On walking tours in Uganda you could discover local villages, or explore our cities. Learn about the culture and traditional way of life .
The highlights of walking tour in Uganda include seeing giraffes go by in Lake Mburo national park, tracking rhinos and to make a tour of the local villages such as Bigodi and islands of Lake Bunyonyi. In addition, you can have a tour of the city or town such as Kampala, Jinja and Fort Portal.
What type of walking tours are available?
Whether solo, tour group or family, walking experiences are diverse including hike and canoeing, day or night jungle and cultural walks. Normally, these eco-excursions are undertaken as extra activities. So, plan to incorporate as many as you can on a Uganda wildlife and gorilla safari – the most memorable part of your holiday.
Further, walking tours in Uganda helps to make your trip more responsible. While safaris in national parks keep the conservation work of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), walking tours benefit the local communities. Up to you to feel that your trip benefits the local projects and reduces plastic use. Make a difference in Uganda and book an Eco-tour.
What to expect on walking tours in Uganda?
- Expect walking in the jungle during day or night
- The walking tours should take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours
- Prepare for scotching sun, threatening skies and rain showers
- Long distance walking
- Steep crop terrace hills especially in Lake Bunyonyi. So, work on your physical fitness
- A tip is expected with a local guide that explains everything there is to know on walking tour
- Carry your own food and drink or be up to taste traditional millet porridge and banana (Matooke) wine in a trading center
- Group walking tour sizes range from solo to over 20 people
Walking tours in Uganda – where to go
We like to recommend Lake Mburo National Park for a good walking experience. It’s the only place to spot zebras and impalas in western – the most popular safari region in Uganda. No elephants and lions. This proves the safety of a walking tour in Lake Mburo N.P.
Lake Mburo is 234 sq.km (3-hour drive) south-west of Kampala capital city. It’s a stopping destination on a journey to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park south-west Uganda. As such, the wildlife walking safari could be done next day early morning while making short the long drive and enjoyable.
In addition, there are boat excursions, birding, horse-back riding, cycling and game drive. Besides spotting wildlife, you can enjoy a tour around the Ankole longhorn cattle community. This could be a complimentary cultural experience staying at Mpogo Safari Lodge on the outskirts of the protected area.
In regard to wildlife, Lake Mburo is home to over 60 mammal and 317 bird species. Such amazing biodiversity in a small area of 370 sq.km. This park is the smallest of the 5 savanna national parks in Uganda. There are elands, topis, giraffes, Cape buffaloes, worth hogs, bush and water bucks.
Walk through tall grass savanna dotted with acacia and euphorbia trees on gentle sloping hills and metamorphic rocky ridges. The low-lying parts of the park contain lakes and swamps that form the greater Nakivale wetland. This is the permanent source of water for people living in Ankole-Masaka Longhorn cattle corridor.
Bird watching experience walks in Lake Mburo N.P.
Bird walks such as Kyempitsi lakeside trail give access to the lake it’self with great chance to spot the Papyrus Gonolek and Shoe-bill stork. But, the bird most sought after in Lake Mburo N.P. is the Red-faced Barbet often spotted along the Kigambira trail north of the lakeside campground. Other key bird species in Lake Mburo are African fin-foot, red-headed lovebird, Narina tragon and the African fish eagle, African white-backed vulture among the 35 birds of prey recorded in the protected area.
Birding, Primates and Bigodi Eco village Walking Tour
In Kibale Forest National Park, famous for harboring 13 primate species and chimpanzees, most people drink alcohol and has caused a drink problem that is detrimental to this lowland and montane ecosystem. Alcohol sachets pictured below collected whilst birding in an area near the tropical rain-forest might really be worth in towns such as Fort Portal (Kabalore) and Kasese at the northern end of the crater lakes in the western Uganda arm of the Great East Africa rift valley system.
Help protect the environment while on tour
That of course, like in most parts of the country you find litter of different brand is bad for the environment. In particular, the aggregate of social, economical and cultural conditions that influence life around Kibale Forest have in recent attracted a large number of people to this good weather region. For example, alcohol brewing companies, gas and oil, better infrastructure and tourism. Supposedly, Uganda was due to ban sale of Alcohol in sachets in 2017 – the International Year on Sustainable Tourism for Development, and don’t know if the ban went ahead. Moreover, seems like these sachets have been lying around for sometime. A ban would certainly be a very good idea given the low cost at which these 100ml sachets of 40-42% alcohol are obtained. Each sachet is 500 Uganda Shillings which is only about 10 pence in GBP.
Respect the natural habitat, support the local people and conservation on the Bigodi Eco village walking tour!
