Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National park lies in South western Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. This park’s covered with a cloud of mist and the hills are dominated by a thick tropical rain forest which has an annual temperature in the range of (7-15) degrees Centigrade and an annual rainfall in the range of (14,000-1,9000 )mm the park experiences heavy rain falls in from March to April and September to November.
It boasts of rich biological diversity with about 400 plant species and‘s also a habitant of approximately 400 mountain gorillas which’s almost half of the world’s population including several habituated groups, which are normally tracked by visitors who visit the forest park.
This park’s also home to 120 mammal species, these include (several primates like the Chimpanzees and baboon,e.t.c and few forest elephants and antelopes. Another aspect of wildlife of the park are the forest bird species these also include the 23 Albertine Rift endemic.
This park hosts a variety of primates including apes, monkeys and bush babies, but the most sought primate by visitors in the park’s the mountain gorilla. The primates found in the park include the mountain gorrilla,Chimpanzees, L’hoest monkey, Black and white colobus monkey
This park has a diverse of wildlife that include over 120 mammals species living in the impenetrable forest, these include the elephant, small antelopes , the broad diversity’s supported by the fact that Bwindi impenetrable forest’s extremely old’s located at 1447m above sea level.
This park offers over 350 bird species of which 23 are endemic to the albertine rift and of which 14 are recorded nowhere else in Uganda. Some of the famous birds include Crowned hornbill, African Harrier Hawk, Giant Kingfish, African Green Pigeon and Cinnamon Chested Bee eater, including the globally threaten species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing.
This includes the Batwa tribe which’s one of the vulnerable and endangered groups of Africa, traditionally a hunter-gatherer society, some of the batwa still practice ancient traditions and customs, which form part of their rich culture. The Bakiga tribe’s also another group that’s rich in culture that you will experience.
This activity‘s one of the most exciting where Mountain gorillas are tracked and moved to closer. The park has four locations where Gorillas can be tracked and these include Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo.Tracking these creatures can last from a few hours to a whole day, depending on the movements of the groups in form of distance on how far they have moved. Only eight visitors are allowed to view for one hour per day.
This is the gradual introduction of a family of mountain gorillas to the presence of humans. They are habituated so that researchers can study them, treat them for sickness, injuries, protect them from hunters and boost their conservation efforts with sustainable tourism. Two gorilla families are habituated at Rushaga sector, these are namely, Bushalo and Bukingyi
Birding‘s spectacular at a key point called Ruhija where there are plenty of bird species to see, on your way to Kabale town you will move up through a montane forest an early start offers the best chance of finding the striking Handsome Francolin which may be seen sunning itself of feeding on the track in the morning.Cinnamon–chested bee eaters are common and can be observed entering their nest burrows in exposed banks along the road
Experience the culture of the Bakiga and Batwa tribes by having village walks among their community homesteads; this may include buying their crafts. You could also participate in their cultural dance performances and experience the cultural styles of shaking your body.
There are six main nature trails in Buhoma for those who wish to explore the forest of the park they are namely Munyanga waterfall walk, Muzabijiro loop, Rushara hill, Ivy river walk, Buhoma –Nkuringo and Habiyanja. These are composed of great experiences that include mountain views, waterfalls, forest walk, Primate experiences and spectacular birdlife sights.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga is one of two locations in Uganda in which mountain gorillas are found; the other being Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The park takes its name from “Gahinga” – the local word for the piles of volcanic stones cleared from farmland at the foot of the volcanoes.
The park has one habituated gorilla group, although this group sometimes crosses the border into Rwanda, which means Mgahinga is not a reliable spot for viewing gorillas.
There are 76 mammal species recorded, including buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks, golden monkeys. 115 bird species have been recorded, including Rwenzori turaco, crowned hornbill, yellow-billed kite and grey crowned crane. Mgahinga hosts a population of golden monkeys and a few families of mountains gorillas.
This park was once a home to the mountain gorillas but then they migrated to Rwanda in the Volcanoes.
As well as being important for wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural significance, in particular for the indigenous Batwa pygmies. This tribe of hunter-gatherers was the forest’s “first people”.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, is part of the bigger Virunga Conservation Area, now jointly protected area with Congo and Rwanda.
The national park also covers three of the eight Virunga volcanoes: Mount Muhavura at 4127, Mount Gahinga-3474 and Mount Sabyinyo at 3634, all of which lie on the Uganda/Rwanda border. Any of these can be climbed in one day from the park headquarters.
It is over a 9hours drive via Kabale. For those without private transport, there are daily bus transport services, which set off at 0700 hours. Once in Kisoro town, tourists can hike or take a special hire vehicle to the park gate. It is also possible to fly to Kisoro.
Volcanoes National Park
“In the heart of Central Africa, so high up that you shiver more than you sweat,” wrote the eminent primatologist Dian Fossey, “are great, old volcanoes towering almost 15,000 feet, and nearly covered with rich, green rainforest – the Virungas.”
Situated in the far northwest of Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park protects the steep slopes of this magnificent mountain range – home of the endangered mountain gorilla and a rich mosaic of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen and bamboo forest, open grassland, swamp and heath.
Volcanoes National Park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi – the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.