An Alternative Side to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

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Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is not only internationally famous for the endangered mountain is also a haven for bird watchers.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (also known locally as Ruhija) is internationally famous for its endangered mountain gorillas. However, to the birding fraternity it is also highly sought after because it contains 90% of Albertine Rift Valley endemic bird species that are rarely found in any other part of East Africa. Bwindi is more than a birders haven, but also a natural habitat  for the star attraction of East Africa - the globally threatened African Green Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri), where spectacular sightings of this bird are the preserve of a chosen few.

African Green Broadbill

African Green Broadbill also listed on the IUCN red list as vulnerable


The beautiful leaf-green bird is the highlight of all birding trips to Uganda and East Africa. As it's only found in south-west Uganda (Mubwind swamps), Itombwe Mountains (Democratic Republic of Congo) and mountains west of Lake Kivu. Uganda is the safest and most accessible spot for this rare mountain forest habitat, with Green Broadbill living at an altitude of 2,300m.


Bwindi is also a home to several other quite rare Albertine rift endemics like Shelley's Crimsonwing, Dusky Crimsonwing, Stripe-breasted tit, Rwenzori Night Jar and Handsome Francoline. All of these make Bwindi precious in the eyes of twitchers.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp is located deep inside Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in southwest Uganda. This camp is one of the most secluded and atmospheric in Africa and is ranked in the Top Three lodges in the national park by Trip Advisor.

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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a region of volcanoes, jagged valleys, waterfalls, lakes and dramatic mountain ranges. It is here, on a flat ridge high in the forest, that Sanctuary's Gorilla Forest Camp is tucked away. This is the ideal base for encounters with the mountain gorillas that live in Bwindi.


 By Ian Sendagala, Unit Manager, Sanctuary Retreats Uganda