Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located in southwestern Uganda, on the edge of the rift valley. Commonly referred to as the impenetrable forest, Bwindi is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the western side; Kabale town to the southeast is the nearest main town to the park, 29 kilometers away by road. It covers an area of 331 square kilometers and is located in the highest parts of Kigezi highlands with an altitude of 1,190 to 2,607 meters above sea level and 60% of this magical park has an elevation of over 2,000 meters above sea level. The highest elevation in the park is Rwamunyonyi hill at the eastern edge and the lowest part of the park is located at its most northern tip.
Bwindi is made up of four main sectors namely; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Rushaga with Buhoma and Nkuringo emerging as one of the most visited sectors.
The proximity of the national park to the border of Rwanda has made it possible for tourists to combine Uganda gorilla trekking and Rwanda gorilla trekking experiences in a single itinerary. Such trips can begin either way depending on a client’s preference making it possible to do Gorilla trekking in Bwindi from Rwanda – about (4 – 5 hours’ drive) from Kigali.
Bwindi impenetrable forest is a typical tropical rain forest with an annual mean temperature range of a minimum of 7–15°C to a maximum of 20–27°C. Its annual rainfall ranges from 1,400 to 1,900 millimeters. The heavy rains climax from March to April and from September to November. Bwindi forest plays a key role in regulating the outside area’s environment and climate.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park was designated as a national park in 1991 and in 1994, it was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site due to its ecological importance and as such, a 10 square kilometer area was incorporated into the park.
The lush green forest became popular to the world because of Gorilla trekking! Bwindi is a habitat for more than half of the world’s remaining Mountain Gorilla population which are about 360 individuals. These gentle primates are a highly endangered species because of poaching, habitat loss because of lumbering activities and multiple diseases.
How to get there
The journey to Bwindi with outback adventure safaris is approximately an eight to ten hour drive from Entebbe by road. However, in partnership with local charters, we organize chartered flights which take just an hour to the closest airstrip where your guide will pick you to your lodge.
The journey is quite long when traveling by road but definitely worth it after you experience a close encounter with the mountain gorillas in its natural habitant.