You can begin this Bwindi gorilla tour 3 days in Entebbe Uganda. From there it is an 8-hour drive to Bwindi. This long journey offers stopover option: equator crossing for photoshoots, game drive to see zebras and impalas in Lake Mburo National Park, and lunch at Igongo Country Hotel and museum tour. Alternatively, it can start in Kigali capital city of Rwanda. Bwindi is 164 (4-hour drive) via Cyanika border town of Rwanda. Depending on your convenience, Bwindi is also served by two airstrips. These include Kihihi airstrip which serves Buhoma in the north. Or Kisoro airstrip for southern Bwindi gorilla trekking sectors of Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. All sectors provide the best chance to see the gorillas.
Bwindi Gorilla Tour 3 Days
- One hour encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat
- Option for village walk which supports community tourism
Day 1 : Transfer to Bwindi
You will be picked up by our guide from your place of stay. Transfer to Bwindi forest. From Kampala/ Entebbe Uganda, which is about over 470 km, therefore, it’s a long 8-9 hour drive. On the other hand, it’s a shorter 3-4 hours drive from Kigali Rwanda. Kigezi rolling hills known as “the Switzerland of Africa??? offers breathtaking scenery of amazing landscapes. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 : Gorilla Trekking
Wake up early morning 6:30 am for breakfast. Be sure to dress appropriately for the jungle. take with you a packed lunch, drinking water to the gorilla centre. meet with your guides to start the trek with a briefing on gorilla rules. The park rangers will tell you no direct answer to a question like how long will it take to see the gorillas. That’s due to the movement of gorillas, thick jungle and steep terrain. So, speak to your guide about your hiking capacity.
Most importantly, you can request rangers to be put into a group that does likely not have to trek too far. For the reason that time to find the gorillas is not predictable, you should hire a porter to assist you during the trek. Once ready, you start walking through the forest searching for gorillas. Once gorillas are located you are allowed to see them and take pictures for 1 hour. Then return back to the centre to receive your gorilla trekking certificate. Option to visit the community in the evening.
Day 3: End of 3 days Bwindi Gorilla Tour
Your 3 days Bwindi Gorilla Tour comes to an end. On the last day, you will be transferred to the airport for departure. Take back ever lasting memories.
About Mountain Gorillas
In the early morning mist, when you begin to walk under the thick canopy, you feel that the eyes of the silverbacks are looking right at you no matter where you move. The Silverback is the head of every gorilla family in the wild, just like the human family. Your gorilla trekking adventure is incomplete if you don’t see him! Now you know, you should request the tracking of a family that contains this beast. Because of how many of the silverbacks are there with 22 groups in Bwindi forest and one in Mgahinga, Uganda has the largest number of habituated gorilla families.
Why is it called Silverback
Blackbacks are the names for adult male gorillas between the ages of 8 and 10. Then, when they are about 12 years old, they develop a silver patch of hair on their back and hips, which gives them the nickname “silverback.” It can weigh anywhere from 300 to 485 pounds, depending on the species such as grauer’s eastern lowland gorilla in Kahuzi Beiga National Park Congo basin forest and the western lowland gorillas in west Africa.
Tips for successful gorilla trekking
- Book gorilla permits at least 3-5 months in advance.
- Take heed of the jungle conditions and dress appropriately. Wear hiking shoes, long pants, sleeve shirts and long socks. Tuck your pants into socks to avoid ants
- Hire a porter to assist you. Porters are very helpful. They can even carry tourists who fail to walk completely but expect to pay no less than USD 300
- Take a walking stick
- Take lots of drinking water at least 3 liters and some energy bars.
In case you like to stay longer –
What more to explore in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
The main reason to visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park are the mountain gorillas. But, more activities such as cycling, bird watching, hiking, waterfalls and village walks are available at all the four gorilla trekking centers. These include Buhoma the headquarters of Bwindi, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija.
Most people living around are Bakiga, Bufumbira and minority Batwa pygmies. In addition to nature and wildlife, local cultural experiences abound for travelers willing to explore the village on foot.
Batwa tribe tour in Buhoma sector
Are you intending to visit a tribe in Uganda? Perhaps, a tour to visit Batwa pygmies should be incorporated in your 3 days Bwindi gorilla tour.
Batwa pygmies originally live in the forests in Uganda, Rwanda as well as DR Congo. Therefore are known as “forest keepers” and speak the Twa language which is of Bantu origin almost same as Bakiga. But, in south-west Uganda Batwa were pushed out of Bwindi and Mgahinga forests due to conservation policy that places high priority on mountain gorillas in 1991. For decades, the pygmies faced difficulties to adopt to new ways of living given that they survived mainly by hunting and gathering wild food.
According to 2014 census in Uganda, Batwa population stood at 6000 people. Most of them moved away from their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle for rudimentary farming. However, some are involved in alcohol abuse leading to disease and death. When the Uganda government realized their worsening living conditions, intervention help in empowering Batwa through community tourism development. The forest experience in Buhoma area provides a source of income. Take a village walk to meet them at their homestead as they display their forest skills such as the ancient per-historic fire making activity, hunting, pottery making which placed a small ecological foot print on nature.
Buhoma waterfall walk
Feel closer to nature with a walk to the waterfalls in Buhoma. Walk to the interior part of Bwindi with a ranger guide giving you knowledge of the ecosystem as well as proving security. Mostly done in the morning from 8 am to 11pm, the Buhoma waterfalls walk lasts 3 hours of hiking.
Self-guided Munyanga River walk
If the waterfall walk isn’t your thing, go for a shorter self-guided Munyanga river in Buhoma area. Starting at park visitor center, this walk takes you along the river on the edge of the forest to the community land. Best for monkeys and community birding.
Buhoma – Nkuringo walking safari
Those intending for a longer walk, this trail stretches for over 5 sq.km long connecting Buhoma and Nkuringo sectors. Hikers pass through the forest and buffer zone with birding opportunity along Ivi river. Ensure to have at least 2liters of drinking water and snacks on this walk.
Mubwindi Swamp Birding Walk
Located in Ruhija sector, Mubwindi swamp is known for the African Green broad-bill, one of the 23 most sought after Albertine Rift Endemic species of birds. This bird is rather hard to find in many parts of the Albertine rift such as Nyungwe forest in south-west Rwanda. The hiking trail lasts for 3-4 hours for keen birders.
Community organic farm tour
Four Gorillas Lodge in Rushaga has a community activity of Moses organic farm where he
practices modern means of agriculture on a small scale and also teaches communities around some of these practices so that they grow crops for subsistence and commercial use. The lodge also buys some of his vegetables for use thus supporting organic farming practices.
Community walk to experience the Bafumbira culture
Contrary to the famous Batwa and Bakiga, the Bafumbira culture is unique and worth it. The Bafumbira originate from Rwanda and mostly live in Kisoro district around Bwindi and Echuya forest. This activity is giving a Rwandan cultural experience whilst in south-west Uganda. The Bafumbira cultural experience cost is $10 per person available for booking at Lake Mulehe Safari Lodge, situated about 25km from the southern gate of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Rushaga) and 20km from Mgahinga National Park.
Furthermore, whilst staying at this medium range accommodation on the banks of Lake Mulehe, it’s easier to access the Batwa trail in Mgahinga and in Echuya forest reserve. In addition, there’s a canoe boat cruise on Lake Mulehe ($15 per person) – it takes 2 hours and it is a good bird watching experience.
Read the full story about the Bwindi National Park by Uganda Wildlife Org
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