Introducing Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Home to almost half of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas, the World Heritage-listed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of Africa’s most famous national parks. Set over 331 sq km of improbably steep mountain rainforest, the park is home to an estimated 360 gorillas: undoubtedly Uganda’s biggest tourist drawcard.
The Impenetrable Forest, as it’s also known, is one of Africa’s most ancient habitats, since it thrived right through the last Ice Age (12,000 to 18,000 years ago) when most of Africa’s other forests disappeared. Along with the altitude span (1160m to 2607m) this antiquity has resulted in an incredible diversity of flora and fauna, even by normal rainforest standards. And we do mean rainforest; up to 2.5 metres of rain falls here annually.
Its 120 species of mammal is more than any of Uganda’s other national parks, though sightings are less common because of the dense forest. Lucky visitors might see forest elephants, 11 species of primate (including chimpanzees and L’Hoest’s monkeys), duiker, bushbuck, African golden cats and the rare giant forest hog, as well as a host of bird and insect species. For birdwatchers it’s one of the most exciting destinations in the country, with almost 360 species, including 23 of the 24 endemic to the Albertine Rift and several endangered species, including the African green broadbill. With a good guide, sighting daily totals of over 150 species is possible. On the greener side of the aisle, Bwindi harbours eight endemic plants.
Tracking mountain gorillas, forest walks with Twa people.