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East Africa

Explore Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

By May 26, 2021January 26th, 2023No Comments

The birthplace of the life-changing "Gorilla Trek"

Mist-covered hillsides on the rim of the Rift Valley, sheltered by ancient rain forests, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to more than half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas and is the site of one of Africa’s most unique and intimate wildlife encounters – Gorilla tracking. With 17 habituated gorilla families having found sanctuary in the forest, Bwindi is one of only three national parks where they are found. The others are Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and in Virunga National Park in the Congo.

Due to its dense undergrowth, large sections of the forest can only be accessed on foot which allows for the forest to retain its ancient nature. An array of wildlife call this forest home; rare forest elephants, giant forest hogs, hundreds of butterfly and bird species, and more than a few species of primates including the Mountain Gorilla, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and chimpanzees.

The only place in Africa where gorillas and chimpanzees coexist, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, with diverse habitats and home to a large number of endangered species.

The name “Bwindi” means place of darkness in the local dialect and the Impenetrable Forest with its low lying forest cover may be one of the most evocative destinations in Africa. It is one of Africa’s most ancient habitats, with evidence showing that it survived the last ice age while other forests disappeared.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is nestled deep within the Bwindi Impenetrable forest and it is not unusual to see families of gorillas winding their way through the camp to their next destination. An exclusive camp with only ten tented suites, each decorated with indigenous prints and furniture made from natural fabrics. Creating a retreat from the outside world where you can reconnect with nature and your loved ones.

Image courtesy of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

Going beyond the game drive, community visits to the local village of the Batwa pygmy tribe can be arranged. A day of discovery as you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take an in-depth look at the daily lives of a tribe that are known as the oldest inhabitants of the Great Lakes region of central Africa. Like so many tribes they have moved from place to place and have now settled in this corner of Uganda. They are renowned storytellers and lovers of music and will draw you into their lives.

A community walk will take you through a tea farming projecting, stopping for a beer tasting at a local brewery where the local banana beer is brewed and on to the Community Hospital. Here you will get an insider’s view on the work being done in the area before you head off to visit the local medicine man. He will share with you some of the traditional herbs that grow in the forest and how they can be used.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a magical place with hidden knowledge waiting to be explored. 

Highlight activities:

  • Gorilla Tracking
  • Forest Walk in search of chimpanzees
  • Community Visits and walks
  • Birding & Waterfall hike
Image courtesy of Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp
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