Walking Safari Trips in Uganda
Hiking in Semuliki, Lake Mburo, Bwindi Forest, Murchison, Kibale, Kidepo, Elgon & QENP
Uganda Walking Safari Adventures
Hiking Trips to Explore Uganda’s Wilderness on Foot
A Walking Safari in Uganda offers the ultimate experience in exploring Africa’s untamed wilderness by foot. Walk along a beaten trail through the backcountry and into impenetrable jungles under the crimson skies at dusk while coming face to face with big wild game animals. Explore the African savannah like ancient European explorers. A guided walking safari offers an authentic and unique perspective on the continent’s wildlife, plant life, and ecosystems.
From bush walks with tribe leaders, which reveal a completely different way of life, to sleeping under the stars on a multi-day guided hiking safari expedition, walking safaris provide you with a true taste of the wilderness, which you can’t experience from the comfort of a safari vehicle or lodge. Discover a level of detail you haven’t seen before, from tiny reptiles and insects to learning how safari guides track big game out in the bush.
A walking safari is by far one of the most daring forms of Africa exploration as you are faced with nothing else but your wit and bravery against the tumult of Mother Nature. Safari hikes also include a hands-on tracking lesson on knowing if there is a lion pride or elephant nearby and what to do should you come face-to-face with them. This is essential, as you will be made aware that you are trespassing on their territory, and you can always expect the unexpected in the savannah. Dare to come face to face with a drinking antelope, grazing buffalo, or lounging leopard in the treetops as you safely brave the open plains on a walking safari. Discover the natural rhythm of life in the wild as you discover a new world on foot through the impenetrable jungles.
GUIDED WALKS INCLUDE
- 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.
Places For Walking Safari Journeys
Walking in Semuliki
The 13km KirumiaTrail runs through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This guided walking safari trip starts at 8:00 and takes about 6-8 hours—a perfect hiking trail for birders and nature lovers. The 11km Red Monkey Track follows the park’s eastern border – a stronghold of the rare DeBrazza’s monkey – to the Semliki River. Along the 8km Sempaya Nature Trail, you can view the hot springs and primates. The shorter 2-4 hour guided hike on the trail is also available and can occur in the morning or afternoon.
Walking in Kibale
Kibale is well known for Chimpanzees trekking, but when the chimpanzees and other forest residents rest up at dusk, a night-time shift of rarely seen creatures becomes active. Night walks through the darkened forest uses powerful torches to seek nocturnal creatures such as the potto, bushbaby, nightjar, cricket, and tree hyrax, with its chilling shriek, as well as the occasional civet or serval cat. Night walks leave the camp at 7.30 pm and last between 1-2 hours. Why not add a night walk the day before or after a Chimpanzee trek.
Walking in Kidepo
The Lomej Mountains can be reached on foot in four hours, and the hike starts at 7:00. Shorter guided walks of around two hours can be taken through the Narus Valley extending over a 5km radius from Apoka Tourism Centre.
Visitors can also wander along the splendid Kidepo River Valley between banks of attractive Borassus palm forest. Namamkweny Valley can be reached in one hour from Apoka. Visitors can also have an amazing cultural experience and meet the IK tribe members during prearranged hikes to the Morungole Mountains outside the park.
Walking in Lake Mburo NP
Unusually, the whole park is open to walkers as long as a ranger guide accompanies them. At Rwonyo, a guided walk leads to a salt lick where many animals are attracted to the salty rocks. A Guided walking safari on the western side of the lake begins at 7:00 and takes 2 hours. You may encounter hyenas returning to their dens and hippos retreating to the lake at this time of the day. Hikes through the woodland provide an opportunity to sight forest birds and mammals, while the walk to the top of the hill rewards visitors with a spectacular view of 9 of the region’s 14 lakes.
Of particular interest to walkers and birders is Rubanga Forest, which may be visited by prior arrangement and in the company of a ranger. All walks should be booked in advance.
Guided Walking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Gorilla Habituation Experience & Jungle Trails
Walking in Bwindi Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the two regions in East-Central Africa where mountain gorillas call home. Bwindi’s misty jungles’ main walking activity is trekking to find the mountain gorillas, but this primeval African jungle offers incredible walking trails for an unforgettable hiking experience. There’s also a unique opportunity to participate in the gorilla habituation experience, an exhilarating hiking exercise that involves following a gorilla family for more than 4 hours. Away from the mountain gorillas, we have about five Bwindi guided hiking trails our guests have found so rewarding.
