CYCLING IN BWINDI
Cycling in Bwindi is one of the most exciting activity through the Impenetrable forest. This activity is usually organised by the Buhoma community rest camp. A Woman group and the ride follows the trail from Buhoma to the Ivi River.
These guided bike ride takes about five hours but so interesting because it enables you to view different beautiful scenery, tree species, gorillas, bird species among others. It is more wonderful when with an experienced tour guide who knows where the beautiful and important spots are makes sure that you sight the traditional healer who uses plants to treat his people.
You will be able to see the different communities and meet the primitive Batwa pygmies and their lifestyle. Enjoy the craft center and watch how bananas can be used to make gin, juice and beer.
You need to pack enough snacks and bottled safe drinking water and the same trail is followed just like nature walks only that you will be on a mountain bike.
Cycling in Bwindi is one way of supporting the community especially the Ride 4 A Woman organization since that donation is used for developing the community and support women.
GORILLA TRACKING IN BWINDI
Gorilla trekking is the main targeted activity in Bwindi where visitors spend one hour observing and photographing the endangered species. There are about 1000 mountain gorillas left in the world with Bwindi harboring above 400 of them therefore being the best gorilla trekking destination in the world.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is carried out in four major sectors and each sector harbors different gorilla family. There are 35 gorilla families in Bwindi where 13 are habituated and 22 are not habituated.
Gorilla can be trekked in the northern and southern section of Bwindi. The southern section harbors Nkuringo family, Nshongi family, Kahungye family, Mishaya family, Bweza family and Busingye gorilla family where as the northern section are Mubare family, Habinyanja family and Rushegura family as well as Oruzogo and Bitukura in the Buhoma region.
A gorilla trekking permit costs $600 throughout the year and a maximum of 8 people are allowed to trek and spend an hour with a particular gorilla family under the guidance of a tour guide, armed men and porters.
Gorilla trekking needs physically fit individuals since finding the gorillas can take one to six hours depending on how long a particular ape family travels in a day.
BIRDING IN BWINDI
Bwindi impenetrable national forest is the oldest tropical rain forest in Uganda with numerous bird species that can draw the attention of a birder. It is located in the rugged Kigezi highlands of Southwestern Uganda with over 350 bird species including 14 species that cannot be seen anywhere else and 23 endemics such as the Blue-headed Sunbird, Neumann’s warbler and Short-tailed Warbler and the 7 IUCN red data listed.
Birding in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is best along the trails of Buhoma Waterfall, Mubwindi swamp trail in Ruhija and the bamboo zones.
The various bird species in Bwindi include the African green pigeon, African harrier hawk, Crowned hornbill, African broadbill, Mountain masked apalis, Handsome francolin, Cinnamon-chested bee-eater, Many-coloured bush-shrike, honey Guide, Dusky crimson, Rusty-faced woodland Guel’s Rush Warbler, Yellow-eyed black Fly-catcher, Regal sunbird, Fine-banded woodpecker,, Dwarf Honey guide, Montane Oriole,, Strip-breasted Tit, African wood owl, Archer’s Robin-chat, Strange Weaver and Western Green Tinker bird.
Bird watching is done year round though best in the months of November to April when migratory birds are present in Bwndi.
CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS IN BWINDI
Bwindi is surrounded by different tribes though the commonest people are the Batwa pygmies who lived in the forest with animals thousand years ago. They were hunters and fruit gatherers but these people were pushed out of the forest by the Government of Uganda who made Bwindi a national park so as to promote tourism.
Visit the friendly Batwa and observe how they cook and serve meals, enjoy the energetic cultural dance performances as well as traditional songs. You will get to meet the traditional healer who uses plants and leaves as medicine and miraculously heal his people.
The people around Bwindi involve in making beautiful African crafts for example the handmade artifacts like bee-wax candles, fabrics and wood carvings.
Get the opportunity to visit the different primary and secondary schools and teachers who can entertain you with songs and dances.
Experience the African way of making juice, beer and gin out of bananas and taste the marvelous results.