Blackback mountain gorilla in mgahinga

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Park at a glance:

Size: 321km².

Altitude: 1,160m - 2,607m above sea level.

Bwindi was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. The Mubare gorilla group was the first to become available for tourism in Uganda in April 1993.

As of today over 23 groups have been habituated for tourism with one reserved for habitutaion experience in the rushaga sector . Spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, Bwindi is the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda's oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants.

More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 500 mountain gorillas - roughly half of the world's population, with 23 habituated groups, which can be tracked and a number of solitary individuals.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is home to diverse animal and bird species

This biologically diverse destination provides shelter to 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons, monkeys and chimpanzees, as well as elephants, buffalos and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.

The neighboring towns of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo have an impressive array of luxury - midrange lodges, rustic bandas and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, Curios and community tour services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa cultures through performances, workshops, museums and village walks.

Mountain Gorilla families And sectors of bwindi impenetrable forest National park:

Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park has 4 trail heads/ sectors: Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma and Nkuringo and each sector offers slightly different Experiences but the highlight remains Gorilla tracking, what puts them apart is level of difficulty and number of Gorilla families there.

The easiest sector to track Gorillas is Buhoma sector and is the oldest, Rushaga has the largest concentration of families and one family reserved for habituation experience and is perfect for midrange travellers. Nkuringo and Ruhija are also good in their own ways.

The Gorilla tracking activity is strictly handled by the park officials. During Gorilla tracking, you will accompanied by the head guide and at least 2 armed military rangers who will be assisted by a team of trackers or you may call them “advance team” and a few other tourists. The total number of trackers in the group is strictly 8 but sometimes it can be less, depending on the turn up of tourists.

Buhoma Trail Head - Nothern sector

This the most famous of all sectors and the oldest Trail head in the nothern part of bwindi, it was opened in 1993 and the first family to be habituted here was mubare group and is still outstanding, other gorilla families in Buhoma sector are: Habinyanja, Rushegura, Mubare, Katwe, Binyindo and Muyambi.

This sector is 1 hr drive to Kihihi airstrip south of Queen Elizabeth national park, which makes it accessible for those who would opt to use flight as a mode of transfer from Entebbe international airport.

It is approximately 5hr drive from Kigali the capital of Rwanda, and 1hrs drive from Ishasha Sector. Out of the 4 sectors, it's the easiest to trek and the most convenient for older people.

Some of the activities that could be done at the park include birding, forest walks, communities tours with the Batwa and Bakiga, and the waterfall trail.

Nkuringo Trail Head - Southern sector

Nkuringo trail head is located in the southern part of the park; the sector is home to the famous Nkuringo gorilla family well known in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for their playful behaviours because of many Juveniles.

Nkuringo is home to 4 fully habituated gorilla families, Nkuringo, Bushaho, chrismass and Posho. The sector is well known for its views of Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira.

One of the hardest sectors to trek in because of the terrain but has some of the best views. The sector can easily be accessed from Kigali International airport on a 3hr drive scenic drive.

Some of the activities carried out in this sector include nature walks, birding, and cultural encounters with the Batwa of Buniga and the Bakiga or bafumbira communities.

Rushaga Trail Head - Southern sector

Rushaga sector has the highest number of habituated gorilla families. It is one of the sectors where Gorilla habituation experince takes place.

It is easily accessible to travellers coming from Kigali through the Cyanika or Katuna border in Kisoro and kabale districts respectively, which is approximately a 3hr drive as opposed to the 9 to 10 hrs from Ugandas main Airport of Entebbe.

Apart from Gorilla tracking other, Other activities done at the park from this sector include boat cruising at Lake Mutanda, bird watching, cultural experience of the Batwa community, and gorilla habituation Experince.

Gorilla families here include: Busingye, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, Mucunguzi, Bikingi, Nshongi, Kutu, Rwigi

Ruhija Trail Head - Eastern sector

Situated on the Eastern part of the park. It is suitable for travellers arriving from kigali or who have Bunyonyi and Queen Elizabeth National Park as part of their itineraries through Ishasha sector.

It is home to 4 habituated gorilla families ie: Oruzogo, Bitukura, Mukiza, Kyaguriro. Out of the 4 sectors, it's the highest and probably the coldest.

Some of the activities carried out in this sector include cycling mountain biking, birding, cultural encounters of the Batwa community, and nature walks.

Ruhija is generally a perfect place Trek as the way to the lodges goes through the park giving you a feel of this destination a day before your official tracking, there are instances where clients have encountred gorillas on their way to the lodge, other primates you can meet on the way include L'hoests monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, baboons, and so many others.

Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda


2 Days Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Are you in Rwanda and would wish to compare gorilla trekking on this side of Uganda? Do not worry, It only costs you a few extra dollars and a short distance. The tour takes you through the Rwanda - Uganda chyanika board to kisoro town on the Uganda side. Short as it is but its very scenic and surely rewording.

Explore Idea $1205

Per person sharing

Silverback face

3 Day Mount Mgahinga Gorilla Trekking Mid-Range Tour

Our 3 Day Mgahinga gorillas will take you to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in south western Uganda. Arrival and departure will be through Kigali, Rwanda. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the only park in Uganda where mountain gorillas co-exist with golden monkeys. Hence the saying, that it's where “gold meets silver”.

Explore Idea $1612

Per person sharing

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4 Day Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Budget Tour

The 4 day Budget Gorilla Trekking and Charitable Cultural Tour takes you to Lake Bunyonyi and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. This is the forest that houses the largest number of the world's remaining wild mountain gorillas.

Explore Idea $1487

Per person sharing

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