BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATOINAL PARK

Overview

South west of Uganda lies the home of half the world’s remaining population of mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  The forest is an ancient antic dated far back to more than 25000 years in the ice age. The 331sqkm of tangled plant life draped over a combination of slippery steep montane and low land is only accessible on foot rendering it nowhere close to easy.

Bwindi was designated as a park in 1991 and named impenetrable due to its thick plant cover that makes it hard to pass through.  The ancient mist covered rainforest was in 1994 designated as a UNESCO world heritage site to protect the rich biodiversity in this forest most importantly the endangered mountain Gorillas and other species of global importance among which were chimps, and birds endemic to the Albertine rift prompting the African Bird Club naming it as the No. 1 birding spot in Africa.

At the edge of the Albertine rift valley, this pristine rain forest boasts of an impressive biodiversity of over 300 bird species including 23 Albertine rift endemics such as the African green broad bill and the cream banded swallow tail, 200 tree species, 310 butterflies, 55reptiles, 120 mammals of which are the popular endangered mountain Gorillas. Save for the Gorillas the impenetrable forest also shelters other interesting primates like the chimpanzees, baboon, monkeys, Forest elephants, dwarf and large forest antelopes among others.  Although the park has a number of activities, Gorilla trekking remains the most popular activity in the park and birding watching.

 How to get there

The park can be accessed by air through Kajansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport with a number of domestic carriers having routes to Kisoro and Kihihi airstrip. One can use scheduled or charter flight with Eagle air, Aero link Uganda, Ndege ya ju among others.

It can also be accessed by road from Kampala through queen Elizabeth National park’s southern sector where you may also encounter the tree climbing lions or Kampala via Kanungu to Buhoma which takes approximately 5 hours or Kampala via Ntungamo and Rukungiri to Buhoma approximately5 hours journey or Kampala via Ruhija to Buhoma approximately 6 hours journey and Kampala via Kabale to Nkuringo about 6 and 1/2hours journey.

Park Sectors

Due to the enormous size of the park, the park is divided into sectors for purposes of accessibility. The park is divided into four sectors that is to the south Eastern sector, south west, eastern and north Western sectors.

Buhoma

Located in the north west of the park, and facing the hilly forests of Bwindi, Buhoma is access to 3 Gorilla groups and a number of communities run Village walks where you can explore the culture and lifestyle of the local people. Birdwatcher may enjoy this side of the park as it enables you access some of the Albertine endemics. Other activities that can be carried out on this side of the park include mountain biking and nature walks.

Nkuringo

On the southern edge of the forest is Nkuringo officiated in 2004 as Bwindi’s second tracking trail head. Cultural walks to explore the lives and culture of the indigenous Bakiga people are available on this side of the park, as well as Nature walks along the ridge to road which provide superb views north. Towards the forested hills of Bwindi and south to the Virunga volcanoes.

Rushaga

Opened to tourism in 2009, Rushaga trail head lies southeast of the park.  The sector boasts of three groups (Nshongi, Mishaya and Kahungye) which can be tracked from this point. The trail descends into the depths of the forest directly to the south of the park. Furthermore, this area offers village walks, bird watching and a spectacular waterfall.

Ruhija

Residing on top of the hill on the eastern side, at 2,345m, Ruhija is home to the Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro Gorilla groups. It is also only one of the two areas where elephants stay yet also one of the highest trails.
a bamboo trail leads to Rwamunyonyi Peak; at 2,607m, for those who would like a nature walk and is very commendable for birds. The sector allows you descend to the Mubwindi swamp along which one could find the endemic and localized African Green Broadbill.

Gorilla Groups

Mubare

Located in the Buhoma north east of the park, Mubare family is the oldest habituated Gorilla family opened to visitors in 1993.  The family is named after the magnificent hills in which the family was first spotted. Mubare comprises of 8 member led by 1 silver back Kanyonyi who took over from Ruhondeza the original founder and head of this family who unfortunately died on 27th June 2012. The family was originally made of 18 members but was pulled down to five by another Gorilla family that took away most of its members.

Habinyanja

This group was first noted near a swamp in Bwindi Forest National park and was then named Habinyanja derived from a Rukiga word “Nyanja” meaning a place with water. The group was opened to visitors in 1997 but first visited in 1999 and is also located in the Buhoma sector of the park.

