Walking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda are in the wild so your need to pack the right gears. Although the means of transport the destinations where you are to do the walking is main by road, you can also use air transport.
Some of the renowned walking safari in Uganda and Rwanda include gorilla trekking safari, chimpanzee trekking safaris, nature walks, mountain climbing, golden monkey trekking, Dian fossey trek, cultural tours, beach safari, birding in Uganda, Visit Uganda Wildlife Education Center and others
You must know all the necessary details that are required to participate in these walking Uganda or Rwanda Safaris. Gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking require you to book permits per person per day. Birding in Uganda requires a well-qualified birding guide, some inoculating against covid 19 for gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking experience and so much more.
Where briefing is a must before participating in any Uganda walking safari you must attend. You need an escorting ranger guide for most of the walking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. This is to avoid bad encounter with the wild animals in the wild. Advance arrangements must be done with the Uganda wildlife Authority or Rwanda Development Board for such activities.
One needs to book a gorilla trekking permit for Uganda or Rwanda to be park of this walking safari. In Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga National Park are the only homes of gorilla trekking.
To book accommodation for the gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National park, you must know the area where your gorilla permit is booked. To avoid early morning drive to catch up with briefing in another area.
Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris are done in Volcanoes National park, which is about 3 hours drive from Kigali International airport. You may spend your nights in Musaze or Kinigi but can also overnight in Kigali city before mountain gorilla walk.
Some level of fitness is necessary for you to enjoy the mountain gorilla walk in this Virunga area. The gorillas may be bulky in weight but can climb to the slopes in times of need. The severe wet seasons normally push them to the slopes and so you need to locate them there.
This however doesn’t exclude the physically impaired trekkers because they can sue the sedan chairs or hire porters to carry you on a stretcher.
Carrying some safari-tracking boots that can withstand a soggy ground and walk through creepers. Long sleeved safari clothes in wilderness friendly colors like Khaki and tan are good for this walk.
You need minimum of 3 days gorilla trekking tour for Uganda and at least 2 days gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda to enjoy this walking experience. This is because the time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown to catch up with your home return flight on the same day of trekking in Rwanda.
In Uganda, the distance to travel and get to the gorilla trekking parks is quite far approximately 530 km to and from Entebbe airport. It takes about 8 hours to 9 hours drive to drive from Bwindi Impenetrable National park or Mgahinga National park after gorillas trekking. Even the time of locating the Uganda mountain gorillas is unknown so you need and an extra day.
Chimpanzee walking safaris in Uganda take you to the home of the closest human cousins in animal kingdom. Chimpanzees have about 98% human genes and so display some human related traits.
In Uganda, the habituated chimpanzees like in Kibale National park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park, Kaniyo pabidi forest in Murchison Falls National Park, Kalinzu forest and others. Each of these are as need a chimpanzee trekking permit and the costs vary from area of trekking to another.
Chimpanzee trekking in Rwanda is done in Nyungwe National Park. This has its headquarters in Uwinka and some of the chimpanzees in Rwanda live in Cyamudondo. The Rwanda chimpanzees are semi habituated giving visitors the chance to be in the presence of the semi wild chimpanzees.
You must have comfortable safari boots that will protect you from the rough surfaces in the wilderness. Keep in mind all the necessary rules of chimpanzee trekking like no feeding the chimpanzees, never spit on the vegetation, flash photography is prohibited and others.
The Africa birding basket lies in Uganda and Rwanda. The Virunga area is endowed with a variety of birds species including the Albertine endemics on the red list of IUCN.
You need a number of days on the Africa birding safari to Uganda and Rwanda because of the variety of species located in various destinations.
Some of the birds you may get to see include blue Fly catcher, Alpine Chat, Malachite Sunbird, Rwenzori Turaco, DuskyTutle Dove, African Green Broadbill, Shelley’s Crimmsonwing, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, African Hill Babbler, black and White Mannikin and others.
In Uganda birding destination include Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mpanga forest, Mabamba swamp, Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Mabira Forest, Lake Mburo National park, Lake Bunyonyi area , Botanical gardens in Entebbe, Lutembe Beach and others
Some of Rwanda Birding destinations include Nyungwe National Park, Volcanoes National Park, Akagera National Park and others.
To gain the best out of your birding safari in Uganda and Rwanda, you need a well-tailored Africa birding itinerary. Having more days on your Africa birding adventure gives you wider chances of a large bird list collection and photographs.
Taking walking safaris in the natural forests gives you chances to see more in the wilderness other than what the forest or swamp is known for.
