Days Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi NP, Lake Bunyonyi, Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Hike

Home » 8 Days Gorilla Tracking in Bwindi NP, Lake Bunyonyi, Queen Elizabeth and Rwenzori Hike

Bwindi National Park is most notable for being home of over 400 of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorilla population, estimate of 880 (November 2012) mountain gorilla population, which has been under protection since 1964. There are 12 habituated mountain gorilla families/groups open to tourism here. Bwindi forest vegetation has been in existence at least 25,000 years, – there is about 310 species of butterfly, 51 species of reptiles, 200 types of trees, 88 species of moths and an exceptional 120 types of mammals including 10 primates. The latter includes chimpanzee, L’Hoest’s, red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboon, and of course the famous residents – the mountain gorillas. Bwindi is a prime destination for birdwatchers. Some relaxation at Lake Bunyonyi before having an experience of a lifetime watching at close range these majestic apes as they feed, play and relax. Before crossing to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a great game viewing experience. Winding up with Rwenzori mountain National Park (RMNP) which was gazetted as National Park on July 1st 1991 and was inscribed on to a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1994. The Rwenzori ranges stretch 100Km long and 50Kms wide; the ranges rise up to about 5109M ASL – Margherita peak. RMNP has an area of about 996Kms with eco system ranging from dense rain forest, bamboo, heather, alpine ecosystems and the snow/glacier fields.

Day 1- Travel to Bwindi

Our driver guide will meet you in Entebbe at 7:00 am and will drive west of the country to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park having a stopover at the drum makers center called Mpambire and also at the equator to take photographs, proceed via Mbarara town which is endowed with beautiful landscapes, also you will see various rolling hills with terraces, it is such a great journey with all this sights. Upon reaching the park check in at the lodge of your choice and just relax there the whole evening as you get ready for the next door. Diner and overnight at

  • Budget – Broadbill Forest Camp
  • Mid-range – Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge
Day 2- Visit Mubwindi Swamp for birding and waterfall hike

After breakfast you grab your birding guide and binoculars for a fantastic birdwatching foray through the ancient rainforest of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – known for offering “some of the best montane-forest birdwatching in Africa”. The park is home to an impressive 350 species, of which many you will delight in ticking off your list on this excursion that is hosted by a knowledgeable guide. Alternatively, nature enthusiasts can embark on a 3-hour journey of discovery, traversing through the unique habitats of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, along a winding trail framed by exotic, emerald vegetation, to witness the sparkling spectacle of the Munyaga Waterfall.

Rising through ever green and montane marshes that intertwine across the lush forest floor your trail leads you to enchanting falls, booming out a thunderous roar of pristine river water crushing against enormous rocks. Set in exquisite verdant terrain this waterfall is truly a sight to behold. Prolific with birds the cacaphony of chatter and the cascading falls is a magnificent sound.

Acknowledged as a birding utopia Uganda shelters over half of the bird species found in Africa making it the leading birding destinations in Africa and the globe. Ambling along the Buhoma Waterfall Trail be sure to look out for the White-tailed Ant Thrush and dapper francolin, the splendid Black Bee-eater, Yellow-eyed Black and African Sooty Flycatchers along the green bamboo zone. Venture to the Mubwindi Swamp trail in Ruhija where sightings of the endemic and localized African green broadbill are frequent. Gaze up at the tree tops and keep your binoculars handy to spot the Short-tailed Warbler and Blue-headed Sunbird as well as the African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimsonwing. Return to you’ Lodge for lunch and in evening go for Batwa cultural experience you will go through their villages to have an experience of how they go about their daily routine activities and be amazed by the way they skillfully cultivate the hill sides and how they care for their animals (cows) that are a prime source of pride

  • Budget – Broadbill Forest Camp/Ruhija Community Rest Camp
  • Mid-range – Bakiga Lodge/Trekkers Tavern
Day 3- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi for a canoe/Boat ride

You will have an early morning breakfast and move to the Park headquarters to join other trackers in a briefing about the gorilla trekking rules at 7:45 am. You will trek through thick creepers and undergrowth with your guides to find the Gorillas, which can take you 1-8 hours. The steeply forested landscape is incredibly dense but crisscrossed by numerous animal trails allowing access by tourists. You will have one hour to stay with the Gorillas once sited and transfer to Lake Bunyonyi. The drive will be a beautiful part of the country often referred to as ‘the Switzerland of Africa’ because of its unique cool weather despite being near the Equator. This lake is said to be one of the most beautiful places in western Uganda. It is the second deepest lake in Africa [900 meters deep] and also one of the few places in the country where it is considered safe to swim as it is bilharzia free. You will take a canoe ride on this lake and hike to different viewpoints before returning for Dinner and overnight stay.

