The 13km KirumiaTrail runs through the heart of the forest to the Semuliki River. This 8 hour round trip starts at 8am and is perfect for birders.
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. This 2-4 hour hike can take place in the morning or afternoon.
There are six main nature trails in Buhoma for those who wish to explore the “impenetrable forest”:
Muyanga Waterfall Walk departs from Buhoma along the River Ivy-Nkuringo trail and culminates in the sensational sight of the falls plummeting 33 meters.
Rushura Hill Walk 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 at 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 a map of Africa. 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.
Unusually, the whole park is open to walkers as long as they are accompanied by a ranger guide. At Rwonyo, a guided walk leads to a salt lick where many animals are attracted to the salty rocks.
Walks on the western side of the lake begin at 7am and takes 2 hours. At this time of the day, you may encounter hyenas returning to their dens and hippos retreating to the lake. 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.
The vast landscapes and varied scenery of Murchison Falls National Park and the surrounding Conservation Area can be explored on foot. Trails through Kaniyo Pabidi and Rabongo Forests provide sightings of many primates and birds, while around the Nile-Lake Albert Delta, 2-4hours 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 is an experience that 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.
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 though the darkened forest use 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 7.30pm and last between 1-2 hours. Why not add a night walk the day before or after a Chimpanzee trek.
The park provides 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 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. On a clear day it is even possible to view the snowcapped Margherita Peak – a truly spectacular sight. 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.
The Lomej Mountains can be reached on foot in four hours, the hike starts at 7am. 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 members of the IK tribe during prearranged hikes to the Morungole Mountains outside the park.
The 7km (four-hour) mountain bamboo trail to Kapkwai Cave passes through 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 the option of 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 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.
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.
Kalinzu forest is 10 km west of Ishaka on the main Mbarara Kasese highway. The Visitor reception center is very conveniently situated for visitors en-route to or from Queen Elizabeth National Park only 40 kms distant on the Mbarara Kasese road.
Kalinzu forest offers visitors a choice of scenic guided walks along the ridges and valleys of the Rift Valley escarpment. From the forest trails amazing views open up over the Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, the Kazinga Channel and the Congo.
Visit the “old man of the hills”. Kalinzu forest is steeped in mysteries and rich with local legends. Learn about the folk lore and uses of the forest from a local guide.
Experience the forest at night. See nocturnal primates like pottos and galagos. Search for owls and other animals that only emerge under the cover of darkness and listen to the errie shrieking of the tree hyrax.
Get away from it all at the campsite retreat. The camping site is set deep into the forest far away from any settlements and although basic, offers visitors a tranquil ‘back to nature’ experience.
Kalinzu forest reserve is a home to over 5 species of primates which include the black and white colobus monkey, our closest relative the chimps, Lhoest guenon, Vervet monkey and baboon and only four visitors are allowed to track per day. Chimpanzee tracking starts at 8am and takes 3-4 hours depending on their location. Enjoy observing the closest creature to man.
For all birders this place is well known bird’s paradise and the reserve is home to over 378 species of birds including black and white casket, cuckoos, sun birds, Great Blue Turaco among others.
Four fabulous forest trails have been developed at Kalinzu offering visitors a range of exciting options. All the trails involve some clambering over hilly terrain so visitors will be advised by the local guides on the suitability of each trail for each age and ability.
The River Trail
This short 2.5 km circular trail takes approximately 1 hour. The major feature along this walk is River Kajojo or ‘Elephant River’ so called because elephants used to bathe here. The trail goes past some fine specimens of ‘Parinari excelsa’ the climax tree in the forest and a huge strangler figure. Visitors will see signs of the nine forest primate species including chimpanzee nests high in the tree tops.
The Palm Trail
A 5 km circular trail taking between 1– 2 hours over relatively flat terrain. Visitors will discover some fascinating forest trees along this trail including the ‘Flame tree’ with its large, red, tulip-like flames which supposedly activates sexual desire in women, ‘Raphia Palms’ used for making local mats, a spectacular ‘Dragon tree’.
The Valley Trail
This 3.5 km circular trail takes approximately 2 hours and offers spectacular views over valley. Visitors will trek along a ridge and past a number of interesting forest features. A forest favorite is the ‘Mutragyne rubrostipuleta’ or ‘viagra’ tree.
The Waterfall Trail
An 11 km loop trail taking between 4 and 5 hours over some hilly and ,in parts, wet terrain. This trail leads to a magnificent waterfall ‘kilyantama’ locally known as ‘the sheep eater’. Visitors will discover the tree that “baboons cannot climb” and backcloth figs which are used in the craft industry to make beautifully decorated table cloths, curtains, handbags and ceremonial clothes.