Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – no. 1 for mountain gorilla trekking, no. 1 in Africa for birding too!
We pay a lot of lip service to ‘protecting the rainforest’ and here it is: a magical, mystical misty place. The first time I visited Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, I felt a strong emotional pull. My first sight of Bwindi’s rainforest made me want to cry.
The forest’s wildlife also includes chimpanzees, forest elephants, duikers, Red-tailed monkeys and hundreds of mammals. Forest butterflies are particularly beautiful.
The African Bird Club has ranked Bwindi Impenetrable Forest the number one site for birding in Africa.
According to Keith Betton, Chairman of the African Bird Club:“No fewer than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemic species are found here including globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri and Shelley’s Crimsonwing Cryptospiza shelleyi, plus others such as Kivu Ground-Thrush Zoothera (piaggiae) tanganjicae, Oberlaender’s Ground-Thrush Zoothera oberlaenderi, Dwarf Honeyguide Indicator pumilio, Lagden’s Bush-Shrike Malacanotus lagdeni and Chapin’s Flycatcher Muscicapa lendu.”
While you’re in Bwindi, take time to go on a village walk. “The Batwa Experience” gives you an insight into the traditional way of life of the Batwa (‘pygmy’) people who lived in the forest for 60,000 years. The Batwa’s ancient forest lifestyle is unique and the community fragile.
Did you know… the mountain gorilla population once numbered just 254 individuals? Thanks to gorilla tourism, their numbers have stabilised. However, they remain critically endangered.