BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
1. The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of Africa’s oldest forests dating back over 25, 000 years covering 321km2 covering part of the Albertine Rift Valley. Located in Kanungu District, south-western Uganda this large primeval forest that sits on an altitude that ranges from 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level. After Bwindi being gazetted as a National Park in 1991, it was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.
2. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gets its “impenetrable” name from its almost always muddy, swampy & dark forest. Another reason is related to the hard-to-reach location of the forest within the triangle of mountains where Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) converge. Bwindi is about 25km north of the Virunga volcanoes and on the edge of the western Rift valley.
3. Bwindi is the source of five major rivers that spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys eventually flowing into Lake Edward. This “impenetrable forest” is renowned for protecting over 400 mountain gorillas, being more than half of the world’s gorilla population. The park hosts additionally hosts several habituated groups which tourists can track accompanied with well-trained guides.
4. With hillsides covered in mist, Bwindi boasts of one of Uganda’s most biologically diverse rainforests with over 400 plant species. In addition to its biological diversity, the park harbours over 120 mammals, in addition to the Mountain gorillas. These include numerous primate species like monkeys, baboons and chimpanzees, elephants, antelopes and about 350 bird species resident in this forest, with 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
5. Besides the gorilla tracking, Nature and Community walks among other activities take place. Munyanga River Trail, in the valley below the Buhoma trailhead is ideal for a short bird and primate viewing walk along the forest edge. Visitors can take the Waterfall Trail enjoying pristine tracts of rainforest, passing beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns and orchids to visit three sparking crystal clear waterfalls.