Hitting the Hiking Trails in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hiking Trails for the Outdoor Enthusiast
In 2019 CNN placed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on its best Hiking Trails in the World list.
Hitting the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hiking Trails has become popular with Visitors to Uganda and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This ancient Rainforest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a perfect place for Hikers, Birders, and Nature Enthusiasts.
Extend your time beyond Gorilla Trekking and penetrate Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on one of its many trails, or take one of the two paths that take you from one end of the Park to the other.
One of the best ways to discover Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, is by hitting the hiking trails and Nature Walks that are there. You will find a diversity of Flora and Fauna that is quite different from what you are used to in your part of the World.
Local people have used some of these trails in the Forest for hundreds of years, others for thousands such as the First People of the Forest – The Batwa Pygmy People who left a low ecological footprint behind them.
Hitting the Hiking Trails – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is known for Mountain Gorilla Tracking. Beyond Gorillas, visitors are discovering there are the hikes and nature walks, trails that cross this ancient forest that is also known as the number one birding site in all of Africa.
Most Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hiking Trails and Nature walks are easy to moderate effort Trails, and a few are demanding and more of a challenge.
Besides Mountain Gorillas, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is also home to 120 species of mammals including Primates such as the Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Black and White Colobus, Red-Tailed Guenon, Vervet Monkeys, L’Hoest’s Guenon, Baboons, Nocturnal Prosimians, Forest Elephants (hairier, smaller, smaller tusks, one extra toe on each foot), small antelopes such as Duikers, Bush pigs, Giant Forest Hogs, Several small species of Cats,(Chimpanzees are not tracked in this Park)
There are over 348 species of birds, including African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson-wing. Other birds include the Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Green Tinkerbird, Mountain, and Yellow-streaked Greenbuls, Mountain Masked, and Chestnut –throated Apalises, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Ruwenzori Batis and White-tailed fly-catcher among others. There are 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos – many of which you will see on your Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hike.
In 2019 CNN placed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest on its best Hiking Trails in the World list. Another Reason for the Hit the Trails in the ancient Afromontane Forest.
Hitting the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hiking Trails
Hiking through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and beyond:
The Hike through Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be one day, or you can take the longer hike from the north of Bwindi to the South – called Nkuringo- there one can stay overnight. The next day down to scenic Lake Mutanda where you paddle across in a wooden dugout and proceed to the town of Kisoro.
This hike from north to south to Bwindi Impenetrable or reversed is a most rewarding one or two days for those that take the challenge.
The trail difficulty level is medium and is from 5 to 8 hours in duration. There are two variations – both described below – the Ivy River Trail being one and Kashasha River Trail being the other.
Hiking through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a one day hike – the two-day hike and dugout canoe trip across Lake Mutanda adds to the adventure, one can also track Gorillas at both ends of the Park – Buhoma and Nkuringo.
Munyanga River Trail-Buhoma Area:
This guided trail will take you along the scenic Bizenga Creek, which joins the Munyanga River – you start at Buhoma and end up there.
An excellent trail that Birders will find most rewarding – with a superb Birding Guide at your side, you will not miss too many of the unique and endemic species of birds in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. ( 1/2 hour in length – difficulty level is easy – Location – Buhoma Area)
It is an easy hike and brings much with it in terms of what you see in the Forest – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the reason it is so is that it has so much to offer.
Hike along the scenic Munyanga River in the Buhoma Area of the Forest.
Explore the mysteries of Bwindi, its plants, trees, see its butterflies, its birds unique to the area on this trail – it is always amazing what you meet along this trail.
It is a guided trail, and one of the most popular ones. There are birds, butterflies, monkeys, scenic beauty of the forest, your guide will point out things to you that you might not or miss, and it will be an enriching part of your time at Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in the Buhoma region of the Park.
This trail was supposed to be a road leading to the town of Kisoro when gorillas and conservation were not on the mind of politicians – thank goodness it was never completed, and you can enjoy it today without vehicles. ( 3 hours or the longer – difficulty level is moderate – location – Buhoma Area).
On this trail, you will meet a lot of residents, and it is the most popular visitor hike. There is another Waterfall Trail in the Rushaga region in the South of Bwindi Forest.
Muzabajiro Loop Trail-Buhoma:
It is the trail with a view. You ascend through the forest to the Rukubira Hill. You are rewarded with fabulous views of the Virunga Volcanoes chain – Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Western Rift Valley below – another rewarding hike in the Buhoma Area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Please note that some trails in the Buhoma Area can be made on a Mountain Bike that you can rent from Ride 4 a Woman self-help group.
The best time of the year for viewing is during the rainy season since the area below is cleared of the smoke from villages that might obscure the view.
The Trail is 3 to 4 hours in length – difficulty level is moderate-location Buhoma Area.
