UGANDA - BWINDI INPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
depth guide to the seasons, animals, birds and wildlife
habitats of Bwindi Forest in Uganda
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the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
live half the world's population of highly
endangered Mountain Gorillas. Visiting them
is one of the most emotional wildlife encounters
you will ever experience.
This pocket of
huge primeval forest in the Virunga Mountain
range is one of the most biologically diverse
areas on earth. It has an eco-system that
defines the very essence of the continent
and has therefor been designated as a World
The forest floor
is damp and laden with leaf mould, matted
vegetation and fallen vines, which serve to
trip you up as you clamber up and down the
slippery slopes in search of a glimpse of
the elusive gorillas.
Searching up to altitudes of 6,500 feet (1,982
metres) can be exhausting but the rewards are
worth it. Of course it may not be as difficult
as that, but when visiting the Bwindi gorillas
you should be prepared to unleash the explorer
will be told that if the big male silverback
charges at you, you should look down and remain
exactly where you are in a submissive pose.
These words of wisdom are directly opposite
to your natural instincts, but luckily a ranger
is there to grab you should your feet disobey
the instructions. The noise of the silverback
pounding his chest during this mock charge,
is akin to overhead thunder and more than enough
to make your knees knock and heart miss a beat.
As the gorillas grow more accustomed to human
presence, the charges do not happen so often.
Each gorilla group is only visited for one hour
a day by a limited number of people who have
normally purchased permits months in advance.
are many other primates in the park including
chimpanzees, black and white colobus, red colobus
and blue monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey and
Wildlife inhabiting the forest floor includes
elephants, giant forest hogs and small antelopes,
few of which are encountered.
Season: January and February plus June
to September are the driest months and are the
best time for gorilla trekking. Even in the
dry season you should be prepared to get wet
in the occasional afternoon thunderstorm.
Rainy Season: many roads are
impassable after the long rains of March to
May and it becomes hot and humid with a very
slippery forest floor. It also usually rains
in October and November.
Temperatures: a pleasantly hot temperature of
80°F (25°C) can be expected from June
to September, rising to 85°F (27°C)
in January and February.
• Close encounters with mountain gorillas
• Hiking the Virunga Mountains
• Unique flora
park covers an area of 127 miles² (330km²).
It is located in the far south-west of the country
where Uganda, Rwanda and DRC (Congo) meet.
Getting to Bwindi is an adventure in itself
as you have to cross much of Uganda by road
to get there.
Permits are limited to 12 per day, many of which
are purchased by tour operators.
Follow the links below to Uganda's premier wildlife regions
and game reserves.
Reserve Index | Wildlife