This park is home to more than half of the world’s wild mountain gorilla population and was declared a Natural World Heritage Site in December 1994. World Heritage Sites are internationally recognized as natural features of outstanding beauty or scientific value.
The landscape here is rugged, with deep valleys running between steep sided hills and ridges with barely a square kilometer of the park flat. There is a blend of both lowland and montane rainforest with a dense undergrowth of herbs, vines and shrubs (hence the name impenetrable).
This area is regarded as one of the most biologically diverse forests in Africa with the richest faunal community in East Africa. There are estimated to be 120 species of mammals (more than any other national park in Uganda except Queen Elizabeth) and is the only park where chimpanzees and gorillas co-exist together. There are an estimated 360 species of birds, including 23 localized species found only along the Albertine Rift Valley and 14 found nowhere else in Uganda.
The pristine rainforests of this park, one of the largest natural forests in East Africa, are home to approximately 300 species of butterfly (including two endangered species of swallowtails), 200 native tree species and many species of reptiles and amphibians (including one species of frog that may be new to science).
The rugged terrain makes gorilla trekking strenuous work and visitors should be prepared for up to 8 hours of hiking (good physical condition is a must).
When to visit: Any time, though conditions are more challenging during the rainy season.
Getting there: Bwindi can be reached from Queen Elizabeth National Park in the north (2-3 hours), from Kabale to the south (1-2 hours), or from Kampala via Mbarara (6-8 hours). Bwindi is 550 km from Kampala. The roads meet at Butogota, 17km from the Buhoma entrance gate.
Distance from Kampala: 550km; estimated transit time: 9 hours
Private chartered flights are also available.