Muyanga Waterfall Trail starts from Buhoma along the River Ivy-Nkuringo trail and culminates in the falls’ sensational sight plummeting 33 meters. Rushura Hill Trail passes through one forest shared by two countries. On a clear day, you can view Lakes Edward and George and the Rwenzori Mountains as well as the conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes. Muzubijiro Loop is a 6km walk around a hill, where you will encounter primates and birds and enjoy a view of the Virungas. The Ivy River Trail is 14km and takes around four hours. The trail passes a place known as Mukempunu – meaning “a place of pigs” – where wild pigs can often be found.
The Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail takes three to four hours and crosses right through the park, connecting the two villages and offering impressive views of the misty hillsides as you ascend the hills towards Nkuringo. You can leave our luggage with your driver, who will meet you on the other side. This trail can also be completed as part of the Ivi River Walk. The Habinyanja (Railegh) Trail takes 4-6hrs. After crossing the Munyaga River, it takes in a fairly steep ascent of the Habigorogoro and Riyovi Ridge overlooking Buhoma River. Found along this trail is the legendry “African Corner,” named after a rock piece depicting Africa’s map. Following the steep ascent, keen hikers can enjoy a more relaxed, gentle slope to the mighty Habinyanja swamp. Birders on this trail should watch out for the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Black Duck, and Black Bee Eaters, among others.
Walking in Elgon
The 7km (four-hour) mountain bamboo trail to Kapkwai Cave passes through a tropical and bamboo forest. Along the trail are many primates, birds, and rare trees, such as Elgon teak and Elgon olive. The 5km walk to the Chebonet Falls and 3km walk to the Kapkwai caves follow the ridge view trail. There is also an 11km hike to the Tutum Cave, with camping overnight beside the cave.
In Wanale, a visit to Khauka Cave takes three to four hours. Alternatively, you can go to the viewpoint through the Nabuyonga loop, where you can see Jackson’s Summit and Wagagai peak. In Budadiri, short day hikes are available covering the Mudagi Cliffs, Sasa River Camp, and Drigana lower falls. These are great for bird watching, nature walks, and overnight camping.
Walking in Queen Elizabeth
Mweya Peninsula offers savannah and woodland with beautiful views and bold warthogs. At the southern end of the park, visitors can enjoy an easy stroll along the Ishasha River, where they can spot a variety of forest and savanna birds and mammal species as well as having a unique opportunity on this walk to get extremely close to hippos on foot while remaining perfectly safe on the raised bank above the river. This walk ties in perfectly with a longer stay in Queen Elizabeth and a Kazinga Channel boat safari.
Walking in Rwenzori
The park provides an opportunity for nature walks within the central circuit zone. These include trails up to Lake Mahooma and Buraro chimp forest, walks through the communities of Kichamba to reach the Karangura ridge, and hiking to the Bundibugyo area through Bwamba pass.
The communities of Ruboni and Turaco View also offer guided forest walks of various lengths just outside the park. Visitors can follow River Mubuku and glimpse views of Baker and Portal Peaks as they hike up to 2,300m above sea level. It is even possible to view the snowcapped Margherita Peak – a truly spectacular sight on a clear day. Along the way, keep an eye out for chameleons, squirrels, vervet monkeys, and many birds.
Bwamba Pass: Before a road was built in 1938 to link Fort Portal with the remote town of Bundibugyo, local people followed the most direct route between these settlements – a tough, 1,500m high trek over the steep north Rwenzori ridge, known as the Bwamba Pass. The Abanya Rwenzori community group leads visitors over the mountain through isolated mountain villages to visit the bamboo forest and enjoy superb rift valley views.
Walking in Murchison
The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Guided Walking Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile-Lake Albert Delta, 2-4hours of guided swamp walks offer possible sightings of the Shoebill when the water level is low. After an afternoon boating upriver, you can also hike 45 minutes through woodland to the top of Murchison Falls for a completely different experience of this magnificent waterfall.
This guided walking safari experience brings all the senses into play: watch waves of white water tumble hypnotically through this six-meter chasm, listen to the roar, taste the spray on your face, and feel the rock shake beneath your feet. Sheer sensory overload! If you don’t fancy the trek to the top, stop off at the northern bank during your game drive, and walk down a set of steps to stand within meters of the rapids.
Birders and nature lovers can enjoy short treks starting from Sambiya River Lodge or Mubako Junction, both on the southern bank, or a walk along the northern bank from Paraa, passing the Emmy River. All walks last from 1-2 hours.
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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.