Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a thick natural forest situated in the mountainous area of south western Corner of Uganda. This natural forest is a hub for various naturally living creatures and at one time, humans ( Batwa pygmies) were part of its inhabitants. Apart from the Mountain Gorillas, this forest is a habitat to an array of birds especially the albertine endemics, like chimpanzees that co exist with the gorillas, L’hoest, Grey checked mangabey, black and white colobus monkeys, antelopes to mention but a few. For botanists, Bwindi Forest National park is the best destination to identify various natural plants specially the rare survivors of the prehistoric period. Several travellers think that gorilla trekking is the only activity that they can take park in but when they get to Bwindi national park, they discover it is more than just gorillas.
Guided Nkuringo Walk
This challenging guided walk is taken from Buhoma to Nkuringo and vice versa. Together with your guide and porter, you take a walk through the thick Bwindi Forest enjoying the scenic views along the way. Some of these include natural tall trees, water fall, monkeys, birds and others. This walk is about 4 to 5 hours. On the way, you bypass locals cultivating their gardens and if it is harvesting time, you may get the chance of seeing how African harvest.
Day Virunga hike
Alternatively, after gorilla trekking in Nkuringo side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the following day, you may head for a day hike to Mt Muhavura (1200m high), Mt Gahinga (3400m) and Mt Sabinyo (3600m). When you hike either of these mountains, you get the chance of standing in Uganda, Rwanda or DR. Congo at one point. Enjoy the scenic view of the surrounding mountains and craters.
Bwindi Walking Trails
To diversify activities done within this park, Uganda wildlife Authority has made clearer natural and forest trails but all developed them with the background of sustainability. Using these demarcated trails you go through the forest to see birds, animals, rivers, plants, rocks, waterfalls all placed in different spots in the forest. You will learn to appreciate nature and take pictures of these magnificent sceneries. One of the starting points of this walk is at Buhoma UWA (Uganda wildlife Authority quarters. As you carry on with the trek in case it is your lucky day, you may get the chance of meeting Mountain gorillas and spend some more precious time viewing them other than one hour that you use during the usual gorilla trekking safaris.
This trail takes you through the scenic side of Bwindi Impenetrable National giving you the chance of seeing the virunga volcanoes, birds especially the albertine endemic, Western Rift Valley hundreds of pre historic tree ferns. When you get to the top of this trail, stand and view the surrounding as you enjoy a picnic lunch. The hike goes through 6 km trail.
Rushura Hill Walk: This picturesque trail gives you the chance of seeing Lake Edward, George and Rwenzori mountains when you get to the pivot. This 3 hours nature walk on a clear day gives you the opportunity enjoying the view of the virunga volcanoes.
The Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail: From the starting point, this walks last about 3 to 4 hours but never will you get bored. This is like the link between two villages so you have a chance of meeting local people carrying on with there day to day activities on the way. On this trail, you get an extraordinary view of the cloudy hillsides as you hike the hills towards Nkuringo. You are advised to leave your baggage with the driver because he will drive and get to you on the other side of the hill.
The Ivi River Walk:
This trail goes through Mukempunu (the place of pigs) where wild pigs are commonly seen. This trail is about 14km for about 7 hours. Though it is the longest trail, it is the birder’s haven as you go through Buhoma Village view the Bakiga and Batwa people carrying on with gardening, brewing local beer, dispensing traditional to mention but few.
The Habinyanja trail
For about 4-6hrs, you go through this trail crossing the river Munyaga. Although it is a steep trail, it is scenic as you by pass Habigorogoro and Riyovi Ridges. Enjoy the view of River Buhoma situated on the valley of the ridge. More to this is the beautiful and mythical African Corner which resembles the structure of the African Map. The trail also leads you to the scenic Habinyanja swamp where a number of birds find a home.
Brief Summary of Bwindi forest National Park
This forest has a size of 321 km elevated on 1190m to 2607 m above sea level. Bwindi forest is normally cold and the temperatures drop as the weather conditions change annually at a range of 7c degree and -20c degrees. This forest has been opened for tourism since 1991 when the conservation program was started. During this project, the immemorial occupants the pygmies where left homeless as the forest was their sole provider.