NATURE WALKS IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is one of Africa’s most olden forests that even survived the last ice age when most of the world’s other forests disappeared. The Park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda at the edge of the western arm of the great east African rift valley. It approximately occupies 321 square kilometers. The forest still stands as one of Uganda’s most ancient rainforests with a biological diversity of tree species, over 400 species of plants and also a home for an estimated number of 400 mountain gorillas, almost half of the world’s total population of gorillas. .Bwindi impenetrable forest dates as far back as 25000 years, it also shelters to further 120 mammals including primate species such as baboons and chimps as well as elephants and antelopes. There are also around 350 species of birds in this forest including 23 Albertine rift endemics. The combination of its broad altitude span of about 1160m to 2607m and its antiquity has produced an incredible diversity of flora and fauna making it one of the most sought destinations in the whole world.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is popularly known for gorilla trekking, Batwa community experience and also birding. However most tour operators have forgotten to let the tourists a nature walk experience in this park yet it is a great potential that would satisfy the tourist to the fullest. Walking through the steep mountains covered in a thick and steamy jungle is just as magnificent as it sounds. The park management has designed six different trails that can guide the tourist.
The first is the Muyanga Waterfall Walk which starts from Buhoma along the River Ivi-Nkuringo trail and ends in the sensational sight of the falls. Through this trail you are able to watch several primates and various tree species. There is also the Rushura Hill Walk which passes through one forest that is shared by two countries. If done on a clear day you can view Lakes Edward and George and the Rwenzori Mountains ranges as well as the conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes. The Muzubijiro Loop is a 6km walk around a hill, where you will encounter primates and birds and also be able to enjoy a view of the Virungas. The Ivi River Walk is a 14km trail and it can take around seven hours. The trail passes a place known as Mukempunu – meaning “a place of pigs” – where wild pigs are often spotted. Also the Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail crosses through the park offering impressive views of the misty hillsides as you slope down the hills towards Nkuringo. This can take over three to four hours. The Habinyanja (Railegh) Trail is right after crossing the Munyaga River. Along this trail you find the legendry “African Corner” that was named after a rock piece depicting a map of Africa. Birders on this trail cannot miss watching the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Black Duck and Black Bee Eaters, among others.
If you ever think of getting away from all the urban disturbances, a nature walk in Bwindi impenetrable national park should be your first consideration.