Bwindi National Park Africa
Bwindi National Park Africa is one of the animal parks in the East African country Uganda is commonly known as the pearl of Africa. This park that is famous for mountain gorillas is located in south western Uganda 8 to 9 hours from the country capital Kampala. The park also borders Rwanda to the North and the Democratic Republic of Congo west and can easily be accessed from Rwanda’s Kigali city which is 3 to 4 hours from the Park.
Accessing Bwindi National Park Africa, is normally by which is a drive from Kampala to Bwindi through Mbarara, Kabale or Ntungamo; this drive takes 8 to 9 hours sometimes 10 hours. Or you can also access the park from Kigali through the Kyanika or Gatuna borders and this is a 3 to 4-hour drive. Domestic flights to the park take one hour from Entebbe International Airport in Uganda to Kihihi or Kisoro, towns that are 45mins or 1 hour from the park.
Bwindi National Park Africa covers a total area of 331 square kilometers and 90% of this total area is covered by one of the most diverse and oldest rain forests in Uganda that’s just on the edge of the rift valley and very close to Equator. This forest that is known as bwindi impenetrable rain forest has over 400 plant species that make up the diverse richness of this forest.
This forest is also home to over 400 mountain gorillas that live naturally in the forest together with 20 Albertine rift endemic birds, about 300 more bird species, around 120 mammals and other primates.
Bwindi National Park Africa because its home to the famous, rare and endangered mountain gorillas, it mainly attracts travellers visiting the park to engage in the mountain gorilla trekking activity.
Mountain gorilla trekking is an activity that involves climbing up the forested mountain in search of the endangered mountain gorillas and when you find them you will spend utmost an hour in their company before you descend the forested mountain.
This activity is done in Bwindi National Park Africa almost daily in any of the four sectors of the park that are:-
Buhoma: This was the first sector to be trekked in the Park and is the most visited sector because it’s the easiest to trek. The trails in this sector are favourably for climbing even for non- experienced mountain climbers. Buhoma sector is located north of Bwindi National Park Africa and currently has four habituated mountain gorilla families. The families in the sectors are: – Mubare the oldest and most famous gorilla family, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe.
Ruhija: This is the nearest sector to arrive at when you are coming from Kampala and it’s found in the eastern part of Bwindi National Park Africa. Second to Buhoma, this sector is also quite favourable for non- experienced trekkers and receives quite a huge number of visitors trekking the sector. This sector is home to four habituated mountain gorilla families which are:- Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro and Mukiza
One of the two toughest sectors to trek in Bwindi National Park Africa the sector is found in the south of the park and is home to eight habituated mountain gorilla families. The families are Nshongi, Busingye, Kahungye, Mishaya, Bweza, Bukyingi, Mucunguzi and Kutu
Rushaga sector though tough to trek, it has the highest number of mountain gorillas in the park is the only sector in the park where mountain gorilla habituation is done. Habituation is similar to trekking however; it involves individuals helping the gorillas get used to human presence for more than an hour.
The sector found in the south of Bwindi National Park Africa too; is the toughest to trek and visitor that trek this sector are both looking for a hiking adventure and a mountain gorilla experience. This sector’s location also gives its trekkers breath-taking views of the region. This sector currently has three habituated gorilla families that are Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas
All the mountain gorilla trekking activities in these sectors are managed by Uganda wildlife Authority that maintains the sectors’ facilities and the conservation of the mountain gorillas in each sector.
Mountain gorilla trekking in each sector of Bwindi National Park Africa costs 700 USD per person per a trek and mountain gorilla trekking is done in groups of eight, with each mountain gorilla family receiving 8 people visiting it for one hour a day. The trekking activities begin in the mornings and can take up to 7 or 8 hours or less 5 or 6 hours, depending on how far the mountain gorillas have moved inside the forest. Uganda Wildlife Authority offers guidelines for all trekkers and the guidelines are communicated to all trekkers before the trekking experience starts.
Bwindi National park Africa also has other activities like birding watching, mountain biking, Batwa trail experiences and community tours, that are managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority and done as top up activities on the mountain gorilla trekking experience.