Hiking Trails in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Hiking trails in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are some of the best that the CNN placed the park on its 2019 Hiking trails in the world list. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a known UNESCO World Heritage Site that is tacked away in the southwestern part of Uganda in the districts of Kanungu, Kisoro, and Kabale covering an area of 331 square kilometers. The park is most famous for the mountain gorillas that inhabit the impenetrable forest- in fact, over half the total world population of mountain gorillas is in Bwindi alone. This has seen very many travelers visiting the park to take part in gorilla trekking.
There is much more than just mountain gorillas in Bwindi though; the park boasts of mammals like the African forest elephants, bushpigs, black and white colobus, L’Hoest’s Guenon, vervet monkeys among so many others, numerous bird species like the mountain masked, green tinkerbird, red-faced woodland warbler, Ruwenzori batis among many others, with about 220 butterfly species that travelers can chase after, 27 species of frogs with many geckos and chameleons. The park also has hikes and nature walks with trails that have travelers exploring the ancient impenetrable forest. Travelers can extend their time beyond just gorilla trekking to penetrate the impenetrable forest on one or more trails that can take you from one sector to another and have travelers seeing many of the listed animals and birds above plus some hidden waterfalls that will leave you mesmerized by the beauty of the of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Most of the hiking trails in Bwindi range from moderate effort to some that are challenging and demanding. The hikes can take 3-6 hours or full day and some can be 2 day hikes. Below are some of the popular hiking trails in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park;
Kashasha River Trail
The Kashasha River trail is a 4-5 hours hike that has travelers exploring the park through steep inclines of the Buhoma- Nkuringo route which is 600 meters high. The hike can start from either Buhoma or Nkuringo. The trail will have travelers passing through a junction on two rivers. The trail is inside the park and you’ll have a chance to see numerous bird species and plants and flowers. The Kashasha River trail has some really great views to offer.
Mubwindi Swamp Trail
The Mubwindi Swamp Trail is a 4-5 hours 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. This trail often has travelers encountering forest elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas, bushpigs, monkeys, bushbucks who live in this area of the forest. This trail requires travelers to get a special authorization from the Uganda Wildlife Authority staff who can be found in the park itself. Birders are especially advised to opt for this trail, having a bird guide is an added advantage. This trail is moderate and is located in the Ruhija sector of the park.
The Bamboo trail has travelers hiking for about 7 hours and involves a steep hike up to 2607 meters above sea level, which is the highest point of the park. While at the top, travelers are rewarded with spectacular views of Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Virunga Volcanoes which make the long hike well worth it. The hike also has travelers sighting different bird and plant species along the way. The hike can be labeled strenuous but is well worth it as it is one of the best hike trails in the park. The Bamboo trail can be done from the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Muzabajiro Loop Trail
The Muzabajiro Loop trail is a 3-4 hours trail that provides the most amazing views as you ascend the forest to Rukubira hill. Travelers get to enjoy the wonderful views of the Virunga massifs, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Great Rift Valley. this trail is in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi.
The Ivy River Trail
The Ivy River trail is a 14km hike that takes up the whole day. This breathtaking trail has very scenic viewpoints with travelers getting to sight a number of wildlife, birds, and butterflies with the locals as they go about their day-to-day life and sometimes when going or from the market of Nteko. The Ivy River trail can start from Nkuringo park headquarters, or from Buhoma. The hike is moderate.
The Habinyanja (Railegh) Trail
This is a 4-6 hours trail that has travelers passing through the Munyanga River on a steep slope of Habigorogoro and Riyoyi Ridges that overlooks the Buhoma river. While ascending the Habinyanja trail, travelers get to sight a number of bird species at the Habinyanja swamp, making it a perfect trail for the birders. The trail can be done while in Buhoma.
Rushura Hill Trail
Rushura hill is the highest point in Buhoma and the trail has travelers starting from the Buhoma park headquarters through the impenetrable forest and travelers are rewarded with several scenic viewpoints. While on top of the hill, travelers get to amaze at the views of the Rwenzori Mountain, the Western Rift Valley, Virunga massifs and Bwindi impenetrable forest. The hike is quite strenuous but is very rewarding.
Munyanga Waterfall Trail
The Munyanga waterfall trail starts from Buhoma and goes till Nkuringo along the Ivy River. Travelers get see three clear waterfalls that are about 33 meters high. Travelers can also spot a number of animals and birds plus plan life say the monkeys, orchids and a number of beautiful butterflies that travelers can chase after. This trail is of moderate status and is most recommended for travelers who have limited time to spare while in the park.
Rusizi River Trail
This is the best trail for birders as very many bird species can be spotted here. There are other animals that can be seen while on this trail though, say the duikers and a number of other primates. The trail can take the whole day.
Some trails in the Buhoma sector can have travelers doing so while on bikes that are provided by the Ride 4 a Woman, a group of local women who started this initiative and have it a source of income. Booking the bikes in advance is however important as they are not so many of them available.
Hiking and nature walk in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park require one to dress appropriately for them, the gorilla trekking essentials list is recommended for successful hiking experiences in Bwindi. Mentally preparing yourself for the hikes as well is important as hiking in Bwindi is different from the usual hiking experiences given the altitude and weather patterns.
Hiking trails in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are well and carefully developed that travelers can easily use them. This is a perfect gorilla trekking add-on, and travelers can also have cultural encounters, community visits added on their gorilla trekking adventure. Hiking in Bwindi takes place all throughout the year. Take time to have your trusted tour operator include hiking in Bwindi on your gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and discover the forest on some of the best hiking trails in the world.