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Are you a birder and you are interested in Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park, in this article we explain in detail the best places where to go for gorilla trekking and bird watching in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The park is home to an impressive 350 species, of which many you will delight in ticking off your list on a 2-3 hour excursion that is hosted by an expert guide. This is a journey of discovery, traversing through the unique habitats along a winding trail framed by exotic and emerald vegetation.
You need 4-5 hours to go birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the park has various sections where birding is done, it all depends on how much time you will spend in the park and which sector you will be doing the gorilla trek.
Best spots for Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Rising through ever green and montane marshes that intertwine across the lush forest floor your birding trail leads you to enchanting falls, booming out a thunderous roar of pristine river water crushing against enormous rocks. Set in exquisite verdant terrain this waterfall is truly a sight to behold. Prolific with birds the cacaphony of chatter and the cascading falls is a magnificent sound.
Acknowledged as a birding utopia Uganda shelters over half of the bird species found in Africa making it the leading birding destination in Africa and the globe. Ambling along the Buhoma Waterfall Trail be sure to look out for the White-tailed Ant Thrush and dapper francolin, the splendid Black Bee-eater, Yellow-eyed Black and African Sooty Flycatchers along the green bamboo zone. Venture to the Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija where sightings of the endemic and localized African green broadbill are frequent. Gaze up at the tree tops and keep your binoculars handy to spot the Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimsonwing.
Other birding trails include the Kashasha river valley and Ivy river trail, along the bamboo zone, and Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija.
A pocket forest known as Nombe is located some 5km and Buniga forest 300meters from Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge. The location has been received by birders that have stayed with us looking for Bwindi forest endemics. We have a team of enthusiast birding guides working with our Nkuringo Walking Safaris enquire for detailed birding itineraries.
Mubwindi Trail Ruhija
Some of the great spots of birds include the longtrail to Mubwindi and also the short trail. This area enables a clear Watch of birds like the Montane Oriole, Waller’s starling, Blacke –billed turacos, barbets, Carruthers’ Cisticola Red chested Flufftail,Cabanis’s Green bull, Dwarf Honey guide, Oriole Finch and Bar tailed trogon. These potray the beauty of the forest. Ruhija area also has birds like the Red-tailed and Shelley’s Greenbul, Grey-throated Barbet, Common Buzzard, Black Bee-eater and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Red-throated Alethe, African Shrike-flycatcher Ayres’s Hawk-eagle, to mention but a few. The forest of bamboo and afro montane habitats surrounding the draughty Rwamunyonyi peak also supports a variety of birds, several endemic to the Albertine rift.
Echuya Forest Trail
With almost 150 species of birds, eighteen (18) of which are endemic to the reserve, including the elusive Grauer’s Swamp warbler, Echuya Forest Reserve is a fantastic birding destination located in the southern western part of Uganda as it lies on the main Kabale to Kisoro road near the Rwandan border in the Albertine Rift section of the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, the most endemic-rich region in Africa. Muchuya Swamp is home to an important population of 30-50 pairs of the Endangered Grauer’s Swamp-warbler and the entire Reserve is considered a priority amongst Bird Life International’s 30 Ugandan Important Bird Areas (IBAs). Therefore there is no doubt Echuya is a dream come true for bird watchers.
Pocket Nombe Forest Trail
A “Pocket” forest known as Nombe is located some 5km from our incredible Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge in the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park is another tranquil location to further boost your birding experience after tracking the forest gentles in the impenetrable forest. Birds species that exist in the pocket includes the following, Handsome Francolin, Short-tailed Warbler, Collared Apalis, Mountain Masked Apalis, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Dawrf Honey guide, Grauer’s Warbler, Dusky Crimson wing, Rwenzori Batis, Purple-breasted Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Shelley’s Crimson wing, Strip-breasted Tit, Blue-headed Sunbird, Grauer’s Rush Warbler, Rwenzori Turaco, Strip-breasted Tit, Kivu Ground Thrush among others.
What is the best time to go Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park?
The best time to go Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown
What to wear during Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park
You might be probably wondering what to wear for your trek, below is a compiled list on what to wear;
- A long armed sweater since the park gets cold
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Water proof hiking boots
- A hat and sun glasses depending on the weather though this is optional
- Cameras and long lasting batteries since photography are very important to keep your memories alive. Always remember to keep our flash off.
- A pair of Binoculars. This will help you to see the vast birds Bwindi impenetrable forest has among other primates
- Gardening Gloves; these will help you when you a holding onto trees are branches through the trek.
- A rain coat; Since Bwindi impenetrable forest is rainforest, the rain is unpredictable so to be on a safer side, you will be required to carry along a coat.
- A mosquito Repellent; since it is a forest, it has different dangerous insects so its advisable to carry it along or wear it
- A sun screen; Well this is optional but depending on the season, it might get too hot and you end up getting sun burns on your skin so to avoid that, you will need a sun screen.
- You should not wear very bright colors since this will charge or scare away the gorillas.
- Black and Blue colors are also not recommended since they attract Tsetse flies So I would recommend neutral colors.
Where to stay during Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park is done in the northern part that is Buhoma and Ruhija and in southern part that is Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. In Rushaga lodges, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Icumbi Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge and Karungi Camp. In Nkuringo lodges you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge or Lake Mutanda Resort, all these lodges are close to the start point of Gorilla Habituation and Gorilla trekking.
In the northern part, in Buhoma sector you can stay at Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Ride 4 a Woman among others, In Ruhija you can stay at Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Agandi Eco Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, and Broadbill Tented Camp among others.
Why book Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris is a local tour operator in Uganda, we take pride in customizing tailor made Bwindi gorilla trekking safaris starting from Kigali. Including Uganda gorilla trekking from Kigali Rwanda. We have a very diligent and trustworthy team. Your queries are answered within 20minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. Feel free to contact us about Gorilla trekking and Birding in Bwindi Forest National Park.