5 Activities you Can Add On Your Gorilla Trek In Uganda
A part from gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park in Uganda, there are 5 Activities you Can Add On Your Gorilla Trek In Uganda. Even before you leave the premises of these ancient forest parks there is many potential safari activities.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park on its own is an exclusive biosphere reserve amongst the few remnant-un spoilt locations in the world. The forest is believed to have existed for over 25000 years and might have been a refugee center for animals like the mountain gorillas during the ice age era. The forest currently occupies about 327 square kilometers with more than 200 natural tree species.
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Mgahinga National park may be small in area occupying about 33.7 square kilometers of land but is comfortable home for several primate species including the golden monkeys. This home of mountain gorillas is less visited because of having one open gorilla trekking family but has the most authentic experience of the wild life of the mountain gorillas.
A lot of interesting Uganda safari activities like game drives, launch trips, chimpanzee trekking, horseback riding, white water rafting, birding, fishing, white water rafting and others are a great addition to your gorilla trekking itinerary. You just need a professional from Encounter Africa Safaris with great experience of the locations of these activities. We can tailor the best Uganda safari itinerary inclusive of gorilla trekking, other activities putting in mind no backtracking and time wasting.
Highlights of the 5 Activities you Can Add On Your Gorilla Trek In Uganda
- Chimpanzee Trekking In Kibale National park
- Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park
- Game drive and Launch trip in Queen Elizabeth National park
- Community Visit In Bwindi and Mgahinga National park
- White water rafting On River Nile
Chimpanzee Trekking In Kibale National park
A combo of chimpanzee trekking and gorilla trekking is exceptional as you get the true insight into the lives of both prominent primates. The mountain gorillas in Uganda have there home in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park while chimpanzee trekking is best experienced in Kibale National Park
One needs a chimpanzee trekking permit to be part of this experience and two sessions that is the morning and afternoon are available for booking.
Only 6 chimpanzee trekking permits per group are allowed to visit after briefing at Kanyanchu Visitor center.
The drive from Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 6 hours at a distance of approximately 252.9 km. a combo of gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking safari requires you to have more than just 3 days on your holiday safari. Each activity is a full day experience because you are not sure when to locate the mountain gorillas or chimpanzees. It is hard to add another activity on the same day of either gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking in Uganda.
Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National park
Bwindi Impenetrable National park offers some of the montane forest birding experience in Africa. The park has over 350 bird species including 23 species of the 24 species of the Albertine endemics renowned to be living in Uganda.
After gorilla trekking, you can do birding even before you leave your lodge compound. The Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National is the birder’ haven. In case you are going gorilla trekking and you are a keen birder, this is the best choice to select for your permit. During the drive to this via the ridge top route you can see the undisturbed forest where forest and grassland birds enjoy spending there day.
Hiking to Mubwindi Swamp may give you chance to spot several birds. A few of these birds include Handsome Francolin, Cinammon-chested Bee eaters, Canopy and Mid-storey flock, Mountain Masked and Chestnut throated Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, white-Tailed Crested Flycatcher, collered Apalis, Grauer’s Wabler, Shelley’s Crimsonwing and others.
Game drive and Launch trip in Queen Elizabeth National park
Depending on the flow of your itinerary you can do game drives and launch trip in Queen Elizabeth National park before or after gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The drive from Buhoma area to Ishasha sector of 64 km while Mweya is 160 km.
During the early morning game drive in Queen Elizabeth National Park you may get to spot the tree climbing lions in Ishasha, leopards, topis, elephants, cape buffaloes, warthogs, giant forest hogs, water bucks, bush bucks, Uganda kobs, mongoose and other. Driving through different tracks in the park may give some adventures of the wild drama like the Kasenyi trail where lions love sneaking on Uganda Kobs, the crater lakes area with its amazing views of both dry and wet craters and so much more.
Enjoying a launch trip on Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park gives, you chance to enjoy the beautiful features from the floor of the rift valley. Look out for wild animals that love quenching thirst from the banks of the channel, a rich avian life that enjoys freebie from the marshy banks. This three-hour’s voyage is memorable and exciting to be part of. Do not forget to carry your camera for taking fantastic photographs.
Community Visit In Bwindi and Mgahinga National park
After gorilla trekking, you can take a walk to the local community to understand there life. Close to both parks are community-based activities that give you a brief into the life of the locals. After noticing that the people around the gorilla trekking parks are some of the major problems to conserving mountain gorillas, one of the ways of bringing them to appreciate the gorillas was allowing them to do community based activities.
Buhoma community walk and cultural performances in Bwindi impenetrable National park is organized upon request. When you take this walk, you directly contribute to the wellbeing of the community. This three hour walk is one of the ways the community is included in the campaign to conservation the mountain gorillas.
Have a chance be part of there day today activities as family and they support there life. Activities you can do include visit banana beer brewery, the traditional healer, and upon request watch traditional dance group.
