Africa Gorilla Safari to Bwindi National Park

What to know about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in the southwestern region of Uganda. The park lies on the margin of the Rift Valley and is also located along the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo near to the Congo’s well-known Virunga National Park. The park covers an estimated area of 331 square kilometers (128 sq mi) of Impenetrable forest jungle and has both lowland forest and montane forest accessible only on foot. The bio-diversified park is house to the world’s endangered species of mountain gorillas, and hence the reason why many tourists undertake gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda to have face-to-face encounters with these primates.deep-in-africa
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was gazetted as a National Park in the year 1991 and in the year 1994, it was announced a Natural World Heritage site by UNESCO due to its beautiful natural vegetation. The well-known Bwindi National park is covered by one of the Pearl of Africa Uganda’s oldest forests that have been in existence for over 25,000 years and the park sits at an altitude of 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest is one of the forests with abundant ecosystems in the whole of African Continent and the park is diversified with various species. Therefore sparing time to visit this nature-gifted national park will avail the client with the opportunity to enjoy the views of various tourism resources. The park acts as a home for some 120 individual species of mammals including several primate species such as gorillas, baboons and chimpanzees, 348 bird species as well as 220 species of butterflies, and 27 species of frogs, geckos, chameleons, plus various endangered species such as mountain gorillas. According to the way natural resources are distributed in the Impenetrable forest, the Bwindi forest is the most endowed forest in the whole of the East African region. The remarkable forest is composed of more than 1,000 beautiful flowering plant species and this includes even the 163 tree species as well as the estimated 104 fern species. The low altitude northern part of the park is blessed with the rare species of the Guinea-Congolian Flora and also some unique species which are recognized worldwide as endangered species i.e. Brazzeia longipedicellata and brown mahogany.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a very remarkable water catchment area because much of the park’s rainfall creates streams and the forest has a calm dense network of water streams. This makes the forest to be the source of various rivers that mainly flow into the low altitude northern, southern and western parts of the park. The notable rivers that originate from the park are Ivi, Ishasha river, as well as River Munyaga and Ihihizo river, and these prominent rivers in the area with the park, flow directly to Lake Edward where they pour their water.

The park is covered with rare vegetation type which is Afromontane unique in the whole of the African continent and hence the only way of exploring this unique vegetation is by confirming gorilla trekking safari to Uganda. The park is located at the point of conjunction between the mountain forests and the plains and in the park there is varying difference between low-altitude to high altitude primary forests in the park. Bwindi Impenetrable National park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys as well as chimpanzees and various bird species for instance hornbills, turacos among others.

The popularly known Bwindi Impenetrable forest park is home to an estimated total population of around 500 individual member mountain gorillas also known as Gorilla beringei beringei. The total number of the mountain gorillas surviving in the park constitutes almost half of the total population of mountain gorillas surviving in the whole world and the rest of the other half of the surviving mountain gorillas are protected in the neighboring parks of Virunga national park in Congo and Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, thus enabling tourists to enjoy multiple gorilla treks in one Africa gorilla safari package combining the 3 countries. Such trips reward them with memorable adventure experiences deep in the heart of Africa. Taking a tour and safari to this park will enable one not to regret but to appreciate that Uganda is the pearl of Africa.


Rwanda Tourists Attractions

Visiting Rwanda calls for considerable thought and preparation, including booking a gorilla trekking permit ahead of time as well as a hotel/lodge that you will stay in. For those who decide to pursue such a trip, the reward is a destination described as a “Place of a thousand hills”  country of staggering rare natural beauty, with some of the world’s most amazing wildlife including over 300 hundred mountain gorillas. Many places in Rwanda are well-equipped for tourism with some destinations standing out as particularly interesting or attractive.

Kigali Capital

The capital of Rwanda, Kigali is a major trade and transport hub that sits alongside Lake Kivu in the eastern province, a welcome waterway in this landlocked country. While the conveniences of a capital city make Kigali an essential stop for visitors on their way to see the country’s natural wonders, it also has attractions of its own. Founded by Dr. Richard Kandt under German colonial rule in 1907, the town of Kigali has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became capital at independence in 1962. The major tourist destinations here include the Gisozi genocide memorial museum, the First House, Local art and craft shops, Fruits market among others. 30 to 35km from Kigali we find Nyamata and Ntarama churches that were gazetted into genocide memorial sites.


