A country also within the Eastern region of Africa. Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, with fantastic natural scenery; half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population is in Uganda. The natural attractions are among the best in the region, and as tourism is still being re-established, there simply aren’t the crowds found elsewhere. Take your pick from the highest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains; one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls; or perhaps the highest primate density in the world, in kabale forest National park – Uganda has all this and more. It’s a beautiful country with a great deal to offer, and sooner or later the tourist hordes will ‘discover’ its delights – make sure you get there before they do.
Bwindi’s Impenetrable Forest is a true equatorial jungle, inhabited by four Gorilla groups – each led by a silverback male. It is the richest, most species-diverse forest in Uganda, as the area is one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa where lowland and montane communities merge. Massive trees are entangled with creepers and parasitic plants such as mistletoe and orchids. Giant thickets of bamboo thrive in the humid atmosphere and where sunlight breaks through the elegant heliconia, or lobster claw and spreads its colourful petals. Amongst the dense vegetation the Colobus Monkey jumps from branch to branch, chattering its warning to its fellows hidden by the foliage. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds searching for fruit and edible plants.
The park is located in south western Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kibale Districts. It was gazetted in 1991 with an area of 331 sq.km. It is situated in a hilly countryside that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary, constitute an important water catchment area for many rivers; supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.
At least 120 species of mammal are recorded in one of the richest ecosystems in Africa including Gorilla, Chimpanzee, and 8 other species of primate, also Elephant, Bush Pig, Giant Forest Hog, many species of bats and rodents. No less than 346 species of birds are listed including rare forest birds, at least 14 species of snakes, 27 species of frogs and toads, 6 chameleons, 14 lizards, skinks or geckos, and at least 202 species of butterfly. There are also several endangered species of birds with limited ranges. This forest is a sanctuary for almost half the world’s population of mountain gorillas; the rarest race of gorilla. Established as a safe habitat for several families of mountain gorillas it is now the location of an important scientific conservation program.