All you need to know about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is famous as one of the last places where endangered mountain gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat. This primordial forest is a gem of diversity and is home to many species which are threatened…

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a vast park of high altitude forested mountains, known for its thick vegetation, thick mists, streams and dew, endangered mountain gorillas and loud, colourful birds.

Located in the southwest of Uganda, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country because of its famous gorilla treks. On a gorilla trek you go on a guided hike through the forest to find and spend an hour in the presence of a mountain gorilla troop. It’s a truly special experience that few get to enjoy. And it almost never leaves you unchanged.

A young gorilla eating leaves

What is Bwindi famous for?

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – or just Bwindi to make things shorter – is famous as one of only a handful parks where you can see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. It was established in 1991 in large part to protect the species. Mountain gorillas can only be found in three countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Bwindi has more than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas – around 400. It’s also the only place on the globe where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees live in the same ecosystem. At Bwindi you can go a guided trek in the forest to find and observe a mountain gorilla family, known as a troop. The trek to find a gorilla troop takes you through beautiful and ancient montane forest that is often drenched in dew (if it’s not actually raining).

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bwindi National Park has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its biological richness and significance. The park has 160 species of trees, which is the highest diversity of tree species in East Africa. It also has more than 100 species of ferns, over 347 species of forest birds, and more than 200 species of butterflies.

How big is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Bwindi National Park is 321 km² or 32,092 ha. It has an unusual shape, as shown in the map below. The park was created through the merging of three former protected areas: the Impenetrable Central Forest Reserve, the Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve, and the Rwenzori Mountains Reserve.

Map of Bwindi

The map below shows the outline of the park, its location near the border with the DRC, and the different gorilla trekking sectors within the park.

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