Bwindi trekking & hiking trails – interesting jungle walk
Bwindi trekking and hiking trail is a rewarding and adventurous travel experience deep in the jungle. The forest is the home to the mountain gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located in southwestern Uganda on the Rift Valley edge. It was first established as a Forest Reserves in 1932 with an area of about 298Km² in size.
Apart from gorilla trekking which is the major activity in Bwindi impenetrable forest, hiking/nature walks and cultural encounters allow tourists to explore several attractions in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park on foot.
The Nkuringo – Buhoma Trail
This trail takes 3-4 hours to pass via the Park and later link to the two villages of Buhoma and Nkuringo offering a clear view of the fog hillsides. There is no need of carrying luggage since the hike takes a few hours and this can be completed as part of the Ivy River trail.
Kashasha River Trail
The Kashasha River trail takes 4-5 hours hike into the jungles and the trail is 600 meters long. The hiking trail involves walking through the Buhoma-Nkuringo route.
The trail starts from Nkuringo Park headquarters and goes up to the Park Buffer zone. It passes via the junction of the two Rivers inside the forest, thereafter 15 – 20 minutes ascent to meet with the alternative route. It takes 90 minutes to walk from Buhoma as it can enable you to view bird species, plants, and their flowers plus trees and ferns.
Munyaga river trail
This is one of the easiest trails in the forest and takes 2 hours starting at the end of Buhoma road via the Bizinge creek joining to the bank of Munyaga River, the trail is circular in nature.
Munyaga river trail is a birder haven and a perfect spot for most birds especially endemic to the forest along with a scenic view of river Munyaga, which all provide travelers with a remarkable experience. This trail can be self-guided due to its nearness and short tie required to reach the destination.
Rushura Hill trail
The trail starts near Buhoma Park headquarters, through the terraced gardens and breath-taking forests. Rushura hill is the highest point in Buhoma sector.
The trail is an amazing point to view the Western Rift Valley, Rwenzori Mountains, Lake Edward, Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Virunga Volcanoes. The hike has the best view while at the top of the mountain.
This is 7 hours walking in length and considered difficulty level to hike, its located in Ruhija sector. As you hike up to 2607 meters, plants and vegetation will begin to continuously change from Bamboo forest to afro-montane. At the top point, view unbelievable beautiful Lake Bunyonyi, Mafuga Forest Reserve, Bwindi Forest, the Virunga Volcanoes.
Mubwindi Swamp Trail
This takes 4-5 hours journey and goes through the magical rainforest with breathtaking viewpoints along the way of rich valleys and the Virunga ranges. When you are at Mubwindi Swamp trail, you encounter some of the primates especially the Chimpanzees and monkeys plus numerous bird species, forest elephants, luckily even the mountain gorillas plus the bush pigs.
Ivy River Trail
This trail follows an old road through the forest taking 7-8 hours to the endpoints of either Buhoma or Nkuringo. This is a one day hike to elevation gain and simply a most fabulous experience.
It has a fantastic scenic route with viewpoints. This trail can also be taken from Nkuringo to Buhoma and it offers the best views of Lake Mutanda and Kisoro town.
The Habinyanja Trail
This trail always takes 4-6 hours, while going through the Munyanga River, visitors use a fairly steep slope of the Habigorogoro and Riyoyi Ridge overlooking Buhoma River. The most interesting feature on this trail is the “African Corner” that was named after a rock that represents the map of Africa. With the steep ascent, keen hikers can relish a more relaxed gentle slope to the Habinyanja Swamp. Bird watchers will also find this trail interesting because they might encounter the African Back duck, Black Bee-eaters, Pel’s Fishing Owl plus others.
Muzabajiro Loop Trail
This trail takes between 3-4 hour and rewards tourists with the most beautiful view. It involves climbing Rukubira Hill where tourists view of the Virunga Mountain massifs, Buhoma area and the western Rift Valley below.
Buffer Zone trial
The trail takes between 2-3hours to cover the entire walk from the starting point to the end point. A buffer zone is a transition zone between Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the cultivated land where most people live. Gorillas do not live in the buffer zone because they do not like tea, therefore they go back into the forest to look for what to eat, instead of eating whatever they can find in the farmers’ gardens. This walk is great for birding and learning about the rural farming communities
Buniga forest Trail
The Batwa people were living in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park as nomads surviving on flora and fauna before 1991 when it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site for the gorillas only, the Batwa were transferred from the forest and relocated into the new home. The trail covers a duration of 2-4 hours from the starting point to the endpoint.
The walk is less challenging but rewards you with the best walking experience in the entire forest. It also offers a chance to learn more about former forest natives (the Batwa). The project is run by USAID and the local Batwa community, they use their rich heritage to promote their previous life in the forest to earn a living.