Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, at a glance
There are four different areas within the park that are used for gorilla trekking: Buhoma and Ruhija in the north, and Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. Buhoma is the most popular gorilla trekking trailhead.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most important tourist destination in Uganda. Management of the park has improved dramatically over the years, including better protection of the environment and the gorillas that live there.
Without the crucial finance from tourism, the park would be in a much worse state today, and there might not be any Mountain Gorillas left in Bwindi.
How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Travelling by air is the fastest way to reach Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and there are a number of flights each day. Most visitors arrive in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport (EBB), which is roughly 29 miles from the capital city of Kampala. From here, and from Kampala’s Kajjansi Airfield, there are many domestic flights connecting to Bwindi. It is also possible to book chartered flights to Bwindi.
For visitors travelling to the Buhoma or Ruhija trailheads in the north of the park, the closest airport is Kihihi. There is also the option of chartering a flight to the Kayonza airstrip.
Alternatively, if travelling to the southern trailheads of Rushaga and Nkuringo then Kisoro is the best place to fly to. The total flight times are generally around 2 hours, which are then followed by a short drive of around 1.5-2 hours.
Whilst the journey by road is much longer than flying, the route passes through fantastic scenery, and driving through a country often gives you a much better impression and understanding of the country than flying ever could. Driving is the most popular way for visitors to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
There are a number of routes to take by road, depending on how much time you have and what you want to see. All the routes converge at the town of Butogota, which is then just 10 miles from the entrance gate at Buhoma.
If coming straight from Entebbe or Kampala, the drive time to the park will take roughly 9-10 hours.
For visitors who are already in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi is very easy to reach by a 2 to 3-hour drive south. You can drive through Ishasha on this route to see the famous tree-climbing lions before arriving in Buhoma.
If you're coming up from Lake Mburo National Park, the drive is 5-6 hours.
Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This route is one of the longest and most popular routes, covering roughly 330 miles through beautiful scenery. It includes a tarmac highway for the first 5-6 hours, followed by bumpier terrain on a gravel road for the final 4 hours.
This is the easiest and quickest route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, covering around 240 miles. It involves taking the highway from Kampala to Ntungama, before branching off and connecting to a smaller gravel road for the remainder of the journey.
Here the route connects Kampala to Kabale with an 8-hour drive, before leading on to Ruhija in the north-eastern area of Bwindi by gravel road through local communities.
This is the best route to take to access the Nkuringo area of the park. It involves driving directly from Kampala to Kabale, before following a bumpy mountain road through small communities, covering roughly 65 miles, to Nkuringo.
Ready to explore Bwindi?
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
Chimpanzee & Gorilla Fly-In Safari
Combine chimp trekking in Kibale Forest with mountain gorilla treks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A well-paced highlights tour unlocking some of Uganda's most impressive experiences. Consider breaking up the journey from Kibale to Bwindi with a classic safari at…
- 7 Days
Classic Gorilla Fly-In Safari
If you had the chance to trek through lush forests; to stand metres away from a family of Mountain Gorillas - deep in the heart of Central Africa - would you take it? This 4-day adventure works great as a…
- 4 Days
Gorilla Treks & Lake Retreats
Combine gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with beautiful lakeside retreats at Lake Mutanda. Tough treks and primate encounters paired with idyllic, calming lakes and oases make for an unforgettable experience in this remote pocket of Uganda.…
- 6 Days
Luxury Gorilla Fly-in Safari
Board a Cessna light aircraft and head into the southwestern pocket of Uganda. Trek through the forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in search of the mountain gorillas. Retreat to luxury lodges for sundowners and delicious food. Hard days, soft…
- 4 Days
Snow Capped Peaks & Mountain Gorillas
Trek the Rwenzori Mountains where forests morph into ice-clad mountain peaks, cut through jungle thickets to hang out with mountain gorillas, and finish your trip relaxing lakeside amongst the staggering beauty of Lake Mutanda. This is Uganda.…
- 15 Days
The full western circuit complete with luxury lodges, gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, and the best safaris Uganda has to offer. Close out your adventure with kayaking and canoeing on the rapids of the river Nile.…
- 16 Days
Uganda's Epic Southwest
Open top road trips looping through Uganda's epic southwestern pocket; this is the safari adventure of your imagination. Track chimpanzees in Kibale Forest, go in search of gorillas in Bwindi, cruise the savannah plains of Queens, and look out for…
- 14 Days