If there is an activity you must not miss before you leave Uganda, it is Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable National park. It grants you an opportunity to meet the rare species of gorillas in the jungles.
Bwindi as a park is one of the few protected areas that provide shelter to Gorillas in Africa. It occupies some part of the land in the western part of Uganda.
Gorillas in this place are Mountain, a subspecies of the Eastern gorillas. This park is part of the Bwindi impenetrable forest, a long stretch of trees on the edge of the Albertine Rift.
Apart from Gorillas, Bwindi houses other species like birds, insects, primates, and reptiles. In addition to the 120 mammals, this protected area exists with over 200 butterflies and 350 bird species.
Getting to Bwindi is easier. You can go by road transport means or enjoy a scheduled or private chartered flight from Entebbe. By road, it takes about 8-9 hours to finish the 500 kilometers journey via Kampala – Mbarara – Kabale road.
The first drive starts from Kampala to Masaka and stopover in Mbarara for lunch. From here you continue up to Kabale. From Kabale, you will take a route that heads you to one of the four sectors in Bwindi.
Other than the Car, air travel is the best way to reach Bwindi quickly. This is for those who fancy luxury gorilla trekking in Bwindi or Mgahinga national park. With this option, even a one-day gorilla trek in Uganda is possible. By plane, it is a one-hour’s journey from Entebbe to an airstrip in Kisoro or Kihihi.
Gorilla trekking is the number one reason for a safari to Bwindi national park. While in this park, you can have experience in one of the four sectors named Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo, and Ruhija sector. With this activity, you have a one-time chance to see the gorillas from a close distance.
It includes a walk through the jungle while searching for the family selected for your excursion. Time spent in the jungle depends on the exact location of your family.
Once you locate them, only a period of one hour is allowed for you to be in their presence. After, return to the starting point for a further journey back to your lodge.
It is advised to come with packed lunch and drinking water when going for the trek. Time for lunch usually appears when you are still in the jungle. Don’t forget an umbrella. Rainfall is unpredictable.
To be part of this activity, you have to buy a permit. It is a must and the charge for this card is 700 USD per person.
Gorilla habituation experience
If not tracking, you can be part of the habituation experience. These activities are almost similar but what differs is the time spent with the Gorillas.
For the habituation experience, you are allowed to be with the gorillas for a period of four hours or a full day following their movements in the jungle. This expedition takes place only in the Rushaga sector. Its permit costs 1500 USD per person. It is valid for use by one person.
Make sure to come with a camera of good quality. You are free to take plenty of beautiful photos and videos. Don’t forget the backup storage cards and a waterproof bag to keep your gadgets from water.
Another interesting activity to enjoy in Bwindi is bird watching. Over 350 species of birds stay in the park, including the endemic and non-endemic species. Buhoma and Ruhija are the best for this experience.
A walk along the trails near the Munyaga River will expose you to plenty of species. Another spot for you to see pretty birds is the Mubwindi swamp.
To have the best encounters, make sure to arrange your expeditions very early in the morning or late in the evening. Sometimes, the period for the adventure depends on which species you are searching for.