Walking Safari Across Bwindi Forest
Hiking Adventure Challenge Across Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Walking Safari Across Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
14 km (9 mi) walk between Buhoma and Nkuringo
This walking safari is a hiking adventure with two trails hiked in either direction; between Kisoro Town and Lake Mutanda through native communities, villages, and a dugout canoe ride on Lake Mutanda. The trail otherwise follows village footpaths through outstanding scenery with often 360-degree views of cultivated mountain slopes, mountain forests, and human settlements. The other is a jungle trail between Nkuringo trailhead (in the southern part of Bwindi) and Buhoma trailhead (northern part of Bwindi). It is maximumly experienced on a two-day itinerary. In the shadow of the Virunga Volcanoes towering over Kisoro, you will meet with your guide/s from Nkuringo Walking Safaris, all of whom are local to the region, and their main purpose is to transfer the knowledge they have of the trail to you, carry your bag and help you experience the walking safari with comfort. Through the primeval forest, you’ll also be escorted by armed rangers for your security across the park.
- Hiking trail across mountain communities, villages, and cultivated mountain slopes meeting native peoples spotting rare bird species and photographing scenic landscapes of Africa
- Become the attraction when village children follow and welcome you to their land chanting “Mzungu” (white person).
- Challenge your travel muscles with canoeing in a dugout canoe on Lake Mutanda. One of the beautiful mountain lakes around Bwindi Impenetrable forest
- Hike Across Africa’s oldest and richest rainforest, meet some of the rarest species and plants that enjoy the primeval forest amenities.
- Learn how communities, people, and animals have lived together in and around the Bwindi jungles.
- Support local communities when you hire a guide, porter or ranger on your walking safari adventure.
- Transportation and 4×4 vehicle transfers
- Accommodation and Meals as per itinerary
- English Speaking Guide and Rangers
We will process the park permits on your behalf from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
Please carry a pack of N95 Facemask and hand sanitizer with you. You’ll be required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72 hours of your arrival in the country, and keep your mask on when with animals and people crowds. You’re requested to adhere to COVID Operating procedures to keep you safe during your trip.
Your walking safari at a glance
Day 1 — Kisoro, Lake Mutanda, Nkuringo Walking Trail
Consider an early start for this walking safari trail with 90 minutes of walking to Sheba’s Campsite on the southern shores of Lake Mutanda. Traditional dugout canoes and peddlers will be parked at the shores waiting for you to embark for your next three-hour challenge across the calm waters of Lake Mutanda to the Rwajember landing site.
Lookout to the many tiny islands dotted around the lake, mostly cultivated with banana plantations. However, one island is under the National Forestry Authority administration, where it still maintains its primary forest cover and Vervet monkeys reside. The lake and cultivated shoreline are home to many common birds, including Hadada Ibis, Crested Cranes, and Black-headed herons that will be of great interest to birding enthusiasts.
At the Rwajember landing site, you get back to the walking trail through villages and communities. The land area is dotted with small homesteads where villagers are to cultivate their fields and attend to livestock. Potato cultivation is prolific in the dark volcanic soils, where cabbages, green beans, and peas are all also to be seen farmed on what appears to be impossibly steep gradients. The Kigezi and Kisoro districts of Uganda, despite being heavily populated, contribute substantially to the countries overall food production.
After a 20-minute walk from Rwajenge, we join an unsurfaced road, which we follow for a further 10 minutes to find the trail that leads up to the first rest and viewpoint outside of the Mubano Trading Centre. Continuing along the footpath, you will pass through a series of banana plantations and fields of sorghum when in season. The sorghum crop is distilled into a trendy beverage known locally as Obushera. The distilled sorghum beer is extremely potent and consumed with great passion by both men and women.
10 kilometers before Nkuringo, we reach a road junction where the track we have been following joins the main murram road from Kisoro close to Rubuguri trading center. This point is referred to as the Rubuguri junction in the documentation. Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite is a further 10km distant and 3 hours walking. Some travelers prefer to complete the journey to Nkuringo by special hire taxi. Sourced from the trading center. The views along the road are just breathtaking, whether traveling by vehicle or on foot.