Kigali Capital – Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park

Nyungwe Forest National Park is located in southwestern Rwanda, at the border with Burundi to the south, Lake Kivu, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Nyungwe protects the rainforest habitats with 13 species of primates including the Angola Colobus found in groups of 300-400 animals that is an attribute unique to Nyungwe, chimpanzees, and approximately 280 bird species, 25 of which are endemic. The village of Nyamagabe serves as a hub for park visitors, offering basic guesthouses and luxury accommodation. It is served by Rwandan air, offering a considerably more convenient alternative to reaching the park by road. It offers 9-13 flights a week (depending on the season) from Kigali to Kamembe International Airport. The latter is only 32 kms from the Nyungwe Forest Lodge. The Lodge will also arrange 35-minute helicopter transfers to/from Kigali Airport via Akagera Aviation.

Chimpanzee tracking is one of the most popular attractions here. Other tourist activities in Nyungwe National Park include Canopy walk adventure, Black and white colobus monkey tracking, bird watching, community walk, Tea harvesting, forest walk to waterfalls, and Congo Nile Guided Hike among others.

Accommodation around Nyungwe Forest currently includes the 5-star luxurious Nyungwe Forest Lodge, Nyungwe Hill Top View Hotel, Gisakura Guest House, and Peace Guesthouse located at Cyangugu, about 40km from Nyungwe park headquarters.

Hikers on Nyungwe canopy walk

Nyungwe Forest Canopy walk

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park is part of Virunga region shared amongst the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. This corner or northwestern Rwanda is a breathtaking unforgettable place where culture, adventure, and conservation intersect. Volcanoes National Park has 5 out of the 8 volcanoes of the Virunga chain of Mountains, and these include Mount Karisimbi, Mount Bisoke, Mount Muhabura, Mount Gahinga, and Mount Sabyinyo. These are covered in rainforest and bamboo. Many rivers such as flow-through Volcanoes National park support many animal species such as large mammals and primates such as mountain gorillas, golden monkeys, duiker, Forest Elephants, and buffalo, as well as some 178 bird species including at least 29 endemics to Rwenzori mountains and the Virungas. Examples of rivers include River Nyabarongo.

Mountain gorilla trekking is the major tourist attraction here. Travel writers believe that a safari in Africa is incomplete without tracking gorillas in the wild. If you have limited time for your African safari, you can choose the shortest gorilla trek for 1 day gorilla tour in Rwanda that leaves Kigali early at 4:00 am to return in the afternoon or evening after the trek on the same day to complete your safari in the true African wilderness.  Among other activities include golden monkey tracking, Mountain hiking (Mt. Karisimbi that requires 2 days / 1 night, and Mt. Bishoke for only 1 day), forest walk, local community tours, and visiting cultural villages among others.

Accommodation options around Volcanoes National Park range from budget to Mid-range and luxury lodges and these include Virunga, Sabyinyo Silverback, Bisate Lodge, Singita Kwitonda Lodge, Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Le Bambou Gorilla Lodge, Hotel La Palme, Villa Gorillas, Muhabura hotel and Kinigi Guest House directly benefiting the local community.


Activities Recommended in Rwanda

Enjoy one of fifteen habituated gorilla groups visit in Volcanoes National park – Remember a total of 120 gorilla permits are currently sold per day. Tourists report at the park head office by 7:00 am for a pre-tracking briefing. Once tourists meet the gorillas they spend an hour with them.
Golden monkey visits.

Climbing of Karisimbi volcano – this is a two-day trek with overnight camping at an altitude of 3,800 m.
Climbing of Bisoke volcano – one day.

Tour of the lakes and caves in Musanze including 1.25 miles long cave—home to a large bat colony.
Visiting the tomb of Dian Fossey–an American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years in Rwanda

Iby’Iwacu cultural village tour offers an opportunity to explore Rwanda’s history and cultural values, enjoy local music, dance and drama.

In addition to Rwanda gorilla safari, enjoy “Kwita Izina” in Musanze on the edges of Volcanoes national park, a ceremony on which Baby gorillas are given names. This takes place every year in June and attracts many tourists from different parts of the world.