Things to Do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a bio-diverse forest located in Southwestern Uganda north of Kisoro district with steep hills and valleys at an altitude of 1,160m to 2,607m. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Uganda’s most important tourist hotspot with an area cover of 331 square kilometers. The park is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas and is one of the finest birding destinations in Uganda. It harbors other primates such as black and white colobus, L’hoest’s monkey, Red-tailed monkey, and olive baboons. The main tourist activity in the park is gorilla tracking, a once in a lifetime experience operating in four different sectors (Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo)

bwindi impenetrable forest

Bwindi impenetrable forest


Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Tracking mountain gorillas is one of the highlights and must-do activities when visiting Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Tracking in Bwindi usually takes place at an altitude of 1,400 – 2,000m. The day starts with a meet at the relevant trailhead for a briefing before you head into the forest. You will be led into the jungle by an armed ranger who will keep in touch with the monitoring team on the ground in order to easily locate the mountain gorillas. The activity can take between 3-7 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. Once you locate the gorilla family, you will be given no longer than 1 hour to with the gorillas

Gorilla habituation

Gorilla habituation is a process of introducing gorillas to the company of human beings. The experience gives tourists a chance to spend more time (4 hours) with the mountain gorillas. Gorilla habituation only happens in Rushaga sector South of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Facts about mountain gorillas

  • Mountain gorillas live in family groups consisting of 5-10 members
  • In the wild, gorillas can live to over 40 years
  • Mountain gorillas share around 98% of human DNA and can display human emotions
  • Mountain gorillas are considered to be endangered species. 
  • A gorilla group is led by a dominant male silverback.
  • Mountain gorillas are the largest primates.
  • Mountain gorillas are gentle and calm animals and are therefore referred to as gentle giants.

Community walks

Apart from gorilla experiences, there are also other interesting things to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park. A community walk is very interesting because you have a chance to interact with local people and be entertained with songs, Bakiga language among others.

Lake Mutanda canoe ride

Lake Mutanda is a small freshwater lake located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Visit some of the different islands on Lake Mutanda while on a canoe ride. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Kigezi highlands and sight some bird species during this experience.

Bird watching

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is home to over 300 bird species including 23 species endemic to the Albertine Rift. Some of the bird species that can be seen include; White-tailed blue flycatcher, Brown-necked Parrot, White-bellied Robin-chat, Short-tailed Warbler, black-billed turaco, grey-throated barbet, great blue turaco. Birding in Bwindi can take place anywhere in the forest but mainly along the Buhoma waterfall trail and Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija.

Mubwindi swamp trail: The trail is recommended for anyone planning a birding safari and it is found in Ruhija. It leads to a swampy area that harbors a variety of bird species. You may also encounter animals like forest elephants, chimpanzees, and many more.

Buhoma waterfall trail: It ascends through a beautiful forested area to the waterfall on the Munyaga River providing better birding opportunities. A great number of remarkable birds may be seen here including; the great blue turaco, black-billed turaco, grey-throated barbet, and many more.

Batwa Cultural Experience

Batwa people

Batwa people

A walk to the Batwa pygmy’s community. The Batwa were the first people who lived in the forest. The trail begins with a nature walk, hike through the forest as you get an insight into the traditional forest life, and learn from the first keepers of the forest. The experience shows you how they lived in grass-thatched houses, caves and hunted small animals for food.  Other activities include the traditional dance, singing and storytelling, hunting demonstration, honey gathering, and picking herbal medicine from the roots and leaves.


Hiking is one of the adventurous activities to add to your list when visiting Bwindi besides gorilla trekking. The hiking can be done on different trails within the park exposing you to several bird species, primates, and mountain views as you explore the forest. 

Listed below are some of the popular trails in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park;

Rushara hill trail: This is the highest point in Buhoma and on a clear day, you can view Lake Edward, Lake George, and the Rwenzori mountain ranges.

Mazubijiro Loop trail (Buhoma): This is a 6kilometre around the hill giving you stunning views of the forest and several primate and bird species. It also offers good views across the Virunga Mountains.

Mubwindi swamp trail: The trail is recommended for anyone planning a birding safari and it is found in Ruhija. It leads to a swampy area that harbors a variety of bird species. You may also encounter animals like forest elephants, chimpanzees, and many more.

Buhoma-Nkuringo trail: The hike can start from Buhoma or Nkuringo and it passes through the park giving you a chance to see several bird species.

Muyanja waterfall trail in Buhoma: Starts from Buhoma till Nkuringo passing along river Ivi and will be rewarded with great views of the falls.

Ivo River trail (Buhoma): Leads to the Ivo River on the southern boundary of the park and offers a great opportunity for seeing monkeys, duicker, and a variety of bird species.

Bamboo trail (Ruhija): The trail leads to Rwamunyoni peak, the highest point in the park and great for birding.

Other trails include; Habinyanja trail and the Rusizi River trail.

Nature Walks

Take beautiful guided nature walks through various trails in the forest offering an opportunity to catch sight of a variety of primates, bird species and enjoy the biodiversity of the impenetrable forest. The best trail for nature walks is the waterfall trail that ascends through a beautiful forested area to the waterfall on the Munyaga River. Other trails include the Ivo river trail. Mazubijiro trail all offer different nature walk experiences mostly starting from Buhoma.

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