Bwindi national park is one of the oldest forests in Africa. It is located in the South western part of Uganda. Furthermore, the park is a home of different primates, birds and wild animals. Bwindi has four different sectors of Rushaga, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Ruhija. It is important to note that Bwindi has half the number of gorillas which exist in the whole world. That said, the gorilla trekking activities have made it famous and one of the most visited national parks in Uganda. The park is very safe for tourist walks into the forest. In addition, you are given a guide and an armed ranger to secure you. Fortunately, the guides have experience and location knowledge.
Tourist forest walks are a way of exploring the serenity of the natural forest. For instance the different tree species, monkeys, birds, rivers, and waterfalls. Like any other forest walks, these start with a briefing and selection of the trails you desire to take. The forest can be trekked from Nkuringo to Buhoma, Rushaga and Ruhija region. However, you are required to pay park entrance fees.
Bwindi national park trails
The ivy river trail which starts from the forest office in Nkuringo sector to Ivy River which is 7km into the forest. The trail continues to Buhoma sector which takes about 4 hours walk through the forest. This is why the trail is usually walked by tourists who stay at Buhoma sector. From Nkuringo sector head office to Ivy River is a 2 hours walk through the forest. While leading down this trail, there are a number of monkey species you will be able to spot if you carried your binoculars. Additionally, you will see animals, butterflies and tree species in the forest.
The Kashasha river trail begins from Nkuringo head office to Buhoma sector. This trail goes through a community land to reach the buffer zone down a steep slope. The route gives an alternative trail to Ivy River 20 minutes after passing a junction of two rivers in the forest. The trek takes about 5 hours from Nkuringo to Buhoma and 6-7 hours from Buhoma to Nkuringo. This is because the return route has some steep slopes which slow the pace of the tourists going back to Nkuringo.
Best time to go for forest walks in Bwindi national park.
The drier months of January, February, June, July, august and September are the best months to go for forest walks. The trails are usually dry and so are the slopes which makes walking easier. Also you can easily pass through the since the vegetation is fairly sparse. There are usually less chances of finding a flooding river. Also, animals are usually collected around the remaining water supplies in the forest giving you a clearer view of them.
During this time of the year, there is stiff competition on booking for accommodation. Therefore, plan and book for your trip earlier. Note that anytime of the year is perfect for the forest walks.
During the wet season, there isn’t crowding in the park. Accommodation facilities are available and these also offer discounts. Moreover the vegetation is greener and perfect for your photography. In addition, the heat from the sun isn’t too much to stop you from taking those long walks that you may want.
How to access the park
You can access the park can using air or road. Flying to the park is just 2 hours flight to Kisoro or Kihihi airstrip from Kajjansi airstrip in Kampala. This is a very quick way to get to the park however it doesn’t give you an opportunity to get stops and sighting the different places of Uganda like the Equator, landscapes while taking photography.
Using road transport is a bit tiring, it takes about 8-9 hours’ drive however, and you get to stop wherever you wish on your way. In the south western part of Uganda is where your route to Bwindi is, or in the either way, you can fly to Rwanda Kigali international airport, from Kigali to Bwindi via Cyanika or Katuna border, it’s just a four hour drive. It is advisable to use an East African visa which gives you multiple entries into Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.
Where to stay in Bwindi impenetrable National Park?
Bwindi national park is big has has four sectors. Each sector provides its own accommodation facilities depending on where you are planning to start your walk from. Anyone can stay in the sector you wish to stay since some sectors like Buhoma are more developed than the other sector.
The lodges here give all sorts of accommodation depending on your budget and preference; there is budget accommodation provided to luxury accommodation:
In Rushanga; Rushanga gorilla lodge, Four gorilla lodge, Rushaga gorilla havens lodge
In Nkuringo; Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds mountain gorilla lodge,
In Buhoma; Buhoma lodge, Mahogany springs lodge, Bwindi lodge, Gorilla forest camp
In Ruhija; trekker’s tavern lodge, Bakiga lodge or in Lake Bunyonyi lodges in Kabale.
Pamoja tours and travel company is specialized in providing the best and sustainable tours and holidays to all its clients. With our hard working staff, we have secured a working relationship with different service providers to help us run our operations smoothly and provide you with all services you require starting from booking permits, accommodation to the dot. All our safaris are life changing and affordable. Feel free to contact us in case you have any inquiry and get feedback in the shortest time possible.