Nearly half the planet’s remaining mountain gorillas live within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. It’s one of only three places in the world where travelers can see this critically endangered animals in the wild. Located in Southwestern Uganda, Bwindi covers 124 square miles (320 square kilometers) of plains and mountain forest famous for its biodiversity. Besides the iconic gentle giants, some 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds and 202 species of butterflies live amid the 200 tree and 100 fern species.
While the park is a birdwatcher’s paradise (sighting 150 species in a single day isn’t uncommon) and has more mammal species than any of Uganda’s other national parks, visitors come to this UNESCO World Heritage site to track mountain gorillas. Each morning, trekkers head out into the forest in search of one of about a dozen gorilla families (between 300 and 400 individuals).
The best time to track gorillas is during the dry months from December to March and June to September, but permits are easier to get ahold of during rainier months.