Locally known as “mt. masaba” a name of the founding ancestor of the Bagisu who assumed to have emerged from the cave of its slopes several centuries ago. The Masaba’s spirit is believed to be embodied by Jackson’s Summit but may be the taller Kiongo peak. Mt. Elgon is located on the Uganda-Kenya border only about 250 km from Kampala. It is also the oldest and largest solitary, volcanic mountain in East Africa with the largest volcanic base in the whole world. It is a vast form, 80km in diameter, rises more than 3,000m above the surrounding plains.

The mountain’s cool heights offer respite from the hot plains below, with the higher altitudes providing a refuge for flora and fauna which attract tourists.

The area receives a bimodal pattern of rainfall, generally, with the wettest period occurring from April to October. The mean annual rainfall ranges from 1500 mm on the eastern and northern slopes, to 2000 mm in the southern and the western slopes. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures are 23° and 15 °C respectively. Mid-slopes oriented towards the east and north, at an elevation between 2000 and 3000m which tend to be wetter than either the lower slopes or the summit.

Mount Elgon National Park covers 1,145 square kilometers which makes it to be ranked as the fourth highest mountain in East Africa and second in having the topmost peak in Uganda, towering up to 4321 meters.  An extinct volcano, Mt. Elgon is believed to have stood taller than Mountain Kilimanjaro of today during the ancient times but because of erosion and other natural forces, the mountain has reduced its size and this mountain is also believed to have first erupted more than 24 million years ago. Although mountain Elgon is shared by the two neighboring countries (Uganda and Kenya), its highest peak the Wagagai peak found at 4321 meters is found on the Ugandan side. There are three other outstanding peaks on this mountain which are Kiongo (4303m), Mubiyi (4210m) and Jackson’s summit (4165m).



Mount Elgon National Park is a home to over 300 hundred bird species including the endangered Lammergeyer, mammals like small antelopes, elephants, buffaloes, forest monkey  which  live on the mountainside. The higher slopes of the mountain are protected by national parks in Uganda and Kenya, creating an extensive trans-boundary conservation area which has been declared by UNESCO and the Biosphere Reserve

A climb on Mt. Elgon’s deserted moorlands unveils a magnificent and uncluttered wilderness without the summit-oriented approach common to many mountains: the ultimate goal on reaching the top of the mt. elgon is not the final ascent to the 4321m Wagagai Peak, the descent into the vast 40km² caldera. This climb can take a full-day nature hike which leads from Budadiri to the Mudange cliffs, known as the Walls of Death, at the boundary of the national park. These cliffs are located in the tropical forest, which will give you a chance to encounter the blue monkeys, black-and-white Colobus and baboons which will be crossing the tracks

The mountain is also an important watershed for different rivers including River Sipi that forms the splendid Sipi falls which is one of the major attractions to this national park or area. The mountain slopes support an affluent range of vegetation zones like the montane forest, high open moorland covered by the mature giant lobelia and groundsel plants. The mountain has crater covering about 40kilometres on its top surrounded by a several rocky peaks. Mt. Elgon Park has a large collection of fauna and flora species, for example the Bamboo, heath and moorland zones plus animals such as leopards, Blue and White Colobus monkey, hyena and buffalos. The bird species comprise of the African Goshawk, Mackinon’s Fiscal, sthe Bablafecht weaver and many others


The Gisu people, or Bagisu (people of bagisu sub region), alternately Gishu, Masaba, or Sokwia, are the tribes of the Masaba nation of eastern Uganda who live on the slopes of the Mount Elgon. The bagisu are closely related to the Bukusu people who live on the boarders of Kenya, the Bamasaba live mainly in Mbale District. Gisu speak a dialect of the Lumasaba language called Lugisu, which is fully understandable by other dialects, and is also understood by the Bukusu.

The Gisu is one of Uganda’s Bantu tribes who inhabit the sunset gradients of Elgon Mountain. Their ancestral origins date back to 500 years ago when their masaba father emerged from caves of the Elgon Mountain locally known as Mount Masaba. It is believed that Masaba dwells in the upper slopes of the Mountain where he conducts his assemblies with lower divines; a frightening thing that can be compared to an encounter with Mudange Cliff while hiking on the same Mountain.  The Bagisu community is one of those communities in Uganda without central authority in form of Kingdoms thus leadership is on clan basis with a non-hereditary chief elected by a council of elders. Holding that aside, the Bagisu people are well known for their Imbalu circumcision ceremony a tourist product worth visiting while on Uganda safaris. This practice date back to the tale that a certain Mugisu man was summoned by the council of elders because of stealing other men’s wives and then he was subjected to circumcision as a punishment and preventive action only to yield nothing as he became more powerful and admirable to women than ever before. The counterparts retaliated by circumcising themselves so as to compete favorably for women.

