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5 unique activities to do in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest is one of the most ancient forests in Uganda. It is the most popular safari destination attracting thousands of travelers who go on Uganda safaris every year. It is also one of the thickest thus the word impenetrable that is included in the name. This tropical rainforest is known to be moist most of the time and it is known to be receiving rain for the most part of the year which means, there is literally no dry season as it can rain any time of the year.
Bwindi forest is known for being a home to the famous mountain gorillas. It is home to more than a half of the world’s mountain gorilla population, some of which have been habituated. Hence, opening up the park for tourism. The existence of these amazing animals, makes Bwindi the best mountain gorilla tracking destination amongst all. Gorilla trekking is also the most selling tourism activity done in the area. More to the gorillas, this forest is also a home to many different wildlife species including elephants, over 120 mammal species, over 360 different species of birds, there are so many butterfly species as well as so many tree species some of which are only found in Bwindi.
While mountain gorilla trekking is the most selling tourism activity done in Bwindi there are also other adventure activities you can engage in for example;
Gorilla habituation experience
Rather than going for the usual gorilla tracking where you are allowed to spend just about 1 hour with the gorillas, spend more than the usual hour on a new gorilla habituation adventure that gets you up-close with the great apes. This gorilla habituation experience process helps gorillas get used to human presence so that they later get used as gorilla tracking groups. This is somehow a complete package for someone who wants to spend more time with the gorillas and also contribute to conservation processes. You will visit the gorilla family in a small group of only 4 travelers.
This adventure comes at US$1500 for a habituation permit and it is cureently done in the Rushaga Sector of Bwindi Forest.
Bird watchers will find bird watching in Bwindi impenetrable forest very interesting since there is a huge population birds living in this forest. Bwindi is a home to about 350 different bird species and 23 of these species are Albertine endemic. You can expect to find birds like the Shelley’s crimson wind, there are Blue-headed sun-bird, the Chapin’s flycatcher, the short-tailed warbler, the handsome rancolin, Red headed Blue-Bil, there are White-tailed blue flycatchers and the attractive African Emerald cuckoo, among others.
Very keen birders can see more than half of the forest’s population as they walk through the jungle. This is something that you can do alongside gorilla tracking safari or you can just work out a Uganda bird watching safari and include Bwindi park in addition to other parks. Get yourself a birding ranger to walk with you and help you find as many bird species as possible.
Hiking and forest /nature walks
Given the terrain of this forest, Bwindi is one of the best places to go hiking. There are a number of hiking and walk trails going through the Bwindi Impenetrable forest which are good for hikers.
Hiking and nature walks are combined together and these two activities are accompanied by views of the fantastic sceneries at different spots in the forest. There are number of trails for you to consider and these include, Buhoma trails, the water falls trails and also the trail that connects main Bwindi and southern Bwindi.
Go for community visits and cultural tours.
When we talk about local communities and culture, we are basically talking about the Bakiga people and the Batwa who are the residents of the area. The Batwa also called the pygmies are the very indigenous people who solely depended on the forest for their survival because they were hunter, fruit gathers and herbalists. In an effort to conserve the forest, they were taken out of the forest and taught other survival means like agriculture and participating in cultural tourism something that seems to be working perfectly well for them now.
A community visit gives you opportunity to interact with the people who will walk you through the various amazing cultures and practices. These include music and dances, craft works, farming skills, medicinal knowledge using herbs that they collect from the forest and many other skills that they need for survival.
People that love exploring new cultures will find community visits interesting. This can also be used as our perfect opportunity to be entertained while on safari. You can spend some time with the Batwa or Bakiga people in the communities as they sing and dance for you. Entertaining visitors is one of the way they earn some money for their upkeep.
Mountain biking is yet another sport that you should never miss out if like such adventures. There are biking trails with in and around the forest. Mountain biking is organised by a women group referred to as Ride 4 a woman organization. The group was set up by women to care and help each other financially and emotionally.
Through biking, you get the chance to climb some mountains that would be challenging like Buhoma mountain. This biking trail takes you to the very top of this mountain and while there, you will be amazed by scenic views of the forest canopy. There are trails that take you through communities, among others
Bwindi Forest National Park is one of the parks that is blessed with so much to do as a tourist . Do not exit the forest or this area before exploring everything Visit Bwindi impenetrable forest any time of the year and enjoy all the different Uganda adventure holidays you may be interested in.