BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST.
Located to the South West of Uganda, close to Kabale town (the closest large town), Bwindi Impenetrable forest is home to the Mountain Gorillas.
A magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, this ancient rainforest - one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age - is home to roughly half of the world's mountain gorillas.
Looking deep into the expressive brown eyes of these gentle giants is surely the most exciting and poignant wildlife encounter that Africa has to offer - but we should not let it distract from Bwindi's broader biodiversity, a result of its immense antiquity and an altitude span from 1,160 to 2,607m.
The national park has 90 mammal species, including 11 primates, of which the black-and-white colobus, with its lovely flowing white tail, is prominent.
The National Park is approximately 331sq km
The forest birding ranks with the best in Uganda, with 23 highly localised Albertine Rift endemics present.
Bwindi can be reached from QENP in the north (2-3 hours), from Kabale to the south (1-2 hours), or from Kampala via Mbarara (6-8 hours). The roads meet at Butogota, 17km from the Buhoma entrance gate. 4x4 recommended during the rains.
Gorilla tracking is the main attraction; permits must pre-book at the UWA office in Kampala or you could contact a local tour operator to book for you. Other guided forest walks are available: one popular trail leads to a pretty waterfall, others focus on birding and monkey-viewing.
The gorillas are divided into 7 groups namely Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Nkuringo,Nshongi, Bitukura and Kyaguriro.
Two up-market tented camps, a lodge, community-run budget rooms and camping are available near the Buhoma entrance gate for those seeking where to put up for the night.
Some of the accommodation units include; Lake Kitandara Camp, Gorilla Resort, Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma homestead, Gorilla Homestead, Bwindi Volcanoes Lodge, Engangi Camp Uganda, Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite, Buhoma Community Bandas, Mantana Tented Camp.
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