Attractions in Bwindi impenetrable forest can be seen during tours to Bwindi national park which is found in the south western part of Uganda is one of the most popular tour destinations in the country. The forest is a thick tropical rain forest and that explains its name “Bwindi” which was derived from a local word “mubwindi” meaning a place full of darkness.
The forest is part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park which is among the 10 national parks of Uganda. Many tourists visit this forest all year round to experience the forest and its attractions. During a tour to Bwindi forest, these are the attractions to expect;
Attractions in Bwindi national park
Mountain gorillas are among the attractions which are found in Bwindi forest which is part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. These gorillas can be seen in different sectors of the Bwindi national park which include Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and also Nkuringo.
On tours to Bwindi forest, the gorillas can be seen during gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experiences which are the most popular activities done in this forest. To be able to see the gorilla in Bwindi national park, you are required to have gorilla permits which cost 700 USD for foreign nonresidents, 600 USD for foreign residents and 250,000 Uganda shillings for east Africans.
Gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation are NOT authorized in Bwindi Forest for anyone under the age of 15. Before visitors see the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Forest, park rangers give them a briefing in which they explain the guidelines of Gorilla trekking and habituation while in Bwindi forest. During the gorilla hike through the Bwindi forest, visitors are allowed to spend an hour photographing and filming the mountain gorillas once they meet them.
Although gorillas can be spotted in the Bwindi forest at any time of the year, the dry seasons of June to October and December to February are thought to be the best times for gorilla trekking or habituated experiences. Visitors can also go to Bwindi Forest in the off-season, when fewer people are traveling there, to avoid crowds and to save money on things like lodging.
It is recommended that visitors book their gorilla permits in advance due to the high demand for the permits especially during the dry season which is also a high season since many visitors prefer to travel during this time.
Bwindi is also known for being a birders haven because it is rich in bird spicies. There are around 340 bird species in the Bwindi forest, including roughly 23 endemic species and over 70 different montane forest bird species from the Albertine rift zone. Some of the bird species that can be seen in and around Bwindi Forest include the crowned hornbill, African green broadbill, black headed heron, hammerkop, sacred ibis, hadada ibis, black kite, African goshawk, African hawk eagle, peregrine falcon, scaly francolin, red chested flufftail, black crake, African jacana, common sandpiper, common sandpiper, olive pigeon, great blue turaco, black billed turaco, African wood owl, giant kingfisher, blue throated roller, crowned hornbill, yellow spotted barbet, gray wagtail, little greenbil, African thrush, sedge warbler, yellow footed flycatcher etc
Just like all the other activities, birding can be done in any of the four sectors of Bwindi forest and the best time to do so is in the months of November to April when the migratory birds are present. There are famous trails known to be the best for birding in Bwindi forest for example the buhoma waterfall and the mubindi swamp trails.
ANIMAL AND PLANT SPICIES
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is a home for over 120 mammal species, over 300 species of birds, 200 butterfly species, and over 400 plant species. It’s well known that trekking in this forest is a mind-calming pastime that gives you the chance to see many plant and animal species in their natural habitat.
The park is home to a variety of animal species, including African Forest Elephants, Bush Bucks, primates including colobus monkeys and chimpanzees, bird species, reptile species, amphibian species, and a wide range of plant species like; entandrophragma, newtonia and prunus africana, podocarpus gracilior. There are various trails designated to take you through this forest to enjoy this diverse nature in this forest.
THE BATWA PEOPLE
During a tour to Bwindi forest, you can visit the Batwa people, also referred to as the “first people of the forest.” Beacause they lived in the forest before it was gazette to become a national park. The Batwa pygmies are a very unique group of people and are popular for their stature and cultural history. You may have an actual cultural experience from these people as they demonstrate how they hunted and harvested food from the forest and also teach you how they survived in the forest for all those years through storytelling, exciting cultural dances, and thrilling folk songs.
A pleasant experience that gives tourists insight into how the Batwa live their daily lives, seeing the Batwa people costs about $30 USD.
One of the features that make Bwindi so distinct are the waterfalls which create spectacular views, sights and sounds. In the Bwindi forest, there are numerous routes that lead to waterfalls that can be seen on a trek or nature walk. Both the northern and southern regions of Bwindi’s national park contain waterfalls. The Munyanga Waterfall Walk, the Ivi River Trail, the Kashasha River Trail (Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail), and others are among the routes in the Bwindi Forest. There is a lot to view while taking a stroll in the forest along these pathways, such as waterfalls, primates, birds, foggy slopes, and more.
How to get to Bwindi forest national park
The Bwindi Forest National Park is reachable both by air and by road. It takes 8 to 9 hours to go from Entebbe or Kampala to Bwindi. Travellers who would rather avoid the lengthy drive form Entebbe airport to Bwindi usually fly to Kihihi or Kisoro Bwindi Forest National Park is also reachable from Kigali via the Gatuna or Cyanika borders.
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