Mugurusi was the original leader of the group but later passed on of old age and the group was taken over by the two brothers Rwasingazi and Mwirima. However they also later split up peacefully due to their difference in nature. Rwasingazi remained the silver back of the group until he gave it up to Makara who now leads a family of 18 members with 2 silverbacks.

Rushegura

This group was born from Habinyanja, when the two brothers Mwirima and Mwirima peacefully acknowledged their differences. Rwasingazi is the original leader and founder of this group. It was named after the place where the groups split from in 2002.

The family of 19 with one silverback is by far the calmest Gorilla family and loves to travel.

Bitukura

This family was named after River Bitukura where it was first seen in 2007 June, and is found on the Ruhija sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park. The Bitukura family consists of 14 individuals of whom 4 are silverbacks but was originally made of 24 members when it was first opened to visitors in 2008. Many of the original members fell out of the group.

Ndahura the second youngest of the group is the lead silver back taking over from Karamiuzi who retired after 40 Years.

Oruzogo

Made of 23 individuals, led by Tebirikwata the dominant silver back Oruzogo is the second habituated gorilla group of the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Forest National Park.

Nkuringo

Nkuringo was named after the hill where this Gorilla Group was first seen. It means round hill in the local Rukiga language. The group was originally led by the older silver back Nkuringo who died in April 2008 and was replaced by his son Safari. Nkuringo has 19 members, 2 of which are silverbacks

This family often meandered out of the park and fed on the crops and plants of the local people posing a great danger to both themselves and the villagers. It was then decided to habituate them for tourism purposes as a way of protecting them and for the community to benefit. For that matter in 2004 the group was officially opened up to tourists.

Nshongi

In September 2009 a new gorilla group was opened to tourism in the Rushaga sector of the park. It was named after the river close to where it was first seen

Nshongi had an overwhelming number of 36 members which made it stand out. Better yet with four silverbacks and seven black backs living together happily with Nshongi (who is not among the eldest) as the leader. Unfortunately In 2010 the group split up living Nshongi with 26 individuals.

Mishaya

Formed from the breaking up of the Nshongi family, Mishaya consists of 12 members with 1 silverback. The Mishaya family is very kaotic and is known for starting up fights with other groups. It is located in the Rushaga sector of the park

Kahungye

Kahungye is one of the newest gorilla group with 13 members of whom 3 are silverbacks led by Gwigi which means Door. The family was opened up for tourism in October 2011. The family has however split in a short time giving birth to the Busingye family.

Bweza

Born from the Mishaya family Bweza was first opened up to visitors in December 2012 with 9 members 1 being the silverback. The group is found in the Rushaga sector of the park

Busingye

Made of 9 members with one silver back Busingye split from Kahungye in June 2012.  Busingye which means peace leads the group but is not anything like his name. He is known for picking fights with other groups and showing power.

Kyaguriro

Another research group consisting of 15 members two of whom are the silverbacks. The group was formerly led by old Zeus who died and is found in Ruhija.

 Activities

Given the rich biodiversity of Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park, there are a number of activities visitors to the park can take part in . From the Popular gorilla trekking to colorful birding trails, Nature walks that lead to other beautiful attractions like the waterfalls, a wide range of community walks and hikes as well as mountain biking.

Gorilla trekking

Although Bwindi is very rich in biodiversity, Gorilla trekking remains the most popular activity in the park. The thrill of encountering and consequently sharing eye contact with the gentle giants is humbling and well deserving for the efforts needed to hike through the hilly impenetrable forest.

The park is divided into 4sectors with different Gorilla groups that is to say: Ruhija, Rushaga, Buhoma and Nkuringo sector. With Rushaga having the highest number of Gorilla families (4). The park boast of 9 habituated Gorilla families and only 8 people are allowed to visit a family per day.

  • When to trek Gorillas

Gorillas are trekked all year round but are a bit tasking during the rainy season which is from March to May and October to November. The rest of the year is relatively dry with a light rains from December to February and June to August.

  • Price of the Permits

Permits are $600 per permit for the foreign non residents and $500 for foreign residents, 250000/- for the East African Citizens to be used only once. However there are available discounts during the low seasons that is to say May and November.