Whether the national policy to ban alcohol sachets will ever be successful or not, as people that enjoy travel and respect the natural habitat and culture, we can make a positive impact. This is especially in the Bidogi village where local community organizations are trying to create a better environment through village walks, conservation, arts and crafts and personal growth too.
Things to do in Bigodi Village
Try a good local Banana Beer ! Visit Banana Gardens for the natural history of Matooke (banana plantains). Instead of the common Bigodi swamp walk, go off the beaten path and spread the benefits further. Rest in Banana Gardens is in Busimba community near Kibale Forest. The main experience is to learn how juice and wine is made out of bananas. Also, the Busimba Women Organization offers basket weaving lesson. Here, you get more interaction with local people and authentic your walking tour experience is likely to be than on the regular swamp walk.
Furthermore, choose staying at the accommodation which is locally owned or supports conservation. For example, Primate Lodge the only affordable luxury property inside the rain-forest and Isunga Lodge that shares their water supply with their neighbor.
Just a reminder. The memorable part of your visit to Kibale Forest National Park will be chimpanzee trekking or Chimpanzee habituation experience. The Eco excursions above can be done after tracking the primates in which you’re encouraged to take porters.
Hike and Canoeing tours, Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi 19 islands are surrounded by steep Kigezi highlands, a place that has a feeling of a village somewhere in “Switzerland”. Irish growing in hillside terraces constitutes the main economic activity of Bakiga people who have coped with transportation challenge as gardens are deep in the valleys. Therefore, some of the sites such as Tom’s Island home-stay and Punishment Islands cannot be reached by a walking tour. You got to use a boat or raw a canoe in between just as the locals do.
How much time takes a walking tour in Lake Bunyoni ?
The walking tours in Lake Bunyonyi range from 2 hour to multi-day treks. For example, the three Upland Lakes Hike is a multi-day walk on marked trail across the south-west Uganda Lakes of Kayumba, Chahafi and Bunyonyi to Kisoro town. So, it opens up spectacular view of the Virunga Mountain Range.
Even if you’re not much into long walks, there’s a wide range of activities such as zip lining, short birding walks given the name Lake Bunyonyi ” a place of many little birds”.
Choice for accommodation on Lake Bunyonyi
Lake Bunyonyi offers a wide range of lakeside resorts, cottages and safari tents too. Further, get a full island local life experience at Tom’s home-stay with evening campfire. Lakeside lodges include Bunyonyi Rock Resort, BirdNest resort and Bunyonyi Safari Resort.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Walking Safari
Mountain gorilla trekking or habituation experience is the main highlight. There are four trekking centers across Bwindi which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. If you want to experience nature and birds in addition to gorillas, Buhoma and Ruhija sectors are the best choice. For example, Buhoma offers a guided waterfalls hike and self-guided Munyanga river walk. Further, there’s a walk from Buhoma to Nkuringo sector. It covers a distance of 8 km through the interior part of the forest.
On the other hand, Ruhija offers a walk in Mubwindi swamp famous for spotting the African green broad-bill among other Albertine Rift Endemic birds such as strange weaver.
Semi-desert savanna walking. Kidepo Valley National Park
Karamoja is semi-desert wilderness north-east part of Uganda. It’s the opposite side of south-west green landscape and generally perceived as an undeveloped area in the country. Most of the people are Karamajong a Nilotic speaking cattle keeping tribe closely related to the famous Masai of Kenya and Tanzania. There’s also IK bushmen and the government has tried to push both of their out of their ancestral lands which are now protected areas including Kidepo Valley National Park and Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve. Nevertheless, their traditional culture still alive and wildlife is best experienced on a walking safari.
Visit the locals in the National Park
Whilst in Kidepo for game drive safari, take a walking tour to see the IK tribe on the slopes of remote Mount Murungole 2749 meters above sea level. This hike is easy for someone from the flattest countries in the world. Furthermore, visit the Karamojong homestead, meet the elders and children and learn about their way of life. The Pian Upe Bush walk offers a chance to see cheetahs on foot with a guided ranger in Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve.
In addition, there dry mountain such as Mount Moroto and Mt. Kadam. These are easy for anyone from the flattest countries.
Walking tours in Kampala capital city
Kampala as the capital city offers great insights into Uganda’s history and modern way of life. The Kampala walking tours are available by from 2 to 6 hours depending on your ability. Get a professional tour guide and learn about tips of surviving in Africa cities. When you’re tired of walking, there area motorcycles locally known as Boda-bodas to give you a ride to your next destination. Some of the sites not to miss include Owino Market, city center gardens square, Independence monument along Speke avenue. Besides, you can participate in a number of cultural experiences such as local food, open public music if you like to play guitar on the streets.