Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in the southwest of Uganda, is home to a significant portion of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population. In the past, reaching Bwindi required a lengthy and challenging journey that could take up to two days. However, improvements in road infrastructure and the availability of domestic flights have made it easier to access the park.
The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in gorilla trekking. With four different areas available for trekking, including Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo, there are plenty of options to choose from. The park is home to over half of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population and has seen significant improvements in management and environmental protection in recent years. Tourism is a crucial source of finance for the park, and without it, the gorillas and the park itself may not be in such good condition today.
Flying is the quickest way to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and there are multiple flights available daily. Most travelers arrive at Entebbe International Airport (EBB), located about 29 miles from the capital city of Kampala. From both Entebbe and Kampala’s Kajjansi Airfield, there are several domestic flights that go to Bwindi. It is also possible to arrange a chartered flight to Bwindi.
If you are visiting the Buhoma or Ruhija trailheads in the north of the park, the closest airport is Kihihi. Alternatively, you can arrange a chartered flight to the Kayonza airstrip.
If you are going to the southern trailheads of Rushaga and Nkuringo, the best place to fly to is Kisoro. The flight time is generally around 2 hours, followed by a short drive of approximately 1.5-2 hours.
There are several different routes to choose from if you’re planning to drive to Bwindi. One of the most popular options is to travel from Entebbe or Kampala, which will take about 9-10 hours. If you’re already in Queen Elizabeth National Park, you can reach Bwindi in 2-3 hours by driving south through Ishasha to see the famous tree-climbing lions. Alternatively, you can drive from Lake Mburo National Park in about 5-6 hours. All of these routes converge at the town of Butogota, which is just 10 miles from the entrance gate at Buhoma. Regardless of which route you choose, the drive to Bwindi offers stunning scenery and a chance to really get to know the country.
There are several options for road travel, depending on your available time and desired destinations. Ultimately, all of these routes lead to the town of Butogota, located just 10 miles from the Buhoma entrance gate to the park. If you are coming from Entebbe or Kampala, the driving time to the park is approximately 9-10 hours.
For those who are already visiting Queen Elizabeth National Park, it is a relatively short 2-3 hour drive south to reach Bwindi. Along this route, you can also pass through Ishasha to see the renowned tree-climbing lions before arriving in Buhoma. On the other hand, if you are coming from Lake Mburo National Park, the driving time is approximately 5-6 hours.
Traveling from Kampala to Kabale and then on to Nkuringo
The most direct route to the Nkuringo area of the park is to drive from Kampala to Kabale, and then continue along a bumpy mountain road that passes through small communities for about 65 miles until you reach Nkuringo.
Traveling from Kampala to Kabale and then on to Ruhija
This route connects Kampala to Kabale with an 8-hour drive, and then continues on to Ruhija in the north-eastern region of Bwindi via a gravel road that passes through local communities.
Traveling from Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri to Kihihi and then on to Buhoma
This route is the most straightforward and quickest way to reach Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, covering a distance of around 240 miles. The journey involves taking the highway from Kampala to Ntungama, and then turning off onto a smaller gravel road for the remainder of the trip.
Traveling from Kampala to Kabale to Kanungu and then on to Buhoma
This route is quite long and is a popular choice due to the beautiful scenery it offers. It covers about 330 miles and includes a smooth tarmac highway for the first 5-6 hours, followed by a bumpier gravel road for the final 4 hours.