TOP ATTRACTIONS IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK ∣ WHAT TO SEE IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK?
There are a variety of amazing things to see in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The top Uganda safari best attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park include the rare and endangered mountain gorillas, prolific birdlife, beautiful scenery, amazing people and culture around the park, and more.
Here Are The Details Of All Top Attractions In Bwindi National Park:
Gorillas In Bwindi
Wild Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the dense misty jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest are the world’s most powerful and endangered great apes.
It is estimated that there are only about 1063 left on Earth. Almost half (459) of them can be found in Bwindi, and populations can also be found in neighboring Rwanda and DR Congo.
Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi live in close-knit family groups that are headed by a silverback – a mature male – who selects places for the group to eat and sleep and has many privileges, including the right to feed first.
The Silverback Gorilla is up to 3 times as hefty as a normal full-grown human, and his shaggy coat adds to the impression of bulk, making him look exceedingly large and scary. However, these apes are gentle and peaceful primates and are not easily provoked. They are more likely to display aggression to warn intruders away when they feel threatened or think that their family is in danger, but the likelihood of them actually hurting you is quite low.
Bwindi gorillas, as you will also learn during your Uganda gorilla safari, mostly restrict their activities to a specific territory, normally with a 41km2 radius. You will be able to visit a particular gorilla family on your gorilla trekking Uganda tour in Bwindi.
Gorilla Families in Bwindi
Bwindi is a proud home of 19 fully habituated gorilla families and 1 semi-habituated family. Each habituated gorilla family in Bwindi has something to offer which may be in terms of character, size, and more.
All habituated gorilla families in Bwindi are known by name and have been given names to identify them. The families are found in the 4 different sectors of the park. Each gorilla sector function as a self-standing Uganda gorilla trekking destination has its own set of accommodation options, a variety of tourist attractions, and is reached by a different approach road from the other location.
Below Are The 4 Sectors Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park In Which Gorillas Are Found:
Buhoma Gorilla Sector
Buhoma Sector is set at an altitude of about 1,500m on the Bwindi’s northern boundary. Buhoma is where gorilla trekking in Uganda was first launched back in 1993.
It is the park’s busiest tourist focus despite the opening of other 3 gorilla trekking trailheads. The sector provides some of the most accessible Uganda gorilla treks. It is relatively easy to access from Kampala City and has 4 fully habituated gorilla families, including:
- Mubare Gorilla Family
- Habinyanja Gorilla Family
- Rushegura Gorilla Family
- Katwe Gorilla Family
Ruhija Gorilla Sector
Ruhija is the Bwindi highest and arguably most beautiful sector. The sector has situated an altitude of 2,340 meters in the hills abutting the park’s eastern boundary. It was opened up for gorilla trekking in 2008 and currently has 4 habituated gorilla families, including:
- Bitukura Gorilla Family
- Oruzugo Gorilla Family
- Kyaguriro A Family
- Kyaguriro B (Mukiza) Gorilla Family
Rushaga Gorilla Sector
Situated at an altitude of 1,900m near the southern tip of Bwindi, Rushaga became the newest Uganda gorilla trekking sector in 2009.
The sector is characterized by steep valleys dripping with giant tree ferns, stream-filled fissures in cliffs, and towering rocks. It offers terrific views across deep jungle-clad valleys as well as a glimpse of the dramatic Virunga Mountains. It is less known compared to Rushaga and Buhoma but it contains 8 habituated gorilla families and 1 semi-habituated family for the unique Gorilla Habituation Experience. These include:
- Nshongi Gorilla Family
- Mishaya Gorilla Family
- Kahungye Gorilla Family
- Bushingye Gorilla Family
- Bweza Gorilla Family
- Mucunguzi Gorilla Family
- Rwigi Gorilla Family
- Bikyingi Gorilla Family (Semi Habituated)
- Kutu Gorilla Family
Nkuringo Gorilla Sector
Nkuringo gorilla trekking sectors were opened in 2004 and lie at an altitude of 2,100 meters on the park’s northern border of Kisoro.
