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Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Just three hundred and thirty-one square kilometres of pristine forest, and one of the oldest, rarest and most diverse ecosystems in Africa, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is real jungle.

Established in 1991, situated along the western border, and sanctuary to the endangered mountain gorilla, to at least nine other species of primate, to a multitude of birds, to the giant forest hog, to antelope, fish and hundreds of species of butterfly, it represents a sizable chunk of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest proper, and is possibly Uganda’s most valuable natural asset.

Best known for the fact that it houses a high proportion of the world’s population of mountain gorilla, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – for those keen to study, see and be among a species of mammal which, in terms of behaviour, is more like us than not – is something of a holy grail.

The gorillas themselves are granted great freedom of movement, their contact with humans is carefully monitored, and trekkers are encouraged to observe codes designed to protect the primates from contracting human diseases. Gorilla treks are highly organised, scientifically sanctioned and strictly guided. The reward is an experience almost impossible to describe: it is rare that a wild animal, particularly one so large, and one generally surrounded by its young, allows even fleeting access to the workings of its inner world – rarer still that it seems to positively enjoy the close proximity of humans.

Serviced by two excellent camps, and by people (from the local community as well as from the rest of Uganda and abroad) intent on preserving and developing its unique habitat, the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is East Africa’s most beautiful forest. Aesthetically, ethically, it deserves our attention.

Climate Information

Given its relatively humid climate, temperatures nationally are reasonably constant, ranging from a dry season maximum of 25°C to a wet season maximum of 31°C. Affected by altitude, position and the interplay between the ITCZ and meso-scales, the annual precipitation range is 400mm to 2200mm. A diagonal – south-west to north-east – zone known as the cattle corridor axis experiences between 400mm and 1000mm per annum, as does a section of the western flank of the western rift valley (Lake Albert), while the rest of the country receives upward of 1000mm, the Victoria basin, south-west and parts of central Uganda 1400mm plus.

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