest
Bwindi forest is a thick hilly jungle in western Uganda and a home to mountain gorillas. It has been a choice gorilla safari destination for many and it’s still because of its natural beauty never fades. If you like primates and gorillas in particular, I believe one day Bwindi forest will make your dream of seeing mountain gorillas come true. No gorilla trekking tour to Bwindi Forest that has ever been disappointing because seeing gorillas is a must in just a single trek in all the four park sectors-Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. As may have heard about different gorilla safari lodges and campsites but not every lodge is budget. And those planning to track gorillas at affordable rates and sleep in cost friendly lodges and campsites, here are some of the gorilla safari lodges to consider when you visit Bwindi forest on budget.