Additional activities after trekking Mountain gorillas in Uganda
You will come to Uganda for gorilla trekking but you might also end up taking up some additional activities after trekking Mountain gorillas in Uganda. Take a breath and you will enjoy the ultimate guide to mountain gorilla trekking. Bwindi forest has also got over120 mammal species and it includes over 30 elephants, 360 species of birds and over 200 butterfly species. It’s also known that the African Bird club rated Bwindi as Africa’s number one destination for the birders. Though you don’t know a lot about the birds, you will meet a lot of them along on your safari.
This dark forest is also not the easiest destination for spotting the birds and the trained bird guide who can trap them out of the forest by competently copying their songs. Bird watching is one of the additional activities after trekking Mountain gorillas in Uganda.
There are also 324 species of trees that have been recorded in Bwindi including the giant fern trees, vines and shrubs, there are nature walks that help in viewing the orchids and the monkeys, there are also the guided bird watching safaris that can be arranged. There is also a walk to view many of the three waterfalls that are inside the part and is highly recommended. More so in case you have got time, you can enjoy a day walk from one side of Bwindi forest to the other.
There is also a visit to the beautiful bwindi community hospital that is found in Buhoma and was funded by its nearness to the centre for mountain gorilla tourism activity, and this is also a great activity to carry out after trekking the gorillas. This is also a good health facility with in the remote and poor corner of the world.
You also get time and meet the batwa , who are the original forest owner tribe, who have also given up their traditional home in the national parks as the big results of the international pressure of protecting the mountain gorilla’s habitant. The batwa culture is also known to be unique and these have also lived for the hunting and seeing their homes in the trees, that gives a beautiful glance of an ancient way of life. The batwa people have also got many projects in Mgahinga and in the Virunga.
Mgahinga Gorilla National park is also a place in Uganda where the tourists can view the golden monkeys. It’s also known that this guided trekking safari above the calderas and inside the bamboo forest was good and this means that you can buy the permits when you get to Mgahinga
Additional activities after trekking Mountain gorillas in Uganda are so many that you might regret rushing to get home. There are also the game safaris to view the animals, the lake rides in the dugout canoes, village community projects, white water rafting, quad biking, fishing, and the African dance, boat cruises in order to see the beautiful waterfalls, the crocodiles, and hippos.
Where to find the mountain gorillas in Rwanda?
Kinigi is also the starting point for the tracking all of Rwanda’s habituated gorilla groups. These mountain gorillas in Rwanda also live in Volcanoes National park in the Virunga National park which has got over 6 volcanoes that measure 125 sq km. these gorillas also live at an altitude of 2500- 4000 m. the area was also made well known by the American primatologist Dian Fossey who lived all her life in the park studying these mountain gorillas.
How many gorilla groups are for trekking in Rwanda?
Rwanda has got 8 gorilla families that are fully habituated and are also available for the visitors by the public. These also include; Hirwa, Amahoro, Agashya, Kwitonda, Umubano , susa group and Sabyinyo. Each of the gorilla family has got 1 male silverback, the blackbucks which are the young males, many females and young ones. The latest family is the susa family with 38 gorillas, these also tend to live high in the mountainous areas so they are the hardest family to track. With these gorilla families and there are only 8 visitors that are allowed to visit a group per day. This means that there are over 56 permits to track the gorillas in Rwanda on a daily basis.
The different things to do after gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
- The Volcanoes National park entrance at the Kinigi is also the starting point for hiking sabyinyo’s great volcanic peak.
- Golden Monkey tracking
- Accompanied by the guide, you can also visit the grave of the famous primatologist Dain Fossey and the graves of the mountain gorillas that she used to study.
- Community activities which include; the traditional intore dance performances and the village walks to view the traditional way of life.
- Bird watching with the Virunga
- Staying along the Gisenyi on the shores of Lake Kivu.
Visiting and tracking chimpanzees is the best add on to your mountain gorilla tour. The pearl of Africa is undeniably the premier chimpanzee destination sheltering over 1500 chimpanzees. Also, Uganda offers chimpanzee habituation experience, which is a full day interaction with chimpanzee in their natural habitats. Chimpanzees in Uganda inhabit the jungles of Kibale Forest national park, Budongo forest, Kalinzu forest and Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park. Interestingly, Uganda chimpanzee tours are relatively cheap costing ($150) compared to gorilla trekking costs.
Golden monkey trekking
Go golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park Uganda’s share of the Virunga Massif. Golden monkeys are one of the endangered species listed in the red list of the international union for conservation of nature. The other destination to see golden monkeys is volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Travelers to see golden monkeys are required to buy permits each costing $100 from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). This cost also include park entrance fee and the ranger guide fee. Travelers can also do a golden monkey habituation experience to spend four hours with golden monkeys in the jungle.
Add a game viewing on your gorilla safari. Uganda game viewing tours are done in open savannah parks which include Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, kidepo valley national park and lake Mburo national park. Game viewing is a best way to see different animals such as elephants, lions, zebras, rhinos, leopards, buffalos, elands, impalas, Uganda kobs, cheetahs, giraffes, spotted hyenas, warthogs, bushbucks and different monkey species among others. Game viewing is best done in the morning to catch up with the early risers and in the evening before animals retire for night rest.
Gorilla trekking can be well complemented with a cultural tour to the indigenous communities. Cultural tours help travelers with extensive knowledge regarding the about the e cultural encounters to learn more about African traditional cultures, norms and beliefs. The most visited cultural groups in Uganda are Batwa pygmies in the boundaries of Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla national parks. Batwa were the traditional forest dwellers for thousands of years before the introduction of gorilla tourism. Batwa cultural trail is the best way to learn about the traditional forest life of Batwa pygmies and how they lived harmoniously with wild animals. Among the activities to do during Batwa cultural encounters include collecting honey, collecting medicinal herbs and hunting.
In addition to gorilla trekking, endeavor to hike any of the Virunga volcanoes in Mgahinga gorilla national park. The home to the mountain gorillas also shelters three extinct volcanoes i.e Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo volcanoes hence offering you best mountain climbing experience. A hike t the summit of any Virunga volcano reward you with spectacular views of Mgahinga national park, local farms, homes and other attractions in the neighboring communities. Interestingly, the slopes of this mountain are home to mountain gorillas, which give travelers an added chance to meet mountain gorillas during hiking.
Mgahinga and Bwindi forest national parks are also home to numerous bird species. Adding a bird watching tour on your gorilla trekking package in Uganda is therefore a great deal. Among the birds to see in Bwindi include Emerald, western green tinker bird, fine-banded woodpecker, kivu ground-thrush, collared apalis, chestnut-throated apalis, common bulbul, fine banded woodpecker, African green broadbill and grauer’s rush warbler. Bwindi forest is home to over 400 bird species some of which are endemic to this area.
In general, gorilla trekking alone is not enough to make your Uganda safari a complete package. Choose from our list of gorilla add ons, explore more of Uganda and enjoy all beauties in the pearl of Africa.