  • Budget – Hawk’s Eye
  • Mid-range- Lake Bunyonyi Eco Resort
Day 4- Transfer to Queen Elizabeth

Wake up early in the morning have your breakfast, set off for Queen Elizabeth through volcanic formation of the western Rift Valley towards Queen Elizabeth N.P. The descent reveals a stunning panorama of lakes George an Edward amidst game-filled plains where you will reach in the afternoon check in you’ Lodge have lunch and some rest for sun to go down, in the afternoon go the unique boat cruises that takes 2hrs on the Kazinga channel and onto Lake Edward. The trip passes through possibly the highest hippo concentration in Africa and many mammals may be seen drinking water. The cruise offers the excellent platform for photography and game viewing. The birdlife is colorful and abundant, In the evening go for a game drive with a chance to see Elephants Lions Buffaloes etc later return for dinner and overnight stay.

  • Budget- Engiri Game Lodge/Tembo Safari Lodge
  • Mid-range-Twin Lakes Safari Lodge/Bush Lodge
Day 5- Chimp track and transfer to Rwenzori NP

Wake-up early morning have breakfast and head to Kalinzu Forest Reserve for an up to 4 hours chimpanzee trekking with a tracker and guide. The Forest Reserve is home to 6 groups of chimps, comprising over 300 individuals. Please bring suitable closed walking boots and long trousers! Afterwards transfer to Rwenzori with lunch en-routes to catch your evening departure flight back home.

  • Budget – Trekkers Hotel
  • Mid-range- Trekkers Hostel
Day 6- Nyakalengija (1615m asl.) – Nyabitaba Camp (2651m asl.)

The central circuit starts at the Rwenzori Mountaineering Services offices at Nyakalengija. You need to arrive in the morning to allow ample time to rent equipment and meet your guides and porters. The trail begins by passing through farmland to the park boundary beyond which it follows a thick forest along the Mubuku River, crossing its Mahoma River tributary before starting a long, steep climb up onto a massive ridge to reach Nyabitaba hut. During this part of the trip you may hear chimpanzee and see black and white colobus, blue monkey and the brilliantly coloured Rwenzori turraco.

The hike takes an average of 6 -7 hours.

Day 7-  Nyabitaba – John Matte Camp (3505m asl.)

From Nyabitaba follow the trail that drops down through the forest to the Kurt Shafer Bridge, just below the confluence of the Mubuku and Bujuku rivers. Passing through the bamboo forest, traverse through a long and exhausting stretch of slippery moss-covered rock. From the Nyamuleju rock shelter, Mount Stanley and Mount Speke can be seen before passing into the zone of the giant heather, lobelia and groundsel. Finally reach John Matte Hut after passing through the tiring bog, for dinner and overnight at the hut.

The hike takes an average of 7 – 8 hours.

Day 8- John Matte – Nyabitaba – Nyakalengija Camp

From John Matte climb downs from the same trail to Nyabitaba Camp for your lunch. This will take about 5 – 6 hours.

After your lunch, descend back to Nyakalengija for a transfer back to Entebbe.

What’s included in this itinerary?

  • Transportation charges
  • Gorilla tracking permit (700$ pp)
  • Canoe ride
  • Boat Cruise
  • Chimpanzee tracking permit
  • Park entry fee
  • Guide fee
  • Full board accommodation
  • English speaking driver/guide
  • All meals

What’s not included in this route?

  • International / Domestic Flights
  • Additional accommodation before or after the tour
  • Personnel items ( souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fee)
  • Drinks/spirits
  • Covid PCR Tests