The Bwindi Impenetrable forest is regarded as one of the most ecologically diverse forests in Africa, mainly due to its age, estimated to be before the Pleistocene Ice Age, thus making it over 25,000 years old. Sitting on the eastern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley and at altitudes ranging between 1200m and 2600m above sea level it is the true tropical African rainforest making it both mysterious and unique and resulting in an incredible diversity of fauna and flora.
In this forest, huge trees are festooned with creepers and parasitic plants such as mistletoe and a variety of orchids. Giant thickets of bamboo thrive in the damp and humid atmosphere. Where the sunlight breaks through the forest canopy the beautiful heliconia, or lobster claw, flowers spread their colourful petals making it a unique sight to behold. The experience evokes images from ‘Gorillas in The Mist’.
Bwindi is world famous for gorillas, chimpanzees and other primates including the famous Colobus monkey. It is estimated that just over half the world’s population of 600 mountain gorillas resides in this national park while the remaining ones are to be found in Rwanda. Also to be found in this park are various species of smaller antelopes and other mammals in addition to a large variety of birds.
Gorilla tracking visits are limited to small groups and a permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority is required. (See Below). There are four main areas of the park where gorilla families reside, namely Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga. The main park entrance and the Uganda Wildlife Authority Offices are located at Buhoma.
Apart from gorilla tracking the park also offers some excellent nature walks and a chance to experience first-hand the mysteries and aura of the African Tropical Jungle.