However other folks have it that the practice arose through contact with the adjacent Kalenjin of western Kenya who had similar tradition, which leaves the story about the Imbalu uncovered and one should always ask questions about this practice while in Bugisu land


While at elgon you will be able to carry out Bird watching, mountain climbing, trekking, day hikes, caves and camping are among the major activities that you can involve into while at mt. elgon. A selection of attractions outside the park like lodging facilities, rock paintings, campsites in addition to the splendid Sipi falls placed 66 km from Mbale makes a trip pleasant. Community visits and participation in Imbalu dances, scenery walks from Budadiri trailhead can also be made and the incredible sipi experience

  1. Bird watching

Mount Elgon national park is one of the best national parks in Uganda you can carry out bird watching since it has about 300 bird species some of which are range specific on the other side on the Kenya-Uganda boarder.

Examples of range specific birds

  • Bronze naped pigeon
  • Tacazze sunbird
  • Hartlaub’s Turaco

These range specific birds can only be found in Mount Elgon and also some other few mountains in the whole world, so if you are a birder or want to be one, this is the best place to do the bird watching. Besides the range specific birds, Mount Elgon has also a number of bird species like

Other bird species at elgon

  • Yellow-billed Shrike
  • Cape Robin-Chat
  • Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat
  • Nightingale
  • Spotted Morning-Thrush
  • Mountain Yellow Warbler
  • African Reed Warbler
  • Little Rush Warbler
  • Upcher’s Warbler
  • Blackcap
  • Common Whitethroat
  • Common Chiffchaff
  • Brown Woodland Warblers
  • Chubb’s Cisticola
  • White-chinned Prinia
  • Jackson’s Francolin
  • Lammergeier
  1. Flora and Fauna
    Mount elgon is also blessed with the beautiful vegetation and animal species because as you move along the slopes of Elgon; you will go through the chunky montane forest with mixed bamboo belts intensely characterized by a number flowers, birds as you will then join attractive moorland zones with several interesting endemic plant species like the Giant lobelia and groundsels. Lovers of nature will spot primates such as the Black and White Colobus Monkey, Blue Monkey, buffalo, elusive leopard, duiker and the shy hyena.  Attractive to see also at elgon are the forest monkeys that fill up the forest top, Bushbuck, Antelope, Civet, Wildcat, Bush Duiker, Jackal, Rock Hyrax and Elephant move around the tropical rain woodland which makes this national park favorite for the tourists who want to get the best experience and Nungi Safaris will be waiting for your inquiry to take you around

Mountaineering / Volcano climbing

Mount Elgon was once the highest mountain in Africa, but volcanic activity reduced over the centuries to where it is now. It is no longer an active volcano and is the largest intact mountain caldera in the world which makes it a best spot for climbers and it can be accessed from both countries of Kenya and Uganda since it’s located on the boarder of these two counties. The Ugandan side is the most used by all climbers because it gives you the best experience to reach the Wagagai peak. Many visitors interested in mountain climbing see Mount Elgon as an easier mountain to climb and yes it is easy because there are no skills required to enjoy a mountain climbing experience on Mt elgon thus an average hiker or biker can enjoy this experience as well and this is made easy by your guide and porters who guide you up and down the mountain and also help you carry you bags to make the climb lighter

What you should expect while on a climb at Mount Elgon

While on the climb, you are guaranteed to see the change of vegetation belts as you go higher on the mountain and this is because of the varying climatic conditions on the different levels on the mountain. On the lower slopes you will find dense forest and due to the rainfall in the area the trees are often covered with thick leaves, vine like lians and epiphytes while the forest floor seems to be carpeted with ferns and flowering plants such as wild orchids. The Bamboo forest region is next at about 2,000M high, beyond that level there is an open woodland forest, further on up you have giant heathers in meadows of grass and flowers, onward and upward to the Afro-Montane zone with its giant lobelias an groundsel and this could be the best moments in life to experience climatic changes in one day and yes… have to let us make you discover for yourself. There is a lot of history and geography to be learnt as you climb and explore this great caldera because your guide and the local porters will be narrating more history and geography about this mountain and its features

