Volcanoes national park Rwanda activities – The park has several attractions ranging from flora and fauna, wildlife, bird species and a lot more and thus have enabled a lot of activities around the volcanoes national park. The park is located in north western part of Rwanda covering an area of 160sqkm covered by the tropical rain forest which is a home to a variety of wild game. The park extends up to the boarders of the Virunga national park in Congo, with in the Virunga, there are over five volcanoes which include Karisimbi, Bisoke, Gahinga, Sabinyo, Muhabura all together forming the Virunga conservation area.

While at volcanoes national park, you are able to do a lot of activities that will give you the best of your safari tour to Rwanda. The activities include;

Gorilla trekking in Vocanoes National Park Rwanda

Volcanoes national park Rwanda is famously known to be harbouring the highest number of the gorillas and this has turned out to be one of the popular activities in the volcanoes national park. Mountain gorilla trekking is the highly recommended adventure activity by many visitors who visit the national parks in Africa.

Gorilla trekking is more exciting, adventurous and comes with a lot of fun has you get to meet and interact with these huge giants in their natural habitat. For any traveler taking part in this activity, is required to have a valid document that allows him/ her to trek the gorilla.

This documents / gorilla permits are issued by Rwanda Development Board a body governing the national parks in Rwanda, the gorilla permit goes $1500 per person to trek gorillas for one hour while in Uganda it’s at a fee of $600 per permit and its per person trekking for one hour with the gorilla in their natural habitant from the time you meet the gorillas and this activity is a legible to persons above the age of 15 year.

On the same spot, you can also go for gorilla habituation experience, this is a lot more exciting as you get to spend a lot more time with the gorilla for a period of four hours from the time you encounter them. The gorilla habituation permit is $1500 per permit including the guides and park entry fees and these requirements are the same as gorilla trekking, only the time spent with the gorillas differs.

We at adventure in the wild safaris, we offer all the tour packages for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience, contact us and we will be able to respond to you and give you much more detailed information.

Golden monkey tracking

Volcanoes national park harbors a larger number of primate species where by tourists have an opportunity to study and research much more on golden monkeys but its not much popular than the mountain gorilla trekking. Golden monkey trekking starts early with a short briefing at Kinigi head office about the dos and the don’ts of the primates then you set off in search for the monkeys along the swamps and the forests during the walk in the forest, you may also have an opportunity to sight other  animal species, birds and a lot of butterflies in the forest and along the swamps  since monkey move a lot in search for food. The golden monkey tracking fees goes for $100 per person trekking.

Bird watching activity

Volcanoes national park offers an I deal spot for bird watching activities, the park harbors several bird species some of which are so unique in nature that may not be spotted anywhere. These species are spotted around the rainforest, some hide along the canopy and this is best done during early morning as you may have an opportunity to view the rift valley endemic species of birds. Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is best suitable for birders with a lot of bird species to see there.

Hiking in Volcanoes national park Rwanda

Hiking is much more interesting although mountain gorilla trekking is the most popular activity, but you can also do hiking and volcano climbing in the park. With steep mountain slopes almost reaching the skies with clear views will offer you an opportunity to view the all of volcanoes national park at one angle. You will do a hike on any of the mountains listed below;

Hiking Mount Bisoke

Mt.  Bisoke hike is one of the most exciting activities in volcanoes national park in Rwanda. The hike to the volcano can take roughly 6 hours climbing to the top and 2 hours descending to the bottom of the mountain and it would be much easier for experienced hikers as they get to spend lesser time hiking to the top. With clear views of the crater lake on the top of the mountain.

To hike mt. Bisoke, the permit goes for $75 per permit to hike to the top of the mountains.

Hiking Mount Karisimbi

Mt. karisimbi is one of the highest among all of the 8 Virunga volcanoes and its shared between Rwanda, Uganda and democratic republic of Congo. The mountain is dormant with the height of 4,507 meters making it the 11th highest among the mountains of Africa. The mountain boarders he Albertine rift and east African rift in the west, mikeno to the north, mt. Bisoke to the east and Nyaragongo to the west all together forming the Virunga conservation area. This is one of the highest tourist destinations in Rwanda and mostly taking park in hiking activities around the park.

The mountain top is covered by snow mostly in the dry seasons of June- August thus the name karisimbi from the word ‘amasimbi’ derived from the local language to mean snow. The permit to hike mt. karisimbi goes for $400 per permit.

Gahinga hike

 Mt. Gahinga with the height of 3,474m is one of the most preferred destination for many hikers that engage in hiking activities in volcanoes national park.  To get to the top of the mountain, it takes about six hours to get and to descend to the bottom.as you hike, you will come across the creator lakes, swamps with lobelia and also during the hike, you may have an opportunity to sport some primates like the golden monkeys under the thick bamboo forests and climbing on top of the trees, this is so interesting and much more interesting to look at them.

Nature walks in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda

Nature walks in volcanoes national park is mostly done on foot led by arranger guide to different locations during this activity, you will be able to sight and have clear views of different attractions at a close range.

