Bwindi National Park lies in south-western Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley and has a variety of attraction ideal for both tourists and researchers. There are a plethora of activities one can do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Independent of what you are looking for, you will find something here.
- Community Tourism
- Gorilla trekking
- Nature Walks/hiking
- Bird watching
- Community Tourism: Tourists who visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can participate in invigorating cultural en counters such as the Rubuguri Village Walk, the Nkuringo Cultural Center (NCC), the Nkuringo Community Conservation and Development Foundation (NCCDF), the Buhoma Community Tour (Mukono Development Association) and the Buniga Forest Nature Walk where tourists are rewarded with several cultural experiences.
Must Do Adventures in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to almost half of the 1000 or so gorillas left in the world. Gorilla tracking is the biggest attraction for most visitors to these parks.
However, gorilla trekking involves several hours of hiking through dense jungles and even then you may not see them as they tend to move around. But if you do get to track them down, you can get real close to them as they are accustomed to humans. Remember to book your gorilla tracking permits in advance as only a few permits are issued per day. You can book your permits at the UWA office at Kampala or through local tour operators listed on this website.
Gorilla Habituation Experience in Rushaga:
It is only in Uganda that you can be with a Mountain Gorilla Family for 4 hours on a Gorilla Habituation Experience along with researchers in Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest – this amazing experience – to be with a Mountain Gorilla Family as it is being habituated is a one of a kind experience in Africa.
There are presently two family groups being habituated, meaning that they becoming used to human contact and will not run away from visitors trekking them.
You can fly into Kigali Rwanda and 3 hours later be in the Rushaga Region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You have the choice of budget, moderate and upmarket lodging and can stay either in Rushaga or scenic Nkuringo area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Mountain Bike Rides in Buhoma Area:
Ride 4 a Woman which is a community support group offers mountain bike rentals and guided bike in and around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the Buhoma area of the park.
You can even do the Village Walk on a bike with guide. There are Birding Bike Rides, or simply a ride into the Forest such as the Ivy River Trail. The average Bike Ride is 3 hours or longer in length with much to see along the trail or road.
The guides are all well-trained, some specialize in birding, others in culture but all know Bwindi Impenetrable Forest which they all love and want to conserve.
The Batwa Forest Experience:
The Batwa were the original people of the forest, they were here for thousands of years before the Bantu People, the Cultivators of the Land arrived. The Batwa People – are pygmies – were hunter-gatherers and lived in the forests of Southwest Uganda and beyond. They left a small ecological footprint on the forest and lived in harmony with nature. You can visit the forest (actually outside of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest) with the Batwa People and learn of their traditional ways of hunting and gathering. The Batwa Experience takes place in the Buhoma area.
The Buhoma Village Walk:
Here you have a 3 hour cultural walk through the village – you learn the ways and culture of the people that live in the Buhoma area on the edge of Bwindi Forest. The Village Walk is with a guide who is friendly and knowledgeable about local culture and customs.
You will see how people make local crafts such as baskets with the most intricate designs – beer made from Bananas, and a distillery that makes the local Waragi Gin from Bananas, meet a traditional healer and learn of what is gathered in the ancient forest and how it is taken and applied to ailments .See how the growing of local produce is done and harvested, food preparation over charcoal or open fire, visit a school, and meet the Batwa Pygmy community as they perform a dance for you just to name a few. It is certainly a cultural learning experience and the cost of the walk supports the local community – so a win win for everyone.
Hiking through the Forest:
The Hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be one day or longer hike from the north of Bwindi to the South – called Nkuringo- there one can stay overnight and continue the next day down to scenic Lake Mutanda where you paddle across in a wooden dugout and continue to the town of Kisoro.
This is the most popular hike along two trails of Bwindi – there are however other trails and nature walks, most from easy to moderate in and near the Forest that can be explored on foot and requiring from an hour to all day long.
Hiking through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is always with a guide.
The diverse habitats in Uganda’s most ancient forest imply that is the perfect habitat for a diversity of bird species, with about 350 recorded different species, with 23 endemics.
The mountain bike ride ventures in Bwindi are managed by a woman’s group which offers trained guides, a repair -shop for these bikes and every participant that helps in this program receives direct reimbursement from visitors to Buhoma enjoying a ride on the bike.
Indeed Bwindi Impenetrable forest is more than a gorilla tracking destination. Visit it!