Size: 321 sq.kms
Elevation: 1190 – 2607m above level
Bird species recorded: 357 species
Habitat: Medium-altitude (moist evergreen) forest, montane forest with patches of bamboo (Arundinaria) and montane marshes.
Bwindi Impenetrable Conservation Area lies in the rugged Kigezi highlands of South Western Uganda, protecting a continuum of forest that ranges from montane to low land areas. It is this altitudinal variation, combined with its location within the Albertine Rift that results in Bwindi impenetrable being the richest forest in East Africa in terms of its trees, butterflies and birds. Bwindi is a home to about 400 Gorillas, which is half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas.
Bwindi is a bird watchers’ haven, it holds 347 species of birds. The forest has 10 of the 26 globally threatened species in Uganda, five of which are vulnerable. Bwindi has 23 of the locally habituated Albertine Rift endemic species in the country and some, such as African Green Broadbill, Chapin’s Flycatcher and Shelley’s Crimsonwing have limited distributions elsewhere in their range.
Bwindi has 76 of 144 Guinea -Congo forest biome species that occur in Uganda, recorded especially in the Northern sector. The site also qualifies for Afro tropical highland biome species with 68 of 86, and for the Lake Victoria biome with 4 of 12 species.
The park is blessed with 90% of all Albertine Rift endemics, difficult or impossible to see in any other part of East Africa and seven IUCN red data listed species. An experienced birder watcher can identify over 100 species in a day.
Ruhiija is likely to be one of the highlights of any birding safari to Uganda with excellent birding in spectacular surroundings. Birds are both plentiful and easy to see; many species associating in mixed feeding flocks that are active throughout the day. An early start offers the best chance of finding the striking Handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Western Green Tinkerbird, Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Mountain Masked and Chestnut-throated Apalises, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Rwenzori Batis, White-tailed Crested Flycatcher and many more.