There are several attractions to be explored on foot ranging from the vegetation, the tropical rain forest, with a lot of forest activities like birding, as you will have unforgettable experience of being in the wilderness. Not only that, the park also offers communities through the communities with in the parks boundaries.

Guided walk to Iby’lwacu cultural village

This is a great experience as you get to interact with the locals in the community. You will learn about the Rwandan culture, also see a lot of cultural dances and music, art and craft, cultural ritual ceremonies, homestead structures and many more as you may also wish to join the dance or any other activity. This is whole a lot of experience when you visit Rwanda and have a safari tour to the volcanoes national park.

Note that the fee paid for this activity helps in the development of the communities around in delivery of services which intern improves on people’s standards of living thus bringing about development in African countries.

Visit to the Musanze Cave

Musanze cave is situated in the middle of the volcanoes national park at the north western

Rwanda. Musanze caves has become one of the most tourist destinations. A Rwanda safari without a visit to the Musanze caves, is not a complete safari package so for any gorilla safari to Rwanda, have a visit to the musanze caves to sum up your safari you won’t regret the time spent there it comes with a lot ox exciting and so adventurous and fun. The musanze cave was introduced in to tourism market in 2013 by Rwanda Development Board to diversify tourism products.

Dian Fossey Trail

 While visiting volcanoes national park in Rwanda for the renowned gorilla trekking, you may also opt for the hike to the Dian Fossey Trail one of the most exciting activities to top up your gorilla trekking safari to volcanoes national park. The trek takes a bout 30 min drive from the park head quarters down to the trails where you will find the Karisoke research camp and from the research Centre to the Dian Fosse grave takes about one and half hours walk with much rewarding sceneries to view like the forest hogs, animals like elephants and primate animals with a variety of bird species with all this attractions , you will have the best of your Rwanda safari.

Lakes Burera and Ruhondo

These lakes harbor a lot of water animals like the Buffalos, Crocodile, water bucks and many other animals drinking water along the lake shores. They are mostly viewed during the boat cruise on the lakes down to the island where you will enjoy the cool breath-taking atmosphere around your shoulders as you cruise downstream.  Not only that you will also have an opportunity to view a lot bird species along the lake shores including Baglafecht Weaver, Great White Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Yellow-backed (Black-headed) Weavers, Grosbeak Weaver, Common Moorhens, the Red-rumped, Pied Kingfisher, Grey Heron and the African Spoonbill and many more.

Kyanika / Cyanika Border between Rwanda and Uganda

Kyanika border / Cyanika Border is a border which divides Uganda from Rwanda, the border is situated in Kisoro town in Kigezi sub-region, the city is located next to Cyanika/Kyanika, across Uganda’s external Rwandan boundary. This is about 10.5 kilometers (7 mi) southeast of the town of Kisoro, where the headquarters of the district is located. The town has developed over time due to the fact that there are a lot of business activities taking place in both countries. The relation between Uganda and Rwanda is based on business terms and interrelationship basis, by road from Kampala, the border rests at about 488 kilometers south western direction of Uganda.

Cyanika border, has boosted the tourism industry because of its strategic location within the vicinity of different national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the DR. Congo such as Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga gorilla national park, lake Bunyonyi and the volcanoes national park in Rwanda. These border interconnect Uganda and Rwanda and its mainly used by the tourists visiting Uganda and Rwanda for gorilla trekking safaris. Gorilla trekking is one of the greatest adventure experiences that many tourist visiting east Africa come to take part in they either visit Uganda gorilla trekking safari, or Rwanda gorilla trekking safari depending on the interest of the tourists.

Travellers crossing the kyanika border with tourist cars transporting tourist, buses either from Uganda to Rwanda, or from Rwanda to Uganda, will be required to present their I identification ID from Uganda, for the case of tourists, you will be required to show the tourist visa as an identification key before you can cross to either of the countries. These exercises are normally done at the immigration office, its faster, secure and instant its mainly done to promote security in both countries.

Point of interest at the Kyanika border

The following specific points of interest are within or outside the city limits; these are the interesting tourist sites situated along the border of Uganda and Rwanda.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; Mgahinga gorilla national park is one among the three parks that make up the Virunga conservation area as well as volcanoes national park and Virunga national park. Mgahinga national park, lies within the border of Uganda and Rwanda in southwestern part of Uganda in the district of Kisoro. Mgahinga national park, is widely known to be the home of the mountain gorillas the park inhabits one gorilla family that is opened for gorilla trekking in Uganda, tourist in Uganda, can also take part and visit Mgahinga national park for gorilla trekking experience. There also other activities offered at the park, besides gorilla trekking, that is monkey trekking, bird watching experience, the park harbours a number of different bird species, tourists in Rwanda and visiting Uganda, can use the kyanika border to cross in to Uganda then connect to Mgahinga gorilla national park for gorilla trekking experience. Mgahinga national park is one of Uganda’s smallest national park but it offers number of tourist attractions to visitors visiting the park.

