On the eastern edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park holds half of the world’s remaining 600-odd mountain gorillas. The rest now find protection in the equally heavily guarded Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. The rainforest in Bwindi is dense, with thick undergrowth, vines and over 200 species of tree. Aside from gorillas and chimpanzees, resident primates include black-and-white colobus and blue monkeys. Other mammals such as elephant, leopard, bush pig, bushbuck and various species of duiker are present.
Colourful clouds of mixed butterfly species are often seen aggregating at bush-pig mud wallows. Among the 345+ birds recorded, are 23 sought-after Albertine Rift endemics. Many of these are easily spotted in the lower-lying sector, Buhoma, where the lodges are situated and where gorilla tracking takes place.
Because the gorilla tracking experience is so intense and time allowed with these magnificent primates is strictly limited to an hour, we recommend you try to make two such excursions, despite the permits costing US$500 each. Please note that demand for gorilla permits usually exceeds availability, so it is advisable try to book gorilla tracking excursions as long in advance as possible.
Keen birders should extend their time in Bwindi to include two nights at the simple but well-tended accommodation in Ruhija, the higher-lying sector of Bwindi. Here, many rarer and more localised birds such as African green broadbill, can be sought.
Read more about Bwindi