Bwindi’s extraordinary altitudinal variation – rising and falling from deep river gorges and low hills to high-forested ridges – ensures a unique range of flora and fauna, in particular birds and primates.
Over 300 mountain gorillas live in the park, half of the world’s population, and two family groups have now been successfully habituated to human approach. Each day, two small groups of visitors are allowed to view these gorillas, for up to one hour – often in exceptionally dense cover.
Please bear in mind that tracking gorillas through the forest requires patience and stamina. Sometimes the trackers find the gorillas within a couple of hours, but it may take up to ten hours of off-trail tracking, in thick jungle, in order to find them. Steep slopes, intense humidity and regular rainfall add to the challenge, but the exhilaration of a close encounter with these magnificent creatures makes it all worthwhile. Access is always limited to an hour for the gorillas’ well being. For many, seeing a gorilla face-to-face is truly a life-changing experience!
Mountain gorillas are undoubtedly the forests prime attraction, in addition, L’Hoest’s monkey is a speciality of the lower level forest and the rare golden monkey is occasionally encountered at higher elevations. Like all rainforest inhabitants, these mammals and all of the birds are very difficult to see, and bird watching in such an environment requires stealth and patience! The list of species that you may hope to see is long, but a few tasters include African goshawk, Aggur buzzard and Equatorial akalat, plus a selection of forest woodpeckers, greenbulls (always a challenge to identification skills!), warblers, flycatchers, sunbirds and weavers.
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