Lake Bunyonyi; The following additional (Place of many small birds) is situated in southwestern Uganda between Kisoro and Kabale and is near to the Rwandan border. Between 2004 to 2009, the lake featured on the 5000 Uganda shilling note under the heading ‘ Lake Bunyonyi points of interest within or outside the city limits. The lake is one of the smallest lakes in Uganda visited by many tourists who come in to Uganda. Lake Bunyonyi is purposely visited for boat cruise in the lake, during the boar cruise, you will be opened to a lot of water animals such as hippos, buffalos, crocodiles and many bird species seen around the shores of the lake. Lake Bunyonyi Lake Bunyonyi although it’s one of the smallest lakes, but it’s also the second deepest lake in Africa. The lake in length stretches about 25km and in width, it’s about 7km, a maximum depth of 40 m (130 ft) but some tourist guides and locals insist that it much deeper, about 900 m (3,000 ft) making it the second deepest lake in Africa.

Kyanika Central Market; every boarder has got a town located within the borders, the kyanika border / Cyanika Border has a central market that has prompted a lot of trading activities in the area, people from different towns and communities travel to this border purposely to trade their goods. this market has helped to boost the business activities of the local people since they are able to get income that can be used in the improvement of people’s standards of living thus bringing about development. Many travellers/ visitors crossing the border mainly make stop overs at kyanika central market to purchase some of the refreshments and items they need.

How to get to Kyanika border / Cyanika Border

By road, getting to kyanika border is about 9-10 hour from Kampala the capital city of Uganda. For the people taking public transport that is busses, like Gateway, horizon bus companies operate for about 4-5 busses a day transferring from Kampala to Kisoro town and also from Kisoro to Kampala. The bus in lives Kampala by 7:am in the morning and by 4:00pm it will have arrived at Kisoro town. And the busses living Rwanda, set of by 6:00 am and take about 5-6 hours’ drive from Kigali city to the kyanika border. The other alternative is air transport, for travellers taking air transport, there is domesticated chartered flights operating from Entebbe international airport and landing at the airstrip in Kisoro then you can connect to kyanika border in case you are entering in Rwanda.

Accommodation facilities around the border

For all accommodation facilities located near to kyanica border are found in Kisoro district in Uganda before you cross the border to Rwanda. Therefore, for all travellers who may not be used to long drives for example from Kampala to Kisoro which takes about 9-10 hours, this is a bit tiresome and you may need to take arrest and relax so that you can continue with your journey the next day. Kisoro has a number of lodges that you can choose from. The accommodation facilities are in different categories that is midrange, budget and luxury lodges. Some of the lodges include;

Nkuringo safari Lodge; the lodge is situated just 14km from Kisoro town. The lodge borders lake mutanda, the accommodation facilities are designed in tented camps with self-contained rooms with bathrooms and toilets with a bar and lodge the restaurant serves both local and international dishes for the best interest of the clients.

Kisoro tourist hotel; the hotel features good self-contained rooms, the lodge provides good and quality service to the customers, meals both local and international dishes are served at the hotel. The lodge too offers ample parking space for cars in case you are driving your own vehicle. The environment features good gardens used for guest’s relaxation at the hotel.

Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge; the lodge provides luxurious accommodation for the clients the lodge offers services like a fire place for clients’ relaxation and consists of 8 cottages with great interior view form the lodge. The lodge provides accommodation and meals for the guests sleeping at the lodge. Clouds mountain gorilla lodge is situated in Kisoro town closest to Mgahinga national park which is the lodge for travellers trekking gorillas in Mgahinga gorilla national park.

Golden Monkey Guesthouse; the lodge provides quality accommodation for the guests, the lodge has profession staff that provides quality service to the visitors ranging from housekeeping, security, bar and restaurant serving both local and international dishes for the guests’ interest. The lodge has in total 16 rooms with wireless internet connection, ample free parking space among others. Clouds monkey guesthouse is situated in Kisoro town and takes about 22 minutes’ drive to Mgahinga gorilla national park.

Muhavura Motel; Motel Muhabura is located in Kisoro near St. Francis Mutolere Hospital. There are a range of services at Muhabura Motel including a garden and a restaurant. It is located 1.5 km from a small crater and has a 24-hour front desk that offers a restaurant for guests. Motel Muhabura offers 4 types of accommodation His house has separate living rooms. Microwaves and dedicated dining areas were required in the kitchens. There is a separate tub and shower in the toilets. Guests can use free wireless Internet access to surf the web. Cable TVs are supported Every space comes with a computer and a TV at the motel. A tub and free toiletries are given in the private bathroom.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Volcanoes National Park are also national attractions. The lunch is offered free of charge. There is free Wi-Fi in public spaces and free self-parking is also available. Smoking is allowed at the hotel in designated areas.

children are welcome, but additional beds are not provided, an extra person, may be required to pay some small charge depending on the property policy.

Bwindi Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Bwindi impenetrable forest is situated in southwestern part of Uganda in the district of Kanungu. Lying at the edge of the east African rift valley, the park is located along the democratic republic of Congo next to the Virunga national park. Both countries have enabled gorilla trekking experience and are known to be the best parks harbouring a number of the words endangered mountain gorillas.

