Bwindi forest is one of the richest ecosystems in Africa with scrambled vegetation draped over an intensively fissured landscape of the steep, haughty ridges as well as the slippery valleys, covering an area of 331sq km of the jungle forest and contains both montane and lowland forest in kanungu district. Bwindi is a home to about 27 amphibians, 120 mammals, 346 birds, 200 species of butterflies and home to 11 primates’ species mainly the monkeys, chimpanzees and the famous endangered mountain gorillas. It has over 400 habituated mountain gorillas giving it half of the total 880 mountain gorillas remaining in the world and the rest are shared by Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Congo, though the gorilla statistics have showed a great increase of mountain gorillas in parks they are habituated.
Initially Bwindi was gazeted as a forest reserve (Crown forest reserve) with 2 sectors namely kasatora crown forest reserve in the South and kayonza crown forest reserve in the North; later in 1942 both sectors were combined as one reserve. In 1964 it was turned into an animal sanctuary to protect the mountain gorilla and with time again, two more reserves were added expanding the forest area to 331 sq km. In 1992, the forest reserve was gazeted as a national park hence Bwindi impenetrable national park, when it was also acknowledged as the world heritage site by UNESCO.
Gorilla trekking is the park’s main activity. Other attractions include the batwa trail experience and cultural tours in the communities near the park. The park is divided in 4 sectors in which trekking is done including; Rushaga, Buhoma, Nkuringo and Ruhija, these sectors have different families of gorillas each with their own characters.
Forest walks are also incredible activities done in the impenetrable forest. The most popular is the waterfalls hike involving moderate climbing through the forest and the fern trees which bring you to a series of 3 waterfalls.
Community tours are also carried out in the park. The major ones Buhoma community tour and the Batwa community. The Buhoma community tour enable you explore the local customs and traditions, visit handcrafts made by the locals and also offer music, dance and drama for their visitors. The Batwa community is the indigenous (pygmies) people who occupied the forest, they have a rich culture that is worth visiting especially when it comes to their way of life which includes hunting, meals and entertainment.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda on the rim of the rift valley in Kisoro district, near Democratic Republic of Congo and Virunga national park with hillsides covered by biological varied impenetrable forest.
Murchison falls national park can be accessed from the Airport or Kampala through Mbarara to Kabale highway taking about 8 hours drive using both public and private means. However when using public means, early departures are required to catch up the buses and more expenses to reach the park area, which is usually not reliable.