Wildlife in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
400 Mountain gorillas live in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, just under half of the 1,000 mountain gorillas left globally.
A 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.
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.
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.
Discover Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Gorilla Trekking Costs
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park have excellent gorilla populations, and gorilla permits here are much cheaper than in neighbouring …
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular gorilla trekking destination in Uganda. Within the dense thicket, 18 families of Mountain Gorilla roam.
Bwindi Mountain Gorilla Families
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to 19 habituated gorilla families, and over half of the world's wild gorilla population.
Best Time to Visit the Gorillas in Uganda
The best time to visit the gorillas in Uganda is from June to August, and again from December to February. These are the driest months in Uganda which makes trekking much easier, …
Accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular travel destination in Uganda, and there are a number of great accommodation options in and around the park. Which …
Is Gorilla Trekking Safe?
Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the best wildlife experiences in Africa. There are stringent safety precautions in place, and the field guides who accompany you on the treks …
Is Gorilla Trekking Ethical?
The Uganda Wildlife Authority and local stakeholders have developed comprehensive conservation initiatives and implemented protocols to ensure all visits to the gorillas are …
How difficult is gorilla trekking?
Gorilla trekking is one of the best wildlife experiences in Uganda. Tracking down these primates in their natural habitat means trekking through dense forest in unpredictable …
Is Gorilla Trekking Worth It?
In the remote, densely-forested national parks of Bwindi Impenetrable and Magahinga in south-western Uganda, a small but stable population of mountain gorillas roam. Getting up …
Ready to visit 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.
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…
Light adventuring and charming safaris in Lake Mburo National Park coupled with lakeside retreats and days of reflection and exploration around Lake Mutanda. Close out the trip with a few days canoeing, kayaking, mountain biking and more in Jinja, Uganda's…
Discover the exceptional bio-diversity of Uganda by combining the beautiful savannah grasslands of Murchison Falls National Park with chimpanzee trekking in the forests of Kibale National Park. Connect the dots with epic road trips looping through northwestern Uganda.…