The region has one of the richest ecosystems in Africa with more than 160 species of trees, over 100 species of ferns, and over 200 butterfly species. Bwindi is also famous for the “Albertine rift Endemic”, a group of Birds specific to the Western Rift valley. Over 346 species of birds have been recorded in the region. Amongst the many species of mammals are a number of other primate species including red tailed guenon, blue guenon, L’Hoest’s guenon, black & white colobus, ververt and baboon, as well as nocturnal prosimians. The chimp population is estimated at 300-400. Bwindi is the only place in the world in which mountain gorillas and chimpanzees still co-exist. Other animals found in the region include elephants, duiker, bushpig, giant forest hog and several small cat species.
Things to See in Bwindi Forest
Below is a list of attractions in and nearby Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Interesting wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park include
- Mountain Gorillas
- Birds of Bwindi
- Local Culture
The Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas offer unique and exclusive experiences to tourists and can best be enjoyed in the dry seasons. In Eat Africa, they are the major source of tourist attraction but among the most endangered species of wildlife. Many tourists visit Bwindi Impenetrable rainforest national park basically to get a glimpse of these exciting creatures. It’s a home to half of the world’s surviving mountain gorilla population; habituated by 12 gorilla family groups distributed into the forest grounds of Ruhija, Buhoma, and Rushaga sectors and can be tracked at any time of the year where 8 tourists are permitted to a gorilla family group per day.
In the Bwindi forest, mountain gorillas inhibit the forested mountain slopes. On the trekking day, tourists assemble ta the park headquarters , where they are briefed about the dos and don’ts when in the vicinity of these creatures, after which, with their tracking gears, tourists are led off to their tracking sectors from where they embark onto their tracking expeditions. This may last from 30minutes to 7 hours depending on the movement of the mountain gorillas within the forest. On location, tourists spend an hour interacting and discovering more about these interesting creatures. After this encounter, tourists are guided back to the national park headquarters for their certificates of participation.
Bwindi Impenetrable Rain Forest is an interesting haven for the birders; it’s a one place that should be visited by all birding lovers. Due to its biodiversity, Bwindi is a home to various bird species hosting over 300 bird species and 24 species endemic to the Albertine rift. The forest offers great birding sights and experiences to tourists and among the various bird species that can be enjoyed here are; the African broadbill, fowls, Turacos like the black-billed Turacos etc. When coming for a birding tour at Bwindi, hiking gear is required together with a pair of binoculars for clear sights and views.
While birding, tourists can also enjoy wonderful views of the entire forest enjoying great sights of the thick ever green vegetation; the thick dense canopies, various insect types, reptiles and a wide number of beautiful butter flies.
Others than the giant gorillas, Bwindi is also home to our little cousins the chimpanzees. Occasionally these apes can be sighted but with luck you may spot them at a distance. Other primates include L’hoest monkeys, black and white monkeys, colobus monkeys and many others.
Bwindi forest has over 100 mammal species among these include bush pigs, forest hogs, forest Elephant, duikers, bush bucks, African golden cats, and on a lucky day you are likely to spot them especially on an evening nature walk.
Bwindi forest is a water catchment area, being mountainous. There are several waterfalls with in the park at different locations and the best way to explore them is through hiking and nature walk trailing their origin on a guided nature walk. Among the water falls include Kashasha river, Munyaga River Falls, ivy river trail river Ndego, Ntegyero that flow to lake Edward and south words to lake Mutanda. The water fall trails can be followed from Buhoma to Nkuringo along as you spot different butter fly species, birds and flowers.
The Local Culture
Bwindi Impenetrable natural forest is a former home to the Batwa tribe of Uganda. These used to inhibit the forest; living and surviving on the forest’s resources. Due to the conservation programs and efforts, the group was driven out of the forest and they currently settle around the forest area. Visiting the Batwa, offers tourists a great experience as they get to discover their unique cultural practices and way of living which gives them an idea of what the life of a typical rural Ugandan may look like. They – the Batwa present great hunting skills, traditional entertainment, community walks among others to tourists.
The list of tourist attractions and activities that can be enjoyed while visiting Bwindi Impenetrable rain forest national park is endless. Due to its biodiversity, it’s Uganda’s number one leading tourist destination, thanks to its mountain gorillas and can be visited ant time of the year though the most preferred is the dry season when the floor is less slippery, wet and muddy to interrupt the tourist activities.