 Gorilla trekking Bwindi impenetrable national park is a highlight of most safaris done in Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo and the gorillas have turned out to be the major reason why visitors come to east Africa for gorilla trekking experience. Bwindi impenetrable forest, offers the best of the gorillas with over four sectors all having gorilla habituated families ready for tracking that is; Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Rushaga sectors.

gorilla trekking Bwindi requirements

Gorilla trekking is only possible when you have a gorilla trekking permit, therefore for anyone willing to take part in gorilla trekking experience, will be required to have a valid card/ document issued by the Uganda wildlife authority a government body in charge of all the national parks in Uganda. The gorilla permit is a pass code to gorilla trekking in Bwindi or Mgahinga national parks. Visitors are required to book their gorilla permits early like 6 months in advance due to the high demand for the permits. you can do this through the registered tour company agents who will check for the availability of the permits and reserve them for you before they are out of stock.

Also note that; a limited number to trek the gorilla per day is 8 members for one hour but the exercise can last from 30 minutes to half hours of the day depending on the movement of the gorillas on that day since they are not stable in one place.  Also, the recommended age for gorilla trekking is 15 years and a above. Any one below that age is recommended as a child and will not be allowed to trek the gorillas since their behaviour is unpredictable when they encounter the gorillas.

What is the cost of the gorilla trekking permit?

Gorilla trekking permitsA gorilla trekking permit is document issued by the Uganda wildlife Authority to all the visitors taking part in gorilla trekking experience. The document indicates the location where you will be tracking from, accommodation option and the national park you are tracking from.

A gorilla permit for Uganda to trek the gorillas in Bwindi and Mgahinga national park cost $600 per person trekking and lasts for 1 hour from the time you meet the gorillas. also note that by July 2020, the price of the permit will increase to $700 per person. For the gorilla habituation experience, the price for the permit goes go $1500 per person to trek gorilla for 4 hours with the gorillas in their natural habitants as you interact, study and observe their behaviours this activity is much exciting as you get to spent a lot more time with the gorillas than the normal gorilla trekking.

How to get to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

By road, the park can be accessed from several directions from Kampala-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Kihihi- Buhoma route and drive distance in kilometers is about 390km-82km on marram roads. Also, from Kampala to kabale through Kanungu to Buhoma then to Bwindi and takes about 5-6hours drive, also the park can be reached from queen Elizabeth national park which is a bout 160km an take roughly 3 hours’ drive to Bwindi.

The other alternative is the chartered flights from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip then the guide will pick you up for the start of your safari. We have the earolink, eagle air and many all providing quality services and quick services so you don’t have to be on the road for hours to get to your adventurous safari/ tour to any of the national parks in Uganda.

Activities besides gorilla trekking in Bwindi national park

The most popular activities in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is gorilla trekking, this is the highlight of all activities in Bwindi and many visitors come to Bwindi for gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience. Besides gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience, there area also other activities in Bwindi national park; like hiking, birding activities, Bwindi harbors a number of bird species, this park is suitable spot for bird watchers. Mountain biking, cultural encounters where you will meet the Batwa and the Bakiga local who once lived in the forest before they where evicted to create a national park, you will learn their cultures and different ways of life you can also join in the cultural dances, this a way they celebrate their traditional functions like the tradition marriages and good harvest and many more functions and the fee paid for this activities, helps in the development of the communities around Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.

Accommodation facilities for bwindi uganda gorilla trekking

Since this activities take more time, so there is no need to worry of where to spend the rest of the day from since Bwindi has got several lodges from each of the sectors in Bwindi, all offering quality and reliable services to all the visitors so you will have the best of your safari visit to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Therefore, when choosing accommodation, it depends from which sector of the park you are trekking gorillas from since the gorilla permit issued to you has the lodge option from where you will do the tracking from. So that it’s easy for you to start with the gorilla trekking exercise. The lodges are all conducive with lovely environment and good atmosphere. The lodges range from Budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation option to meet the interest of the clients.

Accommodation facilities in different sectors of Bwindi impenetrable forest.

At Buhoma

 Buhoma community, Buhoma haven lodge, mahogany springs

Rushaga

 Rushaga gorilla haven, chameleon hill lodge, Rushaga gorilla camp, Ichumbi gorilla lodge

Ruhija

Trakker’s Taverns, Ruhija gorilla safari lodge, gorilla mist camp

Nkuringo

 Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge. And many more other lodges.

Mabamba Bay wetland – Home to the Shoebill and other bird species

Uganda is one of the African safari countries where you’ll find varieties of exciting tourist activities in different parts of the country. This is where you have a long bucket list including gorilla trekking, chimp trekking, game drives, white water rafting and bird watching. There are many different areas in Uganda where bird lovers will have incredible birding experiences and one of them is at Mabamba bay. Mabamba has wondrous species of birds and the most popular one is the shoebill stork.

Mabamba bay wetland is one of the swamps on the edges of L. Victoria. It is an International Ramsar Site situated in Kasanje village close to Entebbe about 45km from Kampala city. Besides the shoebill stork, there are more beautiful species of birds at this swamp. This is one of the destinations that you ought not to miss when you are in Kampala or Entebbe.