On the foothills of the mountain, you can hear the sounds of the sipi falls flowing down the stream sipi river and yes before you leave eastern part of the country, sipi falls is a must visit because it will give a spectacular experience of the trip adding it to the climb because while on top of the sipi falls, you will be able to have a clear view of kapchorwa and lake kyoga

Trekking Routes to the elgon highest peaks

  • Salsa river route/ trial head. This is mainly reachable easily from Mbale and a direct route to the peaks going via the Park’s largest area of bamboo wooded area which will also give you a good chance of  seeing Colobus and Blue Monkeys, as well as other wildlife, and side trips to waterfalls, hot springs, the crater floor and other summits. And this route is mostly used by several climbers because it is short though steep.
  • Pisawa /Kapkwata route/trail head, a calm climb can cover up 660metres on the first day deciding to climb through here. As you move on this route, you can see the sights of the vast Podocarpus forest, an admirable place for flora and fauna watching. An entire trekking journey to the mountain peaks runs for 4-5 days. It is worthwhile that visitors talk about the trekking options with the information clerks at the Mbale, Budadiri or Kapkwata Visitors’ Centers. This route is longer than the salsa route but less steeper
  • Sipi route. This is a new route that has been constructed from Sipi Falls which makes a fine loop with the Salsa River Route, and the round trip distance is 56km

What to come with for Mount Elgon climbing

  • Tent
  • Sleeping air bag
  • Good hiking shoes
  • Enough / plenty drinking water
  • First aid kit
  • Warm cloths/ rain coats
  • Gloves and hat
  • Flash light
  • Cooking materials
  • Enough foodstuffs
  • Fuel cooking stove to save the wood fuel

Since you are going to camp, tourists are advised to respect the camping rules by staging camps on only gazzated sites and no camping in the caldera will be accepted. Also you are requested to support the local guides who will be helping you to carry you bags and on other things, so carry with you enough tipping money

  1. Visiting of the Caves

Mount Elgon’s slopes are covered with caves left by moving lava and erosion of soft volcanic deposits during the formation of this volcanic mountain. The most accessible are Kapkwai Cave, near the Forest Exploration Centre, and Khauka Cave on Wanale Ridge. Historically, such features acted as shelters for locals and their livestock; later on they provided manure in the form of bat droppings and this manure has been collected by local people to use in their gardens. More recently, these caves have been used by climbers and their porters, and even today, campsites are still located at Hunters Cave, Siyo Cave (near the hot springs), Mude Cave and Tutum Cave and yes these caves are ideal for overnight expedition which you do not have to miss while on your mount elgon trip


  1. Imbalu circumcision ceremony

Whatever the origin, the Imbalu circumcision ceremony held during even years is personal  rite of passage to man hood among the Bagisu. The year for initiation is determined by the person himself and not necessarily a council of elders or a convention. The age range between 16 and 26 is acceptable. Those who elect to be circumcised in any given year announce their intention in May or June and spend the next few months preparing for it. The key observable aspect of the arrangements involve the initiate, decorated in plantain fronds or animal skins and ash plastered face and escorted by a crew of encouraging friends marching and dancing via the streets to connect to his close relatives and seek their approval. The function is conducted in august thus can be incorporated in your Ugandan safaris and usually occurs before 10:00am.

Regardless of other African areas where circumcision is carried out indoors with few associates in presence, the Bagisu declared it a public function even allowing tourists to attend. The operation lasts one hour in which the circumciser makes three bold cuts to remove the foreskin before the whistle is blown to mark the exercise completed. The initiate raises his hands victoriously, dancing, proudly exhibiting his blooded fellow to an ululating crowd. Crying during the process would mean cowardice thus forbidden. He is then led to the quiet place seated and wrapped in a cloth before bleeding ceases. He is continued to the fathers home and hand fed for three consecutive days before he is ritually washed and permitted to eat with own hands marking the end of the ritual. This is one of those last amazing experiences that can still authentically be traced on the African continent thus considering it when planning for your safari in Uganda and Nungi safaris will be glad if you book with us and we take you through such kind of experience even its outside the national park, you can’t miss to enjoy it