Tour groups can rendezvous with their vehicle at Rubuguri junction to transport those weary onward by vehicle to Nkuringo.
- Spend a night at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
- Meal Plan: Lunch and Dinner
Day 2 — Relax at Lodge or Gorilla Trek
Visitors have the option to spend a second night in Nkuringo for Gorilla tracking activity. The Lodge is a magical place to take in the ambiance, relax, and visit community tourism initiatives. These include a well-defined community walk.
• Spen another night at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge
• Your meal plan includes: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), and Dinner (D)
Day 3 — Nkuringo – Buhoma Trails
Since there is no road through Bwindi connecting Buhoma and Nkuringo, vehicles driving between the two locations have an incredible 170 km bone-jarring journey taking between 6 to 8 hours of unpaved dirt road. So the walking safari adventure across the pristine Bwindi is a great alternative to the drive and a great way to experience Africa’s jungles.
Two alternative trails crisscross each other somewhere inside the jungle. These routes are used by local communities between the two populated towns; the Ivy River trail and the Kashasha River trail. Kashasha River trail is the most direct of the two trails and is about 14 km (9 mi) through the forest. Tin roofs of Buhoma are clearly visible from the Nkuringo campsite. The Ivy River route is ideally suited to tour groups with vehicle support to either drop or pick them 7 km (4 mi) from Nkuringo along the Nteko Ridge at the junction for the Ivy River trail with the forest.
Option 1: Ivy River Trail
The Ivy River Trail also starts from the Nkuringo, UWA Bwindi Park office, where we follow a murram road downhill with views over the forest for some 7 km to the Ivy river on our right. Within the forest, the Ivy River Trail is often walked by visitors that stay at Buhoma as a nature walk from the park H.Q. From the Nkuringo office to the Ivy River, it takes 2 and 1/2 hours walking. From the Ivy river to Buhoma, walking through the forest takes 4 hours. Total journey time 6 1/2 hours.
This Ivy river route ascends and descends gently through beautiful areas of the rain forest with several viewpoints from the murram road from/to Nkuringo overlooking lush mist-shrouded valleys. The trail is also an important footpath for local people traveling to and from Nkuringo, particularly on market days, to Nteko village on the park’s southern boundary. Monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, and some of Bwindi’s world-renowned bird species plus many butterflies can be observed.
Upon arrival in Buhoma, you may opt to proceed to Queen Elizabeth National Park Ishasha sector.
Option 2: Kashasha River Trail
The Kashasha River Trail begins at the Nkuringo trailhead, UWA Bwindi Park office, before proceeding down a steep slope through community land to reach the park buffer zone. The walking safari trail passes the junction of two rivers inside the forest. After a further 20-minute ascent the trail meets the alternative route, the Ivy River trail inside the forest 90 minutes from Buhoma. The trek to the Buhoma Park HQ on the Kashasha River Trail is 4 to 5 hours between Nkuringo and Buhoma or 6 to 7 hours between Buhoma and Nkuringo. The Kashasha River trail involves some steep inclines, not least when proceeding to Nkuringo.
The trail offers visitors a close-up experience of the natural wonders within a rain forest environment. Birds are prolific in Bwindi, and your guide will point these out to you during your walk.
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Please make sure you have your facemask on when in contact with animals, especially the endangered creatures. Without a negative PCR Covid Test, you’ll not be allowed into the country. You’ll spend most of your time in open spaces away from human crowds, with that there’s minimal to no infections of the COVID virus.
Flexible booking terms
Your booking can be extended up to 12 months ahead with no extra fees, in case of any emergency (based on accommodation availability). Reservations are accepted after we receive a 30% deposit on the trip and the full payment for gorilla tracking and chimp tracking permits for each tour participant. For more details on our booking terms, please read our Terms and Conditions.