Bwindi Forest

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Bwindi Forest

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to a population of somewhat 340 Mountain Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei); roughly half of the remaining estimated 720 Mountain Gorilla in the world. Bwindi is the only forest in Africa to have Chimpanzees and Mountain Gorillas co-existing.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a large primeval forest located in southwestern Uganda, in the Kanungu District on the edge of the Albertine Rift, the western branch of the East African Rift, at altitudes spanning from 1,160 to 2,607 meters.

The name 'Bwindi' is derived from a word from the Runyakitara language, and itself actually means 'impenetrable'.

It earns this name from the extensive stands of bamboo interspersed amongst the larger forest hardwoods, and which, along with thick ground cover of ferns, vines and other plant growth, severely hinder direct access on foot. Also known as the 'Place of Darkness', the forest lies on the edge of the western arm of the Great Rift Valley, only a few kilometers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo border, and about 25 kilometers north of the Virunga Volcanoes.

The forest is one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth, where half the world's population of the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas live in its jungles. The forest has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site for its biological significance.

The Impenetrable Forest has been described as "(R)iven by disputes and crosshatched by historical, political, and biological borders," by researcher Craig Stanford, co-director of the park's Jane Goodall Research Center. In 1991, BINP was established as a national park adjacent to the strife-torn Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo border region.

One requires to be realistically physically fit to take part in this mountain gorilla tracking / trekking adventure because it may involve climbing the steep terrain.