Ivy River trail in Bwindi
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is famous for mountain gorillas trekking however travelers have a chance to take part in the fascinating hiking tours using different trails. Bwindi is located in the southwestern part of Uganda covering a total area of 331 sq. km that is full of tropical rainforest. The national park is home to endangered mountain gorillas that can’t be seen everywhere in the world.
Apart from Bwindi gorilla park, mountain gorillas are seen in Mgahinga national park Uganda, Virunga national park DR Congo and Volcanoes national park Rwanda. About 700 mountain gorillas live in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and gorilla trekking is the most done activity in this area. Travelers however do combine gorilla trekking activities with other activities like birding, Batwa culture tours and nature walks.
There are numerous hiking and nature walks in Bwindi and Ivy River trail is one of them. This trail is found between Nkuringo sector and Buhoma sector. River ivy trail is 14km long and it takes 4-6 hours to complete this trail. Tourists that use ivy river trails get an opportunity to encounter Batwa local people, water sources, animals such as buffaloes, elephants, chimpanzees, wild pigs, gorillas, red-tailed monkeys, duikers, giant forest hogs, blue monkeys, and olive baboons among others.
Ivy rivet trails is said to be one of the best trails for birding in Bwindi and bird lovers do get an opportunity to encounter birds such as tiny sunbird, pale flycatcher, grey apalis, pied crow, common waxbill, yellow bishop, bronze sunbird, black-billed weaver, sooty boubou, collared sunbird, great blue turaco, tit hylia, dusky tit, olive thrush, cape robin chat, olive woodpecker, Rwenzori night jar, scarce swift, narina tragon, and African harrier hawk among others.
Getting to Bwindi
By road transport: Travelers can access Bwindi impenetrable forest national park from Kigali city by using Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro which takes 4-5 hours. Travelers from Kampala can access Bwindi impenetrable forest national park by driving through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, or Kisoro to any of the sectors of the park.
Air transport: Travelers that want to access Bwindi by air transport can book flights with airline companies such as Bar Aviation Uganda, Fly Uganda, or Aerolink Uganda to transfer them to the park. Flights to Bwindi take 1 hour and 45 minutes from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kihihi airstrip or Kisoro airstrip.
What to pack for ivy trail hiking in Bwindi?
Travelers visiting Bwindi and are planning to move around the park on foot using Ivy River trail can pack waterproof shoes, gardening gloves, a pair of gaiters, long cotton clothes, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, a rain jacket, a sweater, a light backpack, camera, a pair of binoculars, energy giving snacks, drinking water bottle and insect repellents among others.
When to visit Bwindi
Bwindi can be visited for different activities including nature walks at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to visit the park for all activities and they happen from June to September and December to February. This is because the dry months are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trails stat dry, the vegetation is short and thin with good views of the mountain gorillas, and the roads connecting to the park are passable.
Travelers can still take a visit to Bwindi for hiking and nature walk activities in the rainy seasons of March to May and October to November and this favors the budget travelers because the accommodation is at a discount. Travelers should know that in the rainy season, the hiking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thin with unclear views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are impassable.