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Uganda is one of the only three countries where tourists meet the mountain gorillas in the wild. If your dream is to meet these great apes, you should not miss visiting the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the great known places where gorilla safaris are done in Africa. The park is known globally renowned for its exceptional gorilla trekking experience that thousands visitors look for into the impenetrable jungles of South Western Uganda. Despite it sharing the mountain gorilla species with other parks like Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park, Bwindi forest  has the biggest share – 47% of the remaining mountain gorilla population in the world that live in all the vast four sectors Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.

This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics. The park is most famous for gorilla trekking, an adventure that is undertaken daily within the impenetrable forest of Bwindi.

The neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both have an impressive array of luxury lodges, rustic bandas and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, craft stalls and guiding services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures through performances, workshops and village walks.

Quick Facts

Size: 321km2

Altitude: 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level.

Bwindi was gazetted as a National Park in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.

The Mubare gorilla group was the first to become available for tourism in Uganda in April 1993. Nine groups are now habituated for tourism, and one for research.

Spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, Bwindi is the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.

Gorilla Trekking

For one to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi national park Uganda, a gorilla permit is an essential component reserved through tour agents or booked directly at the Uganda wildlife park head offices in Kampala. Gorilla permits cost $600 but those who chose to track gorillas in April, May and November get hug discounts since permits cost cheap. This gorilla permit price is said to run until 2019 the year Uganda national park management body UWA will revise its park tariff.

When to visit Bwindi National Park

Being a year round tourist destination, Bwindi National park offers unique gorilla trekking experience January to December with June-October and December to March as the peak travel months. Many fly to Uganda for gorilla trekking tours year round and the experience is always the same. Here mountain gorillas are always seen by tourists all year without any registered case of missing to meet the silverback and its family members.

Getting to Bwindi Forest

Bwindi forest is found in south western Uganda in the districts of Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu. Visitors to the park use road means by either booking private Uganda gorilla tour with everything included that is transport, accommodation and permits  or hire special cars  and drive themselves to the park. Others prefer using public means of travel especially backpacker travelers. Some use air transport means by flying to kihihi airstrip in Bwindi and later get transferred to the lodge in a private safari vehicle.If you want to drive reserve a flying gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi forest and explore the magical rain forest in just three days.

Gorilla tracking rules & Regulations

For a fantastic gorilla trek, wear good comfortable walking shoes, dress in long sleeveds, carry a warm sweater and rain jacket for rains and cold weather, then follow all the park rules and regulations as they are laid out by park officials on the morning before entering in the forest to search for the gorillas. However apply insect repellants and also use sun cream because the sun may be strong during the day. For the trek, I would recommend a water proof bag that will protect your value documents like passport and others in case it rains.

Best time to View Gorillas

It’s by chance to view gorillas at your lodge of residence though it such incidents happen at lodges that are located with the park. However, gorillas can visit a lodge any time of the day from morning to evening so tourists looking out for such amazing moments should always find time to relax in their balcony lodge areas or a convenient place where they can move eyes around the lodge compound. But for those looking at booking Uganda gorilla safaris, Gorilla trekking is a year round where tourists can see gorillas any time so long as they have gorilla trekking permits. Above all its always know that the dry months of the year are the best times to track gorillas since the hikes are manageable.  Sometimes travelers have different interests, as one is looking for cheap gorilla permits one is looking for manageable hikes hence making it worth to track gorillas all year since each travel season has different advantage.

Recommended Gorilla Tracking Lodges

Among the gorilla trekking lodges in parks Gorilla Forest Camp is one of the most recommended camps where gorillas often roam around the campsite compound and tourists get high chances of seeing them both in the forest and at the lodge. Also being on a steep hillside of Bwindi forest national park it’s very easy for one to have forest birds as you roommates since the breath-taking bathtub overlooking the rainforest attract variety. Other animals to see and enjoy while here are the eleven types of primates, mammals among others. Tourists here just walk to the start trekking point, relax in leisure enjoying great views of the forest plus much more than that. Other gorilla lodges I would recommend for such a fabulous gorilla viewing opportunity is, Gorilla Resort, Buhoma Community Bandas, Mahogany springs to mention but a few.

Where to Stay

There are several lodges spread within the different sectors of the park. However, with the many lodges and accommodations both within and outside the park, not all lodges offer this opportunity. Remember, gorillas are free to move freely and roam around their home giving tourists the opportunity to spot them around your lodge compound.

Always chill outside the lodge and keep your eyes out for different forest creatures that visit the lodge on different occasions. Besides, some lodges have stunning view of the entire gorilla park and wondering around your balcony may give opportunities to catch up with your favorite. But remember to move with your camera to grab such great moments of the wildlife jungle.

