HIKING TRAILS IN BWINDI FOREST NATIONAL PARK UGANDA

Besides taking a hike to see gorillas, there are quite number of interesting hiking trails in Bwindi forest national park that offer the best nature walking experience. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is a UNESCO world Heritage site located in south western Uganda commonly known as a home to endangered mountain gorillas. Most people purposely visit Bwindi forest for gorilla trekking adventure but there are so many activities to do and lots of  wildlife to see along the hiking trails.

Some visitors may prefer to stay long and enjoy more that this pristine jungle park can offer beyond gorilla trekking tour. Therefore nature walk along any of the many hiking trails will lead you to different parts of the park to explore the beauty, while enjoying the flora and fauna. Bwindi impenetrable forest is a home to 120 mammals with 10 primates, 350 bird species, 220 butterfly species, 27 frog species and beautiful vegetation in the tropical rain forest.

Best hiking trails in Bwindi impenetrable national park last 4 hours to a full day depending on the trail taken and these trails will let you enjoy seeing some of the endemic wildlife that live in this park. Hiking through Bwindi forest usually start from Buhoma, the village in the northern part of the park and end in southern sector at Nkuringo or even through communities up to Lake Mutanda in Kisoro. Some of these walking trails are strenuous and others are easy to trek while experiencing river crossing. There are many rivers in Bwindi forest including River Ivi, River Munyaga, River Kashasha, Ihihizo and Bizenga, all these Rivers support the lives of wild animals living in this park and you will not miss to cross some of them during your walking safari in the forest.

On each trek visitors are escorted by experienced and informative guides who answer all questions asked and interpret nature as well as identifying forest birds and monkeys. Visitors undertaking a walking safari in Bwindi need to be physically fit and everyone has a chance to choose a trail according to strength, interest and hiking capabilities. Some of the popular hiking trails in Bwindi Impenetrable national park include;

Buhoma – Nkuringo Trail

This is the most exciting trail in Bwindi that usually start from Buhoma the northern sector of the park, walking across Bwindi forest and ending to Nkuringo the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. This rewarding hiking adventure trail connects two villages of Buhoma and Nkuringo by this walking safari experience. Depending on interest and fitness, you may choose to hike through the forest along River ivi trail or Kashasha River tail. The two hiking trails lead you to the same destination but vary in length and steepness. It takes 3 to 5 hours to walk across Bwindi forest depending on which direction one chooses to walk and what you see along the trail. Bird watchers usually take more time while trying to spot some of the Albertine rift endemic birds.

The Ivi River Trail

The Ivi river trail is 14km in distance and lasts about 7 hours to a full day. this trail takes visitors through the park starting at either Buhoma or Nkuringo park headquarters. Visitor hike up the hills and down crossing Ivy river through an old jungle road. The trail passes an area called Mukempunu meaning a place of pigs where wild pigs are often seen. The trail rewards visitors with breath taking views of rift valley and also see how local people go about their day to day activities. Some wildlife like monkeys and bush pigs can be seen along the trail. Visitors can hike and complete in this trail as river ivy walk or use it to walk through the forest to connect two village in Buhoma and Nkuringo

Kashasha River Trail

Kashasha river trail is a moderate trail that take 4-5 hours starting in Buhoma sector and ending in Nkuringo sector or vice versa. The trail goes up to an altitude of 600 m above sea level, meaning it takes visitors through steep terrain but it’s so rewarding with the magnificent views at the top. The trail goes through community land before joining the park’s buffer zone. Along the trail, visitors pass through a junction connecting two rivers River Kashasha and River ivi, hence considered as one of the best trails in the park.

Munyaga Waterfall Trail

Hiking Trails In Bwindi forest national park

Munyaga waterfall trail starts in Buhoma sector and goes along the Ivi river trail. Visitors get to view the 3 clear waterfalls of about 33 meters high. Along the trail some of the wildlife can be seen including monkeys, birds, butterflies, ferns, orchids and more. It’s good for visitors with little time to spare in the park and takes about 3 hours going and coming back.

Habinyanja Trail

This trail takes 4-6 hours and goes through the steep slopes of Riyoyi and Habigorogoro ridges after crossing Munyaga river. The trail overlooks the Buhoma river and its good for birders especially as they slope to the Habinyanja swamp. Some of the birds to look out for are Pel’s Fishing owl, African Black duck and Black bee eaters.

Rushura Hill Trail

The Rushura hill trail takes visitors through a forest shared by two countries with clear views of Lake Edward, Lake George and Rwenzori mountains on a clear day while at the top of the hill. This Rushura hill is the highest point on Buhoma sector giving great views of the areas around. The trail takes about 3 hours with many scenic points along the way.

Muzabajiro Loop Trail.

Muzabajiro is a loop trail of 6 km that takes you around a hill in about 3-4 hours. This interesting trail offers hikers great views of the Virunga volcanoes on clear weather. Visitors can encounter primates and a number of birds along the trail.

Munyaga River Trail

Munyaga river trail is a shortest trail in Bwindi forest that takes 2 hours to hike through, starting either at the park office in Buhoma and coming back by turning at bizenga where the primary forest begins and vice versa. This wonderful short trail is best recommended to visitors who have little time to spare in Bwindi and those who are not strong enough to walk long distance. Along munyaga river trail there are chances to spot primates such as monkeys and birds of the forest edge.

Mubwindi Swamp Trail

This trail is one of the best trails in Bwindi as it takes you to one of the best birding spots in Bwindi. Visitors can also spot some forest elephants, chimpanzees, bush bucks, monkeys, bush pigs and if lucky they can also see gorillas. For bird lovers this is the best trail to take and view great bird species.

Hiking Trails In Bwindi forest national park

Bamboo Trail

The bamboo trail takes visitors up a hill up to an elevation of 2607m above sea level called Rwamunyonyi peak. This is the highest point of the park. The trail takes about 6 hours going through thick vegetation of alpine, bamboo and afro montane. The trail grants amazing views of lake Bunyonyi and Virunga Volcanoes. The trail is strenuous and requires physically fit people. This trail is so rewarding with amazing scenery of the forest.

These hiking trails can be organized by  a tour agency as activity to do after gorilla trekking, bird watching trips or just as an independent program for any one interested to take a guided walk in forest jungle on a safari to Bwindi forest in Uganda.

 

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