The name ‘Bwindi’ is derived from a word in the Runyakitara language, meaning ‘impenetrable’. It earns this name from the extensive stands of bamboo interspersed amongst the larger forest hardwoods, and which, along with thick ground cover of ferns, vines and other plant growth, severely hinder direct access on foot. Also known as the ‘Place of Darkness’, the forest lies on the edge of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, only a few kilometers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo border, and about 25 kilometers north of the Virunga Volcanoes.
You cannot talk about Bwindi Forest national park and not think mountain gorillas. The alarmingly named Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a genuine slice of mountain rain-forest – tangled, damp, muddy on the one hand, but alive with birds and butterflies and of course it’s one of Africa’s best places to go mountain gorilla trekking – visitors have a 90% chance of seeing mountain gorillas on an organised trek tour in Bwindi forest.
Apart from gorilla tracking in Bwind forest national park, there are numerous activities among others hikes and trails within the Bwindi forest national park, all accompanied by an experienced guide. It’s a great way to fill time while you wait for your prearranged date with the mountain gorillas and to learn about the other animals, birds, butterflies, trees and plants.
Within Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, there are four different areas where you can track the mountain gorillas, and they include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Each of these areas has specialized Uganda hotels & Lodges close to the tracking area.
Gorilla Trekking or tracking experience in the Bwindi Forest national park is a highlight of all visits done in Uganda and certainly mountain gorillas are the major reason why numerous people visit Uganda. Experience a full hour with the mountain gorillas and you wont be the same after this fantastic opportunity with the gorillas.
Of course, most tour operators will give you outrageous quotes, but gorilla permits to Bwindi forest national park in Uganda cost $600 and $1,500 in Rwanda Not more than that yet less than that.
Although tracking mountain gorillas can be conducted all year round in Bwindi Forest national park , UGANDA and RWANDA, the majority of tourists prefer visiting from June to September as well as from December up to February. You can visit Bwindi Forest National Park at any time of the year, the rainy season months of May, April and November making the tracking tough.