In Uganda, when you take a nature walk to Bigodi Swamp in Kibale National park, you may get to spot variety of primates including black and white colobus, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, blue monkeys and others. A number of birds enjoy the freebies of this swamp area.
Others nature walks in Uganda include Buhoma Nature walks in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where Munyanga River Trail provides an ideal walk to view birds and several primate along the forest edge. The Muzabajiro Loop in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park takes you to the summit of Rukubira Hill for breathtaking views of Bwindi forest, the Western Rift Valley and the Virunga Volcanoes to mention but a few
To get the community closer to conservation in Uganda and Rwanda, the need to allow community run projects was one of the solutions. Most of them are guided by a local who is well acquitted with the life of the local people.
To bring the community closer to the mountain gorilla conservation, tourists can take walks like in Uganda like Buhoma community walk and cultural performances immerse you into the life of locals. You may get to visit the medicine man, beer brewery, watch local dance troupes and others.
Uganda community Tourism Association (UCOTA) is the umbrella for most of the community bases tourism activities. Through this, they get a voice to advertise and demand for recognition from the authorities concerned. More of the community-based walks in Uganda include Bigodi Swamp Community, Kabaka Heritage trail,
Taking any of the walking safaris is one of the direct ways to support the local communities close to conservation areas. They use the funds accumulated to run projects like Clinics, schools, water supplies, literacy programs and others.
In Rwanda, a number of community based walks can are run to support victims of the 1994 Rwanda Genocide and former poachers.
The Ethnographic Museum is a community-based project in Rwanda where you can engulf into the life of local Rwandese. In this museum, they showcase farming, hunting, fishing techniques, pottery, dress code, local music instruments to mention but a few. This museum has a training center of traditional Arts and crafts that work with young children to teach them the traditions of Rwanda like beading, craft making, weaving, traditional dances and others.
Close to Volcanoes National park in Rwanda is the gorilla guardian Village run by former poachers. Here you can take part in pottery, craft making, cow dung painting, in case interested can taste local cuisine.
Golden monkey trekking is one of the unique Africa primate experiences. Scientifically the golden monkeys are called Cercopithecus mitis kandti. They are some of the endangered primates in the world numbering about 2000 to 4000 worldwide. They are residents of the Virunga area living in Mgahinga National park in Uganda and Volcanoes National park Rwanda.
There body structure is larger than normal monkeys with golden brown fur in the back and abdomen. Areas.
They keep you on your toes while trekking to locate them although they have been habituated to be in the presence of humans.
Wear the right gears when going for golden monkey trekking in Uganda and Rwanda. Some level of fitness is necessary because of the nature of the topography in this area which is volcanic. Even the ground is usually wet because of the regular rains that fall with less sunray penetration.
Some energy bites are necessary when taking any of the walking safaris to locate the golden monkeys. You need to be energized after a long time of searching.
Taking a walk through the Uganda Wildlife Education Center, which is former Entebbe Zoo gives you chance to encounter most of the animals living in National Parks. The center has over 50 animal species and over 250 species of herbs.
During either a guided walk or personal walk through the center gives, you chance to see animals out there you may not see during the game drives. You get to see animals like lions, leopards, rhinos, chimpanzees, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, ostriches and much more in exhibits.
During the game drives in the national Parks you may not see some of these animals in the wilderness but see them up close during the walk through the center.
Taking the 1 km forest walk in the natural forest walk gives you the perfect feeling of the wilderness. You enjoy the view of several monkey species like vervet monkeys, black and white colobus and others. Spiders, lizards, duikers, more than 250 bird species and others. At the end of the trail, you meet several medicinal herbs identified by both local names and scientific names.
Rwenzori Mountain in Uganda is the highest mountain in the country. You need at least 7 days return walk to complete this adventure to the Magheritah peak and back. You pass through Mobuku and Bujuku valley beneath the highest peaks
While walking to reach the peak, you may encounter animals like elephants, cape buffaloes, giant forest hogs, bushbucks, black and white colobus and several others. More than 241 birds species enjoy the lower habitats of Mountain Rwenzori. Enjoy the exceptional vegetation zones along the way ranging from montane vegetation, bamboo stands, Heather- Rapenea zone and Alpine zone
A day’s hike on Mountain Muhavura, Mountain Gahinga and Mountain Sabyinyo is worth including in your Uganda walking safari itinerary.
Rwanda is a land of a thousand hills but you can distinctively hike some of them including Mountain Bisoke, Karisimbi Mountain, Gahinga Mountain, Sabyinyo Mountain, Mountain Muhabura and others.
Remember to use a ranger guide during these walks to avoid nasty encounters with wild animals or getting an accident in the middle of nowhere.
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