Packing list for Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi Forest
Packing list for Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi Forest is important to know especially for first time travelers visiting the park. Bwindi Forest national park is one of the most visited national parks in Uganda after Murchison Falls National Park. The park is popular among international visitors because it hosts the largest population of mountain gorilla individuals in the world.
The national park is situated in Kanungu district in the southwestern part of Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable national park was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994 in order to protect and conserve its population of mountain gorillas which are currently an endangered species.
The park covers 321km² making it one of the smallest national parks in Uganda. It was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority. The national park is home to home to 400 plant species, 400 mountain gorillas, 120 species of mammals including different primate species such as vervet monkeys, baboons among others and also forest elephants, buffalos and antelopes to mention but a few. The park also hosts about 320 species of birds including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
Due to the fact that the national park is located on a high altitude its weather changes any time and it’s always cold with mist covering the forest during morning hours and at night. Visitors should however pack the following equipment’s for their gorilla trekking safari (Packing list for Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi Forest);
- Long sleeved trousers and shirts, due to coldness in the forest visitors should wear long sleeved shirts and trousers to get warmth and also prevent their bodies from getting injuries during trekking in the jungle.
- Hiking boots, visitors should wear comfortable hiking shoes while trekking which will protect their ankles from being hurt and also keep their feet dry since the jungle is always wet, muddy and slippery.
- Hat and sunglasses, these will be used to protect your from direct sunlight during the dry season and rain during the wet season.
- Hand gloves which you will use to protect your hands from being hurt or injured during trekking in the forest and will also protect them from germs.
- Long socks, stockings will be tucked into the long trousers and will protect you from the safari ants which might enter your trousers while in the forest.
- Waterproof rain jacket, this will protect them in case it rains when you are trekking mountain gorillas in the forest.
- Packed food and drinking water, visitors planning to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest national park should carry packed food and at least 2 liters drinking water because trekking takes a long period of time and the food will give you energy to continue hiking.
- Insect repellent, the insect repellent will help you from the safari insects, ants and the tsetse flies when trekking because the forest is comprised of many insect and ants.
- Backpack, this is a bag that will be used to carry your items for the gorilla trekking safari for example drinking water, food, insect repellent, gorilla permit among other.
- Gorilla trekking permit, gorilla trekking permit is an important item to consider when going for gorilla trekking activity in the national park because it is the document that allows you to visit the gorillas therefore without a gorilla trekking permit you can’t be allowed to visit any gorilla family.
- Camera, a camera is also an important item to consider in that it will be used without the flash light to take the photos and capture all the moments on your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda.
Where to stay during your visit to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
In regards to accommodation in the park, there are a variety of accommodation facilities that you can choose from including; Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi, Gorilla Resort, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, and Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge among others. These lodges carter for luxury, mid-range and budget visitors.
Climate and Weather in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The national park receives tropical climate with annual average temperatures ranging between 7°C to 20°C and a maximum of about 20°C to 27°C. The park experiences its coldest months between June and July. Given the fact that the national park is situated with a rainforest, it receives up to 2,390 mm of rain annually. During the dry season, climate in Bwindi Impenetrable national park gets hot during the day with temperatures of about 30 degrees Celsius and in the morning it gets so cold with mist and fog covering the forest and the temperatures drop to about 9 degrees Celsius.
Best Time to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The park receives rainfall all year round which is characterized by short rains in the months of March to April, and receives heavy rains in the months of September to November. However, during the rainy season the climate in the national park gets mild and wet with heavy rains and sometimes can drizzle the whole day. The rainy season in the park makes gorilla trekking hard and challenging in that the grounds will be wet, muddy, slippery and the gorilla trekking trails can be impassable. However the rainy season is good for birding because the migratory birds will come to breed in Bwindi impenetrable forest hence giving visitors a great experience while in the park.
How to Get to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The park can be reached by road and air transport means. By road you will drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale and then to the park headquarters in one of the sectors. The national park can also be reached from Queen Elizabeth national park through Ishasha sector or by public means where you can board a public bus from Kampala to kabala and then hire a private vehicle to the park and the journey takes about 9 to 10 hours’ drive.
By air transport means, you can book scheduled or chartered flights where you will fly from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi airstrip, Kisoro airstrip or Kayonza airstrip near Buhoma sector and then connect by road to the park headquarters.