Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a renowned protected area located in southwestern Uganda, East Africa. It is recognized for its exceptional biodiversity and is most famous for being one of the last remaining habitats of the critically endangered mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei).

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is not only a vital conservation area but also a destination for travelers seeking a unique and unforgettable wildlife experience, especially for those interested in gorilla tracking and exploring pristine rainforests. Visitors to the park have the opportunity to contribute to the conservation of mountain gorillas and their habitat while enjoying the natural beauty of this remarkable region.

Here are Some Key Details about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. It covers an area of approximately 321 square kilometers (124 square miles).

Gorilla Population

The Park is home to approximately half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. It’s estimated that around 459 mountain gorillas reside within the park’s boundaries, making it one of the most important sites for gorilla conservation.


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is not only known for its gorillas but also boasts of incredible biodiversity. Its home to various other primate species, including chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus monkeys, and red-tailed monkeys. The park is also home to bush elephants and is rich in birdlife, with over 350 bird species recorded.


The Park gets its name from its dense, tropical rainforest, which is often referred to as “impenetrable” due to its thick vegetation. The terrain is characterized by steep hills, valleys, and rugged terrain.

Gorilla Tracking

Gorilla tracking is the primary attraction in Bwindi. Visitors can obtain permits to track and observe gorilla families in their natural habitat. This activity provides a unique and intimate experience with these magnificent creatures but is also highly regulated to minimize disturbances to the gorillas.

Cultural Encounters

In addition to its natural wonders, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers opportunities for cultural experiences. Visitors can interact with the Batwa people, who are indigenous to the forest and have a deep affinity to the forest.


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been the focus of intense conservation efforts to protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat. Conservation organizations, local communities, and the Ugandan government collaborate to safeguard this precious ecosystem.


The Park is accessible by road from various towns and cities in Uganda. The nearest major town is Kabale, which is about 46 kilometers (28 miles) from the park headquarters in Buhoma.


There are several lodges and campsites near the park where visitors can stay while exploring the area. These accommodations cater to various budgets and offer a range of amenities.


To visit the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you’ll need to obtain a gorilla tracking permit. These permits are limited in number and should be secured well in advance of your visit.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an once-in-a-lifetime wildlife experience that allows visitors to get up close and personal with one of the most endangered and remarkable species on Earth, the mountain gorillas.

Gorilla tracking is a truly extraordinary adventure and a chance to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. It’s essential to approach the experience with respect for the gorillas, the environment, and the local communities, ensuring that this incredible species can continue to thrive in the wild.

Tracking permits are required to visit the mountain gorillas in Bwindi. These permits are issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and are in high demand. It’s advisable to book your permit well in advance, as they have limited availability and tend to sell out quickly. Each permit typically allows you to spend one hour with a specific gorilla family.

Tracking Groups

Visitors are organized into small groups, each led by an experienced guide and accompanied by armed park rangers. These groups are assigned to specific gorilla families, and the group size is typically limited to a maximum of 8 people. This helps minimize disturbance to the gorillas and ensures a more intimate experience.

Physical Fitness

Gorilla tracking in Bwindi can be physically demanding. The terrain is rugged, and you may need to hike through dense vegetation and steep hills to reach the gorillas. It’s essential to be in reasonably good physical condition to enjoy the experience fully.


The duration of the gorilla trek can vary greatly, depending on the location of the gorilla family on that particular day. Tracking can last anywhere from 2 to 8 hours or more. It’s important to be prepared for a potentially long day in the forest.

What to Bring

You should pack appropriately for your trek. This includes wearing comfortable, moisture-wicking clothing, sturdy hiking boots, a rain jacket, a hat, and sunscreen. It’s also a good idea to bring a small backpack with essentials like water, snacks, and a camera (without a flash).

Rules and Guidelines

There are strict rules and guidelines in place to protect the gorillas and their habitat. These include maintaining a minimum distance from the gorillas (usually around 7 meters or 21 feet), not making loud noises, not touching the gorillas, and following the instructions of your guide at all times.


