How to get to Bwindi
How to get to Bwindi : Bwindi impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district. It is found along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo next to the Virunga National Park. With 331 kilometres of area, Bwindi has four sections namely Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Rushaga in the south and Nkuringo, all hours apart.
The Park is one of the most visited destinations on the continent and the country, famous for the endangered mountain gorillas. It is also home to many species of birds and other animals like elephants, buffaloes, golden cats, bush pigs and 11 other primate species like the red-tailed monkeys, baboons, blue monkeys and the L’Hoest’s monkeys among others in addition to the gorillas. Many more activities like bird watching are done with gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park thanks to the variety the park gives.
Even with this reputation, getting to the park itself is by foot because of its large area and nature. But to get to the area the park lies, you can use either road or air transport.
It is about 540 kilometres from Kampala to Bwindi National Park which translates to about 8 to 10 hours. Some trekkers use the Kampala – Kabale- Kanungu route which provides spectacular sights of the Kigezi hills, landscapes, homesteads and plantations among others. When you get to Kanungu, you can drive to any of the sectors of the park for you gorilla trekking in Bwindi.
Other travelers use the Kampala – Ntugamo – Rukugiri – Kihihi route which is nearer to the Buhoma sector of the park. If you trek is scheduled in Buhoma, this is definitely the route for you. You can however use this route to drive to any other sector of the park.
You can get to Bwindi through Queen Elizabeth National Park, the second largest park in the country if you are already in the western part of the country. From Queen Elizabeth National Park, you’ll go through Mweya to the Buhoma sector of Bwindi National Park for 3 to 4 hours. You will have a feel of the climbing lions, different bird species, amazing landscapes and other animals throughout your journey to Bwindi.
From Rwanda, you will have to fly to Kigali International Airport and then connect to Cyanika or Katuna border in Kisoro or Kabale respectively by road. You will have amazing views or Rwanda’s rolling hills, farmlands and landscapes among other things on your way to Bwindi National Park. The journey is 3 to 4 hours.
Public transport, though not recommended can be used to get to Bwindi National Park. You will have to board a bus from Kampala to either Kable, Butogota or Kisoro then hire private transport to the Ruhija, Buhoma or Rushaga/ Nkuringo sectors respectively. This however is very tiring for a journey so long.
This is the quickest way to get to any place, more so Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. There are various charter airlines that offer trips to Bwindi National Park. With air, you will land at either Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters by road.
Flights, like any other airlines are booked in advance and the scheduled flights depart at 7 am, 10:15 am and 12 noon from Entebbe. Arrivals at Kihihi are at 8:45 am, 11:25 am and 14:40 pm. Booking can be done through your tour operator and the cost included on your Uganda safari package or directly at the airline websites or offices. The most common Charter airlines from Entebbe and Kajjansi include Eagle Air, Aero Link and fly Uganda.