Bwindi Impenetrable National Park sits in the southwestern part of Uganda within the Karatu District. To the east is the Great Rift Valley and to the south are the Virunga Volcanoes. The forest itself is called afromontane, which is a rare type of habitat in where African plains meet mountain forests. Its ecosystem boasts one of the world's most biologically diverse array of flora and fauna, including half of the highly endangered mountain gorillas left on earth. Due to its rich diversity and high concentration of rare species it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nestled deep in the heart of the lush forest, amid vine draped trees and dense undergrowth of every shade of green imaginable, the Bwindi population of mountain gorillas dwell. It currently has 340 individuals, all of which are heavily protected, so only a small number of tourist groups are allowed to track them after obtaining a permit. Treks to see select family groups that have been habituated to humans can be anywhere from 2-8 hours depending on their location. Encounters with these gentle giants is a fascinating and memorable experience that is worth traversing the wilderness for. Snap photographs and enjoy the intimate moment of being face to face with one of the unconventionally majestic creatures. Alongside the mountain gorillas, hikers may see chimps, several species of monkeys, forest elephant, jackal, African golden cat, African civet and myriad butterflies.
Access to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a long and arduous trip by road. It is a remote location and the roads leading there are in poor shape. Travelers can also access this area by scheduled service into Kihihi. Once there, many lodges and camps to fit all budgets are available to visitors. Despite the difficult journey to reach the park, the once in a lifetime opportunity to see the spectacular mountain gorillas in their natural habitat cannot be passed up!