Explore Bwindi Impenetrable Forest located in south western Uganda in East Africa, the most popular place to see the mountain gorillas in the wild. The national park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo boarder next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift.
This park comprises 331 square Kilometers of jungle forests and contains both the montane and lowland forest and is also accessible only on foot. This safari forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, and the diversity of species is a feature of the park. This National Park provides habitat for some 120 species of Mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species.
Bwindi is also amongst the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern sector is also rich in species of the Guineo Congolian flora. Some of these include two species internationally recognized as endangered by the IUCN. There is also the brown mahogany and Brazzeia Longipedicellata. These have also attracted many people to come for safaris to Uganda, hence increasing the revenues of the tourism sector.
The national park is also a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many bird species like the horn bills and the Turacos. The park has also got over 340 mountains and these have greatly attracted many gorilla tracking safaris to the country. This park harbors half of the world’s population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas.
There are also four habituated mountain gorilla groups open for tourism: Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo. The habitauted gorilla groups are distributed in four sectors where several trailheads have been developed. These are the Buhoma Sector and Ruhija Sector in Northern Bwindi as well as the Rushaga Sector and Nkuringo Sector in Southern Bwindi.
This safari park also comprises two blocks of forest that are connected by a small corridor of the forest. The shape of the park is a legacy of previous conservation management. The park is surrounded by agricultural land where there were previously tree directly found outside the park.
Importance of Bwindi
Bwindi is an important landmark in Uganda. It is one of the only three UNESCo world heritage sites within Uganda. The park is old, complex, and very biologically rich and it also became an UNESCO World Heritage site due to its ecological importance.
The forest is an important water catchment area with a generally impermeable underlying geology where the water mostly flows through large fault structures, water infiltration and the aquifers are also limited.
Important Things to Know
Climate and Weather
This forest has got a tropical climate and its annual rain falls ranges from 1400 to 1900 millimeters. With this pleasant weather conditions, Bwindi is a destination that can be visited all year round.
Fauna and Flora
The national park’s forests are afromontane which is a rare vegetation type on the African continent. It’s also located where plain and the mountain forests meet, this park has also got over 220 tree species, and more than 100 fern species. The brown Mahogany is a threatened plant species found within the park.
This park is also one of the richest faunal communities in East Africa. There over 120 safari mammals in the park, ten of which are primates, and more than 45 of which are small mammal species.
Along with the mountain gorillas, the species in the park also include; common chimpanzees, L’ Hoest’s monkey, African green broadbill, African elephant, cream banded swallow tail, black and white colobus, red tailed monkeys, vervets, giant forest hog, and antelope species. The carnivores also include; side striped jackal, African golden cat and African civet. The park also has more than 350 bird species and more than 200 butterfly species and many fish species.