The Bwindi forest was gazetted in 1942 but upgraded to national park status in 1991 and recognized as a world heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO. The park is about 327sq.km with tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of slippery valleys and high draughty ridges. One of Africa’s most ancient forests Bwindi is home to rare endangered mountain gorilla in Uganda and ranks among world’s premier wildlife reserve. Temperature ranges from 7-200C with annual rainfall up to 2390mm. More rainfall is received in March-May and Sept- November. Altitude range from 1160m-2600m above sea level.
FLOR AND FAUNA
Bwindi supports a tremendous biodiversity mainly resulting from Wide habitat range due to variation in altitude from 1160 with lowland forest to 2600m dominated by the Afromontane vegetation. It is also one of the oldest forests in Africa believed to have survived from the hard conditions of the last ice age.
The species list include 310 butterflies, 51 reptiles,200 trees,88months and exceptional 120 types of mammals including 10 primates. Chimpanzee, L’hoest’s, red tailed, blue monkeys, Black and white Columbus, baboons and the Mountain Gorillas are the most famous in Bwindi.
Bwindi is a prime destination for bird watchers with 350 species; seven of which are listed on the IUCN red data and 90% of the Albertine rift endemics can be seen from here. The 23species endemic to Albertine rift 14 are not found anywhere else in Uganda. These include; African green Broad bill, White-tailed blue flycatcher, brown necked parrot, White-bellied robin chat and fraze’s eagle owl.
GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI
There are 10habtuated mountain gorilla groups in the park. The busiest place for tracking gorillas is Buhoma because with trail head for three groups namely Mubare opened in 1993, Habinyanja- 1998 and Rushegura in 2002, while others are Ruhija also with three and Nkuringo in the southern sector with Four groups. Though the main activity is gorilla tracking here you can also do other walks both in the forest and community.