Lying on the edge of the Albertine Rift Valley, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is distinctive for the mountain gorilla tracking experience it offers. It has the biggest number of habituated groups, numbering 22 (In comparison with 12 of Rwanda and 8 of D.R Congo). Beyond that, Bwindi’s 23,000 year old tropical forest also doubles as a bird-watcher’s paradise, boasting 350 species including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
There is a good reason why it was chosen as the setting of iconic jungle movies such as Tarzan & Jane story. Its scenery has such a jaw dropping beauty. Lets’ put it this way, close your eyes and imagine a terrain with a string of ridges and valleys covered in very dense, impenetrable forest, that is exactly what Bwindi looks like, boasting one of the most diverse floras in East Africa.
Here, a lot of care is shown towards the mountain gorillas considering they are critically endangered. In an effort to minimize possible spread of disease from humans to them, visitors are advised to wear face masks once in their presence.
At the moment, Bwindi has slightly above 460 mountain gorillas, roughly half of which have been fully habituated for tracking, with a limit of eight visitors allowed to visit a family on any one day.
The trackers and ranger guides have established a trusting relationship with the habituated families. As such, gorillas of all ages feel safe in human presence regardless of one’s skin colour. And still, this is a visit on their terms considering they are wild. You quietly observe them without intermingling with them like you would with wild animals in a circus. In turn, this allows them to remain calm and comfortable in their own environment. This makes the adventure priceless!
During your trekking experience, the ranger guide leading your group of guests will make way with his machete where there is nothing but dense shrubs and forest in steep mountainside.