Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the best places to visit for an adventure! This impenetrable forest in South Western Uganda is one of the few places where to see the endangered mountain gorillas in the world and it is one of the only three UNESCO heritage sites in the country.
The renowned forest is home to nearly half of the remaining mountain gorillas. Most visitors looking for gorilla tracking in Africa choose to go this amazing park given its terrain which offers hikers the ultimate experience of hiking through the wild. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covers about 32,000 ha and is known for its exceptional biodiversity. The park has more than 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns. Many types of birds and butterflies can also be found there. No wonder many tourists visit this park for a gorilla trekking safari into the wild to try out their luck of watching the gorillas in their natural wild.
Entrance points of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Traveling to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to visit the gorillas is a highlight for every single traveler going to Africa for a wildlife tour. The Bwindi Forest National Park has 4 different entrance points which include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo where you can start your gorilla trek from. Therefore before booking and paying for your gorilla permit and accommodation it is very necessary to make research on which side of the the park you would like to track gorillas from. This depends on your gorilla permit. Make sure your lodge is located next to the starting point so you do not have to travel on this potentially long and tiring day.
The Buhoma entrance point of Bwindi National Park
Loacted in northern Bwindi, Buhoma is the most popular sector of the park and gorilla permits of this area are the first to get out of sale. This part is favored mostly because it has a number of other activities to participate in while in Bwindi apart from gorilla trekking, this part of the park had a variety oaf accommodation options to chose from and at a better price as compared to the rest of the park, this could be mostly because Buhoma region was the very first area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that was open for gorilla tracking safaris.
Gorilla Families within Buhoma region
There are 14 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that can be visited by tourists taking gorilla safaris in Uganda. Each gorilla group can be visited by a maximum of 8 tourists. Tourism is highly regulated given that Uganda developed its industry following the guidelines of ecotourism. At the inauguration of tourism, the carrying capacity was first set – with each group permitting only 6 visitors.
Mubare Group also called M Family
First habituated gorilla family in 1998. At the beginning the group comprised of 12 family member but when the head silverback Ruhondeza died, it left only 5 family members. In 2013 the Mubare gorilla family received four other members making it now nine family member.
The Habinyanja Gorilla Family – H Group
Habituated groups was first discovered near a swamp hence the name of water. Tracking this gorilla family can normally go for a whole day – from upto five hours or more to track the Habinyanja Gorilla Group. These gorillas move daily over a wide range in the forest. Nevertheless there are harder groups to track that take a bit more energy. This group is also large comprising of over 18 members which change from time to time as gorilla babies arrive, old members die or move to another group and other factors.
Rushegura Family – R Group
One of the larger groups comprising of 16 members and can be tracked from the Buhoma area of the park park headquarters. The Rushegura family offers a short trek since the daily is staying in the area of This group slit from Habinyanja group and is found in the Buhoma area split off some years back to form its own family. Today these two families and the Mubare Gorilla Families cross each others paths and the meetings are mostly peaceful in nature.
There are several habituated gorilla families in the Ruhija Sector.
Best Time to visit Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a green forest that is normally covered with fog /mist very morning all year round. This forest receives heavy rains from April to May as from October to November every year. Despite this within the forest it can rain any time. So we recommend that you adequately prepare before visiting this place. Among several other things, you should park a rain jacket which you will wear during this thrilling activity. Gorilla Tracking is an activity that is enjoyed all year round so irrespective of the time of the year you visit this is am activity you can always enjoy.
What you need to trek Gorillas in Bwindi Forest.
For anyone to be allowed to trek the mountain gorillas, you will be needed to present a gorilla permit which can be obtained through your tour operator. The gorilla trekking permits cost $600 per person in Uganda. However you should keep in mind that only 8 people are allowed to trekking a habituated gorilla group at a time, which limits the number of people allowed to trek gorillas each day. For that reason, we always advise our clients interested in trekking gorillas to book this safari at least three months earlier before their preferred safari date. Prior booking will also give you an opportunity to confirm availability in your preferred accommodation.
Where to stay in Bwindi Forest
Each of the gorilla tour areas or the regions we have listed above has got a wide range of accommodation including budget, mid range, and luxury facilities. All we recommend is that you make your reservation early so as to guarantee availability for at your preferred lodge.