History of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park – Uganda safari Destination
History of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park : Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park a home of critically endangered mountain gorillas, declared as a national park to protect a diversity of species within it, mostly the great mountain gorillas. However, it was gazette as a national park in 1991 and in 1994 was listed as a UNESCO World heritage site because of its ecological system. The park become famously known to the world because of Gorilla trekking. More so, Bwindi Impenetrable forest harbors half the remaining world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas, currently there are 600 individuals of the worlds’ total of 1064 mountain gorillas. Though they are highly endangered by poaching, habitat loss and diseases
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park was set up in 1942 before it was later gazette as a national park in a year 1992, then later was turned into a game sanctuary in order to save the mountain gorillas.
In 1991- Impenetrable central forest reserve along with the Mgahinga Gorilla Reserve, Rwenzori Mountain Reserve were gazette as a national park. From then, it was named as Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to protect the unique apes on an area covering 331 square kilometers.
The general reclassification of the park has impacted a lot on the Batwa pygmy people’s lives, who used to stay in peace and harmony with the mountain gorillas and they have come friendly to each other. Now, the area become a gazette habitat for wildlife most especially the mountain gorillas.
The official opening of Gorilla trekking experience within the park it was April 1993 and it never took long for the park to become popular tourist destination worldwide. In 1994, around 10 square kilometers ‘’3.9square meter ‘’ was incorporated into the national park.
In 1993 after one year, the existence of the mountain gorillas increased in the park and this forced the Uganda management, the Uganda National Parks later turn into ‘’UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority and decided to buy a piece of land from the Batwa pygmy known as ‘’the first keepers of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that stretched a further 4 square kilometers and was incorporated to the park.
In 1994, Bwindi it was described on the list of World Heritage site. Since then, the park’s management changed totally; They renamed it Uganda Wildlife Authority is the one responsible for the Uganda’s national park. In 2003, there was a piece of land next to the park with an area measuring 4.2 square kilometers was purchased and incorporated to the park’s land.
In early 1999- there are a massacre within the park when a force of 100 and more former Rwanda interahamwe guerrilla infiltrated a cross the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo and they ended up kidnapping 14 foreign tourists and their Ugandan guide from the headquarters. Eventually ,6 of them were released and the remaining 8 didn’t survive with machetes and clubs. To many of the victims were reportedly tortured and one of the female victim was raped and the Ugandan guide lit on fire. The intention of the interahamwe attack was reportedly to frighten away tourists traffic from the park, by depriving the Ugandan government of vital income. In the same year ,the park was forced to close for several months to first solve the incidence that occurred and this lead to the popularity of the gorilla tours into challenge for several years, though the government has provided the armed guard UPDF to provide protection to both tourists and the park.
Today Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park is Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests that dates back over 25,000 years and harbors about 400 plant species.
The park is surrounded with the locals called Mubwindi bwa nyinamuraki. The forest has a swamp in the southern sector which seems to be impenetrable because of the thick vegetation. It also has many stunning water trails best for birding.
According to the East Africa’s ancient habitat and one of the East Africa’s most famous national parks Bwindi is among them some have been dating over 250,000 years back. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest contains variety of species; Over 120 mammals though exploring them, is bit challenging because of the dense forest but the luck day of gorilla trekking or nature walking you can see them ,11 primate species like Chimpanzees, L’hoest’s monkeys, African golden cat and the rare giant forest hog.
Lastly, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda region on the edge of the Rift Valley. Before getting as a gazette national park, two blocks of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest were designated as Crown Forest Reserves in 1932 and stretched on an area of about 298square kilometers but as we talk Bwindi is approximately 331 square kilometers of its land. Now has become the top visited safari destination on Uganda Safaris because of the tight security around the park and above all the great mountain gorilla that acts as a tourist attraction to millions of people across the world, who come to encounter them face to face in their nature habitant.