Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and its surrounding areas are so expansive. If you have enough time for holiday, you should consider staying a few days to truly relax and enjoy its many attractions. Here are the most popular things to do in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Over the past decade, most tourists have preferred to track the mountain gorillas in this park. This park offers two distinct gorilla watching sessions
Gorilla Habituation – Up to hours experience on which you will habituate a gorilla family
Gorilla Trekking – Up to 1 hour experience within one of the already habitauted gorilla family in the park. This activity will offer you a very unique opportunity to meet the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This activity is very adventurous as you will experience a wonderful trek through the forest and finally spend a magical hour with these endangered apes.
Gorilla trekking is the most popular tourism activity within this forest. Though this is a challenging activity that demands a good level of physical fitness, it is very well worth the efforts! You will sit in the midst of the great apes that have been declared as rare and endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Tracking through the beautiful natural impenetrable forest offers more possibilities than just seeing the mountain gorillas! The chances of meeting the gorillas are over 98 percent and Bwindi is a reliable place to consider for gorilla tracking.
When you are in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, you can opt to go for a guided forest walk by a professional guide. You will be very well led by a professional s guide through the forest. You will be walking with a stick which will be offered to you at the lodge or by the guide during the time of briefing. During this walk, you will see a number of bird species and butterflies. After trekking, you will visit the Batwa people. Here, you will come to know about their traditional life. Remember these people stay in Bwindi forest and they purely earn their living from what the forest offers them. You will also come to learn about the culture of the Batwa people and their life style.
Gorilla Habituation Experience
Bwindi Impenetrable is the only National Park in the entire world where this riveting adventure can take place. Gorilla Habituation Experience is where tourists join researchers are Park rangers when these critically endangered mountain gorilla are undergoing habituation. This is the most interesting tourist activity anyone can participate in. Mountain gorillas like other wild animals fear the presence of humans and can also be aggressive. To make them used to being near humans, they have to undergo habituation for about 2-3 years. The most interesting thing about this adventure is that you get to spend at least four hours with the giant apes not the normal one hour spent during gorilla trekking. This activity is not conducted throughout the four sectors of the Park, but instead within only Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors.
With over 350 species of birds including 23 Albertine Rift endemic species that call this Impenetrable Forest home, bird watching is undeniable one of the key activities that are conducted from this Park. Some of the Albertine Rift endemics like Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed sunbirds were listed under IUCN red data listed species. Other species of birds that you will easily sight include Doherty’s Bush Shrike, red-headed Bluebill, Rwenzori Turacco, African Emerald Cuckoo, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Collared Apalis, Cinnamon-chested Bee eaters, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Handsome Francolin, Green Tinker bird, Rwenzori Batis, White browned Crombec, Woodland warbler, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Green buls and the White-tailed flycatcher among others. This makes Bwindi Impenetrable a bird watcher’s paradise. With over 220 butterfly species, tourists interested in butterfly watching can add Bwindi to their bucket list and achieve their dream.
Birding in Bwindi is ideal in march and September then June and July as there are few rains and also during the nesting season as well as migratory birds from September to March. Most of these birds can be spotted along Mubwindi swamp in Ruhija, along the bamboo zone and Buhoma Waterfall Trail.
Mountain biking is also another activity carried out in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Tourists interested in riding bikes as they enjoy the cool air and the magical views of this Park can opt for this adventurous activity. The “Ride for a woman” initiative run by the Buhooma Community Lodge provides mountain bike rentals and guided cycling for about 3 hours or more within and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. If Mountain biking is challenging to you, they can suggest guided community village biking which is less strenuous. The guides are well trained and knowledgeable with some specializing in bird species, others in culture or primates and tree species.
Community walks for example the Buhooma Village walk
Buhooma village walks involve moving through the community for about 3 hours. As you walk, you will explore the culture and customs of the people, see how these locals use their skills to make crafts such as baskets with the most intricate and exquisite designs, you will also visit the traditional healer and see how he uses some plant species to treat some ailments, you will be moved by how local beer is made out is bananas, you will also watch and even try to harvest local produce from the gardens. Tourists can also participate in the local preparation of food using firewood or charcoal and be entertained in then traditional dances among others.
The Batwa experience
You would be wondering why the Batwa experience is not categorized as a community walk. This activity is another interesting package on its own. This experience was created to educate the rest of the world about the rich cultural heritage of the Batwa people. The Batwa used to call Bwindi impenetrable forest home before being displaced in 1991 when it was gazzeted into a National Park. The Batwa were hunter-gatherers were they depended on the forest for shelter, food and medicine. Visit them and hear about the ancient legends, traditional songs and join in the mock hunting party.