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BWINDI NATIONAL PARK

ABOUT

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bwindi National Park is located along the eastern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley in southwestern Uganda. Dramatic volcanoes, deep valleys, waterfalls, lakes, and rolling mountains make up this beautiful rainforest. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest provides the unique opportunity to spend time with families of mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The park’s amazing biodiversity includes an estimated population of 320 mountain gorillas and one of the richest populations of mammals in Africa. Bwindi National Park represents a conservation frontline, as it is surrounded by an agricultural landscape that supports one of the highest rural population densities in tropical Africa. Community benefits that arise from the area’s ecotourism play a crucial role in the conservation of this unique ecosystem.

An important consideration when embarking on a trip to see the gorillas is the physical challenge involved in trekking through the subtropical forest. As the gorillas migrate up and down the mountain slopes, there is no way of knowing how long the trek will take. The difficult trek can last minutes or hours depending on where they decide to rest. This challenging journey provides a profound sense of achievement and inspiration when you finally share the forest floor with a family of gorillas.

SEASONS

Although gorilla treks can be conducted year round, the majority of travelers visit from June to September and December to February. July and August tend to be the busiest time of year, so it is best to plan as far in advance as possible if traveling during this time period.

Bwindi’s tropical highland climate remains pleasant throughout the year and varies with elevation changes. Temperatures typically average around 75 degrees Fahrenheit but can fall to 50–60 degrees on its tallest peaks. Uganda experiences two rainy seasons, but there is always a chance of light showers throughout the year. The long rainy season typically lasts from about March to May, when the rains are heavier. The long dry season falls between June and mid-September and is considered the best time to visit. The drier landscape and occasional cloud cover offers an easier trek through the rainforest to see the gorillas. The short rainy season from mid-September to November is typically followed by a slight break in the rains from December to February.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
HIGH (F°) 76° 76° 74° 74° 72° 72° 74° 74° 74° 74° 74° 74°
LOW (F°) 48° 50° 50° 52° 52° 48° 46° 48° 48° 50° 50° 50°
RAINFALL (mm) 72 88 135 171 119 40 32 64 114 133 151 96
ACCOMMODATIONS
BWINDI LODGE


GORILLA FOREST CAMP


QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK
KYAMBURA GORGE LODGE


MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
MOUNT GAHINGA LODGE
WILDLIFE

Bwindi has an estimated population of 320 gorillas, and an estimated 116 of these gorillas are habituated, as they are closely monitored and individually recognized by Bwindi’s dedicated team of rangers. Family groups of gorillas live throughout the forested slopes of Bwindi led by male silverback gorillas that can weigh more than 500 pounds! Bwindi is a primate hotspot, home to 11 different species. Black-and-white colobus monkeys, red colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabeys, L’Hoest’s monkeys, baboons, and chimpanzees are residents of Bwindi. A small population of forest elephants, several species of antelopes, and an amazing array of birds are also present in this rainforest. Bwindi is a spectacular bird-watching destination with an estimated 350 bird species. Twenty-three species of birds are endemic to the Albertine Rift, and 14 are recorded nowhere else in Uganda!

ACTIVITIES
  • Embark on one of the most moving wildlife experiences and track a habituated group of mountain gorillas. Follow your guide and skilled local tracker as they follow signs on the forest floor to lead you to a family of gorillas.

  • Walk along forest paths and learn about Bwindi’s smaller primates, small mammals, and birds on the way to the beautiful Munyaga waterfall.

  • Spend time with the local Batwa Tribe, the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. Learn about their way of life and listen to their stories as they share their knowledge and culture with you.

  • Embark on a birding walk and discover Bwindi’s extraordinary birdlife, including some of the 14 species that are endemic to Bwindi.