Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park covers an area of 330 square kilometres and sits at an altitude that varies between 1100 metres to 2,600 metres. With annual rainfall of up to 239 cm, it is a wet and thick forest that is home to c.400 mountain gorillas, almost half of the world's population. It is an Afro-montane forest, beneath which a dense layer of ferns, vines and shrubs give the park its name. It has 324 recorded species of tree. As well as the gorillas it is also home to 7 other diurnal primates and over 100 other species of mammal. Add to this over 350 types of bird and 200 types of butterfly and there is an amazing variety for such a comparatively small area.
The main attraction in the park is of course the gorillas and there are currently 11 habituated groups open to visit, subject to the booking of permits. As only 8 permits per gorilla family per day are sold, it is vital to reserve early so that they can be acquired. Its also a good idea to get yourself into shape. The area is mountainous, the undergrowth is thick and the ground can be slippery. Remember, you have to go to the gorillas and not vice versa.
If you have more time, there are some excellent walking and hiking trails that can be done with a guide. Especially good for bird-watchers and flora lovers, the diversity of the terrain and the sheer rugged beauty of the landscape makes it a memorable experience. There are also community visits and village walks to enjoy.
We can book gorilla trekking permits for you and make all necessary arrangements. Permits currently cost $600 USD rising to $700 in July 2020. These permits allow for 1 hour with the gorillas - trekking can range from an hour or so to three or four hours (one way) - it just depends where your family is in the forest and how fast they are moving.
New habituation visits costs $1500 USD and allow up to 4 hours with a gorilla family - this is a very special experience - you accompany researchers and Uganda Wildlife Authority rangers and take part in the process of habituating new gorilla families to human visitors.
**Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the other option for gorilla trekking - permits cost $1500 USD and the habituated groups are often closer to the park headquarters than in Bwindi - please see Rwanda, Volcanoes NP entry for more information.**