Prior booking of permits is advisable usually 3 months in advance.

  • A few tips to consider before and as you are with the Gorilla

If you have a cold or related infectious illness you cannot visit the gorilla as they are prone to human diseases.

Human waste should be buried 30cm (12″) deep.

Maximum number of visitors is eight people per gorilla group.

When you are with the gorillas, maintain a 7m (21ft) distance from the gorilla.

Smoking, eating and drinking are not permitted.

Children below 16 years of age are not allowed to trek, Visits are limited to one hour per.

  • The Gorilla Trek

Registration and briefing at the different park headquarters is essential right before you are led into the Forest in search with the Graceful Mountain Gorillas. An experienced guide then leads you into the impenetrable forest with the help of your walking sticks not to forget the rain gear and trekking boots as well as fully covering clothes. Porters are available to help you carry your luggage.  The track usually begins from where the giants were last seen the previous day. Once you have met them you will spend a remarkable one hour with them which is guaranteed to be memorable before you leave them. The activity is quite demanding but well worthwhile. A certain degree of fitness is an added advantage in regarding the intensity of the activity.   However if you are not in position to hike you could part with a few dollars and porters will be available to carry you the group on a

What you need

  • Fully covering clothes
  • Drinking water
  • Hiking/trekking boots
  • Insect repellant
  • Rain gear(raincoat)

 Birding

Popularly known for the enchanting mountain Gorillas the Bwindi impenetrable forest has a rich biodiversity among which are the many bird species which can be attributed to the age of the forest. Bwindi is greatly endowed with about 350 bird species including 23 Albertine endemics such as the Short-tailed Warbler, African green broadbill, Grauer’s Rush Warber, Archer’s Robin Chat, Red Throated Alethe, Red Faced Woodland Warbler, Yellow Eyed Black Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Collard and Mountan Masked Apalis, Blue-headed Sunbird among others making it one of the leading birding destinations in Africa. Any twitcher should sure visit Bwindi for a complete birding trip in Uganda. There are various trails in the forest but three of which are more productive in birding than others.

Along the bamboo zone is an awesome array of birds making this trail very remarkable for Barbets, Wood peckers, White bellied robin-chat, African broad bill, the black bee eater, woodland warbler, starlings, sunbirds, Black billed weavers, Greenbuls among others. The trail further leads to Rwamunyonyi peak.

While another trail descends to Mubwindi swamp leading  you to the highly sought after African green broadbill and Grauer’s Rush Warbler, other remarkable species always encountered on a birding walk include the Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo, African Emerald Cuckoo, Mountain Yellow Warbler, Yellow Streaked Greenbul, Oriole Finch, Dusky Crimsonwing, Montane Oriole, Lagden’s Bushrike, Stripe Breasted Tit, Chestnut Throated Apalis,  , African Blue and White-tailed Blue Flycatchers, Red-headed Bluebill, Grey Cuckoo-shrike and many more

The trail to the Munyaga waterfalls will also double for a sight of numerous birds as well as the sight of the magnificent sparkling waterfalls. Increase your chances of encountering the African broadbill, Chapin’s flycatcher, Tinker birds, Black Throated, Buff Throated and Grey Apalis, bar tailed and Narina Trogon, the skulking Short Tailed Warbler, Kivu Ground Thrush, Wallers, Stullman’s and Sharpe starlings among others.

Mountain biking

Forget the rides in the safari cars and explore the other parts of Bwindi on a bike. The rides are adventurous and take you through numerous spots you probably wouldn’t reach on foot and by car.

The bikes can be rented from ride for a woman community development initiative in Buhoma with a guide or without. However if you want to get more out of the trip and enjoy, it is advisable that you hire a guide along to help you keep track of the different birds, plant and animal species  as well as give back to the community. Another alternative is bringing bikes a long as we come for the trip.

Biking is done in Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. A well maintained track leads from the park headquarters to Ivi River on the Buhoma side of the park.  On this 13kms trails chances are high that you will encounter lots of wildlife such as bushbucks, black-and-white colobus and red-tailed monkeys among others.

Another trail follows through the community with visits and experiences of the local Bakiga and Batwa people. Visit the crafts centers, schools, medicine men, among other community initiatives.

