Gorilla trekking and Habituation: The historical back ground of Bwindi impenetrable national park.
History of Bwindi impenetrable national park is a fascination tourist destination found in the western region of Uganda the park is situated on the edge of Albertine rift along Uganda democratic republic of Congo.
Bwindi national park is that it’s also features historic legend which the park derives its name.
The name Bwindi is a local phrase ‘Mubwindi’ bwa Nynamuraki’ which is originally refers to Mubwindi swamp which is found in the south east of the park than the forest.
Bwindi the name of the park originates back in a century ago, there was a family which was migrated from Kisoro the family found themselves lost in southern ending of the seeming impenetrable swamp. To find the way the parents asked guidance from the swamp spirits. For guidance the family was told to offer their most beautiful daughter Nyinamuraki as a sacrifice to the spirits, after two days of trying to find and comprehending the demands of the spirit they decided to honor them as a way of finding the way .They threw the girl into the water to drown and the safely crossed to the other side. And there for when the news of sacrifice spread to the nearby communities’ people started to avoid the swamp calling it Mubwindi bwa Nyinamuraki (the dark place of Nyinamuraki).
WHAT IS BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
The Bwindi impenetrable forest is a large primeval forest located in south-western Uganda with thick vegetation like its name suggest it’s located in Kanungu district. The Bwindi forest is on the edge of the Albertine Rift, at the elevation ranging from 1,160 to 2,607 meters (3,806 to8,553ft). The forest contains around 160 species of trees and over 100 species of fern.
The park is a sanctuary for Columbus monkeys, chimpanzees, and many birds such as horn bills and turacos.it is most notable for the 400 Bwindi gorillas, half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas. 14 habituation mountain gorillas.
14 habituated mountain gorilla groups are open to tourism in four different sectors of Buhoma Ruhijja, Rushaga and the Nkuringo in the District of Kanungu, kabale and Kisoro the park covers an area of 321km2 all of which is forested with some areas being covered with bamboo and shrubs.
The forest lies on steep slippery valleys with ridges and hilltops.
The park is among the most diverse forest in East Africa, with more than 1,000 flowering plants species
It is the true African jungle with droplets of the sun coming through the think forest cover giving you a feeling of being in paradise with zero pollution from several emissions common to our daily environment.
The park is home to about 120 mammal’s species that are rarely seen as they hide in the thickets of the dense forest. these include the large mammals and the very small mammals. the animals of Bwindi forest include; Elephants, duikers, buffaloes, golden cats, bush pigs, gaint forest hogs, black- fronted Duiker, yellow- backed duiker, clawless otter,side-striped jackal, civet numerous bats and rodents among others.
Bwindi forest is home to 11 primate’s species which are black- and- white colobus monkeys L Honests monkey, De Brazza monkeys, Red-tailed monkey, blue monkey, potto, demidoffs, Galago, spectacled Galago, Baboons, Chimpanzee and the gentle giants of Bwindi- Mountain Gorillas.
How long is it from Kampala to Bwindi national park?
Approximately 7hours and 35mins at a distance of 463.7kilometers to get here via masaka road from Kampala therefore road transport is the easiest to use in order to get to Bwindi.
The distance between Entebbe Airport and Bwindi impenetrable national park is 329km.
HOW TO GET TO BWINDI
Bwindi can be reached by scheduled or chartered flight. Kihihi is the closest airport to the Buhoma and Ruhija trailheads and kisoro is closest to the southerly Rushanga and Nkuringo.
HOW MUCH DO GORILLA PERMITS COSTS
The gorilla trekking permits now costs $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents of East Africa.
How do I get a Gorilla trekking and Habituation permits ?
Gorilla permits in Uganda are issued by the Uganda wild life Authority (UWA) a government body that manages tourism and wildlife conservation.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO SEE THE GORILLAS?
The best time to vist Uganda is between its two dry seasons December to February and between June and August these times are the best for trekking to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
WHAT IT TAKE FOR ONE TO DO GORILLA TREKKING
A gorilla trekking safari takes a minimum of 3 days, with day 1 transfer to Bwindi National Park and day 2 Gorilla tracking and day 3 transfer back.
WHAT IS THE MAIN TOURIST ATTRACTION IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE?
