By Jonathan Benaiah (The Ugandan Tourist)
Up in the forested Kigezi highlands of southwestern Uganda rests one of the world’s most diverse ecological gems, Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest which holds the awesome and frequently visited Bwindi Impenetrable National Park while engaging in Safaris and Tours in Uganda. With an annual mean temperature ranging from a minimum of 7–15°C to a maximum of 20–27°C, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on an area of 321 square km, is blessed with an abundance of life flowing from each and every vein of the park.
As migrants to the north from Rwanda, Burundi, and Zaire (the then Congo DR) trekked in search for land to cultivate and settle in, they crossed sections of the jungle on foot. One family came across a wide-stretching swamp which they were unable to traverse. Seeing their helplessness, the spirits of the swamp offered to assist them, but at an expense. The spirits sought the sacrifice of their daughter Nnyinamukari.
This was not going to be an easy bargain for the family so they chose to spend a few days pondering on what the spirits had asked for. After 2 (two) days, a decision was reached to sacrifice Nnyinamukari.
This unfortunate news circulated through the land creating an uncomfortable fear for the forest, a reason why it was described as “The Dark Place of Nyinamukari” which in the local semantics is “Umubwindi bwa Nnyianmukari”. While on a Safari in Uganda, tourists can see the still-existing Umubwindi swamp.
Though a sad story, fortunately today, after many years, we have the resource-rich Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that tells an endearing story. It is a spring of life with species of all kinds flowing through its veins. The forest is one of Africa’s oldest but most naturally diversified forest including at least 160 species of trees and over 100 species of ferns. The park also has an incredible 120 species mammalian species including the sporadically seen African golden cat, and forest elephants.
For birders, the park’s area is an ideal playing ground. Twisting and turning your binoculars to the left, and then to the right should enable you to see as many of the 360 species of birds available in the different ecosystems of this UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts Uganda Safari visits. Also to see are the 220 butterfly species.
Bwindi is more popular for her fine number of Mountain Gorillas, 400 of the world’s total 880 Mountain Gorillas. This is perhaps the chief reason tourists ought not to look elsewhere but to Uganda for a prime Gorilla Trekking Safari.
The magic in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has for long wowed the people of Uganda, but even more, tourists who have visited this park. This magic still exists and more unveils its self every other day. Little can we say about Bwindi’s magic, but a lot more we can expect to be unveiled!