 Nature walks

Nature walks provide a more relaxed opportunity to explore the rich rainforest where you could encounter birds monkeys among other wildlife. There are a number of trails available for nature walks with each presenting you with different opportunities.

  • The water fall trail which goes through one of Uganda’s pristine tracts of rainforest to a beautiful waterfall reveals a range of attractions to visitors ranging from trees, ferns, orchids, and thousands of beautiful butterflies later on the enchanting sparkling waterfalls and birds.
  • The Munyanga River trail along the edge of the forest a very good one for primates and birds, it is good for short walks.
  • Rushura hill trail which provides an expansive view across the west rift valley to the west, and lake Edward and Ruwenzori mountain to the north
  • Mukabiro loop that climbs to the summit of rukubira hill for breath taking views rift valley to the west of Bwindi forest the
  • River Ivi trail that emerges at the edge of the forest and very recommendable for birders. It is considered the longest trail in the park and could take a whole day of exploration.

 Community tours/ cultural encounters

Explore the cultural diversity of the tribes that inhabit the surroundings of the Bwindi impenetrable Forest. Enjoy a day or two in their local livelihood, explore their community projects and learn new skills. There are mainly two tribes: that is to say the Batwa and the Bakiga people.

Buhoma community walk

Buhoma is a truly a wonderful place for a cultural tour. The approximately 3 hours community/cultural tour may takes visitors to the crafts shops for handmade crafts and artifacts all made by the local people, a visit to a traditional healer who will introduce you to his tactics and skills in local medicine such as plants, visit a local school where you can interact with the teachers and pupils, learn how banana juice is made and finally enjoy a performance and experience the lives of the local people.

Other projects that could be visited in the area are the conservation through public health a local project aimed a uplifting the health of animals both wild and domestic. You will learn more about the centre as you visit.

Visit the aquaponics projects about fish farming, conservation and how improving local lively hood promotes conservation

Nkuringo Community tour

On the southern edge of the lush green forest is Nkuringo, with awesome views and scenery. The area is awesome for cultural tours where you experience the lives of the local Bakiga people. Turn back the hands of time with a visit to the blacksmith, and enjoy the experience as he hooks out red hot metal. Enjoy a visit to a local home where you will encounter a series of traditional huts, millet grinding stone, cooking pots and a number of utensils used in making local waragi a popular banana gin. Visit a traditional healer whom will also take you through the native plants, ointments, teas among others that are used in the cure of a number of illnesses

Nkuringo Cultural Centre

For those who are interested in learning new skills this is a good one for you. While at Nkuringo cultural centre attend a workshop ranging from African traditional cooking, hand crafts making to a vigorous dance and drumming classes.  Use the opportunity to also explore the ways of life of the local people.

Rubuguri Village Walk

With welcoming inhabitants, this small community makes up for the isolation. The community walk here takes you past the swamps to a local homestead for a real life experience of the rubuguri life. We could take place in hand crafts making, visit a school where we meet teachers and the pupils and also enjoy the ground shaking Kiga dance.

Attractions

Gorillas

Scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei the mountain Gorillas are the most popular attraction for any safari going to Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park in Uganda.  The gorilla population is steadily increasing given the numerous conservation efforts and awareness and as of now there are approximately 750 mountain Gorillas in the world and Bwindi accounts for a population of 340 mountain gorillas half of the total population remaining in the entire world.

Gorillas are meek and humble yet very intelligent, sharing over 90% of their genetic identity with Human beings. The mountain Gorilla has thicker fur than that of lowland which makes them easily adapt to the cold environments with in the high mountains on Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. They can be identified by nose print which is unique to each individual. An average Male mountain Gorilla can weigh up to 500Ibs and a height of 132cms which is not much different from the females.

The Gorillas live in Groups (families), and those that have been habituated are named for easy identification. A family is usually led by a dominant silverback that defends and leads the movements of the group. A typical Gorilla family usually consists of five to thirty members. The separation of groups usually takes some time with young male gorillas spending most of the time at the edge of the group before they finally get away for a solitary life until they can find or convince some females to join them.  At the death of the leading silverback one of his sons may take up or another dominant male. However in some cases the group maybe taken over by another group.

