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.
Top NATURE WALKS IN MGAHINGA GORILLA NATIONAL PARK
Hiking adventures in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is exceptionally one of the perfect ways that you can easily discover and catch a glimpse at most of natural wonders that this protected area has in offer for the world. Nature walks also famous as hiking trails allows travelers to explore in depth different species while on foot. There are very many trails that tourists take on a guided safari to Mgahinga National Park. Visitors to the park can embark on nature walks to see various stunning tourist attractions like swamps, caves, waterfalls and many more. There are also primates, birds and butterflies and many other species for you to sight while on nature walks. For remarkable hiking safaris in Mgahinga National Park, you can embark on;
Sabinyo Gorge Hike
The Sabyinyo gorge walk is a 5 to 6 hour adventure along its stunning vegetation and moss lined stream on your way to its summit. Hiking through this trail takes visitors to the spectacular Mount Sabyinyo summit which comes with views of waterfalls and the surrounding areas. The gorge is also one of the excellent birding sites in Mgahinga National Park as well as duikers and the rare golden m0nkeys though these are rarely seen while hiking through this mountain. The birds to spot while on nature walk include the white necked raven, ibis, Rwenzori Turaco, grey capped warbler, waxbills, paradise flycatcher, yellow vented bulbul, Rwenzori nightjar, pin tailed whydah, black kite, speckled mouse birds and many more.
This comes with moderate hiking adventures to the lower base of Mount Sabinyo which leads visitors via lush montane forest prior reaching to the side of Democratic Republic of Congo and catching a glimpse of the stunning views of Sabinyo gorge and its peaks. This is a five hour hike and once you reach to Congo line, visitors will follow the international border line for around 2 kilometers. You will find 2 rest huts and you may have a chance to sight some of the rare golden monkeys along the way. You may not need any visa for this.
Nature walk to sight birds in Mgahinga National Park lasts for one to two hours. The park is one of the important birding areas in Uganda and the notable birds to spot in the area include the grey capped warblers, waxbills, yellow vented bulbul, stonechats and many more.
The Batwa trail
This is one of the most remarkable trials that you should try out while on safari in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The trail offers travelers opportunity to explore more about the Batwa pygmy cultures and traditions. The Batwa are famous forest dwellers who lived in the jungles for more than 500000 years while hunting and gathering but left without any negative impact. These remarkable creatures were evicted from the forest and now have become marginalized around the park areas. Some of them have been employed as guides and they take visitors through areas like Garama cave where they used to give sacrifices to the gods and thereafter perform rituals.
Walking around the visitor centre
If you are looking for the shortest trails, then this is the best option for you to hike. You will be taken through Mgahinga National Park its vegetation zones, birds, Virunga Massif, wildlife species, Batwa pygmy and many more. Mgahinga National Park also offers other activities that are worthy exploring while on safari in Uganda some of these include mountain gorilla trekking. The park is second option in Uganda which offers tourists a chance to track the rare mountain gorillas while in their natural habitat. It refuges about 80 individuals, with only one habituated family (Nyakagezi group). Trekking permits in Uganda are sold at $600 per person. There is also golden monkey tracking and this cost around $100 per visitor. You can also embark on hiking adventures to Virunga Mountain ranges like Mount Sabinyo, Muhabura and Gahinga.
Walk to the Border
The walk to the border is yet another interesting nature walk that takes you through the different vegetation covers. It’s a relatively easy walk taking about 5 hours only and you will be walking through the lower areas of Mt. Sabinyo occupied by the montane forest. Once you get to there, you will have that clear view of Sabinyo Gorge and Sabyinyo peaks. Hiking is normally done during the morning hours because it can be really tiring especially if you are not an expert hiker.
Hike Up Gisozi Hill
You can hike up to the caldera located on top of Gisozi hill, this is looking out of the nearby the nearby town which is Kisoro town as well as the Bunagana town. There are several other captivating features that you will see once you get up will many your day.
This is easiest nature walks you can take good for those that cannot handle either hiking or walking for long. This walk takes about 40 minutes, you get to visit the visitor’s centre which is located at the entrance of Mgahinga national park and from there you get all the information you wish to know about the wildlife in that park, the different volcanoes and the indigenous people-the Batwa too. This viewing platform is found 800m away from the visitors’ centre in the south and from that platform, you will have a view of the 3 volcanoes but mostly Sabinyo. In the north, there are farmlands, there is Lake Mutanda, there are highlands and you can also see part of Bwindi forest and then in the west, the Rift Valley in Congo is very visible.
All in all, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of the 10 (ten) most magnificent protected areas in Uganda that feature distinct activities and attractions that reward travelers with lifetime experiences while on African safaris. Other areas that you should not to miss to pay a visit while on safari to this park include the Lake Mutanda.