Buhoma Community Rest Camp
Tel: +256 312 100060
Mobile: +256 772 384965
Email: buhomacommunity@yahoo.com, buhomacomunity@gmail.com
Website: www.buhomacommunity.com

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
Mob: +256 772 753619, +256 777 912448
Tel (UK): +44 (0)20 7190 7728
Email:  info@sanctuaryretreats.com
Website: www.sanctuaryretreats.com

Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp
Tel +256 312 277304
Mobile: +256 782 399235 / +256 775 887258
Email: kitanda@infocom.co.ug
Website: www.kitandarabwindicamp.com

Buhoma Lodge
Tel: + 256 414 321479
Mobile: + 256 772 502155, +256 772 721479
Email: reservations@wildfrontiers.co.ug, info@wildfrontiers.co.ug
Website: www.ugandaexclusivecamps.com/buhoma.html

CTPH Gorilla Conservation Camp
Tel: +256 414 531 389
Email: gorillaconservationcamp@ctph.org, info@ctph.org
Website: www.ctph.org

Silverback Lodge
Tel:  +256 312 260260/1, +256 414 255992
Email: reservations@marasa.net, mweyaparaa@africaonline.co.ug
Web: www.silverbacklodge.com , www.marasa.net

Volcanoes Safaris Bwindi Lodge
Tel: +256 414 346 464/5, +256 312 263823
Email: salesug@volcanoessafaris.com
Website: www.volcanoessafaris.com

Engagi lodge
Tel: +256 414 321552
Mob:+256 701 563437
Email: mantana@africaonline.co.ug

Gorilla Resort
Mobile: +256 785 790690, +256 772 419238
Email: reservations@gorillaresort.com

Mahogany springs camp
Mobile: +256 792 740300/9
Email: blueink@sympatico.ca

Bwindi Guest House
Mobile: +256 785 999112
Email: ruden888@yahoo.com

Bwindi View Bandas
Mobile: +256 738 78437, +256 772 399224
Email: bwindiview@yahoo.com

Eco Marvels Gorilla Resort
In Kitahurira, close to Buhoma and Ruhija. Suitable for those tracking the Oruzogo and Habinyanja gorilla families
Mobile:  +256 792 345000
Email: info@ecomarvelsafrica.com
Website: www.ecomarvelsafrica.com

Gorilla Friends Lodge
Mobile: +256 782 822043, +256 774 836371
Email:  magrichard@yahoo.com

Jungle View Lodge
Mobile: +256 772 549088


Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
Tel: +256 414 501866
Mobile: +256 772 657700
Email: info@wildplacesafrica.com
Website: www.wildplacesafrica.com

Nkuringo Gorilla Camp
Tel: +256 774 805580, +256 792 805580
Email: info@nkuringocampsite.com
Website: www.nkuringocampsite.com

Nshongi Camp
Mobile: +256 774 231913
Email:  nshongi@gorillamail.com


Nyundo Valley Hill Bandas
Contact via Pearls of Uganda:
Mobile: +256 772 930304, +256 772 657700
Email: info@pearlsofuganda.org
Web: www.pearlsofuganda.org


Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge
Tel: +256 414 503065
Email: www.gorillasafari.travel/contact.html
Website: www.gorillasafari.travel

Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp
Mob: +256 772 563577, +256 774 959477, +256 754 315151
Email: info@gorillamistcamp.com

Trekkers Tavern cottages
Mob: +256 772 455423
Email: access@utline.co.ug, mutebihassan@yahoo.com

Gift of Nature Lodge
Mobile: +256 756 731767

Ruhija Gorilla Resort
Tel: +256414503065
Mobile: +256 756 000598, +256 712 187411, +256 776 000598
Email:  reservations@asyanuttours-safaris.com, info@asyanuttours-safaris.com
Website: www.asyanuttours-safaris.com

Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort & Campsite
Tel: +256 772 480885, +256 382 275160, +256 772 874803
Email:  bitariho@gmail.com,  mcleakankwasa@yahoo.com

Ruhija Community Rest Camp
Mobile: +256 771 846635, +256 772 635142, +256 777 472967


Wagtail Eco-Safari Camp
Tel: +256 392 969222, +256 414 590408
Mobile: +256 755 208775 +256 772 220252
Email: kanyamunyu@yahoo.com, info@nkuringo.com
Web: www.wagtailecocamp.com


Gorilla Safari Lodge
Tel: +256 414 345742, +256 392 912673
Mobile: 772 470260, 0712 470260
Email: reservations@gorillasafarilodge.com
Website: www.gorillasafarilodge.com