Are you interested in visiting the Pearl of Africa – Uganda and having the eager to spend your precious time on the footsteps of Mountain Rwenzori and later have a one on one encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas? Primate Safari Experiences has got you covered with a combined travel blog that brings out more about the two attractions in different safari destinations.
Rwenzori mountaineering experience
Rwenzori hiking experience also referred to as a mystical challenge is done in the Uganda’s highest mountain and also Africa’s third highest after Kilimanjaro of Tanzania and Mount Kenya- Mount Rwenzori. This snowcapped mountain is protected by Rwenzori mountains national park that stretches through different districts including Kabarole, Kasese and Bundibugyo. The park’s region comprises several features like the Africa’s highest peak – Margherita, glaciers, waterfalls, lakes, a number of rivers and a beautiful vegetation cover. It also hosts a number of species including over 70 mammals and 217 bird species where 19 are Albertine Rift endemics.
The Rwenzori hiking experience involves trailing through different vegetation zones of the mountain as you cross several natural features like rivers, valleys, rocky hills and lakes. Mountain Rwenzori is made up of various campsites that act as resting places that enable the hikers gain energy for the next day hiking experience. During the hiking process, expect to spot a number of species including mammals, primates, birds and insects. For one to get to the summit of the mountain, you will have to climb through some junior mountain summits including Mount Speke, Mount Baker and others. There are different packages designed for those wishing to reach the highest peak on Mount Stanley and these may include the 9 to 12 day trekking experience.
Gorilla Trekking Experience
Gorilla trekking experience in Uganda is done in two destinations including the home of almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas – Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is located in the southern region of Uganda sharing a border with Congo. It is the only two national parks in Uganda where one can have an encounter with the magnificent mountain gorillas in their natural habitats. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is divided into different sections where one can have a one on one encounter with the mountain gorillas. Among these sectors include; Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhijja, and Nkuringo sector. The park also provides a habitat to other species besides the mountain gorillas and among these include; 120 mammal species, 348 bird species, 220 butterfly species, and 27 species of frogs, geckos and chameleons.
Gorilla trekking experience involves hiking through the rainforests of one of the park’s sectors that is Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Ruhijja in search of the magnificent mountain gorillas. With your gorilla permit at hand, the activity starts with a briefing about the dos and don’ts during the experience at the park headquarters. After, you start off the hike to the forest by the lead of the park ranger and after allocating them; you are allowed to spend an hour in the presence of these habituated gorillas as you learn a lot about their daily life styles like feeding habits, playing, defending and others. From there, you will proceed to the headquarters for your certificates of recognition.
Other dos in the parks aside gorilla trekking and mountain climbing experiences
There is a lot to do in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Rwenzori mountains national park besides gorilla trekking and mountain climbing experiences. Among these activities include;
Bird watching Experience
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mountain Rwenzori national park are homes to various unique bird species including the Albertine Rift Endemic birds and it is a place to be for Bird watchers, Key bird species to spot on your birding tour in Bwindi National Park include Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honey guide, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimson wing while those to spot during a safari in Rwenzori national park include Rwenzori Turaco, Long eared owl, Archers’ Robin-chat, Lagden’s Bush Shrike, Blue-headed and Golden-winged sunbird, white-starred Robin, Slender-billed Starling, and Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater etc.
Cultural and community visits
Cultural encounter is one of the major activities in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The park used to be inhabited by the Batwa people who are also referred to as the pygmies for many years until recently when they were removed to the nearby communities to ease the conservation and protection of the mountain gorillas. During this cultural experience, the Batwa people will show off their cultural practices like dances, songs, narrate their stories and many others.
Nature walks in Rwenzori national park are done during the mountaineering experience and in Bwindi Impenetrable national park, they are done during gorilla trekking and habituation experiences. Bwindi is made of a tropical forest which is one of the world’s oldest featuring the ancient tree species where some of them are endemic to the forest. During the walk, expect to spot different species like birds and animals such as the rare forest elephants, baboons and monkeys.