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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

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. 

View Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Ivy River Nkuringo

View of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest as we ascended from Ivy River up to Nkuringo. We crossed the forest from Buhoma to Nkuringo in one day

You don’t have to be a primatologist to love Bwindi, but it helps. About half of the world’s estimated 880 mountain gorillas are located in Uganda’s far south-west corner. Approximately 4oo mountain gorillas are in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, making it the best place in the world to see the mountain gorillas. Read my Ultimate Guide to Trekking the Mountain Gorillas for advice on where to go gorilla trekkingwhere to stay, what to pack and explain how your trek supports the Mountain Gorillas and the human population. I also share ideas on other activities you can do in Uganda as part of your gorilla trekking tour. All information in my Ultimate Guide is based on my personal experience trekking the gorillas.

The forest’s wildlife also includes chimpanzees, forest elephants, duikers, Red-tailed monkeys and hundreds of mammals. Forest butterflies are particularly beautiful.
enkima Red tailed monkey Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Enkima – my totem the Red tailed monkey – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

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.”

Hire the service of an expert bird guide to make the most of a walk through Bwindi Forest. Forest birds aren’t easy to spot, but your bird guide can lure them out by imitating their song. It’s a very special experience.
Welcome to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi hiking. Photo David Tumusiime

Welcome to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Bwindi hiking. Photo David Tumusiime

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.