Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise
Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise: This tour takes you to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to encounter the famous mountain gorillas before going to Lake Bunyonyi for a boat cruise and relaxation. This safari can start from Kampala or Kagali depending on the airport you are to use. Travelers from Kampala will drive to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, or Kisoro to any of the sectors of the park. Luxury travelers can fly from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip for those visiting Buhoma region and then Kisoro airstrip for those visiting Rushaga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo regions.
Travelers from Kigali will get to Bwindi by driving to the Uganda-Rwanda borders where they will cross from Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro to any of the sectors of the park. On arrival at the sector, you will drive to your booked accommodation and check-in at your lodge where you will have an evening relaxing and preparing for the gorilla trek the following day.
On the day of gorilla trekking in Bwindi, you will wake up to a morning breakfast at the lodge, get your backpack and then meet your driver to transfer you to the sector offices. At the park offices, you will meet different trekkers and park wardens who will teach you about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity, group all trekkers not exceeding 8 in each group, and get armed ranger guides who will lead you in the jungle.
The armed rangers lead the treks by taking the trekkers through the quickest trails to locate the mountain gorilla family. The search will take 2-7 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorilla family and the speed of trekkers. During the search, you will be able to see different park animals such as buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, birds, and much more.
After several hours of searching, the mountain gorillas are spotted and armed ranger guides give trekkers one hour to be around the apes, take photos, record videos, learn about gorilla habits and watch them do daily activities such as hunting, nesting, playing, coupling and much more. After encountering mountain gorillas, you will trek out of the jungle, collect your trekking certificate, and then head to the lodge where you will have lunch before departing to Lake Bunyonyi.
From Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, it’s 3-4 hours to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park going through Kabale and Kisoro town. On arrival at your booked accommodation, you will check in your lodge and have an evening relaxing as you wait for the boat cruise the next day. On the day of the boat cruise, you will have to wake up for early morning breakfast and head to the lake.
A Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise takes you to Lake Bunyonyi, where you will meet different boat riders and guides, local people, shops, and much more. You will go for a canoe boat ride with the local guides who will take you around the lake telling you different information about the lake. The boat cruise will take you through different islands of Lake Bunyonyi like Akampene island which is famous for being the place where girls that got pregnant before marriage were taken to starve and die. Other islands you will see include Bushara, Kahungye, Bacuranuka, Bwama, and Njuyeera islands.
During the boat cruise on Lake Bunyonyi, you will be able to different birds that live around the lake and these include levillant cuckoo, white tailed monad, grey crowned crested crane, slender-billed baglafetch, weavers, African harrier hawk, Swamp flycatcher, cardinal woodpecker, grey crowned cranes, African kingfisher, heron, regal sunbird, golden-backed weaver, pin tailed whydah, great cormorant, Bronze manikin, Hadada ibis, grey shrike, malachite kingfisher, and fan-tailed widow bird among other birds.
After enjoying the boat cruise at Lake Bunyonyi, you will drive back to the lodge relax as you wait for fir lunch. In the afternoon, you can go for optional activities like visiting the community, schools, or simple nature walks around the lodge. You will have an evening relaxing at the lodge dinner and an overnight stay. The following day, you will wake up early in the morning for breakfast and depart the lodge for your transfer back to Kampala/Kigali international airport with an en-route lunch.
What to pack
For a successful Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise the following things should be packed and they include long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, a rain jacket, long cotton stocks, waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, gardening gloves, a hat, sunscreen, a light backpack, insect repellents, facemask sanitizer, a camera, a pair of binoculars, drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks among others.
When to have Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise safari
Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise can be done at any time of the year however there are certain months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to have this safari because they are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails stay dry and passable, the vegetation is short and scatter giving clear views of the wild animals, and water levels at Lake Bunyonyi are down favoring the boat cruise and then the roads leading to these places are in good condition.
Travelers can still have a Bwindi gorilla tour and boat cruise in the rainy season so that they enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season occurs from March to May and October to November and since it comes with too much rainfall it attracts a few customers forcing the lodge owners to reduce the prices so that they attract the few customers in the park. During the rainy season, the blat cruise at Lake Bunyonyi can delay or get canceled due to high water levels, the trekking trails in Bwindi are muddy and slippery, vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.