The surrounding hills are densely settled by farming communities, but have a remote and underdeveloped feel, on account of the location on a dead-end road ending at the nearby Congolese border. It is a very scenic region, set along the Nteko Ridge, which provides grandstand views across Kashasha River Valley into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
There are 3 habituated gorilla families in Nkuringo including:
- Nkuringo gorilla family
- Christmas gorilla family
- Bushaho gorilla family
More Primates In Bwindi National Park
Besides Mountain gorillas that have made Bwindi famous, this biologically diverse park contains over 120 other species of mammal including 9 primate other species such as:
- Chimpanzees (unhabituated)
- Olive baboon
- Black-and-white colobus
- L’Hoest’s monkey
- Red-tailed monkey
- Blue monkey
- Vervet monkey
- The vulnerable L’Hoest’s monkey
Other Animals In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
In addition to the plethora of primates that swing their way through the treetops, other mammals roam the forest paths of Bwindi, including is a seldom-seen herd of over 30 ‘Forest’ Elephants in the south-east, 6 antelope species including Bushbuck and 5 Duiker species, Giant Forest Hogs, Bush pigs, Golden cats, Jackals, Civet, and other small mammals.
The Rare Birds Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The forested haven of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also a bird watcher’s dream destination, boasting over 350 bird species including 23 Albertine Rift endemics and 14 species that are not recorded anywhere else in Uganda.
Here, you have a chance to become the first person to take a photo of Shelley’s Crimsonwing in the wild. The park’s Ruhija sector offers particularly diverse birding, and here keen birders can visit Mubwindi Swamp to see the mysterious African green broadbill. This globally threatened species is only known from 2 sites in the world, the other being a remote forest in DR Congo.
Below Is A List Of The 23 Albertine Rift Endemic Bird Species In Bwindi National Park:
- African green broadbill
- Shelley’s Crimsonwing
- Handsome Francolin
- Rwenzori Turaco
- Rwenzori Nightjar
- Dwarf Honeyguide
- Kivu Ground Thrush
- Red-Throated Alethe
- Archer’s Robin-Chat
- Rwenzori Apalis
- Mountain Masked Apalis
- Grauer’s Swamp Warbler
- Grauer’s Warbler
- Neumann’s Warbler
- Yellow-Eyed Black Flycatcher
- Chapin’s Flycatcher
- Rwenzori Batis
- Stripe-Breasted Tit
- Blue-Headed Sunbird
- Regal Sunbird
- Rwenzori Double-Collared Sunbird
- Purple Breasted Sun Bird
- Dusky Crimsonwing
Butterflies Of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
As if the colorful flashes of blue-headed sunbirds and black bee-eaters were not dazzling enough, Bwindi’s 220 montane butterfly species put on their own display, adding to the otherworldly feeling of the dappled green light.
Butterflies in Bwindi comprise around 84% of Uganda’s total butterfly species, including 8 species endemic to the Albertine Rift.
Beautiful Scenery Of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
In 2019, CNN Travel ranked Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as the world’s most beautiful place. According to CNN, Bwindi is one of the world’s spectacular places, full of hidden and overt beauty in every corner that shouldn’t miss on a bucket list of one looking for an outstanding adventure on a Uganda safari tour.
CNN recognized what we have always known. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a primeval ecosystem, wrapped in a blanket of mist; verdant, muddy, and bursting with the secret sounds of hidden life. Precipitous slopes descend to deep valleys cut into the landscape by tumbling mountainous streams and waterfalls. Ancient hardwood trees are interspersed with bamboo thickets, delicate fern fronds, and dangling vines
Amazing People & Culture Around Bwindi
Alongside the primates and the birds, it is important to remember that the Uganda cultures of her local people have as important a part to play in the story of Bwindi as the gorillas.
Happily, a visit to Bwindi does include the opportunity to discover the story of the Batwa people, original human inhabitants of the forest, and the Bakiga people, farmers from the forest fringe, supporting sustainable development projects as a result.
The Batwa People Around Bwindi
The Batwa people lived in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for over 1000 years. They lived a typical hunter-gatherer culture; the men used simple spears or bows and arrows to catch birds, monkeys, small antelopes, and bush pigs, while the women foraged for wild honey, fruits, and berries.
There was no farming. There was no destruction of the forest, no charcoal burning, their shelters did not disturb the environment, and they lived in harmony with their beloved forests, wildlife including the gorillas.
However, in 1991, times changed for the Batwa. In the name of preserving the ancient rainforest and its unique wildlife, the keepers of the forest were evicted and relocated to neighboring communities. Since that time, they have lived on the forest fringes, unable to hunt, often squatting in the gardens of villagers, uneducated, and unable to make a future for themselves.