Birding on Mabamba bay is conducted on an engine-powered boat which takes you to areas where you’ll watch lots of species of birds including shoebill storks. As you go for birding, you’ll also see the neighboring villages whose main economic activities are fishing and mining. It is easy to get there without having to drive to distant areas like the rest of the popular destinations such as Bwindi national park, Bigodi swamp and others.

Mabamba swamp is a great site for birding and is internationally recognized as an Important Bird Area. Another place to visit for the shoebill stork is Murchison Falls national park but Mabamba remains the best for this elusive specie. The chances of spotting the shoebill stork throughout the day at the bay are higher than at any other place in Uganda.

Bird species at Mabamba bay Wetland

Mabamba bay wetland is a home to over 250 species and you can be able to record a sighting of about 150 bird species on your excursion on the wetland. There are 4 threatened species namely the Blue swallow, Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and the Pallid Harrier.

Other species at the wetland include the yellow-billed tinkerbird, yellow warbler, wood sandpiper, white-thraoted bee-eater, white-shouldered Tit, Goliath Herons, Winding Cisticola, Pygmy geese, Blue swallow, Brown Parrot, Common greenshank, Black-faced Rufous, Eastern Grey Plantain Eater, Yellow billed kite, Lesser Jacana, Long toed Lapwings, Papyrus Canary, water thicknees, Tambourine dove, swamp fly catcher, Village weaver and many more.

Getting to Mabamba Swamp

This wetland is located on the edges of Lake Victoria on the border of Kamengo and Kasanje sub-counties in Wakiso and Mpigi districts. It can be accessed from both Kampala and Entebbe. Using Entebbe road, you drive off from Kisubi and drive towards Nakawuku, Kasanje to Mabamba. And from Kampala, you’ll drive along Masaka road a distance of about 30km and branch off to the road that heads to Buyege. You’ll drive a distance of about 22km and reach Mabamba.

Apart from Mabamba bay wetland and Murchison falls national park that are famous for the shoebill stock, this bird species is also sighted at Nabajuzi swamp in Masaka, at Ziwa rhino sanctuary, lake mburo national park, lake Kyoga, in the Ishasha sector of queen Elizabeth and at Semliki wildlife reserve.

Alternatively, you can use a speed boat from Entebbe that will take you on Lake Victoria to Mabamba. You will use bigger speed boats which will transfer you to the starting point at Mabamba and then shift to the smaller one which you use to move to different parts of the wetland.

The birds at Mabamba Swamp are featured by butterflies and mammal common sightings of sitatunga and the spectacular landscape in the surrounding. Other activities to do at Mabamba are spot fishing, village walks and you could also pass by Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe.

Savannah Resort Hotel, Queen Elizabeth National Park

Savannah Resort Hotel is located in Kihihi Town council, Kanungu district between the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi impenetrable national park. This is mainly a stopover when linking between the two parks. It is a mid range lodge with neat structures where the main building has DSTV and WiFi. There is a conference hall where visitors can hold their conferences, meetings and other formal gatherings.

It is an ideal lodging place for tourists interested in watching the tree climbing lions since it is located in the same area where these attractions are found, just a 20 minute drive to the famous site of Queen Elizabeth national park.

Savanna Resort Hotel has a swimming pool where visitors relax their bodies and minds after the tiresome travels and adventures.

The rooms at this lodge are self contained, nice and spacious. The lodge has professional chefs who are good at preparing all local and continental meals. The lodge bar is well stocked with both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks.

Getting there

Savannah Resort Hotel is located about 8 km from Ishasha sector, 43km from Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and 3km away from the border of Uganda with DRC. It is therefore accessed from the road that connects Queen Elizabeth national park to Bwindi via Ishasha sector.

The lodge is located close to Kihihi airstrip where tourists that travel by flight land. It takes about 45 minutes by air from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi to Kihihi airfield and then connect to the lodge.

Hotel Mount Kahuzi

Mount Kahuzi Hotel Bukavu, the lodge is a second star accommodation facility and one of the oldest hotels in Bukavu that travelers use when they visit Kahuzi Biega national park. For a period of time the lodge has been hosting celebrities and popular leaders. The hotel offers uniform and standard services to all travelers that use the accommodation facility on their safari.

birdwatching destinations Uganda

Birdwatching destinations Uganda

Here is a list of the 10 Best Birding destinations in Uganda – Explore the best birdwatching destinations Uganda and find out the top birds to see in Uganda.

This is the best destinations for bird watching and it is a habitat to about 350 bird species with about 23 that endemic, while as the remaining 90% are Albertine endemic birds such as the blue headed sunbird, as well as short-tailed warbler among others.

Bird watching in Bwindi forest is done around the main trails like Buhoma waterfall trail, bamboo-zone, Mubwindi swamp which is found in Ruhija.

