7 Top Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
7 top activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are those tourist activities that are most obvious and ought to be done by travellers when visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is much to see and do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park than that meets the eye. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was once proclaimed as “the most beautiful place in the world” by the CNN Travel, and was still picked as one of Africa’s 5 Best Parks to visit by the CNN still while Lonely Planet picked the park as one of the most unusual Honeymoon spots in the world. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is undoubtedly one of the most visited national parks in Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, and the most reason for visit is to see gorillas on a gorilla trekking in Bwindi adventure.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an afro-montane forest that has trees not seen elsewhere in the world, with an eco-system that is considered the best in the continent of Africa. Located in the south-western part of Uganda along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the park is in the Kigezi highlands and it has an altitude that ranges from 1,190-2,067 meters above sea level and a tropical climate ranging from 7-27 degrees Celsius.
The park has over 160 species of trees many of which are a rear or even seen elsewhere, over 100 species of ferns and over 1000 flowering plants. There are over 120 mammal species in the park with forest elephants, duikers, bush pigs, among others as well as a number of cat species and various primates species that are most abundant in the park say the l’hoest’s monkeys, de brazza monkeys, blue monkeys, black-and-white colobus monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees though rarely seen among so many others. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also a birder’s haven with well over 348 bird species including the Shelley’s Crimson-wing, African Green Broadbill, Green Tinker bird, mountain and yellow-streaked greenbuls, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori batis, among so many others with a number of them endemics not seen elsewhere. 220 butterfly species, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos among so much more can all be found in this beautiful impenetrable rainforest.
With all that Bwindi Impenetrable has to offer, below are the 7 top activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that travellers can take part in, all throughout the year;
Gorilla trekking is the number 1 of the 7 top activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. At the mention of gorilla trekking in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park comes to light immediately. The park, though with lots of other attractions, has gorilla trekking as the most done activity, making it the number 1 activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With 19 gorilla families habituated and available for tourists to visit per day, more and more people can be in the park at the same time. Once travellers encounter the gorillas, a maximum of only 1 hour is availed for them to interact with the gorillas of Bwindi. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla sectors namely Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo from where travellers get to visit to track a particular gorilla family. Travellers are encouraged to purchase gorilla permits in time so as to secure them and also be able to choose the gorilla region preferred. A gorilla permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250,000 for East African citizens. With relatively low prices of gorilla permits, coupled with the park being safe makes it the most opted for gorilla destination in Africa. Travellers are encouraged to carry essential gorilla trekking gear for a successful gorilla trekking in Bwindi adventure.
Gorilla habituation experience
Spending 4 hours with the gorillas in the company of researchers on a gorilla habituation exercise is one activity you cannot afford to miss. Travellers get to interact with the gorillas as they are being habituated to get accustomed to human presence before they are availed to the tourists as a habituated gorilla family. Gorilla habituation experience is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is only possible in the Rushaga gorilla region of the park.
Batwa cultural encounter
The Batwa are the only indigenous group of people that were able to co-exist with the forest and all the animals therein. They were the first people of the forest who solely depended on the forest and were only hunters and gatherers. The Batwa cultural experience in Buhoma gorilla region gives travellers an opportunity to learn and experience the life and tradition of the Batwa people. Travellers get to do or watch as they experiment how they did some activities like making fire from sticks, hunted, cooked locally, and collected wild honey and a lot more.
Hiking in Bwindi
Hiking in Bwindi, or nature walks as may be referred, take travellers through some of the most rewarding trails that have travellers exploring the park in great detail. The most rewarding hiking trail that a traveller can take is that that takes travellers hiking the north of Bwindi to the south, to Nkuringo to be specific, get to spend a night in Nkuringo and then proceed the next day to the very scenic and beautiful Lake Mutanda for a paddling opportunity. There are a number of other hiking trails in Bwindi available, even for as short as 1 hour only.
Bird watching in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been named Africa’s number 1 birding site. The park has over 347 species of forest birds with at least 70 of 78 montane forest bird species in the Albertine Rift region and 22 species endemics to the park. Having a bird guide during a birding safari in Bwindi has travellers being taken in trails that will reward them with loads of birds to spot. Binoculars should not be forgotten.
Mountain bike riding
Mountain biking in Bwindi is made possible with the Ride 4 a woman community based support group that avails bikes for rent to travellers interested, as well as a guide who takes them through some very scenic places and trails like the Ivy River trail. The activity can take on average 3 hours. Mountain bike riding is only possible in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi for there are no organised biking experiences in the other park regions, unless it is offered in the lodge of stay.
Community visits and walks
Community walks or visits around the various communities in and around the park are a great way to learn of locals’ way of life and heritage. Different gorilla regions of Bwindi provide different community visits. Generally however, community visits have travellers see and learn if interested among others making crafts like bracelets, bags, weave baskets, mats, hats, make local brew from bananas and get to taste it, cultivate the land as the locals do, harvest crops, food preparation using an open fire or charcoal, and the like. Community walks or visits reward travellers with a cultural learning experience. The fares paid for community visits go directly to the community and they use it to develop their communities and improve the way of life of their people, say build schools and take care of orphans.
With the above 7 top activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park shared, travellers can now be in the know of what they really want to do. Get in touch a tour operator of your choosing to help you plan a memorable Bwindi safari and get to do all or some of the above activities mentioned, making sure not to miss out on encountering the gorillas in a Bwindi gorilla trekking safari.