Nature Walks

Half day nature trails concentrating on the forest zone run out of Ntebeko. Of particular interest to birders, the Sabinyo Gorge Trail ascends through the heath around Ntebeko into a stand of bamboo forest before following a small stream though lushly forested gorge. The bamboo forest is a good place to see the pretty golden monkey, as well as handsome francolin, Kivu ground thush, and regal sunbird. The evergreen forest harbours such localised birds as Rwenzori Turaco, Western Green Tinkerbird, Olive Woodpecker, African Hill babbler, Archer’s Ground Robin, Rwenzori Batis, Montane Sooty Boubou, Lagden’s Bush-shrike and strange weaver, several of which are Albertine Rift Endemics.

Another day trail leads to Rugezi Swamp where in addition to the usual forest animals and birds, you stand a fair chance of seeing elephants and, in the late afternoon, giant forest hog.

Yet another excursion leads to Garama Cave, 4km from Ntebeko, which was occupied by humans during the late Iron Age and later used by the Batwa as a hiding place after raiding neighbouring Bantu-speaking tribes. The main passage leads only 100m to the Batwa’s subterranean council chamber but the cave is rumoured to cut right through the mountain to Rwanda. Bring a good torch with batteries (don’t rely on these being available at the park headquarters). The round trip takes about three hours and the terrain is reasonably flat.