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Hiking the Trails in Bwindi

Hiking in Bwindi forest has become a popular with visitors to Uganda and to Bwindi impenetrable forest. This ancient rain forest is a perfect place for the hikers, birders and nature lovers. You can extend your time beyond gorilla trekking penetrating Bwindi Impenetrable forest on one of its many trails, or take one of the two trails that take you from one end of the park to the other. One of the best way to discover Uganda, Bwindi forest is by hitting the hiking trails and nature walks that are there.

Some of these have been used by local people for hundreds of years, others for many like the people of the forest- The Batwa pygmy people who left a low ecological footprint behind them. Bwindi forest is mainly known for mountain gorillas but there is more here and the visitors are discovering the hikes and nature walks, rails that cross this ancient forest that is also known as the number one birding site in all of Africa. The trails in bwindi for hiking and nature walks are easy to moderate while others are difficult and more of a challenge.

Apart from the mountain gorilla, Bwindi impenetrable national park is home to 120 species of mammals including; primates like the gorillas , chimpanzees, black and while colobus, Vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, baboons, nocturnal, L hoest monkeys, antelopes, like the bush pigs, duikers, Giant forest Hogs, and the small cats. There are over 348 species of birds including African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing. Other birds include the Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee eaters, Green Tinker bird, Mountain and Yellow –streaked Green buls, Mountain Masked and Chestnut –throated Apalises, Red faced Woodland Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Batis and White tailed fly-catcher among others.  , 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos – many of which you will see on your Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hike.

The hike through Bwindi impenetrable forest can be one day or the longer hike from the north of Bwindi to the south called Nkuringo. There one have an overnight and proceed the next day down to the scenic lake Mutunda where you paddle across in a wooden dugout and continue to the town to Kisoro. The hike from north to South to Bwindi forest or reserved is a most rewarding one or two days for those that take the challenge.

The difficulty level of the trail is medium and is from 5 to 8 hours in duration. There are two variations both described below, the Ivy river trail being one and Kashasha river trail being the other. Hiking through Bwindi is one day hike or two day hike and dugout canoe trip across Lake Mutanda adds to the adventure, one can track gorilla at both ends of the park in Buhoma and Nkuringo.

The Munyanga River Trail;

This guided trail will take you along the scenic Bizenga Creek that joins the Munyanga River, you will start out at Buhoma and end up there. This is an excellent trail that birders will find most rewarding with great birding guide at your side you will not miss too many of these unique and the endemic species of birds in Bwindi forest. It takes ½ hours in length and it’s easy and is located in Buhoma Area. It’s an easy hike and brings much with it in terms of what you see with in the forest.

The water fall trail’

Get to explore the mysteries of Bwindi, its plants, trees, see its butterflies, birds to the area on this trail. This trail is so amazing due to what you meet on your way. It’s a guided trail and one of the most popular ones, birds, butterflies, monkeys, the scenic beauty of the forest, the guide will point  out the things to you that you might not or miss and this will plan an enriching part of your time at Bwindi forest in the Buhoma region of the park. The trail was supposed to be a road that leads to the town of Kisoro when gorillas and conservation were not in the minds of the politicians. Its difficulty level is moderate and it’s located in Buhoma. You will as well meet many local residents and it’s a famous hike that visitors enjoy.

The Muzabajiro Loop Trail:

This is a trail with a view as you ascend through the forest to the Rukubira Hill and are rewarded with great views of the Virunga volcano chain in Bwindi impenetrable national forest and the western Rift valley below. It’s also another rewarding hike in the Buhoma area of Bwindi impenetrable forest. Note that some of the trails in Buhoma Area can be done on a mountain Bike that you can rent from Ride for a women self-help group. The best time of the year to view is during the rainy season since the area below is cleared of the smoke from villages that might unclear the view.

 The Rushura Hill Trail:

This is the highest mountain in Buhoma Area of Bwindi. It’s starting point is just near the Buhoma park office and goes through the terraced fields and forests along the trail that are scenic view points and once you are on top, you have great views across the western rift valley, the virunga volcanoes and Bwindi forest. This is the most scenic hike and it takes you to the top of a mountain from where you will have fabulous views of the nearby areas. It takes 3 to 4 hours in length and the difficulty level is strenuous located in Buhoma.

Ivy River Trail;

The trail follows an old road through the forest and takes a full day hike with an elevation gain and the most fabulous experience, we have had many clients that have taken this trail after having tracked gorillas at Buhoma and then after reaching Nkuringo. The trail is so scenic and you get to enjoy the view points along the way, monkeys, bush pigs, birds, butterflies, and the local people coming from the market. This trail can also be taken from Nkuringo to Buhoma. The best is to start from Buhoma and hike to Nkuringo stay for an overnight, track the gorillas the next day and the following day proceed to Lake Mutanda and the town of Kisoro. It takes 6 ½ to 7 ½ hours in length and its difficulty levels are moderate and starting the hike is either in Buhoma or Nkuringo.

The Kashasha River trail;

The trail is 4 to 5 hours in length and once you see the ancient rainforest up close, the trail involves steeper inclines most especially if you take the Buhoma to Nkuringo route. Its 600m up at the end of the trail and the guides will point out the wildlife as well as the birds, flowers, plants, trees and the ferns. The trail has got stunning views and to go from Buhoma to Nkuringo takes 7 hours and it’s much shorter taking the Kashasha river trail. Its 5 to 5 hours in length and its difficulty level is moderate. It’s more scenic starting from Buhoma and ending in Nkuringo.

