The hub of gorilla tourism to Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park protects a range of steep verdant mountains whose rich biodiversity has led to its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although gorilla tracking is undoubtedly Bwindi’s star attraction, the ancient rainforests support a wealth of other wildlife, from elephants and chimpanzees to a total of 350 bird and 200 butterfly species.
Discover Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Home to 45% of Africa’s 1,000 remaining mountain gorillas, Bwindi vies with Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park as the best place to track these charismatic gentle giants. Hiking through the steep overgrown slopes can be challenging, but the overwhelming majority of trekkers make it, and the reward – coming face-to-face with a hulking great silverback – is possibly the world’s most thrilling and humbling wildlife encounter.
Nature walks offer the opportunity to see plenty of other forest wildlife, most conspicuously black-and-white colobus and L’Hoest’s monkey. Look out, too, for the spectacular foot-long Rwenzori three-horned chameleon.
Bwindi offers some of the best forest birding in Uganda. A wealth of species associated with medium to high altitudes includes 23 Albertine Rift endemics, many of which are quite easily spotted in the company of a specialized local guide.
When Bwindi was established as a national park in 1991, the Batwa hunter-gatherer communities who had lived there for centuries were evicted. Today, a number of reputable cultural programs allow visitors to interact with the Batwa and to see the forest through their experienced eyes.