Activities to do in Uganda after Bwindi gorilla safari?
Activities to do in Uganda after Bwindi gorilla safari?: One of the questions frequently asked by travelers especially first-time travelers that are intending to have a Bwindi gorilla safari is what to do after gorilla trekking. Well in this article, we are going to look at all possible activities you could be part of when you are done with encountering the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi. Encountering gorillas in Bwindi involves following the armed ranger guides around the jungle, locate a mountain gorilla family and be around the members for 1 hour or 4 hours.
Uganda has a lot of tourist attractions that travelers can be part of after gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. Travelers have an opportunity to be part of activities such as chimpanzee trekking in Kibale forest national park, boat cruises in Queen Elizabeth national park, Murchison falls national park, and Lake Mburo national park. Travelers can also do cultural tours to the communities around Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and therefore there is no need to rush home when you can be part of all these amazing activities which we are to explain below.
Activities to do in Uganda after Bwindi gorilla safari
The boat cruise is one of the most amazing activities that can be done in Uganda after a successful mountain gorilla trekking activity. Having a boat cruise is one of the ways to help you relax from the hectic mountain gorilla trekking activity that usually takes up to 7 hours in the jungle. The boat cruise activities can be done on Lake Bunyonyi which is very close to Bwindi national park, Lake Mburo, Kazinga channel in Queen Elizabeth national park and even River Nile in Murchison falls national park among others.
Bot cruise activities are usually done for 2 hours in the above places and they are guided by the park rangers who take you around the lakes telling you different information. Boat cruises on Lake Bunyonyi give you an opportunity to explore the 29 islands, Kazinga channel boat cruise gives you an opportunity to see the highest population of crocodiles and hippos as well as Lake George and Lake Edward, and Murchison falls national park boat cruise gives you an opportunity to each the bottom of the falls.
During the boat cruises, you will be able to meet different water animals such as hippos and crocodiles except on Lake Bunyonyi, park animals around the water sources most especially in the dry season when they come to drink water, and lastly the water birds such as kingfisher, shoebill stork, red-throated bee-eater, malachite kingfisher, hornbill, saddle bill stork, long-tailed cormorants, and African harrier hawk among others.
Travelers that are visiting Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and would want to see different wild animals in their natural habitats will have to go for game drive activities. There are day game drive activities and night game drive activities where you get to see nocturnal animals. Game drives on a Uganda safari can be best done in Queen Elizabeth national park which harbors over 95 mammals and the tree-climbing lions, Lake Mburo national park where you find the highest population of zebras, and Murchison falls national park.
Game drive activities are better done in good comfortable safari cars with either your driver guide or park guide at an affordable fee. Game drive activities give you an opportunity to see animals such as buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, duikers, giant forest hogs, hyenas, topis, olive baboons, monkeys, elephants, aardvark, Uganda kob, sitatunga, impala, lions, and hippos among others.
On a gorilla trekking safari, you can add on chimpanzee trekking and get to learn the differences between the two primates. On a Bwindi gorilla safari, chimpanzee trekking would be best done in Kibale forest national park although the same chimpanzees can be seen in Kyambura gorge of Queen Elizabeth national park and Budongo forest near Murchison falls national park.
Kibale national park would be the best place to encounter chimpanzees on this safari because the national park has the highest population of chimpanzees in the whole world. The national park is also home to the highest species of primates which can be seen during the chimpanzee trekking activity. To trek chimpanzees of Kibale, you will need a chimpanzee permit and you must be aged 15 years and above.
Chimpanzee trekking is like gorilla trekking because both activities start with park wardens briefing the trekkers about the rules and regulations of the activity. Later groups are made and armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle. The search for chimpanzees can take 2-5 hours but the moment you locate the gorilla family, you will be given one 1 hour to be around them, watch them do daily activities, learn about their habits and take photos.
Cultural visits are done by those travelers that are interested in interacting with the local people and knowing more about their culture. On a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi, the cultural tours can be done in the communities of the Batwa who are said to be the shortest people in the country. The Batwa are the short people that used to live inside the Bwindi forest until 1991 when the government asked them to get out and settle around the park boundaries. This was done to protect mountain gorillas, other park animals, and the vegetation.
The Batwa cultural tour is led by the local guides from the Batwa community who first takes you around the forest explaining how they used to survive on fruits, honey, and small meat from wild animals. The local guides will also show you how different plants were used as local herbs to cure illnesses. You will visit their homesteads where you will meet different families, be part of watch the do daily activities, visit shoos, schools, gift shops and in the end get entertained by the traditional dancers.
Golden monkey trekking
This one of the activities to do in Uganda after Bwindi gorilla safari, travelers can decide to encounter the beautiful golden monkeys that are only found in Mgahinga national park. Mgahinga national park is located near Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and apart from harboring the golden monkeys, it also has mountain gorillas. Just like gorilla trekking, golden monkey trekking starts with the briefing where trekkers get to know about the rules and regulations of the activity before armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle. The search takes you to the bamboo trees where these primates normally be feeding on the bamboo shoots and climbing from one tree to another. Trekkers are given 1 hour to be around these golden monkeys, watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
Bird watching activities on a gorilla safari to Bwindi can even be done in the park itself because it has over 350 bird species you can spot among which some are endemic to the Albertine rift region. Bird-watching activities are guided by the rangers who take you to the best birding spots to enable you to watch as many birds as you can.
Birds to watch out for in Bwindi include great blue turaco, African dusky flycatcher, willcocks honey guide, black swift, Angolan swallow, zebra waxbill, cattle egret, red-capped robin chat, common sand piper, brown-capped weaver, marabou stork, lizard buzzard, white-headed saw-wing, African hill babbler, red-capped robin chat, African citril, shelley’s crimsonwing, western green tinkerbird, blue-headed sunbird, klaas’s cuckoo, hairy breasted barbet, diederik cuckoo, African paradise flycatcher, magpie manikin, and luhder’s bush-shrike among others.
When to visit Uganda
Uganda can be visited for various activities to do in Uganda after Bwindi gorilla safari at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months from June to September and December to February are best to visit Uganda and they do attract a lot of travelers. This is because they are characterized by little or no rainfall which keeps the trekking trails/game trucks dry, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the wild animals, and the roads connecting to parks are in good conditions.
Travelers can still visit Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for gorilla trekking and visit other places in the rainy season of March to May and October to November and this favors the budget travelers. During the rainy seasons, a few travelers are coming to the park, and lodges do reduce the prices for accommodation. The rainy season is however characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails/game trucks muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the wild animals and the roads connecting to the parks are impassable.