Apart from the usual gorilla treks, nature walks can also be enjoyed in the Bwindi National Park. It is recommended to be explore the forest on foot. Guided forest walks are readily available whereby you will follow the most popular trails that leads you to waterfalls and other fascinating attractions in the forest.For birders, this should be the first destination on your tour itinerary if you are looking for forest birds. Though there is no organized chimpanzee tracking in the forest, many tourists have seen chimpanzees on a forest hike.
There are also forest walks for scholars and scientific researchers.
THE NATURE/FOREST TRAILS IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK.
Located in southwestern region of Uganda at the boarder with Democratic Republic of Congo, Bwindi impenetrable national park covers an area of 331 square kilometers in the highest parts of Kigezi hills. It is home to almost half of the world’s only remaining mountain gorillas, and this is its flagship.
Most of the travelers know this park as the most prominent destination for the most ultimate gorilla trekking experience in Africa. This has made the park to majorly attract gorilla lovers and adventure enthusiasts to experience this amazing encounter, plus many other experiences this park harbors, including Batwa cultural tours, nature / forest walks, birding and others.
Nature walks are simply walks in the jungles that let you appreciate the tranquility and gifts of nature. It is one of the greatest ways to soothe your mind and refresh your soul.
About nature walks in Bwindi impenetrable forest, six trails have been developed and well maintained to ensure that guests have unforgettable experiences to view different birds plus primates like the mountain gorillas, monkeys, baboons among others.
The most famous Muyanga Waterfall Walk departs from Buhoma along the River Ivi-Nkuringo trail and culminates in the historic sight of the falls. The walk is partially along the track going through the forest and the other part is a bush track with log bridges at river crossings. The trail covers a total distance of about 9km return and offers a pleasant afternoon walk.
Both the journey to and from the waterfalls is very scenic making a nature walk a delightful way to spend an afternoon while in Bwindi forest.
Rushura Hill Walk. This passes through the one forest shared by two countries. Depending on the weather, on a clear day you have an opportunity to view Lakes – Edward and George, the Rwenzori Mountains and the conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes as you climb up to the highest point around Buhoma and you descend through cultivated fields regenerating forests.
The Habinyanja Trail, also known as the Railegh trail takes 4-6hrs. Having crossed the Munyaga River, it fairly slopes down of the Habigorogoro and Riyovi Ridge overlooking Buhoma River. Along the trail you find the legendry “African Corner” which was named after a rock piece depicting a map of Africa. Further descending, hikers enjoy a more relaxed gentle slope to the mighty Habinyanja swamp. Also birders on this trail can spot the Pel’s Fishing Owl, African Black Duck and Black Bee Eaters, among others.
The Buhoma-Nkuringo Trail crosses right through the park. It takes three to four hours connecting the two villages and offering stunning views of the misty hillsides. This trail can also be completed as part of the Ivi River Walk. Identify several bird and butterfly species, trees and primates like gorillas, monkeys among others.
Muzubijiro Loop; this 6km trail rotates around a hill and gives one a chance to encounter primates, birds and enjoy a view of the Virungas. As you ascend through the forest to the Rukubira Hill, you are rewarded with excellent views of the Virunga Volcano chain and the Western Rift Valley below. The top of this trail is an amazing place for a picnic lunch.
The Ivi River Walk, is 14km long passing via a place known as Mukempunu which means “a place of pigs” because many wild pigs are always found here. The trail goes through an old road in the forest and it is full day’s hike with the most fabulous experience. It is very scenic with viewpoints along the way, monkeys, bush pigs, butterflies, birds and meeting villagers on the way coming from the local markets and gardens.
If you ever come for a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, you can alternatively go for the popular Buhoma Village walk and have an unimaginable experience.