  1. Sipi falls experience

Sipi falls is truly a gem in the East, in that no one leaves the eastern part of Uganda without visiting such an incredible site because the waterfalls are a sight to behold. They have such a scenic beauty and the roaring sound of waters falling down a steep rock which makes it so…….so…….magnificent!! For you to enjoy it before you leave the place.  Sipi fall tour is worth a trip to the eastern parts of Uganda because it gives you a chance to explore the caves behind the falls and the trails can take you to the top of the falls where you will be able to see the beauty of water from the above. And yes this aerial view is breathtaking and spectacular!!

Also at Sipi Falls, guides from the local community can organize walks of a few hours up to a full day around local viewpoints. In Kapchorwa, a 20-minute Sunrise Trek at 6am from Noah’s Ark Hotel leads to the nearby Tewei Hill to watch dawn spreading across the vast Karamoja plains at the base of the mountain

All in all Mount Elgon and Sipi falls are two very good reasons to visit Eastern Uganda while  on your Uganda safari that’s why we recommend you to not miss it on your itinerary and if you want to check more packages about this wonderful experience in the eastern parts of Uganda you can check out our site

Scenic viewing point

A trip to Bulago off the Mbale-Sipi road reveals a village standing high above a waterfall facing the Simu Valley towards Butandiga ridge. The route to Kapchorwa beyond Sipi Falls to the north provides a stunning view towards Mount Kadam and the vast plains of Karamoja. The top of the Sironko Valley in Budadiri, enclosed by the Mudangi Cliffs and the Nkonkonjeru Ridge, provides a picturesque view of the montane forest and caldera peaks. Visitors should also drive to the top of Wanale Cliff for panoramic views over the town of Mbale and at this spot you will enjoy the clear view of the old Mbale town and also take photos with Mbale town in your back ground thus you cannot leave the east without visiting such a beautiful and magnificent spot

  1. Visiting of the nyero rock paintings

These ancient rock paintings are 65km north of Mbale; the Nyero Rock Paintings are the finest of several rock art sites in the region. Three panels are found within the extensive granite outcrop of Moru, Ikara, and 10km from Kumi Town and 55km from Mbale on the Soroti road. The most impressive is Panel 2 which includes two canoes bearing human figures and yes about historical rocks you need to see these fingers by yourself because they real ………..!!!!!


Mount Elgon National Park lies 235km east of Kampala where you drive on a tarmac road which runs through Jinja to Mbale town at the western base of Mount Elgon, before climbing to Kapchorwa on the mountain’s north-western flank; you will drive on the dirt roads that lead off the Mbale-Kapchorwa road to reach the various trailheads. After reaching these trailheads, you will get off the car and start the beautiful experience of climbing the mountain with a goal of reaching the highest Wagagai peak.

A 4*4W car advised to be used through all the Uganda safaris because some of the roads can be muddy during the rainy seasons

Mount Elgon lower slopes are fine and ideal for visiting throughout the year so if you love traveling around the world, this is the best place to visit because you can come at any time of your convenience However, June to August are the most favorite months to give you the best of mount elgon national park to carry out all activities and then December to March are the most outstanding months for those interested in the most beautiful Elgon climbing experience though you can visit the national park at any time of your convenience throughout the year and Nungi safaris will always be at your service to make you discover and adventure more about elgon and East Africa as a whole.

ACCOMMODATION AT Mount Elgon national park
Easy accommodation facilities are on hand inside the Park at the Kapkwata Rest House and the Forest Exploration Centre at Kapkwai. Early arrangements through the Mount Elgon National Park Visitors’ office in Mbale are necessary as these facilities do not provide accommodation for large numbers of visitors. Cookery services are offered, but visitors should bring their own food supplies or have money to buy food upon arrival. The Forest Exploration Centre also carries out a four-day environmental program for school groups of up to 30 students which allow children to experience a living forest environment while learning the importance of environmental conservation this place has a dormitory -form rooms and bathing facilities with running water, there is also gazetted camping areas on the mountain which require one to have his or their own, tents, cooking stove, sufficient food stuffs and others

Other accommodation places out the national park

  • Mbale resort
  • Sunrise inn
  • Crown suites hotel
  • Mount elgon hotel
  • Kayegi hotel
  • Green gardens hotels



Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is only 33 sq. km of size,  located in the  southwestern corner of Uganda bordering Rwanda and Congo,14 km from Kisoro town in Bufumbira County about 540 km from Kampala-the capital city  of Uganda and this national park  was gazetted in 1991.
This Park covers the northern slopes of the three northern most Virunga Volcanoes namely; the Mt. Gahinga (3,474 m), Mt. Sabyinyo (3,645 m) and Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m). The park is bordered by the Republic of Rwanda in the south and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west, each of these countries protects its own share of the Virunga area and these parks together form the ‘Virunga Conservation Area’ which totals to 434-sq. km of which Mgahinga is 33.7 sq. km, just 8% of the Virunga conservation area

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park experiences two wet rainy seasons; February – May and September- December of each year. The maximum amount of rainfall it receives in a year is 250mm-October and Minimum is 10mm –July, in that if you’re coming to trek the mountain gorillas in Mgahinga, you need to carry with you the gum boots, rain coats umbrella because the weather keeps changing around the Mgahinga area.


Despite being the smallest in Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is one of Nungi Safaris destination in Uganda, very important to the country for it is one of the only two parks in Uganda that are habitat for about half of the world`s endangered Mountain gorillas hence a Uganda Gorilla safaris destination as well as a great African Wildlife safari spot.  Due to a large variety of wildlife in Mgahinga gorilla national park such as buffaloes, elephants, bush bucks, the threatened golden monkeys and so many other animals,  the park’s main attraction is one  habituated gorilla group, although this group sometimes crosses the border to Rwanda, which means Mgahinga is not a reliable spot for viewing gorillas but it can give you a chance to cross to Rwanda or Congo without applying for any visa which makes the Mgahinga gorilla the best park to trek a gorilla because it gives one a chance to be in the tree countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo at the same time since you’re on top of the peak

This park consists of the partly forested slopes of three extinct volcanoes, that is to say the cones of the Virunga volcanoes dominate the landscape when viewed from a distance and front view as you approach the premises. As you reach  the  park, a 15 minutes’ walk up the viewpoint from Ntebeko Gate can get one a great overview of the area. Mgahinga Park is of a great biological importance because it is one of those mountains that provided a refuge for mountain plants and animals that moved up or down the slopes as climate became warmer or cooler throughout the climatic changes of the ice ages. The Virunga are home to a large variety of wildlife, including about half of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. Mgahinga gorilla national park experiences a cool climate that supports the growth of Afro-montane vegetation and the abundant type of Vegetation is the bamboo, a delicacy to the Mountain gorilla. The Lobelia among the other types of vegetation and different types of flowers in the park

When you visit Mgahinga gorilla national park, you will encounter the different people in Kisoro or Kabale which is dominantly inhibited by the Bufumbira, Batwa, Bakiga and other tribes and the major ethnic groups of people in Kisoro District are the Bufumbira who occupy most of Kisoro area and are majorly cultivators/farmers, which will give you an opportunity  to practice some farming with the local people an activity which makes you feel the life of a local mufumbira and also the locals will take you through the process of growing sweet potatoes and Irish potatoes since it’s their one of the staple foods they eat in Kisoro and this experience with the locals makes Mgahinga national park number one to Bwindi forest national park.

Kisoro District is found in the southwestern corner of Uganda, where it borders with Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It covers an area of approximately 701.4 square kilometers (270.8 sq. mi). About 3.88% of the district is covered by open water. Another 2.95% is covered by wetlands and national forest reserves (Mgahinga national park) cover another 0.96%. The District is mountainous and hilly and raises an average of 1,980 metres (6,500 ft.) above sea level. Due to the delicate nature of the environment and the pressure of a rapidly increasing population, the natural environment in Kisoro District is under severe threat of degradation since most of its population is farmers and cultivates.