Gorillas spend most of their day moving sleeping and eating. They wake up at about 6am on a normal day and return to sleep at 6pm building new sleeping nests every evening. The young ones share the same nest as the mother. They feed on fruits, foliage and epiphytes which they occasionally climb up in the trees to pick but they are primarily terrestrial animals.

Like humans, gorilla tends their young one, and value the importance of building relations as well as bonding. They for that matter take their mid day break as important time for bonding with grooming and playing being common at this time. Dian Fossey noted their dislike for getting wet and later on the rain. A number of vocals are used as a communication of various incidents to the rest of the group. Diseases and poaching are one of the threats to the endangered popular giants.

Birds

Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park is one of the finest birding havens that any twichers on a trip to Uganda shouldn’t miss out on. With about 350 bird species spread out in this impenetrable forest, Bwindi can attribute some of these species to the age of the forest dating as far back as 25000 years.

There are 24 Albertine endemics and Bwindi accounts for 23 of them which come as part of the total figure of the350 found in the Impenetrable forest.  Some of the Albertine endemics you will meet in Bwindi impenetrable forest include

Another 14 species can also be attribute to Bwindi impenetrable forest only and will not be found anywhere else in the world and these include

Globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing are also found Bwindi impenetrable forest National park

Aside from the above list other birds of Bwindi are  the Handsome Francolin; Black-billed Turaco; African Broadbill; Black and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters; Western Green Tinker bird; Purple-breasted, Blue-headed and Regal Sunbirds; Short-tailed and Black-faced Rufous Warblers; Mountain-masked and Collared Apalis; Mountain and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls; and Many-colored Bush-Shrike, among others.

Other Forest Species

Apart from the birds and Gorillas, Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park boat of other attractions

There are least 120 mammal species living in the forest, making Bwindi second only in mammal numbers to the vast Queen Elizabeth National Park. These include the African forest Elephants, a number of antelope species, and bushbucks among others.

Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park also boast of There are eleven primates species found in this forest including the black-and-white colobus and L’Hoest’s monkeys, baboons and chimps.

Bwindi is also home to 200 butterfly species of which 42 are Albertine endemics.

163 species of trees

100species of ferns

202 species

27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos and number of other endangered species.

 Possible itineraries

Uganda Gorilla adventure 3 days

Come face to face with the popular and amazing cousins of man, the Mountain Gorillas in their home the ancient impenetrable forest of Bwindi. The gorilla experience is very exciting and rewarding.

Day 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable forest for Gorilla trekking

Depart Kampala early morning for Bwindi impenetrable Forest home of half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas. Stopover at the equator where you can take pictures and some coffee with snacks, continue on the journey with another stopover enroute for lunch. Today we stay at Gorilla Resort, Gorilla Mist Camp or Buhoma Community Bandas.

Day 2: Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest – Uganda

Early morning breakfast and we are off to the park headquarters for a briefing about the gorilla tracking activities. Thereafter, led by an experienced guide make our way into the biologically diverse rainforest in search of the amazing mountain Gorillas. The thrill is captivating and memorable, a good reward for the strenuous trek. After the encountering the gorillas, we return to the lodge for some rest and refreshment. Depending on the time you return and the will we can go for an afternoon nature walk or a community walk where we can experience the lives of the local people surrounding the gorilla forest and their projects.

Day 3: End of the Gorilla trek adventure

Checkout of the lodge in the morning after breakfast and we are on the road back to Kampala. Depending on your flight time and plans we could make a few stopovers enroute say Mpambire royal drum maker in Mpigi and other areas that we shall deem interesting on the way.

 

 

5 DAYS WILDLIFE AND GORILLAS

Take off a few days to explore some wildlife relax and trek the most sought after pride of Uganda the Mountain gorilla with half of the world’s population here in an ancient impenetrable forest the thrill is greatly unforgettable.

