Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, renowned for hosting nearly half of the world’s mountain gorillas, is a true gem in Southwestern Uganda. The park’s name, “Bwindi,” fittingly translates to “Impenetrable,” as it protects a rugged and diverse forest spanning from montane to lowland areas. The park is divided into different gorilla trekking areas, each offering unique experiences with these magnificent creatures. Here’s a detailed 7-day itinerary on how to explore the wonders of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Begin your journey from Kampala, setting off early in the morning. Along the way, make a stop at Kayabwe to take photos at the Equator and perform the famous water experiment. Continue the drive, and during lunch breaks, keep an eye out for baboon troupes known for their interactions with humans. The 530 km drive may take around 8 hours. As you draw closer to the forest, the altitude changes, with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ranging from 1160 to 2607 meters above sea level. Check into your chosen accommodation, which offers a variety of options, including Clouds Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, and others.
Prepare your gorilla trekking gear and head to the ranger station for a briefing. Join other trekkers as your ranger guide leads you through the forest to locate the Nyakagezi gorilla family. Along the way, encounter other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and olive baboons. Bwindi is also a birder’s paradise, with a rich variety of bird species like the Rwenzori Batis, Red-faced Woodland, and Western Green Tinkerbird. Spend an hour in the presence of the gorillas, capturing the unforgettable moments on your camera.
Rise early to catch the early birds during a birding adventure in Ruhija, the birding empire of Bwindi Forest. Packed lunch ensures you can explore all day, spotting various bird species like the Cinnamon-Chested Bee eaters, Africa Sooty Flycatchers, and more. Bwindi is home to over 100 bird species, providing ample opportunities for birdwatchers to enjoy the vibrant avian life.
Continue your birding journey in Bwindi forest, searching for birds you may have missed on the previous day. The forest’s rich biodiversity offers the chance to spot unique species like the Eastern Mountain-Greenbul, Fraser Eagle-owl, Rwenzori Hill Babbler, and others. Take your time and enjoy the beauty of these feathered wonders.
Immerse yourself in the local culture with a community walk through nearby villages, guided by a local expert. Experience the day-to-day activities of the rural people around Bwindi, visiting traditional healers, banana breweries, or local homesteads. If arranged in advance, enjoy a colorful traditional dance performance. Your visit to the community directly supports mountain gorilla conservation, benefiting the locals through development projects.
After an exhilarating gorilla trekking and birding experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, it’s time to head back to Entebbe Airport for your return flight.
To secure gorilla trekking permits, send an enquiry with your preferred safari dates to Trek Africa Tours. They will check availability and respond within 24 hours. Gorilla permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, and each area allows a maximum of 8 visitors per day. The cost of a Uganda gorilla trekking permit is $700 per person per trek.
Bwindi can be accessed by road through several routes, including Kampala to Kabale to Kanungu to Buhoma or Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kihihi to Buhoma. Alternatively, scheduled or charter flights to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip can be arranged.
Trek Africa Tours is a reputable and experienced Destination Management company for East Africa. With 15 years of experience, they have a passionate and knowledgeable team to create unforgettable experiences. Fully licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and highly rated on TripAdvisor, they are the ideal choice for your Bwindi adventure. Contact them for further details and to book your safari.