Visit Uganda has got almost 90% of global tourist who choose to go southwestern Uganda in the remote impenetrable forest of Bwindi but very few spend more than 2 nights. The famous mountain gorilla seem to be the sole pull factor to everyone who visit the impenetrable forest but have you sought of spending some more time to explore the impenetrable rain forest of Bwindi and enjoy her undisturbed cool breath taking adventures? Probably not. Don’t worry probably you are not alone and this could be due to various reasons ranging from limited time on your visit schedule, and yes you may not be aware of the many exciting activities that the impenetrable forest has to offer.
Below is a shortlist of exciting safari activities that will leave you yawing for more time and yes you will appreciate the effort of nature conservation when you visit Uganda. Take a look.
- The famous mountain gorilla tracking. In the whole world, only 3 countries habit the endangered mountain gorilla species and that is Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Out of the 3 countries, Uganda prides herself with over half of the world’s mountain gorilla Gorilla beringei beringei) population. The mountain gorilla tracking permit varies from one country to another like in Uganda, the permit costs USD 700. For Rwanda the permit is USD 1500 and Democratic Republic of Congo the permit is USD 450. The activity allows the visitor to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas irrespective of the time spend to track them. There are 4 tracking sectors in Bwindi impenetrable forest and according to your route you choose which sector best works for you. A visit to Uganda can track in Buhoma sector (North), Ruhija sector in East, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector in south. Also the level of your physique can determine where to track as the Southern sectors of Rushaga and Nkuringo are considered to be with challenging but incredible hikes compared to Buhoma and Ruhija. According to the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities in Uganda and the Greater Virunga Trans boundary Collaboration reveal that the number of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in the 340-square kilometer trans boundary protected forest have increased to 459 from an estimated 400 in 2011. This announcement brings the global wild population of mountain gorillas to 1,063 when combined with the published results from the Virunga Massif 2015/2016 survey. Bwindi – Sarambwe is one of the two places on earth where mountain gorillas can still be found. Much appreciation to the International Gorilla Conservation Programmed (IGCP) for the great conservation efforts that have brought up this massive increase in the population of mountain gorillas. As a result, the international Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has reclassified mountain gorillas from Critically endangered species to Endangered species. For more information regarding mountain gorilla fact files, follow this link https://africanfinfootsafaris.com/quick-mountain-gorilla-facts
- Mountain gorilla habituation. This is yet an exciting encounter with the mountain gorillas. The habituation is meant to introduce mountain gorillas get used to human visits and its only done to the “wild” gorillas who are not used to humans. Guests spend the whole day in the forest following the gorilla family and afterwards spend 4 beautiful and memorable hours with the family. Unlike the mountain gorilla tracking, for habituation, guests have to wake up so early for briefing and hit the impenetrable forest before the mountain gorilla wake up from their nests. The time taken to habituate a mountain gorilla family can range between 2-3 years. Please note that through habituation, it does not mean that the mountain gorillas are domesticated but rather remain wild and can be dangerous if disturbed. Mountain Gorilla habituation only takes place in Rushaga the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest and a permit is USD 1500. A visit to Uganda especially to Bwindi can give you that amazing adventure.
- Birding experience. Besides mountain gorilla safaris, the impenetrable forest of Bwindi is very famous for many ornithologists and avian lovers. It’s a home to 90% of the Albertine endemics with a total of 350 bird species recorded out of which 23 bird species are endemics in the forest such as the Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as seven IUCN red data listed species. Easy to trace are the African Emerald Cuckoo, Common Bulbul, African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers and Red-headed Bluebill. Most famous and rich trails while birding include the mubwindi swamp in Ruhija area of Eastern Bwindi, the bamboo zone and the main trail along the main trail, Buhoma waterfall. A birding trip is not complete without Bwindi, check the options in this link https://africanfinfootsafaris.com/8-day-ugandas-birding-paradise-bird-watching-safari otherwise a combination of mountain gorilla tracking and birding experience will give you more than what you desired for you safari when you visit Uganda.
- Guided forest walks through Bwindi impenetrable. How would you feel to conquer the impenetrable rain forest on foot? Truly exciting. The guided forest walk will showcase more than you expect ranging from thrilling waterfalls, beautiful bird species, stunning butterflies along the trail, spectacular views of virunga mountains and guess what if you’re lucky you can encounter mountain gorillas ranging freely in the trails. Check out the famous 6 forest trails that you can choose from while on your Bwindi expedition by clicking on this link
- Community / cultural experience. Before Bwindi impenetrable forest was gazzated as a protected area in 1992, it was a home for Batwa community and mountain gorillas. Batwa people were naturally fruit gatherers and hunters of different antelopes and most interestingly they considered themselves to be relatives with mountain gorillas and never was there any conflict between the two. They lived in harmony with each other. As the conservation efforts increased, the Batwa pygmies were driven out of the forest and given land for cultivation on the outskirts. Visitors can experience the life of Batwa pygmies in any of the 4 Bwindi sectors of Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo based on the location you are on. However, Buniga forest in the southern sector of Nkuringo is so outstanding in terms of authenticity.
- Guided nature walks along the forest. There are still pocket forests that can complement your gorilla adventure in Bwindi. Nombe and buniga pocket forest in southern Bwindi in Nkuringo are good areas for birding, cultural tours and nature walks. Blacksmithing, traditional healer’s experience, Batwa cultural experience are some of the activities that can provide great company.
- Mountain biking in Bwindi. Among the many activities that you can do after mountain gorilla tracking is the mountain biking along the designated trails. Ride for a woman is a private organization where you can hire a mountain bike otherwise we can arrange the activities and you just enjoy the experience.
- Canoe ride on Lake Mutanda. For guests connecting or coming from Kisoro / Rwanda, you can undertake a dugout canoe to cross the famous lake Mutanda and join either to Nkuringo or Rushaga. A combination of nature walks through Nombe pocket forest to Nkuringo side is so ideal and provided more than just hike but a total adventure. Spectacular views of Virunga mountain chain as you cruise through Lake Mutanda and so many water birds along.
A safari to The Pearl of Africa is incomplete without a walking safari. Its more than fan to explore nature and communities while on foot. Get firsthand information about Uganda’s wildlife, people and culture plus nature. Visit Uganda and let the adventure start!