Nature walks in Buhoma
Buhoma sector has more to offer other than gorilla trekking. The sector is popular for mountain gorilla trekking with the oldest mountain gorilla families in the park called Mubare. Apart from mountain gorilla trekking, other activities that can be done in Buhoma region include birding, community walks, hiking, and nature walks. Hiking and nature walks in Buhoma region give tourists a chance to see different mammals, primates, reptiles, amphibians, plants, and different physical features.
Buhoma sector is located on the northern side of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and it’s said to be one of the best regions for nature walk trails. Buhoma region has 6 main trails that can be used for nature walks activities as well as birding. Some of the nature walk trails in Bwindi include Muzubijiro loop trail, Muyanga waterfall trail, Rushura hill trail, ivy river trail, Buhoma-Nkuringo trail, and Babinyanja trail. These trails are of different lengths and they take different hours to be completed.
Nature walks in Buhoma region
Nature walks in Buhoma sector of Bwindi are put in place to enable travelers to explore the vast jungle on foot. Nature walks are done by those that have been given permission and they must have paid a certain amount of fee. Nature walks activities in Buhoma region enable tourists to explore different park attractions of the park such as plants, animals, birds, and water sources among others.
Tourists on nature walk activities can get a chance to bump into the Batwa people who used to live in this park. The nature walks in Buhoma take place in the morning or evening and they are guided by armed ranger guides who take tourists through different trails of the park showing them different attractions at the same time while protecting them from dangerous wild animals.
Buhoma sector nature walk experience
The nature walks in Buhoma start with a briefing at the sector offices or lodge where participants get to learn about the rules and regulations of the activity. The tourists follow the armed ranger guides throughout the trail they are to use and they must keep in a group. During the nature walks, tourists get an opportunity to see some of the park animals which include bush pigs, giant forest hogs, clawless otters, duikers, elephants, chimpanzees, mountain gorillas, bushbucks, monkeys, olive baboons, and many others. Bwindi is home to over 120 mammals and 10 primates which can be seen during nature walks.
Bird lovers have an opportunity to see some of the 350 bird species in Bwindi and these include augur buzzard, shikra, sacred ibis, African hawk eagle, marabou stork, scaly francolin, black crake, olive pigeon, red-eyed dove, black crake, common cuckoo, red chested owlet, black bee-eater, speckled tinker bird, rock martin, African pitta, cape wagtail, olive thrush, sedge warbler, dusky tit, and green hylia among others.
Through some trails in Buhoma sector, tourists are able to meet different rivers passing through the park, waterfalls, plants, and a distant view of Lake Bunyonyi, some of the Virunga volcanoes, and surrounding hills among others.
How much are nature walks in Buhoma?
For any traveler to be part of the nature walks in Buhoma sector or any other sector of Bwindi, they must pay a certain amount of money at the sector headquarters. Nature walks are guided by armed ranger guides and for foreign non-residents it’s $30, for foreign residents it’s $15 and East African citizens pay UGX10,000. These rates do exclude entrance fees and any other activity fees.
What to pack for a nature walk activity in Buhoma sector?
Travelers that are visiting Buhoma sector and would want to be part of the nature walks activity should pack waterproof hiking shoes, long cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, long-sleeved shirts, long-sleeved pants, gardening gloves, a rain jacket, a sweater, insect repellents, sunscreen, a camera, a pair of binoculars, light backpack, drinking water bottle, and energy giving snacks among others.
When to visit Buhoma for nature walks
Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can be visited for nature walk activities at any time of the year however there are certain months that are better than the rest. The dry months are the best to visit Buhoma for nature walks and they happen from June to September and December to February. These months are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trails stay dry, the vegetation is short and thin with great views of different park attractions and the roads connecting to the park are in good condition.
Travelers can still visit Buhoma region for nature walks in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but this favors the budget travelers who benefit from discounted accommodation facilities. The rainy season is characterized by too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park attractions and the roads connecting to the park are impassable.
Buhoma sector of Bwindi can be accessed using air transport or road transport and this takes a single day. Tourists that are interested in traveling in a luxury style or those that hate traveling for long distances can access this sector of Bwindi using air transport. There are so many airline companies organizing scheduled flights to Buhoma region among which include Bar Aviation Uganda and Aerolink Uganda. Flights to Buhoma begin from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airstrip where travelers connect to Buhoma within an hour.
Travelers that are to use road transport to access Buhoma region from Kampala to Kigali city. Travelers from Kampala can access Buhoma region by going through Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kanungu to the region. Travelers from Kigali can access Buhoma region by crossing to Uganda using Cyanika border in Kisoro and then connecting to the park region and this takes 4-5 hours.