  • Echuya forest reserve

The forest is located in the western region of Uganda and it is adjacent to the border of Rwanda. The reserve harbors over 150 bird species and among these 18 bird species have been found endemic to the forest reserve. Echuya forest reserve is home to unique rare fauna and flora and bird species found here include; grauer’s warbler, Archer’s Robin chat, Doherty’s bush-shrike, collared Apalis, regal sunbird, montane Oriole, mountain Masked Apalis, Rwenzori Batis, White- Eyed Slaty Flycatcher, Chapin’s flycatcher, African green broadbill among other bird species.

These are wonderful prime bird watching spots situated in the western region of Uganda. Kibale forest national park is home to over 350 species whereas about 138 will be found in Bigodi wetland. While on a guided nature walk through the forest and in Bigodi wetland you will get an insight to spot a variety of bird species black bee-eater, Abyssinian ground thrush, black eared ground thrush, black-capped apalis, crowed yellow Eagle, African pitta, yellow spotted nicator, brown chested alethe, yellow-rumped tinker bird, purple-breasted sunbird, dusky crimson wing among others. Travelers can as well as enjoy activities like chimpanzee trekking in kibale golden monkey tracking and during these activities you will get chance to encounter with other primate species such as black and white monkeys, grey checked mangabey, and red tailed monkeys among others.

The park is situated in the south western region of the Pearl of Africa and it is close to border of Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo. The park is one of the gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda although it harbors other mammals such as the primates like monkeys.

Mgahinga national park is home to over 115 bird species which will be spotted on guided nature walks as well as hiking adventure. Birds that can be spotted in the park include white stared Robin, montane Oriole, and yellow-eyed black flycatcher, kivu Ground thrush, red-throated Alethe, dusky long-tailed Cuckoo, Regal Sunbird, handsome Francolin, equatorial Akalat, blue headed sunbird, grauer’s warbler, turtle Dove, barred long-tailed cuckoo, strip-breasted Tit, dusky Crimson wing among others.

  • Murchison Falls national park birding tours

Murchison falls National Park is the largest national park in Uganda and it covers 4000 square kilometers and it is home to 76 mammals plus over 451 bird species. The park is situated in the north western region of the country and birds that will be spotted in the park include double-toothed barbet, saddle-billed stork, grey crowned crane, Vaseline masked weaver, grey-crowned crane, red-tailed bee-eater, giant king fisher, white-rumped seed eater, Abyssinian ground hornbill, winger geese, northern Carmine bee-eater, African Darter, Piapiac, blue napped moosebird, beautiful sunbird, long tailed Nightjar, Spur-winger Geese, black headed Gondola, white-browed Sparrow, speckle- fronted weaver, black-billed wood-dove, bar-breasted fire finch, Malachite kingfisher, secretary bird among others.

  • Nile River birding Jinja

River Nile is the longest river in the world and it is one of the great bird watching destinations in Uganda. Besides bird watching in Jinja, three are other sport water activities that travelers can engage such as white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking, and quad biking among others. Bird species that you will spot at the Nile include; Giant kingfisher, the great blue turaco, open-billed stork, green-backed herons, and Rock pratencols

  • Queen Elizabeth national park

Queen Elizabeth national park is the second largest national park in park after Murchison falls rand it is one of the great bird watching destinations. Bird watching in the park is done in various regions such as Kasenyi region which is home to over 60 bird species, Katunguru bridge area, the Ishasha sector, Mweya peninsular that is home to over 70 species of birds, katwe area, lake Kikorongo, maramagambo forest and kyambura gorge. Queen Elizabeth national park harbors over 600 bird species and some of them include; hood vulture , African wattled plover, blue–shouldered Robin, pygmy kingfisher, croaking cristicola, broad –tailed Warbler, Montagu’s harrier, little stint, grey Kestrel, scarlet-chested sunbird, chestnut wattle-eyed, black-headed Gonolek, slender tailed nightjar, black billed bustard, white-tailed lark, African Wattled plover, scarlet-chested sunbird, black-lored babbler, Slender-billed weaver, Montagu’s Harrier, Red-throated wryneck, little stint, red-capped lark, lesser black-backed Gull, common Greenshank, Avocet, African Emerald Cuckoo, slender billed weaver among others.

  • Semiliki national park

Semiliki National Park is a home to over 400 species of birds with the common horn bill thus it is one of the best bird watching destinations and it is situated on the border of Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of the bird species found in the park include blue headed crested-flycatcher, western bronze-napped pigeon, black-casqued wattled hornbill, fire-crested Alethe, Leaf-love, white-crested hornbill, Red-bellied Malimbe, red-rumped Tinker bird, spot breasted Ibis, Xavier’s Greenbul, white-crested hornbill, black Dwarf hornbill, fire Crested Alethe, Maxwell’s black weaver among others.

  • The Royal Mile

The royal mile is found in budongo forest close to Murchison Falls national park, the place is home to over 250 bird species. some of the bird species found in this place include; hairy-breasted barbet, lemon-bellied Crombec, yellow-crested woodpecker, grey-headed sunbird, Elemomela, yellow-billed barbet, African crowned Eagle, Blue-shouldered Robin-chat, piping hornbill, rufous-crowned, white-thighed hornbill, Sabine’s Spinetail, Black-capped Apalis, Sabine’s spinetail, blue-throated roller among others.