Rushura Hill Trail:
The highest mountain in the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is Rushura Hill. Its starting point is near the Buhoma Park Office. From then it merely is up through the terraced fields, and forests – along the trail are scenic viewpoints – once on top, you have incredible views across the Western Rift Valley, the Virunga Volcanoes, and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
It is a most scenic hike since it takes you to the top of a mountain from where you will have great views of the surrounding areas.
The elevation on top is 1,915 meters – the hike – however, it is well worth it – as always on a longer walk – bring along a backpack with water and maybe something to eat.
(3 to 4 hours in length – difficulty level is somewhat strenuous-Location – Buhoma)
Ivy River Trail:
This trail follows an old road through the forest – This is a full day’s hike with elevation gain and only a most fabulous experience – we have had clients that have taken this trail after having tracked gorillas at Buhoma and then after reaching Nkuringo.
It is a very scenic route – viewpoints along the way, monkeys, bush pigs, butterflies, birds, villagers on the road, or coming from the market. This trail can also be taken from Nkuringo to Buhoma.
Where does one start – Buhoma or Nkuringo? Best is probably Buhoma and hike to Nkuringo – stay overnight – track Gorillas the next day and, on the following day, continue to Lake Mutanda and the town of Kisoro.
(6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours in length –the difficulty level – moderate – Location –the beginning of this hike is either Buhoma or Nkuringo)
Kashasha River Trail:
This trail is 4 to 5 hours in length. Once again you see the ancient Rainforest up close – this trail involves steeper inclines – especially if you take the Buhoma to Nkuringo route – it is 600 meters up at the end of the trail – your guides will point out the wildlife and the birds, plants, flowers, ferns, and trees.
The views along this trail are most stunning. Amazingly to go by vehicle from Buhoma to Nkuringo takes 7 hours plus and is much shorter taking the Kashasha River Trail
5 to 6 hours in length – the difficulty level – moderate – The start of this hike is either the Buhoma or Nkuringo area of the Park.
Some claim that it is more scenic in starting at Buhoma and ending in Nkuringo.
Hiking in this part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest means a steep climb hike up to 2607 meters. The plants and vegetation areas will continuously change – including the Bamboo forest (14 different ones) until you reach the Afro-montane vegetation. Grass and forest birds along the way – up to the highest point within the Park – Rwamunyonyi hill (2607 meters)
The view from the top is unbelievably beautiful – Lake Bunyonyi – that magical – mystical lake below – Mafuga Forest Reserve – Bwindi Forest – the Virunga Volcanoes – well worth the hike-climb.
Ruhija is about an hour plus from Buhoma – if you are doing this hike, you should stay in the Ruhija area of the Park.
(7 hours in length – the difficulty level – strenuous – location – Ruhija)
Mubwindi Swamp Trail:
The Mubwindi Swamp Trail moves along a path in the forest that descends through the majestic Rainforest with scenic viewpoints along the way of green valleys and the Virunga Volcano Chain. You might see Forest Elephants, Chimpanzees, even Gorillas, Bushbucks, Monkeys, and Bush Pigs since they all live in that part of Bwindi Rainforest.
This part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and this hike, in particular to Mubwindi Swamp needs a special authorization from the Uganda Wildlife Authority Staff in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The Mubwindi Swamp Trail is a must-do for birders, and a knowledgeable guide will be at your side.
Before gorilla tracking was done in the Ruhija area of the Park, Birders flocked here. (Birders can spend the whole day here-others a 4 to 5-hour hike – the difficulty level – moderate – location – Ruhija)
Hiking Tips and Advice:
Hiking and Nature Walk in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest take some preparation, wearing the right clothing, boots, shoes more.
Preparing for a hike or nature walk will make it a lot more rewarding for you. We can also help you if you have any questions about Bwindi Forest. We would also love to help you in creating an itinerary that not only includes gorilla tracking, but other activities such as outlined above and a hike in or through the forest might be right for you.
Hiking in Uganda merely is different from what you are used to – many hikes are in the diverse Rainforest – the altitude is higher, and in most cases, it is not hot, due to because of the elevation of the Park.
Know before you Go
Our advice on hitting the Bwindi Forest Hiking Trails:
You are here, Gorilla Trekking, spend a few extra nights in the area discovering the Park by hitting the trails of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Most do not have any idea as to what they can here in terms of hiking in the forest.
Ask us, and we will give you our advice based on our long experience and the response of past clients.
The hike from Buhoma to Nkuringo is one of the most popular hikes with our clients, and some choose to track Gorillas in Buhoma and the southern area of the Park and the following day continue the trek down to the scenic Lake Mutanda and paddle across it in a dugout canoe as in the days of old.
We love to help you hit the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Trails while on Safari with us- ask.
Hitting the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hiking Trails in Uganda is easily added on to your Gorilla Trekking adventure here. Hiking will show you the primates, wildlife, birds, butterflies found here, beyond the Gorilla Treks that most come for in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Hiking Trails – if interested in them, Contact us.