In addition to the Bufumbira, you will be able to encounter the Batwa (Pygmies) who once lived in caves and fed on wildlife form the minority group in the area. The Batwa community demonstrates a number of skills like hunting techniques, gathering, and point out medicinal plants and demonstrates how to make bamboo cups which all this has attracted many tourists to this community in love to learn the Batwa culture and ancient way of living life. Guests are also invited to the sacred Garama Cave, once a refuge for the Batwa and also you will be able to have more time with the Batwa people who are believed to be the shortest people in Uganda because they lived in the mountains which make them too short for life, more so with the Batwa community they will teach you on how to make the local bamboo cups which is the most beautiful experience you do not have to miss while at Mgahinga


Gorilla Tracking;
This is the  most thrilling tourist activity in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and this park has only one gorilla group of Nyakagezi which is a habituated gorilla in this park and it  consists of 9 members; 2 silver backs, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants.
Gorilla tracking is a very strong and vigorous activity that can take a full day, so you will be required to carry with you enough drinking water and some food to eat while on the search of this only gorilla group, and your guide will take you through the gorilla trails or the empire because all the gorilla guides have habituated them for more than two years which makes them more experienced, to track the gorilla since they know the ecology, movements and general behavior of the gorilla

NOTE: The success of seeing a gorilla is not a guarantee since they are wild animals which stay in the jungle because thus they do not have a fixed time or spot to be waiting for you to see since they are also believed to be nomads. However, there are high chances of seeing them since your guide can use the trails of these gorillas because our guides know gorillas intimately since they habituate them for more than two years with them in the forest hence they will take you to the area where they last saw them. Our guide will also update you about how long the hike for the search for a gorilla will take and also feel free to tell your guide to slow down if at all you feel you want to take a breath. While on this break, you will be able to see different birds, flowers, and the vegetation on the slopes of the Mgahinga Mountain

Cautions and rules about Gorilla tracking

  • Avoid pointing or waiving your arms- this can scare away the gorillas.
  • The weather is unpredictable and it can change any time. Please carry rain coats, sunscreen, a hut and sun glasses
  • When taking photos, ensure that your flash is off because it can threaten gorillas.
  • You are advised to carry water and food because this activity is lengthy and tiresome especially to first time trackers


  • Once tracked, ensure that you keep 5minutes distance from the Gorillas
  • It is advisable that you put on jungle shoes best for steep muddy slopes
  • You may carry binoculars, these help you to see far features and creatures in details
  • Do not eat near the gorilla
  • Your safety is our concern so follow what your guide is telling you
  • Carry small money to tip the porters who will help carry you bags
  • Do not litter or leave the rubbish behind because it cause harm to the environment and the gorilla
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves shirts
  • Please Move slowly and Keep your voice low/better if silent for better tracking

Gorilla tracking has the high season and the low seasons

  • High season: January, February, March, June, to July, August September & December in that the prices of the gorilla permit are on the high demand  and the cheapest it can go is $600 or even more and your advisable to book you permit 4 months earlier since you need to be included on the list of visitors by the Uganda wildlife authority management since one group of the gorilla is allowed to only 8 people for one hour with the gorilla group , so book your permit as early as possible  with Nungi safaris or directly from the Uganda wildlife authority though it turns out to be more expensive when you try to do it yourself , that’s why Nungi  safaris will do that for you and the round trip at averagely  lower cost.
  • Low season: April, May, October & November; during this season , the permit of the gorilla can be a bit lower since it’s a low season but still all the rules remain the same , though one can still visit Mgahinga gorilla national park throughout the year from January-January  depending on what date you want to take the most amazing experiences of tracking a gorilla though we can’t  fail to tell you that June, July, December and  February are the best months with the best weather to visit Mgahinga national park because these months can give you the best time and amazing experience in Uganda and you can’t fail to book with us  your gorilla trip to Mgahinga which will give you a chance to be in 3 countries at the same time  of Rwanda, Congo and Uganda

Gorilla Behaviors

Although Gorillas are strong and powerful, they are also generally gentle, & shy like any human being since they say man came from those beautiful creatures which make them to act like us in some behaviors. The gorillas live in groups of 2-40 individuals, and the average is about 11, the groups are led by a dominant male like in any family set up of human, a man is always a leader of the family thus the silver back is always the chief leader and protector of the group. More about silver backs, they are known for making decision for the rest of the gorillas in the group like where to go, sleep, rest and when and also these chief leaders in the group do the part of protecting the family from other rival silverbacks and human predators. Gorillas are also known to be a humble mammal because they don’t seek trouble from anyone but they will always aggressively defend themselves if its family is being threatened by anything and they always rotate within 10 to 15 square miles, feeding and resting throughout the day. These apes are also Gorillas are nomadic since they can build new nests each day which are out of bent brunches in the tree or on the ground.


