Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in East Africa. The park is part of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and is situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park and on the edge of the Albertine Rift. It comprises 331 square kilometres (128 sq mi) of jungle forests and contains both montane and lowland forest and is accessible only on foot. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site.
The forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa, and the diversity of species is a feature of the park. The park provides habitat for some 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and many endangered species. In terms of flora, Bwindi is amongst the most diverse forests in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plant species including 163 species of trees and 104 species of ferns. The northern (low altitude) sector is rich in species of the Guineo-Congolian flora. These include two species internationally recognized as endangered, the Brown mahogany and Brazzeia longipedicellata. In particular the area shares in the high levels of endemisms of the Albertine Rift.
The park is a sanctuary for colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and many birds (such as hornbills and turacos). It is perhaps most notable for the 340 Bwindi gorillas, half the world’s population of the critically endangered mountain gorillas. There are four habituated mountain gorilla groups open to tourism: Mubare; Habinyanja; Rushegura near Buhoma; and the Nkuringo group at Nkuringo. The park has a big population of gorillas of about 459 mountain gorillas (2019 Census Results).
Bwindi is well known to be very cold in the morning and at night. The coolest months are usually June and July and the average temperature is about 70c-200c.
When it concerns what to pack for a gorilla safari please pack warm clothes because Bwindi is so cold and receives about 2390mm of rain. It has two rain seasons, little rains are in the months of March-May and heavy rains are in the months of September as well as November.The rain in Bwindi takes long hours to stop.
In 1994, it was acknowledged as the world Heritage site. Rukiga is a language commonly spoke in this area and the word Bwindi in realty means Impenetrable. What makes Bwindi Impenetrable is the fact that it covers an area of about 327km2 of scrambled vegetation draped over an intensively fissured landscape of the steep, haughty ridges as well as the slippery valleys and high. The terrain may be hard for you to manage but remember it’s what makes Africa an exciting continent.
In 1991, Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve—along with Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve and Rwenzori Mountains Reserve—was designated as a national park and renamed Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.
Geography and climate
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda. The Democratic Republic of Congo borders the western side of the park. It covers an area of 331 square kilometres (128 sq mi). Kabale town to the southeast is the nearest main town to the park, 29 kilometres (18 mi) away by road. The park comprises two blocks of forest that are connected by a small corridor of forest. The shape of the park is a legacy of previous conservation management, when the original two forest blocks were protected in 1932. There is agricultural land where there were previously trees directly outside the park’s borders. Cultivation in this area is intense.
The park’s underlying geology consists of Precambrian shale phyllite, quartz, quartzite, schist and granite. The park is located at the edge of the Western Rift Valley in the highest parts of the Kigezi Highlands, which were created by up-warping of the Western Rift Valley. Its topography is very rugged, with narrow valleys intersected by rivers and steep hills. Altitudes in the park range from 1,190 to 2,607 metres (3,904 to 8,553 ft) above sea level, and 60% of the park has an elevation of over 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). The highest elevation in the park is Rwamunyonyi hill at the eastern edge of the park. The lowest part of the park is located at its most northern tip.
The forest is an important water catchment area. With a generally impermeable underlying geology where water mostly flows through large fault structures, water infiltration and aquifers are limited. Much of the park’s rainfall forms streams, and the forest has quite a dense network of streams. The forest is the source of many rivers that flow to the north, west, and south. Major rivers that rise in the park include the Ivi, Munyaga, Ihihizo, Ishasha, and Ntengyere rivers, which flow into Lake Edward. Other rivers flow into Lakes Mutanda and Bunyonyi. Bwindi supplies water to local agricultural areas.
Bwindi has a tropical climate. Annual mean temperature ranges from a minimum of 7–15°C to a maximum of 20–27°C. Its annual rainfall ranges from 1,400 to 1,900 millimetres (55 to 75 in). Peak rainfall occurs from March to April and from September to November. The park’s forest plays an important role in regulating the outside area’s environment and climate.High amounts of evapotranspiration from the forest’s vegetation increases the amount of precipitation that the region outside the park receives. They also lessen soil erosion, which is a serious problem in southwestern Uganda. They lessen flooding and ensure that streams continue to flow in the dry season.
Things to See and Do
There are lots of things to see and do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The local people near the park are mos’ and Bafumbira. Minor Batwa communities are(Pygmy!) also present. The Bwindi area holds up one of the rural population densities in Uganda with a number of 350 people.
the diverse trailheads of Bwindi can be accessed by vehicle. But there aren’t any roads inside the park itself that is traveled around on foot. The Bwindi is appropriately named as ‘impenetrable forest’; the paths go through thick vegetation and may be steep. Make use of walking sticks provided at the beginning of the walk.
Climate and best time to Visit
Bwindi is cold in the mornings and in the nights with moderate temperatures between 7⁰C and 20⁰C. Actually the coldest time in Bwindi is from June to July, while the wet seasons starts in March to May as well as from September to November experiencing a total annual rainfall of 2390mm. the Rains received in March to May are actually short. September to November receives heavier although these are long hours of gentle drizzles.
There is a variety of accommodation places to stay basing on which gorilla group you to track.