Bwindi forest National Park
Bwindi impenetrable National Park is located in south-western Uganda and covers 331Km2 (128 square miles) it lies at the edge of the great western rift valley next to the Congo boarder. Bwindi National Park is an exceptionally rich and varied ecosystem. It is one of the most unique and important forests in Africa.
The park ranges from low-land to Afro montane forest, a moist tropical forest that is unique in Uganda and rare among the East Africa protected areas. It has remained a forest for millions of years, while in most other parts of Africa forests have come and gone throughout the ages. Thus Bwindi has always been a refuge where forests species could survive when the forests elsewhere have died. From this forest refuge animals and plants could recolonise the land when climate favoured forest again. For these reason, Bwindi is one of the richest forests in East Africa for birds (350 species), butter flies (310 species) and trees (324 species). Bwindi also has at least 120 species of mammals including 10 species of primates. Some of these species are only found here in the highland forests of south-western Uganda, eastern Congo Rwanda and Burundi. This area is known as the Albertine Rift. Bwindi has 23 birds endemic to the Albertine Rift and 10 trees endemic to Uganda. Bwindi is vital to the survivals of these and many endangered species. It is one of the most important forests in Africa for plant conservation, and protects at least twelve species of plants and animals threatened with global extinction.
This includes half of the world population of the critically endangered mountain Gorilla. The forest was first officially protected for its water catchments value, and despite its tiny size it is a critical part of the entire country’s forested catchments. Bwindi is also very important to local communities.
It has traditionally supplied them with building materials, medicines, household utensils and foods. It is also a cultural heritage featuring in the history folklore and traditional healing pratices of local people. Bwindi being a rainforest thus wet all year round, although the rain increases during the season of April-May and October – November, you can visit the park all year round when you get tracking permits.