Activities in Bwindi National Park 2024 : Bwindi national park is a popular tourist destination located in south western Uganda and there are many activities that tourists can take part in when visiting the national park and they include the following;
- Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking is the main activity that brings tourists to Bwindi national park during their tours around Uganda.
The type of gorilla found in Bwindi national park are mountain gorillas which can be encountered across the different sectors of the park such as Rushaga, Nkuringo, Buhoma and Ruhija which are home to different gorilla families.
Tourists during gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi national park visit the gorilla families and spend time with the gorillas in their natural habitat and a 1 hour up close encounter with the gorillas. The gorilla permits which tourists are required to have for the gorilla trekking tours cost 800 USD for foreign nonresidents, 700 USD for foreign residents and 300,000 Uganda shillings for East African citizens.
These gorilla permits allow tourists to enjoy guided gorilla treks in Bwindi forest and they get to observe the gorillas and interact with them and record videos and photos. However, the gorilla trekking experience is done by individuals above the age of 15 years.
Other destinations where gorillas in Uganda can be seen include Mgahinga national park and outside Uganda gorillas can be seen in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda as well as in Virunga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Gorilla habituation experience
Another popular activity for tourist visiting Uganda is taking part in gorilla habituation experiences in Bwindi national park.
Gorilla habituation in Bwindi national park is done in the Rushaga sector which is located in the southern part of the national park. The process of gorilla habituation is an experience during which the gorillas are gradually introduced to the presence of humans in their natural habitat.
A permit for gorilla habituation in Bwindi national park costs 1500 USD foreign nonresidents, 1000 USD for foreign residents as well as individuals from the rest of Africa and East Africans are charged a fee of 750,000 Uganda shillings for the activity.
During the habituation experience in Bwindi national park which involves spending longer time with the gorillas of about 4 hours, tourists can observe the gorillas closely with rangers and researchers for purposes of research and promoting conservation.
By getting the gorillas familiar with human presence in their natural habitat, the process also contributes to protection of the gorillas as well as sustainable tourism.
- Bird Watching
Bwindi National Park is also visited for bird watching experiences during torus around Uganda and there are about 350 bird species.
There are Albertine rift endemic bird species found in Bwindi national park and there are many birding spots found around the destination such as the Mubwindi swamp, the Buhoma waterfall trail, Ivy river trail, River Munyaga, Kashasha river trail among others.
The dense forests of Bwindi national park are home to bird species which include Archer’s Robin-Chat, Lagden’s Bush-shrike, Dusky Crimson-wing, Strange Weaver, Rwenzori Double-collared Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Blue-headed Sunbird, Rwenzori Batis, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Neumann’s Warbler, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Tiny Sunbird, Grey-headed Negrofinch , Grauer’s Warbler, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Collared Apalis, Montane Masked Apalis, Kivu Ground Thrush, Red-throated Alethe, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Nightjar, Green Crombec, Chestnut-throated Apalis , Rwenzori Turaco, Yellow-crested Helmet Shrike, Handsome Francolin, Grey-headed Sparrow, Buff Throated Apalis among others.
- Nature Walks and Hiking
Guided nature walks and hiking can also be done during tours around Bwindi national park by following different trails through the forest.
During this activity, tourists get closer to the surroundings of Bwindi national park and explore the dense forests where they can encounter various primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys among others as well as numerous bird species and butterfly species found at the destination.
This activity costs about 40 USD per person and is done with a ranger guide who is knowledgeable of different parts of the forest and also the history of Bwindi national park. Some of the trails followed during nature walks include the Ivy river trail, Munyaga river trail, Habiyanja trail, Muzabajiro loop trail among others.
- Cultural Encounters
Bwindi national park also offers different cultural experiences that allow tourists to engage with locals in the neighboring communities of the National Park.
During the cultural encounters around Bwindi national park, tourists interact with the locals and get insight about their traditional practices, traditional dances and their way of life.
- Batwa Trail experience
The Batwa Trail experience is a unique cultural experience that involves guided walks with Batwa guides, through the Bwindi forest.
The Batwa people were the original forest dwellers in Bwindi forest and they are known for their unique culture which can be shared during this experience which involves learning the ancient forest hunting skills, honey collection, how to make fire the local way and also enjoying dances.
This immersive cultural activity offers a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the Batwa pygmies living around Bwindi National Park. The activity costs 40 USD per person.
- Bakiga cultural tours
Community visits around Bwindi national park also involve interactions with the Bakiga people who also live around the park.
During interactions with the Bakiga, tourists lean how to weave baskets, how to grind millet, traditional dances and also how to prepare the local gin. The Bakiga also have farms which tourists can visit to get to know how farming is done around the park by the locals and to also harvest, plant and prepare traditional foods.
Some of the community based initiatives around Bwindi national park like Ride 4 a woman among others also have traditional arts and crafts which they make and tourists can support these initiatives by visiting their local shops and appreciating the handiwork and also purchasing some items as souvenirs.
The best time to engage in these different activities around Bwindi national park is the dry season around June to September and in December to February.