Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park: The Capital of Mountain Gorillas

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – For the Ultimate Gorilla Experience – This is our complete guide on Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park which contains all you need to know about this beautiful park. Here we give you the up to date information on the attractions, activities, best time, location and accommodation facilities around the park. We’ll also go ahead to show you how to best plan your gorilla safari in addition offer you sample packages with a free quote to help you plan your trip. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is at times referred to as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is one of the 10 national parks in Uganda. The National park is the largest gorilla habitat hosting nearly half of the world’s remaining population of Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Albertine Rift at the border of Uganda and DR Congo.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest is one of Uganda’s oldest forests and the most biologically diverse forest dating back to 25,000 years, containing almost 400 different plant species. Most famously within the forest, are the 480 mountain gorillas some of which are habituated for gorilla trekking, whereas others are not yet fully habituated. Tourists can visit for a Gorilla habituation experience where they’ll have 4 hours in the presence of gorillas. Bwindi forest is not only for the mountain Gorillas, the forest is also a habitat for about 120 mammal species, 348 bird species, 163 tree species, and over 1000 flowering plants.

Top Safari Packages for Bwindi


  • Location of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • How to get to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Attractions of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Accommodations in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Where is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Located?

Wondering which district Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Located in? The National Park covers portions of 3 districts Kanungu, Kabale, and Kisoro. The districts are situated in southwestern Uganda close to the Virunga Volcanoes that border Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The National park is nestled within a very beautiful region of the country, part of the Impenetrable Forest covers 321 square kilometres and rises to an altitude of 1,160m – 2,607m above sea level.

How to Get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park can be accessed by either using the road or air transport from different destinations Entebbe or Kigali.

  • By Road

Depending on your Flight destination, the park can be reached by road using different routes. From Entebbe-Kampala, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is an 81/2 hours drive using the Kabale-Mbarara Rd and Mbarara-Masaka Rd which is the fastest route. If coming from Murchison Falls National Park, you’ll use the Mubende-Fort-Portal Rd, the park is 10.5 hour’s drive. From Kigali Rwanda, it is a 5 hours’ drive to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Accessing the park is a closer and shorter distance than that from Entebbe hence why our 3 Days Gorilla Safari Uganda from Rwanda is one of the most requested packages as it saves time.

During the rainy season, we recommend using a 4WD.

  • By Air

Chartered flights are arranged and organized from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to either Kihiihi or Kisoro airfields. For clients trekking gorillas in Buhoma and Ruhija sectors, the Kihiihi airfield is the best alternative whereas the Kisoro airfield is the best alternative for tourists heading to Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors. A chartered flight to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park airfields is about 1 hour 45 min. From the airport, your Gorilla Safari guide will ensure your transfer to a prior booked accommodation facility corresponding with the sector you are going to trek in. The transfer from the airfield is by a 4×4 safari vehicle. Our 3 Days Bwindi Luxury flying Gorilla Safari is the best alternative for short gorilla safaris by flight in Uganda.

Attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Wondering what is there to see in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park? There are several attractions to sight in Bwindi impenetrable forest and here are the top things to see while in the park.

  • Mountain Gorillas

The Gorilla species in the Bwindi impenetrable forest are the mountain gorillas. About 480 mountain gorillas live in Bwindi impenetrable forest and 21 gorilla families have been habituated for gorilla experience safaris in Uganda. Mountain gorillas here are habituated in 4 different sectors and these are; Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo sectors. Mountain Gorillas are increasing in numbers because of the great conservation efforts from the government and other conservation organizations.  Mountain gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest include Rushegura, Habinyaja, Mubare, and Katwe gorilla groups in the Buhoma sector. Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Mukizo, and Oruzogo gorilla groups in the Ruhija gorilla sector. Bishasho, Nkuringo, and Christmas gorilla groups in the Nkuringo sector. And Nsonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahunjye, Businjye, Rwiji, Muchunguzi, and Bikyinji gorilla groups in the Rushaga sector.

  • Bird Species

Though Bwindi is popular for gorilla trekking, it has also been designated as the best birding destination in Africa. Birders who would love to spot forest birds and the Albertine rift endemic birds, Bwindi impenetrable forest is the best alternative to visit. In the northern area of Bwindi, the forest is a habitat to 76 of the 144 Congo biome bird species and 68 of 86 Afro tropical biome species. 23 out of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics can be found in Bwindi impenetrable forest. Some of the other bird species to look out for while in Bwindi include the Rwenzori Nightjar, Short-tailed Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, Red-headed Bluebill, African Blue Flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimson wing, Common Bulbul, Chapin’s Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Handsome Francolin, and many more.

  • Primates and Other Wildlife Species

Primates and other kinds of wildlife still exist in the national park although they are not the main attraction in park. About 120 mammal species are estimated to be within the forest park and these include 10 species of primates. The primates include chimpanzees, L’Hoest’s monkeys, and black and white colobus. Also, in the forest, you can find about 27 species of frogs and 220 butterfly species.

  • Flora

Floristically, Bwindi Forest is one of the best destinations to explore because of its many floral species. Both the low-altitude and high-altitude primary Afromontane forests are found in the park. The forest park has over 220 tree species that form more than 50% of the tree species in the country.

Activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

  • Gorilla Trekking 

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is mostly carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking is done every day in the park, as long as you have a gorilla permit which costs $700 each valid for a single trek. Bwindi impenetrable forest is the best alternative for Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda since the park has more mountain gorillas compared to the other gorilla national park. Gorilla permits in Uganda cost USD700 much cheaper compared to gorilla permits in Rwanda costing USD1,500. Persons eligible for gorilla trekking in Uganda are those above the age of 15 years. Have a purchased gorilla permit prior. Bwindi impenetrable forest is at a high altitude and it requires hiking, however, Safaris Rwanda will always help travellers who are unable to hike using other means to help them undertake their gorilla trek.

  • Gorilla Habituation

If you want to spend more time with mountain gorillas, learn more or take more pictures of these elusive species, gorilla habituation is the activity for you. Unlike trekking where you spend only 60 minutes (1 Hour) in the presence of a fully habituated gorilla family. Gorilla habituation, you’ll spend 4 hours in the presence of a non-fully habituated gorilla family/group. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the only destination that offers gorilla habituation activity in the world. Clients spend 4 hours with the gorillas learning about the gorillas with the guidance of the park rangers and gorilla doctors. Gorilla habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest costs $1500 per permit per habituation.

  • Bird Watching

With the variety of bird species in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, birders will surely have the best birding experiences. Bird watching in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest alone takes about 4 days to sight several species including the Albertine rift endemic bird species. The best places for a bird-watching safari in Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest include the Mubwindi swamp, the Buhoma water trail, the River Ivi trail, and the bamboo zone. You’ll sight 23 out of the 24 Albertine Rift endemics while in Bwindi impenetrable Forest. These are some of the bird species to look out for while in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest the Rwenzori Nightjar, Short-tailed Warbler, Blue-headed Sunbird, African Blue Flycatcher, Common Bulbul, Chapin’s Flycatcher, Red-headed Bluebill, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Shelley’s Crimson wing, Handsome Francolin, and so many more.

Bwindi Safari Packages

3 Days Exclusive Gorilla Safari Bwindi

3 Days Budget Gorilla Safari Bwindi

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari From Kigali

2 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari Bwindi

Route to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest From Kigali

Safari Accommodations in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers accommodation to all kinds of travellers in the 4 sectors of the park. Accommodations range from Luxury to Mid-rage and Budget depending on the traveller’s choice and travel budget. Below are some of the accommodations in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

  • Luxury Lodges

Buhoma Lodge is a top-quality and welcoming safari lodge in Bwindi that commands magical and uninterrupted views of the Impenetrable Forest, the habitat of the rare and elusive Mountain Gorillas. Buhoma Lodge is one of the two safari lodges located within the National Park a short walk from the briefing point for gorilla tracking. This makes the lodge a great place to start your gorilla trekking adventure. Buhoma Lodge has an elevated central lounge area, complete with bar, dining, and spa facilities that offer a cosy and comfortable environment to discuss the day’s activities, sitting around the fireplaces which add to the atmosphere and warmth in the cool evenings.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is a remote, intimate, and thrilling lodge, located over 2,000 meters above sea level, probably the highest altitude lodge in the country. Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge is an award-winning lodge that offers accommodation of a kind. Imagine sitting up on a ridge, at the altitude of the clouds, looking across to the Virunga volcanoes and behind you is the primal impenetrable forest of Bwindi. The safari lodge is a walk away from the Nkuringo trailhead for gorilla trekking. Clients at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge stay in their own cottages built with local volcanic stones. Each cottage is customized with a large sitting room, fireplace, armchairs, and a hand-woven carpet. Other luxury safari lodges in Bwindi impenetrable forest include Chameleon Hill Lodge, Gorilla safari lodge, Trackers safari lodge, and many more.

  • Midrange

Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge is at an altitude of 2161m above sea level at the Nteko ridge overlooking the phenomenal belt of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The ridge creates a splendid vantage across the Kashasha River Valley to the Nkuringo forested hill and the surrounding track of trees. This sector of the forest is home to the three Nkuringo Mountain Gorilla families from where the safari Lodge creates a prime access point to the start of the trek. The safari Lodge has panoramic views of the majestic Virunga volcano Mountains chain, across the escarpment into the Albertine Rift Valley in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rushaga Gorilla Camp is one of the most beautiful safari lodges in the National Park for you to spend your night before or after gorilla trekking. Bordering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rushaga Gorilla Camp constitutes a mountain landscape and lush accommodations with nice vistas of the forest front. The camp also has a permanent spring where forest elephants normally come down for a drink from the national park. Other mid-range safari lodges in Bwindi impenetrable forest include Gorilla Valley Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge and many more.

  • Budget Lodges

Broadbill Forest Camp is a calm and peaceful safari lodge with phenomenal views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, making it the right place to relax and unwind during your gorilla trekking safari. The Forest Camp gets its name from the globally endangered African Green Broadbill, one of the bird species in the impenetrable forest.  Broadbill Forest Camp is found at the edge of Bwindi impenetrable forest providing good views and bird-watching from your balcony.

Buhoma Community Rest Camp has 6 well-furnished and self-contained safari tents, 3 self-contained cottages and 2 nonself-contained twin cottages. The forest camp is built with local materials and is designed with African architecture. The rest camp also offers a 6-bed dormitory as well as several campsites. Other budget safari lodges in Bwindi impenetrable forest include Buhoma community Bandas, Bwindi backpackers lodge, Engagi Lodge, and many more

Note: Booking accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park should be done by a local tour operator because we book according to the booked gorilla permit allocation for your trek.