GORILLA SAFARI TREKKING GUIDE ON BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK IN UGANDA
Bwindi Park Introduction - Location, Wildlife & HistoryAs you crouch a few feet away from a massive silverback in the lush environs of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you’re filled with awe, wonder, and just a tinge of fear as an adorable baby gorilla clambers all over the giant adult. This is only one of the thrilling moments you’re likely to experience on your primate safari vacation in Uganda’s southernmost reserve. Standing on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, Bwindi is known for the amazing biodiversity of its rainforests, which date back more than 25,000 years, making them possibly the oldest in the world. This conservation area received gazetted status as a national park in 1991, earning the distinction of UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.
- Uganda’s southernmost reserve
- Part of the Albertine Rift Valley dating more than 25,000 years, possibly the oldest forests in the world
- Dedicated as a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994
Watch Video On Bwindi Safari Experiences
Page Content - Start Here
1. What Beautiful Landscape & Diverse Habitats Exist In Bwindi?
- Extending over an area of 331 square kilometers
- Diverse ecology featuring a range of landscapes including rocky ridges, dense rainforests, deep valleys, lakes, and a multitude of waterfalls
- Famous for mountain gorillas, one of the 10 species of primates that thrive here
2. What Are The Distinctive Primate & Wildlife Experiences Of Bwindi?
- Tracking one of the 20 distinct gorilla families numbering over 450 members in all
- Opportunity to view 200 butterfly species, and various other insects, reptiles, and amphibians
- Sightings of some of the 120 mammals and 350 species of birds including 23 endemic to the Albertine Rift Valley
3. Overview On Gorilla Safari At Bwindi Including Permit Prices
- Tracking and spending time with the gorilla family assigned to you
- Each family led by the alpha silverback male
- Standard permits for $700 to spend one hour observing a gorilla family
- Advanced permits for $1,500 to spend 4 hours observing a semi-habituated family
- Additional activity fees and charges for guides and porters applicable
To view the mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you need to acquire one of the two types of permits available. At your discretion, you may tip the guides, rangers and trackers. The cost of hiring a porter, if you need one, is extra. Standard permits cost about $700 and allow you to spend one hour with the gorilla family allotted to you. For the price of $1500, you could spend up to 4 hours with a semi-habituated group from the time they are first spotted; that is, one still undergoing the habituation process. A single group with a maximum of 4 guests are allowed each day on these treks.
4. Which Sectors In Bwindi Are The Gorilla Families Seen?
- Buhoma sector for Mubare, Habinyanja, and Rushegura families
- Rushaga sector for Bikingi, Kahungye, Busingye, Bweza, and Shongi families
- Ruhija sector for Rukara (Kyaguriro A), Mukiza (Kyaguriro B), Bitukura, and Oruzogo families
- Nkuringo sector for Bushaho and Nkuringo families
BuhomaThe Buhoma sector is ideal for meeting the Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Katwe and Binyido groups. The Mubare family was first habituated to guests touring the region in 1993 with the habitation that started in 1991. This sector is also famous for the nature walks you can undertake to visit three of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You can also spend time with the Batwa community and visit Bwindi Community Hospital.
- Mubare Gorilla Family
- Habinyanja Gorilla Family
- Rushegura Gorilla Family
- Katwe Gorilla Family
- Binyido Gorilla Family
RushagaShould you choose to begin your excursions from the Rushaga trailhead, you might encounter the Shongi, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Bikingi (semi-habituated), Mishaya, Kutu or Mucunguzi groups. Not only does this locale have a large number of gorillas, but it’s also known for forest elephant sightings.
- Shongi Gorilla Family
- Kahungye Gorilla Family
- Bweza Gorilla Family
- Busingye Gorilla Family
- Bikingi Gorilla Family (Semi-habituated)
- Mishaya Gorilla Family
- Kutu Gorilla Family
- Mucunguzi Gorilla Family
RuhijaGuests staying over at the Ruhija sector may be able to visit the Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguliro or Mukiza families. Other interesting activities that visitors to this sector can participate in include bird-watching and exploring the bamboo forests and wetlands nearby.
- Bitukura Gorilla Family
- Oruzogo Gorilla Family
- Kyaguliro Gorilla Family
- Mukiza Gorilla Family
NkuringoIf you’ve booked accommodations in the Nkuringo sector, you can expect to meet the Nkuringo, Bushaho or Christmas gorilla families. While you are in the area, you’ll want to take the time to enjoy the Buniga Forest Walk and mingle with the Batwa tribe that lives here, all while enjoying spectacular views of the Virunga Volcanoes.
