Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Mountain Gorillas

400 Mountain gorillas live in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, just under half of the 1,000 mountain gorillas left globally. 

dozen gorilla families in Bwindi are fully habituated, which means they have been introduced to the presence of humans for research and conservation purposes, and two families are currently undergoing habituation.

Mountain gorillas cannot survive in captivity, so the only way to observe these critically endangered species is to trek through dense jungle and up steep passes in their native habitat accompanied by experienced and knowledgable rangers.

However, the arduous journey will all be made worthwhile when you finally get the chance to sit silently between the leaves and observe the complex social interactions between the tight-knit  troop for a glorious 60-minutes.

Mountain gorillas are often referred to as gentle giants, weighing on average 440 pounds and standing at the height of 5 ft; it is understandable why some might find them intimidating. However, mountain gorillas are generally very calm and subsist on leaves and shoots. 

Compared to the lowland gorillas found in Western and Central Africa, Mountain gorillas have thicker and longer fur to keep them warm in the higher mountain altitudes. 

Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Other Forest Species

Forest elephants roam the eastern Ruhija sector, sitatunga antelopes dwell in swampy areas, the clawless otter effortlessly floats downriver, and grey-cheeked mangabeys hang out in the tree canopy.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to over 120 mammal species, the second-highest after Queen Elizabeth National Park, so you will likely spot plenty of other creatures on your quest to find the gorillas.

Ten primate species live in the forest, including L'Hoest monkeys, black and white colobus, baboons and at the highest elevations, the rare golden monkey.

Troops of chimpanzees are present too but not habituated, therefore rarely seen. If you want to get up close to a chimp in the wild, head to Kibale Forest, Kyambura Gorge or the Budongo Forest Reserve. 

Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Birds and Butterflies

Bwindi is one of the world's top ten birding destinations and a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its biodiversity and number of endangered species. 

Almost 347 forest birds have been recorded here, including the African green-broadbill, Grauer's Swamp Warbler and Chopin's flycatcher. 

Head out on an early morning guided bird walk through the forest for the best opportunity to spot some of the rare birds present in the park. 

Bwindi is also a splendid habitat for butterflies with almost 220 recorded species and accounts for 84% of the countries total. 

Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi is home to a plethora of spectacular wildlife.

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