Primate Holidays

How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park 

How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park : In the southwest of Uganda sits Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is home to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. The ancient rainforest of Bwindi is a must-see destination.

Travellers on a Uganda safaris must visit this gorilla safari park because of the amazing mountain gorilla trekking experiences, endemic bird species, gorgeous butterflies, unusual monkeys, and the beauty of Bwindi itself. Once you’ve made the decision to embark on your next adventure in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, you’ll need to find out how to get there! For all the information you require, continue reading.

Where is Bwindi National Park located?

About 500 kilometres from Kampala, in the southwest of Uganda, close to the cities of Kisoro and Kabale, is where you’ll find the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park can only be reached on foot and spans 321 square kilometres of both lowland and highland forest.

It is located in the uppermost regions of the Kigezi Highlands, on the brink of the Great Rift Valley. Its terrain is incredibly rough, with steep hills and small valleys carved out by rivers. The national park is situated between 1,190 and 2,607 metres above sea level, with 60% of its total area exceeding 2,000 metres. At the park’s eastern boundary sits Rwamunyonyi Hill, which has the highest elevation.

To the north of Bwindi lies Queen Elizabeth National Park (known for its famous tree-climbing Lions).

To the south, there is the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda. And the park’s western boundary is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Surrounding this historic tropical jungle are heavily farmed agricultural plains that were formerly covered with forest foliage. Moreover, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies roughly 55 km northwest of the stunning Lake Bunyonyi, which is the second-deepest lake in Africa.

Bwindi National Park sectors and gates.

The four portions of Bwindi Impenetrable are called after the nearby communities. In the north are Buhoma and Ruhija, and in the south are Rushaga and Nkuringo.

They serve as independent gorilla trekking destinations and are separated from one another by several hours by road. Permits for a certain gorilla trekking sector are issued to visitors who wish to see the Bwindi gorillas; in order to enter the park, they must proceed to the gate that opens for that sector.

How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

It makes the most sense to travel via Kampala if you are hoping to tour more of Uganda in addition to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Flying into Entebbe International Airport (EBB), which is located just outside of Kampala, is one method to get to Bwindi. From there, you have two alternatives for getting to Bwindi:

Fly to an airstrip near Bwindi and then take a short drive to the park.

Drive straight there.

To assist you in selecting the best option for you, the details of each are provided here.

How to get to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park 

Getting to Bwindi by Air.

By regular or chartered flight, the quickest route to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is reached. From Kajjansi Airstrip in Kampala or Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe City, there are several domestic flights operating every day. The majority of domestic flights in Uganda between parks are organized by your tour operators and are covered by your travel package to Uganda.

The airstrips that are nearest to the trailheads for Buhoma and Ruhija are Kihihi and Kisoro, respectively, and to Rushaga and Nkuringo, which are located in the south. There is little over an hour in the air. The park is around 40 kilometres away from both airstrips, and the travel there takes about one and a half hours.

We at Primate Holidays we arrange flights on a scheduled basis to Bwindi. We also provide a number of all-inclusive fly-in safaris from Entebbe to Kihihi/Kisoro in Uganda that go to Bwindi. Please let us know your intended trip dates if you would like to reserve your scheduled flight to Bwindi so we can check with the local flight operators about availability. We will provisionally reserve your flight as soon as we verify availability and wait for your confirmation and payment.

Additionally, we are able to arrange for you to book charter aircraft at any moment to visit the Bwindi Forest National Park. And this is your best bet if you want privacy during your flight. The journey time from the main airstrip to your lodge can be shortened by having these charter flights land at certain lodges or at smaller airfields nearer to the park.

Getting to Bwindi by road from Kampala.

The most common method of transportation to Bwindi is via car, which also provides a number of road trips to this fantastic gorilla park in Uganda. The drive to Bwindi will take about eight or ten hours if you are travelling directly from Entebbe or Kampala. For people who enjoy the outdoors and adventure, this road trip is intriguing even though it takes much longer than flying.

The route would take you through a number of small cities, rural villages, and picturesque areas of Uganda, with stops at significant locations such as the Uganda Equator Line. You could also make stops to purchase local handicrafts and fruits. Moreover, driving through Uganda’s countryside will help you comprehend and form a far better sense of the country than flying will.

To break up the lengthy travel, you might even spend a day at Lake Mburo National Park. Mburo may be reached by car in 3–4 hours from Kampala and 4–7 hours from the different trailheads in Bwindi. During day game drives, horseback safaris, boat cruises, game walks, and bicycle tours, it’s common to see leopards, zebras, giraffes, buffalos, and antelopes.

If you have been in Queen Elizabeth National Park which is about 7 hour drive from Kampala, the primary gorilla trekking trailhead can be reached in 2 to 3 hours (from the Ishasha sector) or 5 to 6 hours (from the more northerly areas).

The drive to Bwindi takes roughly 6 to 7 hours if you are coming from Kibale National Park, which is home to the best chimpanzee trekking in Uganda and is about a 5-hour drive from Kampala.

Getting to Bwindi from Rwanda.

It’s simple to drive to Bwindi on the first day, observe mountain gorillas the next day, and then drive back to Kigali. On a two-day safari, this is your sole opportunity to observe gorillas in Uganda.

Please note that because of the long driving distances, it is impossible to fit a gorilla trekking adventure into a 2-day driving safari that starts and ends at Kampala/Entebbe. A gorilla tour from Entebbe/Kampala must last at least three days because you must stay the night before and after your trek at a resort or camp near the relevant park.

Since gorilla trekking is possible in Rwanda, it makes sense to wonder if it would be possible to cross into Uganda to engage in the same sport. The reason is because a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda costs US$800, whereas a gorilla permit in Rwanda costs US$1,500.

Therefore, travelling to Bwindi to see the gorillas from Kigali is a great choice for those on a very tight budget or with little time. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to witness the verdant highlands of Rwanda and Uganda on an amazing trip from Kigali to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Can I get to Bwindi by Public Transport?

Yes, you are able to get to and from Bwindi National Park via public transit.

To determine which bus to take, the first step is to decide which area of Bwindi you will be going. In order to go gorilla trekking in the Southern Section, you will need to board buses that travel from Mbarara, Kabale, and Kisoro Town to Bwindi.

But buses that pass through Mbarara, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Kihihi, and the border town of Butogota are required if you plan to track gorillas in the Northern Sector of Bwindi.

There is no public transit that can take you up to the park headquarters, whether you are visiting the north or south of Bwindi. If you choose to travel north, you will need to budget for a motorbike transfer from Butogota Town to the headquarters of Buhoma Park.

Please check with your lodge if they are able to provide you transfers to and from Butogota Town. In the event that you choose to explore the southern region, buses would probably drop you off in Kabale or Kisoro. From there, you will need to arrange transportation to Rushaga or Nkuringo.

Numerous bus companies from Kampala provide daily services on these routes. You should take extra precautions when carrying your belongings on these buses because there are many potential thieves.

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