Across the steep ridges of the Albertine Rift Valley, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park stands as one of the few places in Africa to have survived and even flourished through the last Ice Age. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a World Heritage Site located in the southwestern region of Uganda on the rim of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are sheltered by one of the most ancient and biologically diverse rainforests in Uganda, dating back to more than 25,000 years. One trek through its steep, slippery landscape will reveal why it inherited its name, which means “darkness” or “impenetrable” in the local Lukiga language, but your efforts will be well worth the effort.

Home to roughly half of the world’s Mountain Gorillas—about 350 in all—Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the site of one of Africa’s most unique adventures, gorilla trekking. Long considered a highlight for most people visiting Uganda, gorilla safaris allow visitors to seek out these gentle giants in their natural habitat, venturing on foot into the verdant mazes of trees and vines to come face to face with one of the rarest species on earth. The magnificence of these animals is astounding, with adult and baby gorillas alike climbing the trees, sitting on the ground in human-like positions, and snacking on the nearby vegetation and banana trees.

In addition to its infamous gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park hosts about 90 mammal species, including 11 primates, 200 species of butterflies, 324 varieties of trees, over 360 species of birds, and rare mammals such as the forest elephant. There are also plenty of cultural experiences to be had within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, including visits to the local Batwa Pygmies village. Here, visitors can spend a day of discovery in the forest as the pygmies demonstrate how to hunt, use a bow and arrow, find medicine in the plants, and illuminate other fascinating aspects of their lifestyle in the forest.

Gorilla trekking through Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ranks among one of the world’s premier wildlife encounters. Contact your Ker & Downey travel specialist to include this exclusive experience in your next Uganda safari.