Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the South-West side of Uganda. It is a famous for tracking the mountain gorilla (Gorilla Beringei Beringei). About 340 of the world remaining gorilla population live in this area. Covering an area of 331 square kilometers, this area has a mixture of scrambled vegetation, steep landscape, high slippery valleys, drought ridges and thick forest with under growth vegetation. Visitors touring the park are asked to pack warm clothing and decent hiking boots due to the cold temperatures, especially in the months of June and July. This Impenetrable National Park has two rain seasons, long rains in the months of September to November and short rains in the months of March to May.
Tracking of the mountain gorilla is quite tiresome because, you will have to walk long distances through steep slopes and dense forest. There are four mountain gorilla groups open on tourism namely; Habinyanja, Mubare, Rushegura and Nkuringo. Although tourists can visit the park any time throughout the year, only eight members are allowed to visit these primates. The hours spent with the primates are limited and every group must obtain a permit. Each group must be accompanied by a guide. In addition to this, every visitor must follow all the rules and regulations in order to protect the gorilla population. The main threats to these primates include poaching, diseases and habitat loss.
Gorilla tracking is the leading revenue generator in the Uganda tourism industry. Other primates found in this park include the chimpanzee, blue monkey, red colobus monkey, black and white colobus monkey, grey-checked Mangabey and L’Hoest monkey. You will also see other wild animals such as the elephant, antelope and the giant forest hog. The Bwindi forest is one of the richest Eco-systems in Africa, which contains both montane and lowland forest. There are 163 species of trees and 100 different types of ferns recorded in this forest. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to 120 mammal species, 346 different types of birds, 202 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, many geckos and chameleons.
Bwindi National Park is owned by Uganda Wildlife Authority, which is a government organization. The conservation and control of this park over the past year has brought conflict with the local communities as they were evicted from the park. For instance, the Batwa community who lived in this area for generations were badly affected since, even they were not compensated. They relied on this forest for years without destroying the area ecosystem. They relied on fishing, harvesting wild honey and growing of yams for their living.
A visit to the Munyanga river trail provides an attractive feature of the forest. Here, you will observe a profusion of tree ferns, Epithectic ferns and orchids. The river trail leads to three crystal clear waterfalls namely Rushurra trail, Muzabajirro trail and Ruizi River trail.