Nkuringo Community walk in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is conducted by the local guides. You can choose to visitthe banana beer brewer, traditional healer, blacksmith, rural homestead.
Batwa Pygmies and Garama cave visit in Mgahinga National Park gives you a glimpse in the forest life of the Batwa. The forest was there sole provider in the early days but were evacuated in 1990s to conserve the mountain gorillas. They lost there ancestral home but can invoke there past life through songs and performances. The Garama cave had been deep in the forest and was the Batwa retreat centers after raiding the Bafumbira farmers. This was also their council chambers where organised groups entertain there visitors with folk dances and song.
At the moment the Garama caves are cultural performance center for the Batwa
White water rafting On River Nile
Before departure from Uganda After gorilla trekking taking a thrilling white water rafting adventure on River Nile is memorable. You do not need experience to be part of this adrenaline stimulating adventure.
A team of expert instructors is in place to take you through all you must do to enjoy white water rafting. A number of safety measures are in place to ensure you have the best experience on River Nile. The Itanda falls are the white water rafting point on River Nile.
On arrival, the instructors brief you about how to go about this experience and then give you safety measures to wear. A kayak goes ahead of the rafting tube to determine how fast the tides are. You are requested to peddle to go through the different levels of white water rafting. You can choose to participate in a just those tides you are comfortable with.
Other activities you can combine with gorilla trekking in Uganda include nature walks, sport fishing, visit Ssese Island in lake Victoria, mountaineering, golden monkey trekking, visit source of the Nile, visit Uganda traditional kingdoms to mention but a few.
How To Get To Bwindi Forest National park For Gorilla Trekking and other 5 Activities you Can Add On Your Gorilla Trek In Uganda
A number of roads can be used to get to Bwindi Impenetrable National park. Endeavor to begin your road trip early to beat jam in the case you are departing Kampala city. This give you enough time to take to drive at your own pace on the up country roads which are slippery and very bumpy at times.
Kampala to Kabale to Kanungu to Buhoma
Drive from Kampala city or Entebbe on a tarmac road for about 414 km. carry on with a curving marram road for about 120 km through Kanungu and Kanyantorogo.
Kampala to Kabale to Rujija to Buhoma
This road is still under construction and is unfinished but it goes through Kabale to Ruhija and Buhoma for about 95 km .
Queen Elizabeth National Park to Kihihi to Buhoma
From Queen Elizabeth National Park to or from Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National it is about 160 km from Mweya and 64 km from Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park. during a game drive in the Ishasha sector you may spot tree climbing lions in the fig trees up high.
Kampala to Ntungamo to Rukungiri to Kihihi to Buhoma
For close to 8 hours from Kampala excluding stops the road you drive to Rukungiri, which is approximately 390 km. From Rukungiri drive on a murram road to Buhoma for 82 km.
Kampala to Kabale to Nkuringo
Kampala to Kabaleis abour 414 km then to Nkuringo is about 150 km lasting about 4 hours on a winding murram road
You may decide to stop in Kisoro which is 80 km from Nkuringo gorilla trekking area. From Kisoro a road is approximately 35km. since its closer to the briefing point of Nkuringo area, you may choose overnight here and then drive early morning for gorilla trekking the following day. Ensure you are in time for briefing .
Scheduled Flights or Charter flights to Kisoro or Kihihi Air strip
Daily domestic flights are available for booking at Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Air strip to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip. In case you opt to use flights ensure you hire a transfer vehicle to your lodge
You may arrange for Private charter flight at Entebbe or Kajjansi airstrip. In case you have that arrangement advance booking is very important because of the lengthy clearance process. Hire a transfer vehicle to the lodge in Bwindi impenetrable National park. All these arrangements require advance booking.
Ask Encounter Africa Safaris and we make these arrangements for you
What to Pack For gorilla trekking with other 5 Activities you Can Add On Your Gorilla Trek In Uganda
- Insect repellants to apply and keep away insects from your skin
- Sweater or fleece to keep you warm especially early morning when its extremely cold in the parks. In Bwindi Impenetrable National park temperatures drops to as low as 7 degrees centigrade. You need to keep warm and if you can take a cup of coffee that is good enough
- Safari tracking boots to use for hiking to get to the gorillas and even during chimpanzee trekking. The wilderness is rough so you need to protect your feet from pricking surfaces.
- Toiletries in case your lodge does not provide
- Garden gloves for covering your palms when doing gorilla trekking. You may stretch your palms to catch a tighter grip on the creeping plants in the wilderness. Even when you slide and fall you need the gloves in order not to get dirty.
- Energy bites to munch on when hungry because the times to take to locate the mountain gorillas is not known. Even game drives area tiresome you need to eat something to keep up with the boredom at times.
- Pajamas to wear in the night
- A camera for taking photos of your Uganda safari experience but use no flash camera for gorilla trekking or chimpanzee trekking
- A pair of binoculars to catch a close look of the far ranging attractions
- Light water proof bag for keeping your belonging together and safe from humid conditions