Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Climb slopes dense with creeper-festooned trees on the track of Mountain gorillas, golden monkeys and forest birds.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

June to August

Overview

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the main setting for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda. However the number of visitors to Bwindi is drastically limited to avoid too much disruption and over-habituation of the gorillas. So you may need to booking up to a year ahead to ensure a much-coveted gorilla permit.

However this south-west corner of Uganda is one of the most rewarding safari destinations from an eco-tourism perspective. The local communities around Mgahinga National Park and Bwindi National Park benefit hugely from visitors. Tourism provides employment for local people. And this in turn helps to preserve the fragile ancient rainforest habitats of Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (the official longer name) is as thickly vegetated and mysterious as its name suggests. The dense undergrowth of the valley floor is eerily quiet. You feel as if your steps are disturbing the smells and sounds of ancient Africa.

As well as gorilla trekking, there are various other activities on offer. Such as forest walks, community visits and also a visit to the remote Batwa community.

Walking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Uganda or Rwanda for gorilla tracking?

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park will typically entail a fair bit of strenuous climbing through thick rainforest. It will appeal most to those who want to get a sense of the whole ecosystem. And who are less bothered by the physical challenge. Actually, the adventurous terrain adds to the excitement of the whole experience.

As a general rule, the trekking time to reach ‘your’ allocated family group is generally longer in Uganda than in Rwanda. And if you are looking to combine gorilla tracking with other wildlife areas, then Uganda has more well-developed wildlife parks. All with a good infrastructure and choice of lodges. See our article below for more on this.

Features

Why you may love it

  • This is the heart of gorilla trekking in Uganda
  • Chimpanzees, black and white colombus monkeys and golden monkeys also make Bwindi their home
  • Bwindi also provides refuge to elephant, bush pigs, giant forest hogs and various small antelope
  • Lowland and montane communities merge here, so the floral diversity is especially rich
  • Home to over 200 butterfly species
  • And over 340 species of birds, 25 of which are endemic

When to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

December to mid-March

Dry(ish) season - Good time to visit

The mountainous areas of the south (Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National park) are noticeably cooler than most of Uganda, given the higher altitude. Summer is a relatively dry time of year, so a good option for gorilla trekking as drier trails makes for easier trekking. Plus the gorillas tend to be more active if it’s not raining and so your photos tend to be better. Daytime temperatures are 24C but still humid. Whilst nights drop down to a chilly 11C.
AVG RAINFALL 87mm
AVG HOURS OF SUNSHINE 5-6 Hours
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 74 ℉
MIN TEMP 11 ℃ / 52 ℉

Mid-March to May

Long rains

This is the time of the long rains so it's not an ideal time to visit. Many camps either close or offer lower prices. Gorilla trekking is still popular but we recommend taking a ‘porter’. Mainly for their assistance with the muddy trail!
AVG MONTHLY RAINFALL 110mm to 155mm in April
AVG HOURS OF SUNSHINE 4 Hours
MAX TEMP 23 ℃ / 72 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

June to August

Best time to visit

This is considered the best time to visit, being the driest time and a pleasant temperature. However, in the mountains, it can rain on any day of the year! Night-time temperatures can drop down to a chilly 9C, remarkable considering how close you are to the equator.
AVG RAINFALL 40mm
AVG HOURS OF SUNSHINE 7 Hours
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 73 ℉
MIN TEMP 9 ℃ / 40 ℉

September to November

Short rainy season

This is the time of the ‘short rains’ peaking in November. Again not an ideal time to visit due to the muddy conditions underfoot. Take a porter to help you with the muddy sections. However the good news is it can be easier to get gorilla permits on short notice.
AVG RAINFALL 131mm
AVG HOURS OF SUNSHINE 5 Hours
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 74 ℉
MIN TEMP 12 ℃ / 54 ℉

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Buhoma Lodge

Buhoma Lodge, an intimate and charming property that has spectacular and uninterrupted views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

It is a luxury lodge but in a rustic and simple style. Nothing fancy, however what a fantastic location! You can just walk into the village and to the start of the Gorilla treks (dependent on where you have your permits to start.) The food was fantastic and the staff were friendly and excellent in every way.

Cedarberg : Mari Jacobs
 
Did you know
  • NameBwindi a Runyakitara word meaning impenetrable  
  • GorillasHome to almost 50% of the only 900 mountain gorillas in existence

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Tasha Eygelaar

Africa Travel Specialist

Hi I’m Tasha, I’m here to help you plan your ideal holiday experience

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