UNDERSTANDING BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi Impenetrable National park is located in south western Uganda and is divided into four regions. Buhoma region in the North, Ruhija region in the east, Rushaga and Nkuringo in the south. Each region has given habituated gorillas families for gorilla tracking. If you are to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, then you need to mind about a specific region where you are going as this will affect the Lodge to be booked, gorilla permit as well as your transport.
Spread over a series of steep ridges and valleys, Bwindi is the source of five major rivers, which flow into Lake Edward.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
Bwindi is a home to atleast 200 butterfly species including the eight albertine rift endemics.Also a home to many reptiles.
The neighboring towns of Buhoma and Nkuringo both have an impressive array of luxury lodges, rustic bandas, and budget campsites, as well as restaurants, craft stalls, and guiding services. Opportunities abound to discover the local Bakiga and Batwa Pygmy cultures through performances, workshops, and village walks.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park remains in overall good and relatively stable condition as the site remains of critical importance to the conservation of a number of species and ecosystems. This has been possible due to intensive conservation efforts on behalf of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and other partners.
The population of mountain gorillas has increased slightly in number in recent years, and although there is a relative lack of data on other species richness and ecosystem function values, these would appear to be good and stable. Gaining a greater understanding of these aspects of the site could help inform overall management. Threats to the site are generally moderate and localized. However, as a relatively small, ecologically isolated island of Afromontane forest in one of the most densely populated parts of Africa, Bwindi faces enormous pressure from surrounding communities, which have traditionally used the forest’s resources but are now prevented from doing so.
Understanding Bwindi Impenetrable national park and its Conflict over resource access rights remains an issue. Achievements have been made in improving park-community relations, but there needs to be better understanding of linkages between national park conservation and poverty alleviation and of the interventions that can address both issues, including greater equity and transparency in sharing the benefits of conservation both financially and in terms of human/social capital.
The impacts of COVID-19 on funding of projects to achieve these goals is uncertain but will likely have negative impacts given the contribution of tourism to the revenue of the site. The issue of human wildlife conflict as a result of crop raiding animals still remains an issue of concern for park management, however a dedicated team now works on managing these conflicts but there is no reliable information to assess the efficacy of their efforts in this regard. Overall, whilst the values of the site remain in good condition, there are some concerns to address in the management of the site to ensure that the conservation of the sites values are sustainable.