​Overview – Bwindi NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Uganda.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Uganda.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Uganda.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Uganda.

Bwindi Impenetrable NP is a Unesco World Heritage Site and it is the best place in Uganda to track mountain gorillas. The park protects around 40% of the world’s mountain gorilla population and has several habituated groups. The forest is also a bird-watcher's paradise with 350 species recorded, including many Albertine Rift endemics.

Best Time To Go June to August and December to February
High Season June to September (Gorilla permits are scarce)
Size 321km² / 124mi²
Altitude 1,300-2,462m / 4,265-8,077ft

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent gorilla trekking with almost guaranteed sightings
  • Superb bird watching available with knowledgeable guides
  • Unspoiled rainforest
  • Community projects including a village visit
  • Some access roads are bad in the rainy season
  • Very expensive gorilla trekking permit and limited availability (but cheaper than in Rwanda)

Bwindi NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Aside from the endangered mountain gorillas, nine other primate species are found in the forest. These include chimpanzee, olive baboon, black-and-white colobus and L'Hoest's monkey. Elephant are present but seldom seen. Bushbuck and several types of forest duiker can sometimes be spotted. The park has a very impressive bird and butterfly checklist.

Scenery

Bwindi is a pristine rainforest on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley. The terrain is a string of ridges and valleys covered in very dense, impenetrable forest. Bwindi has one of the most diverse floras in East Africa and it harbors 10 tree species that don’t occur anywhere else in the country.

Weather & Climate

The rain rarely lets up at Bwindi, with the heaviest falls occurring from March to May and October to November. Pack plenty of wet-weather gear to combat the drizzle. The forest’s mild climate is easier to enjoy in the drier months (June to August and December to February).

Best Time To Visit

Tracking gorillas is best when Bwindi’s trails are not so sodden and there is more sunshine (June to August and December to February). Slippery trails and occasional mist make wildlife watching more challenging during the wetter months of the year.

Want To Visit Bwindi NP?

787 Bwindi Gorilla Tours

Bwindi NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Dale R Morris  –  
South Africa ZA

Dale is a multi-award-winning writer and photographer with more than 500 published magazine articles featured in magazines such as National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Travel Africa, and CNN Travel.

Gorillas in the Midst of Tourists
4/5

The topography of Bwindi is not for the faint of heart. After an hour of relentless uphill climbing, I found myself gasping for breath at a junction where tea plantations and villages give way to a towering wall of jungle. The forest lay...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Sabine Reichow  –  
Spain ES
Reviewed: May 18, 2024
5/5

Incredible Nature and the encounter with the Mountain Gorillas is unique!

Full Review