Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi's Rushaga sector is where gorilla acclimatization occurs. FILE PHOTO

Here are a few recommendations for the best activities to enjoy in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that travellers visiting Uganda or any place in Africa should include on their safari itinerary since no safari would be complete without a visit to this impenetrable forest. 

The park’s 331 square kilometres contain both montane and lowland vegetation and offer a variety of activities that require at least five days to properly explore.

The eight most enjoyable activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are listed below:

  • Gorilla trekking 
  • Habituation of Gorillas
  • Cycling in the mountains
  • Birding
  • The Buhoma community walks
  • Walking/hiking in the forest
  • Visit Lake Mutanda
  • The cultural experience of the Batwa

The best activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are explained here in detail. 

Gorilla trekking 

This is the number one activity on the list of the top eight things to do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gorilla Trekking has attracted travellers from all over the world, and practically every traveller who has visited Uganda on safari has included gorilla trekking in their schedule. 

Purchasing a gorilla permit, which costs $700 entitles you to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, an activity that involves hiking through the impenetrable forest in search of endangered mountain gorillas under the guidance of rangers, guides, and trackers. 

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to 19 habituated gorilla families, which visitors can track in the park’s four distinct sectors. 

Buhoma gorilla sector is home to four habituated gorilla families in the north, Ruhija gorilla sector is home to four habituated gorilla families in the east, Nkuringo gorilla sector is home to three habituated gorilla families in the south, and the Rushaga gorilla sector is home to eight habituated gorilla families in the south as well. 

Due to the great demand for gorilla permits, reservations must be made at least three months in advance.

Habituation of Gorillas

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Participants spend four hours with a gorilla family and researchers during the Gorilla Habituation Experience, which is offered only in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, namely Rushaga. PHOTO/UWA

Gorilla habituation is the second most popular activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, ranking second among the top eight. Gorilla acclimatisation is conducted in Bwindi’s Rushaga sector. 

Travellers stroll through the thick jungle with researchers gathering data and learning about mountain gorillas and the gorilla family in general during gorilla habituation. 

Travellers spend four hours with previously experienced gorillas, learning about their behaviours and interacting with them. 

Since Rushaga is home to two gorilla families, only eight permits per day are allowed for gorilla habituation, which allows for a maximum of four visitors per gorilla family. Permits must also be reserved in advance. 

For non-residents, permits go for about $1500, $1000 for residents, and UGX 750,000 for East African citizens.

Cycling in the mountains

Mountain riding is best done in the Buhoma region since it provides the greatest biking experience, which is given by the Ride 4 a Woman community group, which rents out bikes and organises the best-guided biking experience. 

The guides will share their expertise of the area and people, as well as the culture and variety of birdlife they encounter. 

Other parts of Bwindi feature lodges that offer biking as an activity, require prior booking.

Birding

Birding is one of the top eight activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, as this impenetrable forest is a birder’s paradise. At Bwindi, there are over 350 species of birds

23 of these are endemic to the Albertine Rift while 14 cannot be found anywhere else in this country. The African Green Broadbill bird is found exclusively in the Ruhija sector and Congo. 

Other bird species in the Bwindi sanctuary are the blue-headed sunbird, Rwenzori nightjar, and the short-tailed warbler. 

These are some of the bird species that visitors should keep an eye out for while on a bird-watching spree in the park. Bear in mind to bring your binoculars.

The Buhoma community walks

This is available for travellers who track in or stay in Bwindi’s Buhoma sector. 

The Buhoma community tour will take travellers through the hamlet, stopping at a local school, hospital, and traditional healer, as well as witnessing and participating in the traditional winemaking process. 

This walk is organised by the Buhoma community, and your participation directly benefits them.

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The Bwindi Lodge in Buhoma offers one of the best bargains when it comes to luxury lodges.

Walking/hiking in the forest

Travellers can participate in guided nature walks through the park’s meticulously planned pathways, which are an excellent way to explore and learn about the forest with the assistance of a ranger. 

The Munyaga River Trail leads visitors to the park’s stunning waterfalls. The park’s abundant and beautiful flora and fauna will add to the wonder of the walk. This trail can begin at either the Buhoma or Rushaga gates, depending on one’s location. This hike is around 3-4 hours long.

The Buhoma-Nkuringo and vice versa trails are especially fantastic since they allow people to explore the forest’s environs peacefully, with plenty of birds to view and hear. These trails can be completed in as little as six hours.

Visit Lake Mutanda

Lake Mutanda, located in the park’s southern section, is a beautiful and refreshing spot where guests may unwind following their gorilla trekking adventure. 

Numerous islands dot the lake, which can be visited on a dugout canoe with the assistance of a guide. Sunsets in Lake Mutanda are spectacular.

The cultural experience of the Batwa

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The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be seen through the eyes of the indigenous Batwa people who have lived there for millennia. PHOTO/UWA

Travellers enjoy reliving the lives and traditions of the Batwa. These are the people who lived in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest before being displaced and became squatters in the settlements surrounding the park. 

The Batwa people share and demonstrate how they lived, hunted, cooked, used unconventional materials such as sticks to make fire, collected wild honey, and imparted their knowledge of the plants they used for food and medicine during the cultural experience. 

These people were heavily reliant on the forest and had coexisted with animals and plant life for a long period. The encounter also includes melancholy music and unusual dances.

With the top Bwindi Impenetrable National Park activities listed above, you can be sure of an interesting yet pleasant vacation. 

Take the time to organise the finest safari to Bwindi with a reputable tour operator and you will undoubtedly have an unforgettable experience.

Last but not least, for an all-inclusive tour experience in Uganda, view our guide to Murchison Falls National ParkLake Mburo National Park and Semuliki National Park.