Overview – Bwindi NP

Ariadne van Zandbergen
Expert
By Ariadne van Zandbergen

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who write and update many Bradt guides, including the guide to Uganda.

Ariadne is a renowned Africa expert. She and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide to Uganda.

Ariadne and her husband form a team who author the Bradt guide 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 ten tree species which 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 September 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?

Bwindi NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

Rare birds and gorillas in the mist
5/5

Uganda is one of only three countries in the world (the others being Rwanda and the DRC) where the iconic mountain gorilla can be reliably tracked on foot, an experience I’d have no hesitation as commending as the most thrilling wildlife...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Cheri  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Dec 6, 2019
5/5

Gorillas, lack of development here

Full Review