Bwindi forest national park

World heritage site

Size: 321km2
Altitude: 1,160m - 2,607m above sea level.
Bwindi forest national park was gazetted in 1991 and declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994.
April 1993 the Mubare gorilla group was the first for tourism in Uganda.
Spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, Bwindi is the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.

Bwindi Impenetrable forest

Bwindi forest national park is located southwest of Uganda on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Bwindi forest was gazetted as a reserve in 1932 today it is a world heritage site recognized by UNESCO for Mountain Gorilla tracking. This forest ranges at an altitude of 1,200m and 2,700m above sea level. The forest covers a series of steep ridges and valleys that form the eastern starting point of the Albertine rift valley. With annual rainfall on average at 1600mm supplying five rivers that flow into Lake Edward as a source since it is a catchment area.
More than half the world’s wild mountain gorilla population is resident in Bwindi forest national park. Estimated at 540 individual gorillas in Bwindi forest, living in separate 23 families. Though the focus is mountain gorillas, there are a staggering 93 mammal species living in this forest more than any other national park in Uganda except Queen Elizabeth national park.
Although the list of mammals consists of mainly small ones such as rodents and bats, you will find chimpanzees, varieties monkeys with common viewings of the blue monkey and black-and-white colobus.  Occasionally forest elephants can be spotted or heard, there are six species of antelopes; the bushbuck and five types of forest duiker.
For the bird lover, 23 particular species characteristic to the Albertine Rift with 14 species found nowhere else but Bwindi forest, among them the African green broadbill, white-tailed blue flycatcher, brown-necked parrot, white-bellied robin chat and Fraser’s eagle owl.
It is believed there are also roughly 300 butterfly species.


Gorilla tracking in Bwindi forest national park is conducted in four main sectors namely Ruhija, Buhoma, Rushaga, and Nkuringo.
Gorilla tracking in buhoma will bring you to either one of the following gorilla families Rushegura, Mubare, Katwe, habinyanja.
The Ruhija sector is located east and it has the following families Ruhija, Bitukura, and Kyaguriro.
While Rushaga is located south of has Kahungye, Busingye, Nshongi, and Mishaya.
Nkuringo is in the southwest of Bwindi forest with two families the Nkuringo and Christmas gorilla families.
When to go
All year round you can visit Bwindi forest national park, although the heavy rains are seen in the months of April, May, June, October, and November.


Getting there
Private tour operators, public transport and self-drive are options available.


Where to stay
There is a span of accommodation standards and campsites.


How to get a gorilla permit
Visiting the Gorillas of Uganda requires that you get a tracking permit from the UWA. Send us an email for more details