Bamboo trail:

The hikes in this part of Bwindi are at 2607 meters. The plants and vegetation areas will continuously change including the bamboo forest until you arrive the afro montane vegetation. Grass and forest birds along the way up to the highest point in the park- the Rwamunyonyi hill at 2607metres. The view here is so beautiful since it includes viewing Lake Bunyonyi, Mafuga forest reserve, Bwindi forest, and the Virunga volcanoes. When doing the hike, it’s better to start from Ruhija. Its difficulty level is strenuous.

The Mubwindi swamp Trail;

The Mubwindi swamp trail moves along a path with in the forest descending through the rain forest with the scenic view points along the way of green valleys and the Virunga volcano chain. You will see forest elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, bush bucks, monkeys and bush pigs since they all live in that part of Bwindi rain forest. The hike needs special authorization from the Uganda Wildlife Authority staff in Bwindi impenetrable forest. This trail is a must do for the birders and a knowledgeable guide will be by your side. Before gorilla tracking is done in Ruhija area of the park, it takes 4 to 5 hours and its difficulty level is moderate.

Hiking and Nature walks in Bwindi forest take some preparation, wearing the right clothes, boots as well as shoes. Preparation will make it more rewarding for you. We can help you with any questions and would love to help in creating an itinerary that not only includes gorilla tracking, but also other activities. Hiking in Uganda is different from what you know and the hikes are in the forest, the altitude is higher and in most cases, it’s not hot due to the elevation of the park.

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Customer Reviews

Ngoni Safaris Uganda

Customer Reviews

Justo Nov 18, 2019

Safaribookings
I went on an 11 day safari visiting Kampala, Jinja, Lake Mburo NP, Bwindi NP, Queen Elizabeth NP and Kibale NP. Communications with Ngoni were prompt and easy from the start. As soon as I made my booking, Sedrick contacted me through WhatsApp and guided me through the rest of the process. Leading up to the tour he made sure I was well-prepared to begin. He was always very clear and friendly. Service was exceptional. I had the pleasure of going on this safari with three members of Ngoni's staff - Sedrick, Nelson and Joel. These guys made my comfort their priority from the moment we met. Whether it was checking if I was okay with the accommodations or making sure I always had a bottle of water, I always felt like I was being well taken care of. Nelson is an excellent guide. His knowledge about the flora and fauna of Uganda was extensive, always able to answer any questions I had and was eager to teach - it's obvious that he has a great love for his country and it's environment and is eager to share this love with his clients. My experience with Ngoni and Uganda surpassed all expectations I had. Absolutely amazing, and thanks to the guys at Ngoni it feels like a new home - can't wait to come back and visit. Webale, brothers!

Stephany Aug 13, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Sedrick was unique and stood out from the rest in the high quality communication he provided since the first inquiry. He called me to provide information about the itinerary and see if I had any questions even before booking the tour. We communicated through WhatsApp for any other questions that came to mind after that call. After picking me up from the airport, he and Pilot (additional tour guide) provided plenty of information about the country to give me some context and we started our long drive to the impenetrable forest. The food was delicious with many options; the accommodation was very clean with exceptional service; and the transportation from Entebbe to Bwindi park was very comfortable (although long). As a solo female traveler, both tour guides (Sedrick and Pilot) did an exceptional job at enduring I accomplished everything intended to in Uganda, and always made me feel safe. I highly recommend to book your safari with this company because the quality and professionalism will not let you down.

Shakira Dec 14, 2018

Ngoni safaris uganda is the best tour operator in Uganda. A few weeks back we traveled to Bwindi impenetrable with sedrick to explore the beauty that is Uganda. This company took care of us . with most comfortable car , Great guide .We highly recommend it to the next travelers

Winnie Dec 19, 2018

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
I was going on a gorilla safari with my friend and this was going to be the first ever safari for the both of us. Luckily, the communication with the office was super easy and we got answers to all of the questions we needed. The driver / guide (Sedrick) was very professional and funny and made our time very pleasant. Also, he had a proper knowledge of the local area close to the Mgahinga national park and he promptly spoke some 7 languages which we thought was super positive. The safari was surely the highlight of out East African trip!

Ritah Jan 2, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
My Team and I did a five day trip, including Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Murchison Falls and Kidepo. It was truly an incredible experience. Our guide, Sedrick, was knowledgeable, skilled in driving in some challenging settings and just plain fun to hang out with for five days. The lodging was perfect, especially Savannah Lodge. The tents and beds were high quality. The views were spectacular. Meals were delicious and varied. I recommend Ngoni safaris Uganda with all my heart and soul!

Pilot May 28, 2019

https://www.safaribookings.com/operator/t17733
Our six days trip was amazing. The driver/guide had an incredible knowledge of animal and bird-life and are so interesting to talk to. His driving skills through lashing rain and massive puddles was admirable! The cooks managed to produce varied and delicious meals from the kitchen, which we ate both at accommodation or roadside when we were travelling from one place to another . At all times we felt safe and well-looked after. All in all, an incredible experience, due not only to the abundance of wildlife we were lucky enough to see, but also to the great efforts put to have our Safari a better one . The safari was full of fun. Traveling with ngoni safaris is my life time memorable experience and I highly recommend it to travellers who would love to visit uganda or EastAfrica for holidays, vacations or Adventure.. Even five stars are too small .