DAY 1: Transfer to BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK

Early morning rise, and our safari guide will pick you up from the agreed point, he will brief you about your wildlife an gorilla safari before or as you head out to south western Uganda. Stopover at the equator where you can take some pictures and a good stop for a cup of coffee as well as buy some crafts and fresh fruits. Later continue to Lake Mburo National park a small package with big things. This is one of Uganda’s smallest National parks packed with a big variety of wildlife and birds. In the afternoon take a boat cruise on Lake Mburo where you may spot some crocodiles hippos and don’t miss out on the birds.  In the evening you may have an optional evening game drive or a nature walk in the open savanna dotted with acacia to the salt lick area as the sun sets in the background. Dinner and overnight stay at Arcadia Cottages or Mantana Luxury Tented Camp

DAY 2: TRANSFER TO BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST FOR GORILLA TREKKING

Wake up to the whispers of the wild, enjoy a hearty breakfast and there after enjoy a game drive as you drive out of the park for Bwindi impenetrable Forest. Continue with the soothing lush green scenery all the way to Uganda’s ancient forest which is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain Gorilla. Depending on the time of arrival you may take a community walk in the surrounding village, it’s a great adventure.

Day 3: GORILLA TREKKING

Have early morning cup of coffee, well prepared with your packed lunch, cameras, water, rain jackets, long pair of trouser and hiking boots and other gear, you will assemble for briefing from the rangers about gorilla tracking the great adventure and experience. Thereafter enter into the jungle to search the shy mountain gorillas and enjoy their life style in their real home. When you meet the gorillas, sit around these great apes for a whole hour gazing into their big round eyes. The gorilla tracking experience takes half or whole day depending on the movement of these primates. After this experience you will have informative imaginable-memorable experience in life time. Depending on the time and ability when you get back from the trekking you may take a community walk around the surrounding communities, take part in making crafts and their way of life.

DAY 4: BWINDI – LAKE BUNYONYI

After breakfasts transfer to the magical lake bunyonyi, after a strenuous trek this is a perfect relaxation to unwind all the fatigue from the rest of the safari. Enjoy the pictorial sceneries of the dotted island; it is the second deepest lake in Africa. You could take a boat trip to a few surrounding island, swim, or try your hands at paddling and enjoy the Cray fish that graces this lake. Retire to a silent night overlooking this wondrous beauty.

DAY 5: LAKE BUNYONYI – KAMPALA

Take your time to wake and take in the scenes and beauty around you with a fulfilling breakfast leisurely transfer back to Kampala. Stopover at the Igongo cultural centre a museum dedicated to the culture and life style of the south western Uganda people and Time allowing you may also stopover at Mpigi royal drum maker and watch the royal drums being crafted.

 

 4 DAYS UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI

superb gorilla trekking, this safari takes you to Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park an ancient antic that not only houses the endangered mountain gorillas but also provides refugee to elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys and small antelopes not to mention 23 bird species restricted to the Albertine rift in habit this virgin forest.

Day 1: Arrival

Meet and greet at Entebbe international airport for your wildlife and Gorilla safari by our safari guide, you will receive a briefing shortly about your safari and Uganda in general. Depending on your time of arrival you may have a ride through either Entebbe or Kampala all depending on where you choose to spend the night.

Day 2: Transfer to Bwindi Forest Nationala Park

Jump start your day to an adventure with a tropical breakfast at your hotel where your guide will pick you and head out south west of Uganda, you may have several stopovers as you desire, the most exciting being at the Equator where you may take photographs and also stand in two hemispheres at the same time. Continue our journey through beautiful country side, the evergreen fields graced with long horned cattle the pride of Ankole, lots of banana plantation all the way through the highlands known as the switzland of Africa with terraced hills and winding roads the scenery is amazing.

Day 3:  Gorilla trekking safari day in Uganda.

Finally the highlight and long awaited encounter with the gentle giants, receive a briefing about the trek before taking to the steep and dense rain forest led by an experienced guide along the trails that lead to the shy and peaceful giants that are the tip of any Ugandan or African safari. The encounter is humbling and unforgettable; you are entitled to an hour of interaction and photography before returning to the logde. Later in the afternoon depending on he time you come back from the trek and your ability you could have a community walk around the villages and explore people’s ways of life

Day 4: Departure

After an early morning breakfast drive back to Kampala and depending on your flight time you may have a few stopovers like at the Igongo cultural centre that houses the culture and heritage of the southwestern people and at the mpigi royal drum makers.

 

7 DAY BIRDING and gorilla SAFARI in Bwindi

Day 1: Bird to Bwindi

Early morning set off to Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park , bird along the way.  Watch out for birds like the Swallows, Honey guides, Chats, Kingfishers, Barbets, Tinker birds among others on our way to the gorilla park.