Photography is allowed during gorilla tracking, but the use of flash is prohibited as it can disturb the gorillas. It’s essential to be respectful and considerate when taking photos to ensure the well-being of the gorillas.


Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a rainforest, so the weather can be unpredictable. It’s advisable to bring rain gear and be prepared for rain at any time of the year.

Community Visits

Some gorilla tracking experiences in Bwindi include visits to nearby local communities. This provides an opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of the people living near the park.

Conservation Impact

The fees from gorilla trekking permits contribute significantly to the conservation of mountain gorillas and their habitat, as well as supporting local communities. By participating in gorilla tracking, you are directly contributing to the protection of this endangered species.

How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Getting to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda involves a combination of transportation options, including flying to a nearby towns and then traveling by road to the park.

It’s important to plan your trip to Bwindi well in advance, especially if you intend to secure permits and accommodations during the high-demand tourist season. Additionally, road conditions can vary, so be prepared for a potentially long and bumpy ride if you choose the overland route. Nevertheless, the journey to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is an adventure in itself, offering stunning views of Uganda’s diverse landscapes along the way.

Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Here are the General Steps to Get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

International Flight

Start by booking an international flight to Uganda. The nearest international airport to Bwindi is Entebbe International Airport (EBB), which is located near the capital city, Kampala. Most international travelers arrive in Uganda via Entebbe.

Domestic Flight (Optional)

While it’s possible to reach Bwindi by road from Entebbe or Kampala, you can also choose to take a domestic flight to one of the regional airports closer to the park. The most common airports to consider are:

  • Kihihi Airstrip: Located near Buhoma in the northern part of Bwindi.
  • Kisoro Airstrip: Situated near the southern part of Bwindi, near the town of Kisoro.

These domestic flights are convenient and reduce travel time compared to a long overland journey.

Overland Travel

If you opt for the overland journey, you can hire a vehicle and driver in Entebbe or Kampala for the road trip to Bwindi. The journey to Bwindi by road can take several hours and involves traveling through a scenic countryside, so it’s an opportunity to see more of Uganda’s beauty.

  • From Kampala to Bwindi (Buhoma): The journey from Kampala to Buhoma (the northern sector of Bwindi) typically takes around 8-10 hours by road, depending on road conditions and traffic.
  • From Kampala to Bwindi (Ruhija): If you plan to visit the eastern sector of Bwindi (Ruhija)  the journey from Kampala will take a similar amount of time.
  • From Kampala to Bwindi (Nkuringo and Rushaga): If you plan to visit the southern sectors of Bwindi, the overland journey from Kampala to Kisoro will take 10 to 12 hours from Kampala.

Local Transportation

Once you reach the town nearest to your chosen sector of Bwindi (e.g., Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo or Rushaga), you will need to arrange for local transportation to the park headquarters or your lodge. Lodges and tour operators in the area often provide transportation services for guests.

Gorilla Tracking Permits

Before embarking on your journey, ensure that you have secured the necessary permits for your chosen sector of Bwindi. These permits should be obtained in advance through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or authorized tour operators.

Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Luxury Accommodation in Ruhija Sector

Ruhija is one of the sectors within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a prime destination for gorilla tracking in Uganda. While Ruhija is less developed than some of the other sectors, it still offers a range of luxury accommodation options that allow you to enjoy the gorilla tracking experience in comfort and style.

Keep in mind that luxury accommodations in Ruhija can fill up quickly, especially during the peak gorilla tracking seasons. It’s advisable to make reservations well in advance to secure your stay. Additionally, many of these lodges offer all-inclusive packages that may include gorilla trekking permits, meals, and other activities, making your stay even more convenient and enjoyable.

Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge

Kiho Gorilla Safari Lodge is nestled in the heart of Ruhija sector of the park, which is considered to be the most beautiful gorilla tracking trailhead in Bwindi. Its vantage point on Bugarama hill, one of the tallest hills in the park offers a unique escape with breathtaking southerly views over forested ridges all the way to the distant Virunga Volcanoes in Congo. While staying with us, you will enjoy exceptional dining experiences only fit for a king.