This home to over 500 mountain gorillas is the most visited in Uganda because it harbors over half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas. Despite the park being famous for gorilla trekking, it’s also one of the oldest afro-montane forests in East Africa with inimitable 160 tree species, over 100 fern species, and over 1000 flowering species. If you have an exceptional list of animals you want to see, there are about 120 amazing animals like the elephants with extra toes and straight tusks, chimps, Pottos, Bushbabies, among others.
Bwindi is one of the 4 national parks in Africa where mountain gorilla trekking is done in the sectors of Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija, here; over 100 permits are made available for purchase. The 4 to 7-hour activity kicks off at 8 am and each group is given about 1 hour with the gorillas. Visitors who want longer hours with the gorillas can always opt for the 4-hour habituation experience where you get to spend time with the animals in their habitat. As you follow the gorillas around, trained guides will be giving an educative insight into the whole habituation process. There are currently two-family groups being habituated therefore it’s easier for tourists to get closer, take photos without scaring them away.
The park offers some of the best gaming activities like cycling, hiking, and nature walk. The most famous ride is the interesting 13km mountain biking ride along the mountain trail to the Ivy River organized by the Buhoma community rest camp. As you enjoy this 6-7-hour biking initiative named “Ride 4 a Woman”look out for Bushbucks, Red-tailed monkeys; and the Black and White colobus monkeys. Those interested in exploring the impeccable beauty Bwindi forest has to offer, get ready for the organized nature walks developed on trails along with the Buhoma sector of the forest. The Rushura hill hike with its impressive views of the Rwenzori Mountains, conical peaks of Virunga volcanoes is a perfect spot for photographers. There is also a remarkable guided walk along the Ivy river walk that passes through Mukempunu locally translated a “place of pigs”. The pleasant Buhoma-Nkuringo trail also offers astounding views of misty hills a perfect spot for photographers.
Bwindi is ranked by the African bird club as the number one birding destination in Africa. The park being the oldest makes it an ideal habitat for about 350 variety of bird species, with 14 of these not recorded elsewhere in Uganda. There will be guided nature walks along the main trail, the Buhoma waterfall trail, a bamboo zone, and the Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija; the jewels of bird spotting. Some of the birds to tick off your bucket list are short-tailed warbler, Western green tinker bird, Albertine rift, Red-throated Alethe, Shelley’s Greenbul, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Grey-throated Barbet, Common Buzzard, Black Bee-eater, Bar-tailed trogon, etc. Birders should come along with their cameras ready to capture splendor on the 4-6-hour Habinyanja trail with the Munyaga River, the fairly steep slope of the Habigorogoro and Riyovi ridge overlooking Buhoma River.
There is the 3-hour Buhoma cultural walk to the Batwa community the original inhabitants of the forest. On this guided walk, you get to see how the locals are making beautiful baskets, beer from bananas, local waragi, food preparation, and how they grow their crops. Visitors will be taken to meet the traditional healer showing off some of the herbs gathered in the forest and how they are used to treat different diseases. As you are taken around the Batwa schools prepare to be entertained by the locals with their singing and dancing. Tourists can later buy some of these crafts as souvenirs or take back home to their loved ones. Don’t miss out on the interesting stories of the Batwa survival tactics for over a thousand years in this forest.