Similar to Bwindi Gorillas, Mgahinga gorilla group have a strong attachments to its members of their group and even when groups meet and mix up, they subsequently part, each of them remaining with its respective unit or group. Gorillas have a slow reproduction rate which makes these species a threat to extinction and that’s why the Uganda wildlife authority is putting up much rules to protect Mgahinga national parking from encroachers. A female gorilla can give birth of 2-6 offspring’s within 40-50 years life time of a Gorilla and always the gorillas start giving birth at the age of 10 years and a male always reaches its sexual maturity between 10-12 years.


Newborn gorillas are weak and tiny, weighing about 4 pounds and like any other creature or humans the movements are awkward though their growth is twice as fast as compared to that of young human babies. The young gorilla suckles for one year   and within 4 months the infant gorilla can be able to sit upright to support its own movements and its independent at the age of four

Gorilla Diet

Since a gorilla is a huge and big animal which makes eat a lot of food? However,  these large and strong mountain gorillas are primarily vegetarian  which makes them to eat a variety of plant species of over 100 species with the favorite including wild celery, bamboo, thistles, stinging nettles, bedstraw and fruits which gives sufficient moisture to the Gorillas which makes them not a fun of drinking water like any other mammal 

Note: You are not supposed to give a gorilla your food or drinks


Gorilla Threats

The primary threat to a mountain gorilla is forest clearance and degradation from the surrounding communities because of the increasing population which causes pressure on the land to practice agriculture and settlement, as the region’s growing human population struggles to secure agricultural and settlement land. Though this has been solved when Rwanda, Uganda and Congo, came up with an idea of regional conservation program underlining the importance of maintaining the virgin forest watershed and the need to habituate some groups of gorillas for tourist visits has helped to ease encroachment. The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), in collaboration with Fauna and Flora International and World Wide Fund for Nature, established the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) to safeguard the last remaining mountain gorillas and their habitat as well. Conservation is mainly done through Strengthening gorilla habitat protection through regional collaboration, researching and working with local communities to develop livelihood strategies that are inline to conservation objectives.

Though the coalition has been a great success, there is need for support from all stake holders since less than 800 mountain gorillas remain in the wild


Gorilla Predators

Leopards and humans are the only known enemies to mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga national park though it is believed that Crocodiles are potentially dangerous to lowland gorillas especially in the West Africa countries and at Mgahinga the gorillas are hunted down by poachers for meat and also when they raid peoples crops. Poachers have also destroyed the entire family groups in their attempts to capture infant gorillas to take them in zoos, but others are killed to sell their heads and hands as trophies

How to get a Gorilla Trekking permit to Mgahinga

Within Uganda, Gorilla trekking is conducted in Mgahinga National Park or Bwindi national park. In Uganda, every gorilla permit goes for US$600 while from May to April 2016 they will go for less.  We strongly encourage you to book your gorilla permit with us; the most prominent mistake is to book a gorilla family which is far away from your choice of accommodation! The routes to Bwindi and its various regions are often tricky; this is a remote area. If you would like to do the gorilla trek on your own so as to save costs, you might end up incurring more. Safari guides have been trained to help you with this, that’s why Nungi safaris will be waiting to do the booking for you and all round trips because most travelers intending to trek gorillas have found this process to be tiring and they have opted to the quicker less tiring option of reserving their trekking permits through a local agents. These tour operators normally add an extra fee of US$60 to US$100 for each permit. These gorilla tour companies won’t charge you for purchasing a gorilla permit in case you are going to use their other tour services such as transfers however if you simply want only a permit from them then they will put an extra charge of up to US$100 per gorilla permit they book, since they need to make calls, pick the permit, deliver it to you and other administrative costs that’s why you need that to pay that extra fee

The process is more like the above, although the tour agencies normally speed up the reservation so you will be able to confirm your gorilla permit faster than it would have taken for you when you try to do it for your self

