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The Bwindi Massacre

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda and harbors more than half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas. The park was established in 1991 and it covers a total area of 331 sq. km

The Bwindi Massacre

The Bwindi Massacre- Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the southwestern part of Uganda and harbors more than half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas. The park was established in 1991 and it covers a total area of 331 sq. km under the management of the Uganda wildlife authority.

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is home to 120 mammal species, over 38 bird species, 300 tree species, 299 butterfly species, 104 species of ferns, and 27 species of frogs. The park is separated into four sectors where gorilla trekking can be done from and these are Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringi, and Rushaga.

The massacre

The Bwindi massacre happened in 1999 at Bwindi impenetrable forest national park by the army for the liberation of Rwanda, 8 tourists were raped and killed to death by Rwanda rebels. The gunmen were believed to have a militia of Hutu rebels that were part of the 1994 Rwanda genocide.

Four of the people were from Britain, two from Zealand, an American couple, and four employees of the park were also killed at the campsite. Out of the 31 attacked tourists that survived narrated that over 100 soldiers matched out of the bush with armed rifles, machetes, and spears.

The rebels marched out asking for Britain and American citizens in the crowd, the rebels rooted the buildings while setting some on fire and herded tourists to Abercrombie and Kent escarpment then forcefully took their belongings.

It is believed that the Hutu rebels were angered by the support given to the Tusti by the UK and US government hence seeking revenge while other people said that the rebels left notes on the eight dead tourists saying the massacre was revenge for American and British support of Uganda

The tourists were killed after being forced to match through the rain forest for a day barefooted.

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is now safe and is regarded as one of the safest places in Uganda. Below are some of the tourism activities you can do while in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Gorilla trekking

Gorilla trekking is one of the most done tourism activities in Africa and can only be done in Virunga national park DR Congo, volcanoes national park in Rwanda as well as Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest alone harbors more than a half of the remaining total population of mountain gorillas in the whole world and these can be trekked in 4 sectors of the park which in total have 20 habituated mountain gorilla families all open for tourism.

A silverback is an adult male gorilla, typically more than 12 years of age and named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on his back. A silverback gorilla has large canines that come with maturity. Blackbacks are sexually mature males of up to 11 years of age. Silverbacks are the strong, dominant troop leaders.

Each typically leads a troop of 5 to 30 gorillas and is the center of the troop’s attention, making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others to feeding sites and taking responsibility for the safety and well-being of the troop.

Males will slowly begin to leave their original troop when they are about 11 years old, travelling alone or with a group of other males for 2–5 years before being able to attract females to form a new group and start breeding. While infant gorillas normally stay with their mother for 3–4 years, silverbacks will care for weaned young orphans.

If challenged by a younger or even by an outsider male, a silverback will scream, beat his chest, break branches, bare his teeth, then charge forward. Sometimes a younger male in the group can take over leadership from an old male. If the leader is killed by disease, accident, fighting or poachers, the group will split up, as animals disperse to look for a new protective male. Very occasionally, a group might be taken over in its entirety by another male. There is a strong risk that the new male may kill the infants of the dead silverback.

Gorilla habituation

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park of Uganda is the only place where gorilla habituation is done and this takes place in the Rushaga sector of the park. Gorilla habituation involves joining scientists and researchers in the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence.  The activity is more fun than gorilla trekking and it takes you up to 4 hours with a maximum number of people being 4 compared to gorilla trekking where 8 people are allowed to trek and they spend only one hour with mountain gorillas.

Bird watching

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is home to 348 bird species so far recorded with 13 of these species being endemic to this area. Birds in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park include; Grauer’s rush warbler, western green tinker bird, handsome francolin, chest nut throated apalis, montane oriole, African green broadbill, white tailed crested fly catcher, fine banded woodpecker, western green tinker bird, short tailed warbler, regal sunbird, kivu ground thrush, montane oriole, yellow streaked green buls, shinning African blue, white-tailed blue fly, impressed African emerald, Shelley’s crimson wing, black bee eater and bar tailed trogon