Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most visited park in Uganda. BINP was gazette as in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural world Heritage site in 1994. There are four locations for Gorilla trekking in BINP these are Buhoma, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Rushaga. The 4 locations have a total of about 18 families as of December 2018 and the number keeps on increasing per annum.
If you are planning to go on a gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or your next visit, make sure you get the most out of your trip here! Learn about how you can get to Bwindi Forest for a safari from either Uganda or Rwanda.
You can reach Bwindi Impenetrable National Park by road or Air
Most travelers who visit bwindi travel on arganised tours from different various tour operators. For independent travelers, you can travel by bus from Kampala to Kabale for roughly Ush 30,000 and then hire a car from about US$50 to Butogota that is 18km to Buhoma or take a pick up because most public means of transport in those regions are unpredictable.
For self drivers please note that most routes require the use of 4×4 vehicles most especially in wet seasons and a reasonable degree of fitness as well as a sturdy pair of walking shoes for most activities in the forest.
Driving to Bwindi
Driving to Bwindi by road is an adventure of its own. From Kampala to Bwindi takes almost 8 to 10 hours a day but you go through rural Uganda and stopovers at equator crossing or Igongo cultural center yet it’s very amazing winding the journey through beautiful scenery of Kigezi terraced highlands.
Driving to Bwindi Forest basically depends on which part of the country you are coming from. If you are coming from Entebbe International Airport which is Uganda’s entry point, you will drive or be driven to the park and it will take you approximately 9- 10 hours to the Bwindi Impenetrable National park for your gorilla trekking expedition. The Journey is not boring since it takes you through different regions and districts of the beautiful country, having a stopover at the equator, roadside craft and fresh fruits shops along your way. You will also view the beautiful sceneries of the Kigezi rolling hills, changes in vegetation, rivers and escarpments before reaching the home of the endangered mountain gorillas. It will take you about 550 kilometers to be driven from Kampala to Bwindi Impenetrable National park though the area from Rukungiri to Bwindi is quit bumpy thus speed has to be reduced.
In case you are coming from Lake Mburo National park, it will take you about 6-7 hours. This is because most companies prefer stopping over Lake Mburo National park from Entebbe/Kampala to break the long journey. Driving from Queen Elizabeth National park, it will take you approximately 5-6 hours passing through the Ishasha section of the park to Kihihi town and then Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Sometimes, the Ishasha road is impassable more especially in rainy seasons when bridges tend to breakdown partly due to the heavy power and heavy tracks which go to the Democratic Republic of Congo. When the road is impassable, there is a short cut driver’s use but in most cases you might find yourself using the Ishaka road then Rukungiri to Nengo and then Kihihi and lastly Buhoma. When coming from the region of Bwindi Impenetrable National park such as Butukura, Rushaga or Nkuringo, the drive time changes slightly but the above should give you a clear picture.
Some Distances which can be covered
Travel to Bwindi From Kibale National Park
To add on your Gorilla tracking safari, you may go for Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale National Park and you will have to drive approximately 5-6 hours from Entebbe International Airport since it is approximately 350 kilometers. In case you are coming from Bwindi, you will have to drive for 6-7 hours through Ishasha section to Kasese, Fortpotal and then to Kibale Forest National park. Alternatively, you can use the route coming from Lake Mburo instead of driving back to Kampala or Kasese. You can also use the Ibanda road which will take you to Kamwengye then Kibale National park.
This impenetrable forest is in the south of Queen Elizabeth national park which can take 2-3 hours drive. This park is popular for not only tree climbing lions in Ishasha but also the popular boat cruise along the Kazinga Channel which has got the highest concentration of Hippos in the whole world plus over 600 species of birds. If you are in Kabale town, it can take 1-2 hours drive or also Bwindi can be reached direct from the Uganda capital city Kampala through Mbarara which can take a nonstop drive of 6 ½ – 8 ½ hours.
Travel By Air
Visitors can quickly access Bwindi forest by fly in safari. Scheduled charter flights take 1 and half hours flying from Entebbe international airport or kajjansi airfield in kampala and land at Kisoro airstrip. From there, it’s 40 minute drive to your lodge in any of the gorilla trekking centers.