This is the only place where you will find the rhinos in Uganda and it is home to a variety of bird species which include; African golden Oriole, African golden-breasted bunting, African marsh harrier, African pied wagtail, African hornbill, African black crake, African pygmy kingfisher, manikin, black-headed Gonolek, African morning Dove, black-crowed waxbill among others.

Bird watching is one of the most rewarding activities in Uganda and we advise travelers who are bird lovers to organize their birding safaris with a trusted tour company that has experienced guides in birding. Some of the necessary equipment that are required by birders include long sleeved trousers and shirts, binoculars, maps for the location, enough drinking water, among many others.

How much are gorilla trekking permits in Uganda and Rwanda?

Gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is issued by the Uganda wild life Authority a government organisation set to managed and conserve the natural heritage of Uganda in all the national parks in Uganda. And for Rwanda, its issued by the Rwanda National Board managing Rwanda national parks. The gorilla trekking permit is issued per person taking part in gorilla trekking. The fees paid for the gorilla permit, includes the entry fees in to the park, the ranger guide fees that will take you through the forest and sharing with all the information concerning the gorillas. The fee also includes the one you will spend with the gorillas from the time you set eyes on them but the normal trekking may last for 30 min to half hours of day while in the forest searching for the gorillas depending on their current location from the previous day. After the gorilla trekking experience, travellers are issued a certificate of participation on gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest or Mgahinga national park.

 How much are Uganda gorilla trekking permits?

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the prime activities in two of the national parks in Uganda that is; Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park bot located in the south western Uganda in the nearest districts of Kisoro and Kihihi. Currently, gorilla permit in Uganda is at $600 per permit and per person trekking the gorillas. For more information on the park entrance and activity fees, you can check on the fees tariff for 2018-2019 form the Uganda wildlife authority.

Uganda gorilla trekking permit increase?

Uganda Wildlife Authority has announced on the increase of the gorilla trekking in Uganda effective July 1, 2020 from $600 to $700 per permit and per person tracking the gorillas. The $100 increase came as a result of improvement on the conservation of the national park and also to improve on the community infrastructure and the projects to benefit the communities living near the gorilla parks which in turn will bring development and later improve on people’s standards of living

How much are Rwanda gorilla trekking permits?

Rwanda has become an upmarket tourist destination for gorilla trekking due to the cost of its gorilla trekking permit. for all categories, Rwanda gorilla trekking permit goes for $1500 per permit and per person trekking. Rwanda doesn’t offer discounted permits; the permit price remains standard throughout the year. The permit allows you to visit the gorillas in their natural habitat and you are given a period of one hour to spend with the gorillas.

How much are Congo gorilla permits?

Congo gorilla permits are much than for Uganda and Rwanda, Rwanda gorillas cost $400 per permit and per person trekking these permits cuts across all the different categories.

Different categories and different cost of the gorilla trekking permit

Prices                                                           Uganda               Rwanda                 DR. Congo

Non- residents                                          $600                    1,500                     $400

Foreign residents                                     $500                   $1,500                   $400

East African Community citizens         250,000 UGX    $1,500                  $400

Congolese citizens                                                                                               $150

How much does it cost for a gorilla safari in any of the three East African countries offering gorilla trekking safaris?

Gorilla safari in Uganda, are complete when you combine your gorilla trekking with a safari before or after their trip. Gorilla permits can be acquired directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through any of the trusted tour companies offering gorilla safaris. There you will know the worth of your money spent for the safari.

You can book your gorilla permit by yourself through Uganda wildlife authority for the incase of Rwanda, you can book the permit through Rwanda National Board. Travelling by private or public means is also possible but the other side is there some challenges that may a raise and you end up incurring some costs. For example, incase the vehicle breaks down or for the case of public means, you miss bus. These might be challenging and you end up missing your gorilla trekking. Also remember; permits are non-refundable incase you arrive late or a day after, you will not be allowed to trek the gorillas you will have missed opportunity for that particular date. But in case you are still interested in gorilla trekking, arrangements can be made and you book another permit at fee of $600. Most visitors therefore usually travel on scheduled group or through a tour company that will arrange transport and the tour guide for the safari right from the start to the end of the safari.

The most important thing to always avoid when arranging gorilla trekking by your self is that booking accommodation far away from your gorilla trekking location since Bwindi comprise of four sectors for gorilla trekking, and gorilla trekking starts early by 7:00am in the morning with the briefing at the headquarters  so you will need to have knowledge of where each lodge is located and the distance to the tracking point.

Our tour packages are tailored to meet the interest of the client, we offer bot luxury, mid-range and budget tour packages for the travelers. Cost for the safari depends on the total number of people in the group. the low season is normally good for budget travelers. This is when the best deals are often found.

There is also a fly in options and five-star accommodation best for luxury travelers who are not comfortable in travelling for long distance by road. There are domesticated chattered flights from Entebbe or Kajjansi to kihihi or Kisoro then you transfer to the park. The flight is aprrox. I hour to Bwindi national park.