The key attraction in Bwindi impenetrable forest national parkis the endangered mountain gorillas.
Gorillas are herbivorous predominantly ground-dwelling great apes that in habitat the tropical forest of equatorial Africa and they are under family Hominidae kingdom Animalia phylum chordate class Mammalia order primates Genus Gorilla.
Gorillas are some of the most powerful and striking animal s not only for their gentle human like behavior and are types of gorillas like western lowland gorilla and cross river gorilla Gorillas are divided into two species -The western gorilla and the eastern gorilla
Gorillas in Uganda mainly found in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
What are mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas are powerfully built great ape with a large head and short neck found in the forest of central Africa. And it is the largest living primate.
The mountain Gorilla is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla.
Mountain Gorillas have a thicker fur and more of it compared to other great apes. And that fur help to survive in the habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing
The common name mountain gorillas and the scientific Name Gorilla beringei beringei
Some of the facts about mountain gorillas are;
They live in two isolated groups they are found in high altitude mountain and bamboo forest which are surrounded by agriculture and settlements.
They can eat all day long mountain gorillas spend about a quarter of their day eating mainly plants.
They cozy up at night mountain gorillas’ groups sleep together in the nest on the ground or in the tress
Gorilla trekking and Habituation
Is a wild life that involves hiking through dense forest in search of wild gorillas?
What is gorilla trekking in Uganda?
Is defined as a hike to the tropical forest of Africa to see the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
How long do gorilla trekking last?
A gorilla trek usually lasts from 1 to 8 hours the 1 hour spent with them and the return journey back to the briefing point
What to expect on a gorilla trek?
Expect muddy; slippery; and wet grounds in the rainy season and early mornings.
This is a magical hour of interacting with the gorilla family.
Trekkers are required to keep a low tone as they accurately take photographs not forgetting to avoid a direct look in the eyes of the gorillas
Gorillas normally walk on all four legs but are capable of walking upright when needed for short period of time,
What to wear when u want to see gorillas
Dress in brown green and greys and ware trousers and long –sleeved shirt.
How do you show respect to the gorillas?
One of the best ways to show respect for gorillas is to avoid making direct eye contact in this wild gorilla use eye contact to assert dominance and challenge other members of their group.
If a human were to make direct eye contact with a gorilla it could be interpreted as a sign of aggression.
What to do if a gorilla sees you
If a gorilla see you u have to stay still and let him pass by and if u happen to stand were a gorilla wants to be just give him space and he him move as he likes if a gorilla approaches you and sits down you should slowly move away to resume the seven distance.
A group of gorillas or a family of gorillas is called a troop
A troop of gorillas is usually made up of one dominate adult male or silver back
Gorillas live in family groups of usually five to 10 but sometimes two to more than 50 led by dominant adult male or silverback who holds his position for years
THE FOLLOWING ARE THE GROUPS OF GORILLA FAMILIES
- Mubare Gorilla family- Buhoma (Bwindi)
- Habinyanja Gorilla family-Buhoma (Bwindi)
- Rushegura Gorilla family- Buhoma (Bwindi)
- Bitukura Gorillafamily-Ruhija (Bwindi)
- Oruzogo Gorilla family-Ruhija (Bwindi)
- Nkuringo Gorilla family- Nkuringo (Bwindi)
- Nshongi Gorilla family- Rushaga (Bwindi)
- Mishaya Gorilla family-Rushaga(Bwindi)
- Kahungye Gorilla family-Rushaga (Bwindi)
- Bweza Gorilla family-Rushaga (Bwindi)
- Busingye Gorilla family –Rushaga (Bwindi)
- Kyaguriro Gorilla family-(Ruhija)
- Nyakagezi Gorilla family-( Mgahinga)
Gorilla trekking and Habituation
Gorilla habituation is the process of gently introducing wild mountain Gorillas to the sight and presence of human for research care and conservation purpose
Gorilla habituation is the process of training mountain Gorillas to live closer to people as they continue with their day to day lives.
Gorilla habituation process takes place in bwindi impenetrable national park too.
The gorilla habituation experience is very amazing since one gets to spend more time with the gorillas compared to the one hour of gorilla trekking.
Gorilla habituation is only done in Uganda in Rushaga and it can be accessed not only to Uganda but you can as well access it from Rwanda taking 4hour drive.