BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
This national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda in kigezi highland region. It is one of the ten national parks of Uganda and over the years it is has become the most famous tourism destination in Uganda due to the presence of gorillas and thousands of tourists visit it throughout the year. Bwindi has almost a half of the total population of gorillas in the world with around 480 gorillas. However out of about 480 gorillas, Bwindi has 14 habituated gorilla habituated families. Habituated gorillas are gorillas that can tolerate the presence of mankind in the wild and in context these are gorillas that can be tracked by the tourists. Bwindi is a very large biodiversity area in that it has four sectors where the gorillas inhabit. Here are the sectors and their gorilla families.
- Buitukura, Oruzogo Kyaguriro and the newly habuated one Bikyingi – three groups in the Ruhija area
- Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, Busingye and Bweza – five gorilla-groups in the Rushaga area
- Nkuringo family and recently dispensed group of Bushaho – two groups in the Nkuringo area
- Rushegura, Mubare and Habiyanja – three groups in the Buhoma area
MGAHINGA NATIONAL PARK
This is natural biodiversity gem located in the southwest of Uganda at the border of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo at the Virunga massif. Mgahinga national park has the fewest number of mountain gorillas and this has only one habituated gorilla family called the Nyakagezi family. This family comprises of over 30 individuals. Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park is almost 100% possible since it has a few gorillas and the one family of the gorillas makes it easy to be monitored by the park management. In addition to gorilla trekking, Mgahinga has something unique for a traveler that is the golden monkeys; these are unique species of monkeys that are so interesting to watch in the wild.
How to reach these two national parks in Uganda
It takes a half a day to reach Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park that is around 12 hours from Kampala the capital of Uganda where most wildlife safaris start from. There are about 500km from Kampala to Bwindi headquarters. There is an enormous opportunity of getting to the rural Uganda set up and also the beautiful scenery along the highways as one drives to these national parks.
If you find travelling long distance very challenging, you can alternatively take a shirt charter flight from Kajjasi Airstrip near Entebbe international airport to Kisoro at Kayonzo Airstrip. But once you reach the gorilla trekking point one can only access the parks on foot due to fragility of the area.