In Uganda, gorilla trekking is carried out only in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park, western Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable national park currently has over 13 habituated gorilla groups which are visited regularly by 8 visitors per group per day for one hour. Therefore Bwindi Impenetrable national park gives out about 104 gorilla trekking permits per day to visitors.

Gorilla permits tend to sell out quickly due to excessive demand. The permits in Uganda are affordable compared to Rwanda’s permits hence creating high competition for the permits every year. Uganda’s gorilla permits are sold at USD 600 while Rwanda’s is at USD 1500 both for staying with the shy spicies for one hour therefore making Uganda’s gorilla permits having high demand and pressure.This explains further why you should book your gorilla permits in advance to avoid inconveniences and disappointments when already in Uganda.

Adventure in the wild safaris is there to solve your problem concerning all the bookings, we encourage clients to book gorilla permits at least 3 months before the actual travelling date. We reserve your trekking permits, accommodation as well as transport to and fro Kampala.

Usually there is a lot of congestion and high competition during the months of January, february, July, August September and December so please send us an email for those interested in advance booking. The email should contain the exact dates of trekking gorillas in either Uganda or Rwanda. We shall reserve your permit for that date and advice you accordingly. We not only look at gorilla trekking but also participate in other activities like community walk.

We also recommend you to book our 3 day gorilla tour from Entebbe or 3 day gorilla trekking from Kigali, Rwanda. In case of more information, please contact Adventure in the Wild Safaris.

10 Days of Virunga Safari

10 days of Virunga safari takes you to multiple corners in different forests of Virunga national park. You will spend the nights at different accommodation centers which will all give comfortable stay in the wild of Virunga. You will also have a great experience at Tchegera Island for relaxation after the adventure in the park.

Itinerary for 10 Days Congo Safari

Day 1: Grande Barriere to Virunga national park

You are required to arrive at Grande Barriere at 9:00am to check in at the Virunga tourist office and obtain your activity permits which will be used to access the park. You’ll thereafter be transferred to Mikeno lodge located in Rumangabo near the Pak headquartes, you’ll have lunch and relax. You may get involved in nature walks, a visit to the Congo Hounds or read books to occupy the evening. Dinner and the overnight will be at Mikeno lodge.

Day 2: Gorilla trekking

Wake up early and have breakfast, then set off to Bukima ranger post to start the trek. We are not sure of the time at which you’ll spot the gorillas but it may take from 30 minutes, an hour, 2 hours or 3. Once you spot them, you’ll have an hour to interact with them and thereafter get back to Bukima , have lunch and relax.

Day 3:  second Gorilla trekking

This day also starts with a trek to once again search for Gorillas. It will start at Bukima where you’ll still come back for lunch after the trek. Transfer to Mikeno lodge, relax and later on visit Senkwekwe gorilla orphanage. This is the only orphanage center in the whole world and you’ll have a great experience there. Dinner and the overnight will be had at Mikeno lodge.

Day 4: Chimpanzee trekking/habituation experience

You’ll set out to Mahura forest with a team that habituates the Chimps in Virunga national park. The time you’ll spend to learn about the chimps, interact with them and take photos for memories of the experience is wonderful. Return to the lodge for breakfast and take a walk around the neighboring areas. You’ll have lunch and relax throughout the afternoon. Dinner and the overnight at the luxurious Mikeno lodge.

Day 5: Transfer to Lulimbi tented camp

After breakfast at Mikeno lodge, you’ll be transferred to another wonderfully located accommodation center in the savannah plains in the East of Virunga national park.  It is found near the shores of L. Edward and close to Ishasha River. You’ll have lunch in the afternoon and you may relax or have a walk around the surrounding areas later on when the weather is cool. Dinner and overnight will be had at Lulimbi tented camp.

Day 6: Nature walk and game drive

The weather in the morning is very friendly for a walk around the plains in Ishasha. You’ll have breakfast and move out on a walk where you’ll spot various birds, animals like antelopes, elephants, hippos and others. There will be an evening game drive in the plains of Ishasha where we might spot lions, buffaloes, elephants and more.

Day 7: Birding

This is an awesome day for bird lovers. The area has beautiful bird species which will be spotted when you go out for birding in the plains and along the water bodies. Have lunch and relax at the camp as you enjoy the scenery, water flowing in the river and some of the animals that may cross.

Day 8: Transfer to Tchegera Island

After breakfast, you’ll drive to Goma at one of the ports where we shall get on the boat and ride to Tchegera Island. This is where we shall have lunch and then relax. It gives good views of the surrounding areas and of volcanoes across. Dinner and the overnight at Tchegera island camp.

Day 9: Tchegera Island

A beautiful morning at the Island starts with a yummy breakfast and them you may choose to go for Kayaking, snorkeling, birding or a nature walk around the Island. Night comes with views of the red sky above Nyiragongo volcano.  You’ll have a good time of relaxation at this island as you come close to the end of the tour.

Day 10: From Tchegera – Goma – Grande Barriere

  • After breakfast at the camp, you;ll leave for Goma and connect to Grande Barriere to end the tour.
  • The package includes;
  • Transportation from and back to Grande Barriere, and throughout the tour
  • Accommodation
  • Gorilla permits