- Nkuringo Gorilla Family
- Bushaho Gorilla Family
- Christmas Gorilla Family
5. What Kind Of Fauna (Animals) & Flora (Vegetation) Exist In Bwindi?
- Park assigned the UNESCO World Heritage site status
- 10 species of primates including rare mountain gorillas, L'Hoest's monkeys, red colobus monkeys, and others
- 120 species of mammals including small predators and herbivores
- Over 400 plant species, 104 types of ferns, and 163 kinds of trees
- 200 kinds of butterflies, 28 types of reptiles, 28 kinds of amphibians, and 27 kinds of frogs
- 350 bird species including 23 native to the Albertine Rift Valley and 7 IUCN red data listed species
It may interest you to learn that Bwindi Park also has species that have not received scientific names. There are over 200 kinds of gorgeous butterflies present here, as well as 28 types of reptiles, 28 kinds of amphibians, and 27 kinds of frogs. And be sure to spare the time to meet the human residents, too – the local people who live just outside the reserve.
Bwindi ’s rich diversity includes a superb variety of birdlife in Uganda that you may be able to see on hikes designed for bird-watching. In all, the region supports more than 350 species of birds, of which 23 are native to the Albertine Rift Valley. These include 7 of the IUCN red data listed species, the blue-headed sunbird, and the short-tailed warbler. The prime bird-watching areas are along the Buhoma Waterfall Trail, as well as the bamboo forests and Mubwindi Swamp Trail in the Ruhija sector. Here, you can see the white-tailed crested flycatcher, Rwenzori batis, red-faced woodland warbler, yellow-streaked greenbul, francolin, chestnut-throated apalis, western green tinkerbird, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, and various others.
Visitors should also keep a sharp eye out for the red-headed bluebill, African blue and white-tailed blue flycatchers, common bulbul, and African emerald cuckoo, all of which thrive in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Lucky bird-watchers may even get a chance to see the elusive Shelley’s crimsonwing and African green broadbill. Ornithologists say that the reserve has 76 of the 144 species of the Guinea-Congo forest biome, along with 68 of 86 of the Afro-tropical highland biome varieties.
6. History Of Bwindi & Its Ancient Lore
- Getting insights into the origins of the park’s name, from the Mubwindi Swamp, “mubwindi bwa nyinamuraki”
- Ancient mysticism and folklore that relates the story of the sacrifice of Nyina Muraki
- Originally established in the year 1932 combining Kayonza Crown Forest Reserve and Kasatora Crown Forest Reserve covering an area of 298 square kilometers
- Gazetted status assigned in the year 1991 combining Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve, Rwenzori Mountains Reserve, and Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve
- Specifically designed for the conservation of the last natural habitat of the rare mountain gorillas
About 100 years ago, so the story goes, a family traveling from the Kisoro area was trying to cross a swamp that seemed impossible to traverse. After praying to the spirits of the swamp for guidance, they were asked to sacrifice their loveliest daughter in exchange for safe passage. Faced with the prospect of returning to the south, the family opted to drown their daughter, Nyina Muraki, so that they could cross safely. As people learned about their sacrifice, they began to call it “mubwindi bwa nyinamuraki,” which translates as “dark place of nyina muraki.”
Fast forward to more recent times: Bwindi came into being in 1932 and received gazetted status in 1991. At the time, the reserve was composed of the northern block, also called the Kayonza Crown Forest Reserve, and the southern block, which was dubbed the Kasatora Crown Forest Reserve. Combined into the Impenetrable Central Crown Forest in 1942, the reserve covered a total area of 298 square kilometers.
Eventually, in 1991, Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve, Rwenzori Mountains Reserve, and Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve merged to become Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, with a total combined area of 321 square kilometers. The park was specially designated as a protected mountain gorilla viewing destination for tourists in April 1993, and even today is operated as a forest reserve and wildlife sanctuary under the management of the Uganda Wildlife Authority. Perhaps the only downside of instituting the park in its present status is the effect that had on the Batwa Pygmy people, who have been removed from the forest boundaries and are no longer allowed to use its resources as a means of livelihood.
Bwindi Park Rating By AfricanMecca
Users (0 votes) 0
Write A Trip Review On Bwindi In Uganda
Read More +
WHERE & BEST PLACES TO STAY IN BWINDI
Bwindi has varied accommodations, from the forest luxuries of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge and Bwindi Lodge. The deluxe options are Buhoma Lodge and Mahogany Springs.
