Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the centre of the gorilla trekking in Uganda. However the number of visitors are drastically limited to avoid too much disruption and over-habituation. Booking a year ahead is quite the norm. Mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, black and white colombos monkeys and golden monkeys are all found here as well as 23 endemic bird species.
The 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 who come to walk with local guides in search of the gorillas and other primates. 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 until your steps disturb the smells and sounds of ancient Africa. Bwindi is a suitably evocative location for gorilla trekking but it also provides refuge to elephant, chimpanzees, monkeys, bush pig, giant forest hog and various small antelope. This is where the lowland and montane communities merge, so the floral diversity is especially rich. Bwindi is also home to over 200 butterfly species and over 340 species of birds.
Uganda or Rwanda for gorilla tracking?
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park on a gorilla safari will typically entail a fair bit of strenuous climbing through thick rainforest. It will appeal most to those who want to get an enveloping sense of the whole ecosystem and are less bothered by the physical challenge. Indeed, for some people the adventurous terrain adds to the excitement of the whole experience. As a general rule, the trekking time it takes to reach ‘your’ allocated family group is generally a bit longer in Uganda than Rwanda. If you are looking to combine gorilla tracking with visits to other national parks, then Uganda has many more well-developed wildlife parks with a good infrastructure.