Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park is a magnificent verdant swathe across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, home to half of the rare mountain gorillas. This ancient rain forest is one of the few forests that are known to have flourished the last Ice Age! It is one of the most visited national park by travelers taking Uganda Safaris to its protected areas that comprise a network of 10 national parks, game reserves and forest reserves. Here are the top 4 attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
1. Flora and fauna
Bwindi supports a tremendous biodiversity as a result of three major factors. Its slopes extend over a broad altitudinal range of 1447 km to create habitats ranging from lowland forest at 1160 m to rare afromontane vegetation above 2600m. It is also extremely old and part of the exceptionally rich albertine rift endemic area. When most of africa’s forests disappeared during arid conditions of the ice age (12000-18000 years ago), Bwindi was one of the few ‘refugia’ that persisted. Consequently, while most of today’s forests are no more than 12,000 years old, bwindi’s vegetation has been weaving itself into tangles over at least 25000 years, in the process accumulating a lengthy species list. This includes 310 species of butterflies, 51 reptiles, 200 trees, 88 moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammals.
2. Mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas are the star attraction in Uganda and Bwindi Forest is home to more than half of the remaining surviving mountain gorillas in the world. The Bwindi gorillas live in structured groups with defined home ranges. Bwindi has ten habituated gorilla groups that are tracked by tourists. Three of these are in the vicinity of Buhoma, three at Ruhija, while other four are tracked from the sourthern sector (Nkuringo/Rushaga).
3. Primates world
Bwindi national park boasts of 10 species of primates including the mountain gorilla. Other exceptional primate attraction in this impenetrable forest includes chimpanzee, baboon, L’Hoest, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus and the nocturnal bush babies.
The varied habitats of Uganda’s oldest forest mean its an ideal habitat of variety of birds with over 350 species recorded including 23 endemics (90% of all Albertine rift endemic) such as the short tailed warbler shelly’s crimson wing African Green Broad bill and blue headed sun bird as well as seven IUCN red data listed species. Easy to see are the African Emerland Cukoo common Bulbul African blue and white tailed Fly catchers and Red-headed Blue bill