The best walking trails in Bwindi National Park offer chances of getting off-the-beaten-track experiences. Uganda has some of the best walking trails on an African adventure safari. Walking safaris are a great way to experience the beauty and wildlife of the Tropical Rainforested National Parks.
Safaris on foot is a great way to stay fit during your travel adventures and learn about the local community-based projects, people, and the way of life. All of the walking trails are led by experienced guides who can help you to spot wildlife, learn about the park’s ecology and explore local communities.
Bwindi Forest is home to a large population of mountain gorillas, making it a great place for a walking safari. Bwindi Forest is divided into 4 sectors which are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo Sectors, and all are great for safaris on foot.
There are over 10 walking trails in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and these trails range from 2 to 8 hours long. They take you through a variety of landscapes, including savannah, woodland, and forest. Below are some of the walking trails recommended.
Rushura Hill Trail
It is a moderate 4-hour hike that takes you to the highest point in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The trail starts at the Buhoma Park headquarters and winds its way through the forest, eventually leading to the top of Rushura Hill.
It offers stunning views of the park and the surrounding area and along the way, you’re likely to see a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, birds, and forest elephants. The trail is also a great place to learn about the park’s unique ecosystem from your guide.
The Mubwindi Swamp Trail
This is a moderate 4–5-hour stunning trail that moves through the jungles and slopes of the ancient yet magical rainforest breathtaking viewpoints along the way of the very rich valleys and the Virunga massifs.
It is one of the best trails for bird watching in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Look out for wildlife, including primates, forest elephants, bush pigs, and over 350 bird species.
The River Ivi Trail
This is a challenging 18 km trail and can be done in 6 hours. The trail passes through a variety of habitats, including bamboo forests, swamps, and montane rainforests. The trail is known for its beautiful scenery, including lush rainforests, towering trees, and cascading waterfalls. A wide diversity of wildlife can be spotted during the walk, including monkeys, duikers, birds, and many colorful butterflies.
Muyanga waterfall trail
The Muyanga Waterfall Trail is a moderate 4-5 km roundtrip trail that takes 2-3 hours to the Muyanga Waterfall, which is a 33-meter-tall waterfall located in the Buhoma sector of the park. This trail departs from Buhoma along the River Ivi-Nkuringo trail.
It leads to three extremely beautiful waterfalls where you will see many tree ferns, orchids, and epithetic ferns as well as the atmosphere filled with beautiful colorful birds, butterflies, and primates bringing out a beautiful forest scenery.
The Habinyanja Trail
The Habinyanja Trail is a 4-5 km roundtrip trail that takes you to the Habinyanja swamp, which is a biodiverse area home to a variety of animals, including primates, birds, and forest elephants. The Trail is a moderately challenging 4-6 hours trail that takes you past river Munyanga.
This trail is most used by tourists after trekking Habinyanja gorilla family. The trail starts at the Buhoma Park headquarters and winds its way through the forest, eventually leading to the Habinyanja Swamp. The swamp is a great place to see a variety of wildlife, including primates, birds, and forest elephants. There are many bird species to see along the trail like African Back duck, Black Bee-eaters, and Pel’s Fishing Owl among others.
Muzabajiro Loop Trail
The Muzabajiro Loop Trail is a moderate 4–5-hour trail that takes you through the Buhoma sector of the park. It rewards tourists with the most beautiful views and involves climbing to Rukubira Hill where tourists enjoy the fantastic view of the Virunga Mountains Massif, Buhoma areas of the forest, and the western rift Valley below.
The Buhoma community walk tour allows visitors to directly interact with the locals, learn about their lifestyle and even participate in some of the activities like tea and coffee picking, traditional/ cultural dances, and many others.
Buhoma Village walk lasts from 1 hour up to 3 hours and in this time a lot of activities are done. You will begin by visiting the local women’s group experienced in handcrafts such as baskets, mats, necklaces, and more. You may support them by buying some souvenirs which directly help transform their livelihoods.
You will visit the farmlands along the village walk and look out for the coffee and tea plantations. Get to interact with the locals as they go about their farming activities and participate in the picking of some tea leaves and coffee beans.
Experience the process of making local banana beer and visit a traditional healer who explains the local medicinal herbs used to treat different illnesses. If time allows, you will the Buhoma Community Primary School has helped transform children’s lives in the community.
This is the most direct trail through the forest and is about 13km in length. The Kashasha trail begins at the Nkuringo Park Office before proceeding down a steep slope through community land to reach the park buffer zone.
The route passes the junction of two rivers inside the forest where after a further 20-minute ascent the trail meets the alternative route, the Ivy River trail, inside the forest about 90 minutes from Buhoma. The Kashasha trail takes approximately 4-5 hours from Nkuringo to Buhoma and 6-7 hours from Buhoma to Nkuringo.
The trail offers visitors a close-up experience of the natural wonders within a rainforest environment, including a number of monkey species. Birds are prolific in Bwindi Forest and your guide will point these out to you during your walk.
The Raleigh trail is a 6-7 km roundtrip that takes you to the top of a hill, which offers stunning views of the park and the surrounding area. The Raleigh trail is a 6–8-hour roundtrip trail and is a popular choice for hikers and nature lovers.
The trail is known for its beautiful scenery, including lush rainforests, towering trees, and panoramic views of the surrounding area. Along the trail, you are likely to see a variety of wildlife, including primates, birds, and forest elephants.
The Raleigh trail is a great way to experience the beauty and wildlife of the park. It is a challenging hike, but it is worth the effort for the scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities.
The Bamboo Trail is a 7-hour roundtrip trail that takes you through the bamboo forest in the Ruhija sector of the park. The trail is a challenging hike that involves climbing a steep area up to the highest point in Rwamunyonyi Hill at 2607 meters above sea level. This is one of the best walking trails in Bwindi National Park.
Look out for scenic spectacular views of Lake Bunyonyi and the breathtaking views of the Virunga Volcanoes and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Look out for a variety of primates, birds, and insects.
The Batwa cultural experience offers the local community opportunities to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. You will trek into the forest to a Batwa village and meet the community.
Here you will learn about their lifestyle, past and present. You get to see some of the community homesteads and learn about their traditional hunting techniques and craft-making skills. Enjoy trying out your hunting techniques as the Batwa teach you how to shoot with a bow and arrow.
Visit a traditional Batwa homestead and learn from the women how to prepare, cook and serve a meal. Talk to a medicine man and learn about the medicinal herbs from the forest and thereafter experience the traditional songs and dance of the community. This is one of the best trails in Bwindi National Park.