visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (1)
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

In the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, participants enjoy the multi-day Gorilla Habituation Experience, during which they spend four hours with a gorilla family and researchers.

Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a unique gorilla park in that it is not located within the Virunga volcanoes. It is older than the other parks in that it has weathered the tectonic upheaval that created the area. 

This Afromontane forest attracts not just gorilla hikers, but also birders from all over the world, having been named Africa’s best birding destination.

Additionally, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the only mountain gorilla habitat in which chimps coexist with mountain gorillas. They are all tracked here, and you may come face to face with them on a gorilla hike.

Why should you travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park? You probably already have enough reasons, but for those who require additional persuasion. 

Here are ten reasons why you should visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park this year.

Gorilla hiking at an affordable price

Uganda’s lower permit fees have contributed to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’s rise to prominence as a mountain gorilla destination. 

What we refer to as the “great Gorilla trekker exodus” to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest occurred after Rwanda increased the price of Gorilla permits to $1500 and labelled itself a luxury Gorilla Safari destination.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority exercised sound judgement in maintaining the present permit prices. Affordability without sacrificing the experience’s quality. 

In addition to that, there is a diverse selection of lodges, as well as top-notch safety and security. It is therefore easy to see why African travellers flock to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Interestingly, Uganda never promoted gorilla tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest using the price advantage. 

Thanks to social media, travel forums, Lonely Planet, news articles, and websites such as Kabiza Wilderness Safaris, the word has gotten out that Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park remains affordable and accessible to the majority.

Bwindi Forest now has a greater number of mountain gorillas—as well as more daily permits.

Over 400 mountain gorillas live in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla Park and Bwindi National Park contain more than half of Africa’s remaining mountain gorilla population. 

Bwindi Forest, coupled with Mgahinga Gorilla Park, has more habituated gorilla families to visit than any other country in the world (20 groups) compared to Rwanda’s ten groups.

More habituated gorilla families equate to more park permits. Each day, 136 licences are available, compared to 80 in Rwanda.

Additional time in the company of a gorilla during a Gorilla Habituation Experience

Gorilla Habituation at Bwindi (1)
This activity is exclusive to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, namely Rushaga, and involves a multi-day walk with a gorilla family and researchers for four hours. PHOTO/UWA

The Gorilla Habituation Experience is a multi-day walk during which participants spend four hours with a gorilla family and researchers. This activity is offered only in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, namely in Rushaga, the park’s southern sector.

The Gorilla Habituation varies from a Gorilla Trek in that you are an active participant in the Habituation Process rather than merely an observer.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority now offers it as a year-round sport. It has grown to be one of the most successful new activities in Uganda since its inception. 

Many Bwindi Impenetrable National Park visitors prefer it to the standard 1-hour gorilla excursion. The permission costs 1500 USD. 

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest—2019 CNN’s World’s Most Beautiful Place

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was awarded the world’s most beautiful destination by CNN Travel in 2019. The old Afromontane forest’s rugged, majestic splendour is simply astounding. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’s hills and steep valleys weave a stunning tapestry.

CNN Travel is only reiterating what it previously stated when naming Bwindi Forest as one of Africa’s best parks

Other channels, like Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and others, have stated the same thing.

Genuine cultural contacts with the Batwa people exist

Some come to Uganda to spend time with the indigenous Batwa people. You can see the forest through the eyes of the indigenous people who have inhabited it for millennia. 

The Batwa can teach us a great deal. How hunters and gatherers can coexist in harmony with their surroundings. They lacked permanent settlements. They did not clear the forest to farm. 

They coexisted peacefully with their surroundings, including mountain gorillas.

Evicted from their beloved forest in 1991, they now live as conservation refugees outside the forest. You learn about the Batwa way of life, which is generally eye-opening.

The Batwa Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (1)
The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be seen through the eyes of the indigenous Batwa people who have lived there for millennia. PHOTO/UWA

Additional activities

Visiting Bwindi is synonymous with gorilla trekking, but it also includes hiking in and through the forest, birding, cultural visits with the Batwa, mountain biking, and village visits.

The impenetrable jungle of Bwindi ensures safe and secure gorilla trekking

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the most secure gorilla trekking destinations in the world. The other two are Rwanda’s volcanoes national park and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Visitors to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, particularly those trekking mountain gorillas, are safe and secure. 

Your trekking permits support conservation efforts; 20% of proceeds benefit community programmes in the park’s immediate vicinity, as well as maintaining a safe and secure parking area for tourists.

Additional lodging options at a cheap price

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest offers a range of accommodation options, from budget to exclusive luxury world-class lodges. 

They are found within, surrounding, and near the park’s gorilla trekking trailheads. Not only does Bwindi Impenetrable Forest offer a diverse range of accommodation options, but it also offers great value.

The daily rates at the premium lodges are hundreds of dollars less than in Rwanda’s volcanoes National Park. Bwindi Lodge in the Buhoma area offers the best bargain in a luxury lodge.

bwindi-lodge in uganda (1)
The Bwindi Lodge in Buhoma offers one of the best bargains when it comes to luxury lodges.

All lodges in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that cater to gorilla trekkers provide 24-hour protection for their visitors. You’ll need a tour operator to assist you in selecting a lodge that suits your budget and preferences for your level of comfort.

Accessible from Kigali, Rwanda (4-hour drive)

There is an easy way to approach Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that the majority of Gorilla Trekkers are unaware of. 

You can fly into Rwanda and then drive for four hours or more to the Southern Bwindi forest area, such as Rushaga, where you can go gorilla trekking or participate in the habituation experience.

This saves time and money by avoiding a lengthy drive from Kampala.

Weather conditions are favourable

Typically, it’s a four- to six-hour hike. Many people who are unfamiliar with Bwindi Impenetrable Forest envision a sultry jungle. The early mist over the woodland is the only thing that resembles steam. 

The weather is ideal for trekkers.

Temperatures during the day reach around 25 degrees Celsius. It never exceeds 30. Temperatures will drop to the teens and lower at night. 

The typical temperature in areas such as South Bwindi is between 10 and 12 degrees Celsius. You should carry a sweater with you during the evening or early morning.

Check out our guides to Murchison Falls National ParkLake Mburo National ParkQueen Elizabeth National Park and Semuliki National Park for a complete Ugandan experience.