Walking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the most sought for activities that many people tend to go for when they go on safari in western Uganda. A Walking safari is a proper immersive walk being conducted in a protected area which is a habitat for various species of mammals, birds, primates, forests, swamps, lakes and vegetation around the environment. It offers to the traveler freedom to viewing unique primates and other species.
To note walking safari in Bwindi national park in the most authentic safari experience you will ever encounter. More so, to enjoy the walking safari in Bwindi, it is best done on foot because you can reach places that a safari car can’t.
The Walking safari in Bwindi national park is the best way to get to know about the wildlife found within the park and because you get a chance to get close and personal with wildlife. During this safari, you will go on foot with an armed ranger for protection.
Bwindi impenetrable national park is situated in the southwest region of Uganda in Kisoro district which is approximately 7 to 8 hours by road and 3hours and 20 minutes by flight from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip. However, the park boasts of mountain gorillas which are the part of the only apes that are remaining in the world. Walking safaris in Bwindi is part of nature walk or the forest walk that can be conducted in the impenetrable forest on foot. You can see different species of birds like African green pigeon, crowned hornbill, giant kingfisher, cinnamon chested -bee-eaters, mountain masked apalis, Ruwenzori apalis, hand francolin, black-faced warble, regal sunbird and more. Thousands of travelers and the local people normally visit Bwindi impenetrable national park to engage in gorilla trekking and they later engage in the walking safaris.
Bwindi national park has got different locations for its trailheads which is favorable to the tourist who enjoys walking safaris.
Buhoma trailhead will give you a great walk with very many interesting things and it is located on the north side of the park. The Buhoma trail is the most interesting area where you can enjoy your nature walk and since this trail is a home of mountain gorilla families, you can get amazing viewing of the unique apes, getting close to them because they are being trained to come near the people, getting a chance to learn about the way they feed their young ones and much more observations. Through this trailhead, you can also enjoy the community visit to the Bakiga and the Batwa communities who are good in storytelling. Their dance is full of joy, as you enjoy the cultural safaris. This trail still leads you at the edge of the hiking trails, river Ivi trail, and waterfall trails.
Waterfall trail: Along this waterfall hiking trail, you can be able to view the marvelous waterfalls within the forest. This trail reveals many hidden features of Bwindi impenetrable national park such as the vegetation, mammals like monkeys, forest elephants and other species of birds. Expect to explore all these when you’re in a hiking session.
Rushura hill trails: Rushura hill can work out for you measuring 1,915m high above the sea level as a walking safari trail. This trail hike provides tourists with an amazing view of Lake Edward, mountain Rwenzori, and the western rift valley. When you get here you will be amazed by the views, nature and its wildlife species.
River Ivi trail: This trailhead gives out fantastic view experience of river Ivi, located in the south part of the park which is roughly a 6 hours walk away to the old road in the forest. Well, you’re you can encounter a lot of species like mountains gorillas, birds, monkeys, and also the local people since it is the route leading the local people to the market.
Bamboo forest trails: This trail is located at an elevation of 2607m high above the sea level. To walk through this trail up to the end, you will take about 6 hours. While a traveler is enjoying a nature walk within this bamboo forest, you can explore a variety of species of rare vegetation, primates, birds, mammals, tree species and many more.
Kajembehajamber trail: This trail is comprised of two nature trail walks for birding and it is really amazing for travelers who enjoy bird watching because from this trail you will encounter a number of birds and also beautiful waterfalls.
Gate to gate trail: This trail is located in the Nkurigo area which is a habitant to gorilla families, and this trail connects the two park gates and might take you up to 6 hours to walk through. This trail covers a total distance of about 10 kilometers, and you will be able to see different birds, dense woods, monkeys and more. Since this trail goes around the river junction, you can have a good time relaxing along this river while observing the Virunga conservation area and the panoramic view of the forest.
The essentials you must carry when you are doing the walking safaris in Bwindi include Camping gear, sunhat, head torch, good quality walking boots, be in good health, a camera with enough battery and other essentials.
While the tourist is at the walking tour in Bwindi national park, they can sleep in comfort in different lodges including Broadbill forest camp, silverback lodge, buhoma community rest camp, Rushaga gorilla camp, Gift of nature lodge, travelers rest hotel and many other hotels. The room rates depend on your budget, therefore, you can decide to sleep at your own convenience.
The walking safari is best done in the dry season when the forest trails are dry enough and the land is not slippery. The drier months include June to September and December to February.
The easiest way to access Bwindi Impenetrable national park is by use road transport from Kampala City which might take you up to 7 -8 hours. Another option is to fly from Entebbe Airport which can take 3hours and 30minutes only to Kisoro Airstrip.