Day 2: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Buhoma- Optional Gorilla trekking and birding.

Early morning breakfast and we are off to the park headquarters for a gorilla trekking briefing.  Later led by an experienced ranger guide we will make our way into the forest in search of the mountain Gorillas living in this forest  and a safe home for them. Once the gorillas are found, we will spend an hour with the gorillas before returning  to the lodge for a short rest, in the afternoon we will hit the Munyaga waterfall which is rather a bit short in search of  the Frican green broadbill,chapin’s fly catcher, Tinkerbirds and Barbets, Woodpeckers, assorted Greenbuls, White-bellied Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Black-faced Rufous Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler , Oberlander’s Ground Thrush ,Mountain Masked Apalis, Bocage’s Bush-shrike, Luhder’s Bush-shrike, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black Bee-Eater, White-headed Wood-hoopoe,

Day 3:  Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on the Ivi trail Buhoma

Rise early for breakfast after which we will make our way into Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and make our way as we follow the ivi trail to the edge of the forest in search of species like the tinker bird, Barbets, Wood peckers, White bellied robin-chat, African broad bill, the black bee eater, woodland warbler, starlings, sunbirds, Black billed weavers, Greenbuls among others. This is the longest trail and will probably take us the whole day.

Day 4: Birding via the neck to Ruhija

Early morning breakfast and we are off to Ruhija side of the park. Look out for birds like Greenbul, White-starred Robin, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Grauer’s Warbler, Grey Cuckoo-shrike, Banded Prinia, Yellow Bishop, Black-throated Seedeater, among others

Day 5: Birding to Mubwindi Swamp

After breakfast follow the rather tasking trail to the swamp which could lead you to among the many, the localized African green broadbill. Other birds to watch out for include the regal sunbird, Shelly’s crimson wing, Mountain Greenbuls, Bar trail tragon, African hill babbler, Mountain yellow Warbler, Blue headed sunbird, Rwenzori bartis, Black flycatcher

Day 6: Bird to Lake Bunyonyi via Echuya Forest

Continue our birding excursion with a transfer to Kisoro via the Echuya forest and the papyrus swamp before continuing to Kisoro

Day 7: Departure

After breakfast we will leisurely drive back to Kampala with a few stopovers at Lake Bunyonyi to catch a few other birds

Gorilla Trekking and Culture

Day 1 – Kampala to Bwindi impenetrable Forest National Park

Early morning departure from Kampala, and off to Bwindi forest National park for our Gorilla and cultural safari. Stopover at the Equator for a couple of shots and views. You could also buy some crafts and fresh fruits as well as refreshments. Continue southwest with another stopover in Mbarara at the Igongo cultural centre, a museum that houses the culture, norms, flora and fauna of the south western people. Follow the beautiful scenes of the terraced hillsides all the way to Bwindi.

Day 2: Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park

Early morning after breakfast assemble at the park headquarters for the Gorilla trekking briefing before entry into the magnificent Bwindi impenetrable Forest. The trek is quite strenuous and may take a couple of hours before you encounter the Gorilla. You will then have an hour of gazing into the deep brown eyes of the Gorillas before returning to the lodge.

Day 3: Village Walks and Cultural Performances

Wake up to a day of adventure which will begin with an early breakfast after where you can which we will begin with a visit to the local medicine man who will share his skills in local medicine, continue to a local crafts village where you can also buy some handmade crafts aside from seeing how they are made.  Other activities include visiting the Back smith, exploring a traditional home stead and making of the banana local bureau not to mention music and dance performance depending on the side of the park we are.

Day 4: Nature Hike

Depending on where you stay there is number of trails leading to different attraction. Those staying in the Buhoma side, take hike to munyanga waterfall a beautiful trail that leads to crystal clear waterfalls with lots of wildlife and birds to watch out for on the way and transfer to Lake bunyonyi

Day 5: Lake Bunyonyi

After a beautiful breakfast head out to island for a cultural experience

Day 6: Departure

Early morning depart Bwindi impenetrable forest national Park with a stopover at Lake Bunyonyi and the Mpambire drum makers in mpigi.