Read More +
SAFARI & TOUR IN BWINDI
The primary activity at Bwindi Park is gorilla trekking including the habituation experience. Other tours are birdwatching excursions, forest waterfall hikes, Buhoma mountain biking, Batwa cultural encounters etc.
Read More +
BEST TIME TO VISIT BWINDI
Given that the main focus of your safari in Uganda is likely to be the mountain gorillas, the best time to visit Bwindi is in the long dry season, which begins in June and continues through July and August.
Read More +
GORILLA FAMILY GROUPS IN BWINDI
Should you plan a gorilla viewing safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you will learn that the park has twenty resident gorilla families that are habituated to the presence of humans.
What are our Customers saying about us? READ MORE REVIEWS
AfricanMecca Safaris offers incredibly knowledgeable and skilled services! Our travel arrangements for 2 months of volunteering with TEACH Rwanda in country were made quickly and economically. Honored to work with Raza!
Janet Brown - TEACH Rwanda Founder - United States
I just returned from a month in Africa, specifically Rwanda & Kenya. I am left breathless with my experience. AfricanMecca Safaris coordinated the entire trip for me and left no detail, nothing for me to do.
Carol Bobb - Pennsylvania, United States
AfricanMecca Safaris created a remarkable honeymoon tailored to our interests and desires. The quality of service and delivery of experience was unsurpassed. I highly recommend AfricanMecca Safaris to honeymooners, families, or any traveler.
Noorin & Jason Nelson - Maryland, United States
I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
This is to let you know my guests, The Bryant's, had a wonderful time on the trip Samburu, Masai Mara/Kenya, Chobe/Botswana & Victoria Falls/Zambia. Everything was perfect! Thank you.
Christine Milan - MT Carmel Travel - Connecticut, United States
We have returned from our African adventure and would like to thank you very much for your part in making this such a wonderful experience. We were lucky enough to time the Great Migration from the Serengeti, which was amazing.
Denise Paterson - Belmont, Australia
Rwanda was amazing. The accommodations, food, and guides AfricanMecca arranged were great. Raza also helped us through the complicated process of getting permits for gorilla trekking. AfricanMecca is a fantastic company to work with.
Stephanie Weir - United States
EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR BWINDI IN UGANDA
When visiting Bwindi Park for your gorilla safari trek, we recommend combining it with Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls, and Kibale (chimpanzee safari) alongside your city tour visits of Kampala and Entebbe.
You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas such as Mgahinga to track down golden monkeys and gorillas in the same park, Jinja for whitewater rafting on the Nile River, and Semliki, Lake Mburo or Kidepo for an offbeat wildlife tour.
You can end your vacation on the beach at Lake Victoria or even extending out to the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.
Best Safari Planning Ideas & Trip Experiences For UgandaBelow are guide references on how to plan each of the below safari experience in Uganda. Alternatively, go to the summary section for a quick overview of each trip planning experience.READ MORE
Kickstart Your Safari Planning
Kickstart Your Safari Planning
ARE YOU PLANNING TO BOOK AN AFRICAN SAFARI TO BWINDI IN UGANDA?
Do You Need Knowledgeable, Experienced & Specialist Guidance For Your Travels In Bwindi ? Let Us Help Plan Your Trip Itinerary CorrectlyCONTACT AN AFRICA TRAVEL EXPERT ON BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
BWINDI CAMPS & LODGES
EXPLORE MORE ON BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK IN UGANDA
HAVE YOU VISITED BWINDI FOR AN AFRICA SAFARI IN UGANDA?
Write A Travel Or Tourist Trip Review To Share Your ExperiencesWRITE BWINDI REVIEW
AMS BLOGVIEW ALL -
- 26 October 2017 by AfricanMecca Safaris, in Blog For AfricanMecca Safaris,Safari Planning Blog Posts - AfricanMecca SafarisBaggage Guidance & Restrictions On Flying Safaris In Africa Published By Afr...READ MORE +
- 07 June 2017 by AfricanMecca Safaris, in Blog For AfricanMecca Safaris,Latest Kenya Blog Posts From AfricanMecca Safaris,Safari Planning Blog Posts - AfricanMecca SafarisHorseback Riding Safari In Masai Mara (Kenya) Published By AfricanMecca Safaris ...READ MORE +
- 24 March 2017 by AfricanMecca Safaris, in Blog For AfricanMecca Safaris,Safari Planning Blog Posts - AfricanMecca SafarisTimes Square New York Hosts Kenya Tourism Board & Wilderness Safaris Meet Up...READ MORE +