History of bwindi impenetrable national park
History of bwindi impenetrable national park: Bwindi impenetrable national park is a fascination tourist destination found in the south western region of Uganda, this park is situated on the edge of Albertine rift along Uganda-democratic republic of Congo border. Bwindi impenetrable national park is covers an area of 321 square kilometers which is dominated by both montane and lowland forest.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a home to 120 mammal species, 348 bird species, 220 species of butterflies, 27 frog species and over 1000 plant species.
Everything with no history become boring and less interesting, the most fascinating thing about Bwindi impenetrable national park is that it also features a historic legend which the park derives its name. The name Bwindi is a local phrase “mubwindi bwa nynamuraki” which is originally refers to mubwindi swamp which is found in the south east of the park than the forest.
Bwindi the name of the park originates back in a century ago, there was a family which was migrating from Kisoro, the family found themselves lost in southern ending of the seeming impenetrable swamp. To find the way the parents asked guidance from the swamp spirits. For guidance the family was told to offer their most beautiful daughter nyinamuraki as sacrifice to the spirits, after two days of trying to find and comprehending the demands of the spirit they decided to honor them as a way of find the way. They threw the girl into the water to drown and they safely crossed to the other side.
When the news of sacrifice spread to the nearby communities, people began avoiding the swamp calling it mubwindi bwa nyinamuraki (the dark place of nyinamuraki)
The land /forests occupied by Bwindi impenetrable national park was occupied by the ancient batwa group of people, the batwa hunter/gatherers used to habit in the thick forests of Bwindi and they depended on hunting and fruit gathering as a way of life. During the colonial time when Uganda was a British protectorate and under their administration it was discovered that the forests was habiting a great ecological system and there was need to preserve it from destruction. Among the ecological system in the area was the montane and lowland forest and the endangered mountain gorillas which were greatly decreasing in number due to hunting.
In 1932 the forest was designated as a crown forest reserve, the newly established forest reserve covering an area of 207 square kilometers consisted of two blocks that is the northern block and southern block. The northern block was called kayonza crown forest reserve and the southern block was called kasatora crown forest. Later in 1942 the two reserves (kayonza and kasatora crown forest) were combined together and their boundaries were also extended to stretch around an area of 298 square kilometers, the combined reserves were now one entity and they were renamed the impenetrable central crown forest and it was put under the control of joint authority consisting of the Ugandan government’s game and forest departments.
Again the reserve’s status was changed, with the intention of providing ultimate protection and safety to mountain gorillas whose population was declining by the then. The reserve was designated as an animal sanctuary in 1964 and renamed to impenetrable central forest reserve, in 1966 the two forest reserve were also declared as part of the main reserve thus increasing its area to approximately 321 square kilometres.
In 1991 Bwindi impenetrable national park was born into existence by designating the impenetrable central forest reserve, mgahinga gorilla reserve and Rwenzori mountain reserve as a national park, the newly created Bwindi impenetrable national park covered an area of 330.8 square kilometres. Declaring of Bwindi national park greatly affected the batwa pygmy people from that the lives have never been the same, the batwa hunter-gatherers were forcefully evicted from the forest to the neighboring communities. The third part of the eviction is that they were not compensated and up today they still live in poor conditions on the outskirts of the park as they lost most of their resources and belonging when they left the Bwindi forests. The forest was their life but unfortunately they cannot access it now since it is a protected area.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is a famous home for mountain gorillas, these mountain gorilla live in families and because of that they were easy to be identified. These gorilla were put under habituated process so as to make them get comfortable and used to human presence and in April 1993 these gorilla were open for trekking and Bwindi impenetrable national park become a popular tourist destination. From that year Bwindi impenetrable national park still offers the great mountain gorilla trekking experience in the world and also habits the largest mountain gorilla population in the world. Bwindi impenetrable national park and its beautiful forest was put under the management of Uganda wildlife Authority, in 1994 10 square kilometer of the park was added to the park and declared a world heritage site thus inscribing it on to world heritage list. In 2003 a piece of land of 4.2 square kilometres was added to Bwindi impenetrable national park
Tragic incidents which took place in Bwindi impenetrable national park
Bwindi massacre is still most devastating misfortune to happen to Bwindi impenetrable national park, Bwindi massacre took place on 1st March 1999 following infiltration of the park by former Rwandan interahamwe guerrillas crossing from democratic republic of Congo. This force of about 100-150 individuals disrupted what was meant to be an amazing Bwindi forest gorilla trekking safari turning it into blooding shading and terrifying moment.
These rebels kidnapped 14 foreign tourist together with their Ugandan guide, the kidnapped tourists were tortured, stripped off their belongings, realizing 6 of them and killing 8. According to testimonies from the kidnapped a Uganda guide was set ablaze using gasoline which was a terrifying incident, the interahamwe rebels intended using this attack to destabilize Uganda.
Currently Bwindi impenetrable national park is the most stable national park with tight security giving no room for reoccurring of the same incident.
Things to do in Bwindi impenetrable national park
- Bwindi impenetrable national park offers breathtaking and exciting tourist activities such as
- Mountain gorilla trekking
- Batwa cultural experience
Bwindi impenetrable national park is not only fascinating and beautiful history but also in the sense of attraction majorly the beautiful mountain gorillas. All these attractions are encountered upon your visit to the park so you should book your safari into this impressive park.