Procedures of getting the gorilla permit

  • You inform  the tour agent about dates for your tour  and specify the date for trekking the gorillas in Mgahinga or Bwindi national park
  • They will inform you if your preferred dates are available for trekking and also temporarily book them.
  • They will send you our bank details so that you can transfer the money for the gorilla permits or even pay by credit card.
  • They will send you an acknowledgement email for the money transfer. Please remember to instruct your bank to deduct the bank charges for the transaction from your account. They don’t ask for any extra money for the gorilla permit if you are reserving the rest of your tour through them. Any additional costs will be for services like telephone calls and transport that will be incurred when acquiring the permit
  • You will send a copy of your passport availing the details which will be used to register for your permit. Normally they need just your full names, nationality and the passport number for us to fully enter your particulars in the system
  • Your names will be registered and then we acquire the gorilla permit. On receiving the payment they will buy the gorilla permit but then having this permit doesn’t 100% guarantee you seeing the gorillas although chances of seeing them are about 98% though our guide will always trace the trails to at least make sure you see the gorilla

Which company to use for Gorilla trekking and where?

There are a number of tour operators around but the many also fake ones are many that’s why you need to travel with Nungi safaris for all the Gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda and Rwanda



Mt. Sabyinyo; (366m); free visa to Congo, Rwanda and Uganda at the same time

While in the search of the gorilla group, you will be able to do the hiking of Sabyinyo Mountain which literally means ‘an Old man’s teeth’ in the local kifumbira dilect, this mountain has an eroded Mt. Sabyinyo crown which offers you the  3 challenging peaks to adventurous climbers.. And you don’t have to miss out this spectacular experience of climbing up to this mountain which will take you up a ridge along the eastern side of the climb to the first peak. If you want to continue, the climb to the second peak ,it  involves walking along a ridge with breath-taking drops into Rwanda and Uganda`s gorges, a life time memorable dual hiking safari experience one can only achieve here in the world!. So my advice as Nungi Safaris is that you should go for this second hike which will introduce you to the steepest third peak that has several ladders and mush scrambling, while climbing this peak I can guarantee you free water to wash and freshen up since you’re going to make your hands dirty as you find yourself to the top of to this peak which will guarantee you a free visa to put your feet in the three countries; Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda at the same time! Which makes Mt. Sabyinyo hike as one of the most favored by hikers? Yet an exclusive experience to only this destination. This hike takes about eight hours to cover the 14km stretch round trip and also makes Mgahinga the favorite national park to track a gorilla because you will have to experience such wonderful moments at the park

Mt. Gahinga; (3474m)
This Mt`s name (Gahinga) literally means a pile of small stones according to the native people of the Bufumbira community which are visible in the garden fields of the locals as you head to the Mgahinga national park
Mount Gahinga is reasonably bigger than the average ‘Gahinga’ but her proximity to Mount Muhavura makes her look small. This trek takes you about six hours round trip goes through a good sample of a pure Bamboo forest which will give you chance to taste the bamboo vegetation of the park and also see other things like flowers. Mt. Gahinga had a Crater Lake on top some time back but this has changed into a Lush swamp because of the effects of climatic changes which made the water levels of the lake to lower down though this swamp can give you a chance to see some bird species, aquatic life and the swampy vegetation, which makes this 8Km swamp an attractions to Gahinga because of the activities one can engage in like birding

Mt. Muhavura; (4127m) (as called by natives literally meaning ‘The Guide’)
Since hiking is the most adventurous activity, this mountain is seen from all over Kisoro and it acts as a guide because it shows or let you know that you have reached your destination so, if you want to go to Mgahinga by yourself, this mountain should be your guide because you spot it as you enter Kisoro. Much of the climb traverses a rocky surface covered by short grasses and small shrubs This typical cone-shaped Mountain provides some of the best views in the country so it’s advisable to charge your cameras and phones because you can’t miss the best photo shoots at the best view point in the country where you will be getting all the clear view of the sky and Kisoro town. More so at this point you will be rewarded with the view of the Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward in queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi and the Rwenzori Mountain peaks. This 12km hike takes approximately 8 hours all rounds. Hikers are advised to camp at the Muhavura base camp a night before, the site has no facilities so one needs a tent, personal water, food and sleeping equipment which can give you enough warmth.


Garama cave;
This is also one of the adventurous activity which you will be able to engage in while at Mgahinga gorilla national park , this cave is 342m long and 14m deep. This caves are that historical because long time ago the Batwa who were commonly known as worriers used to live in these caves and used them as their sacred places and shelter. The Batwa are also commonly known as pygmies who are believed to have come from Congo during the early days and came stayed in the mountains of Mgahinga, so when you visit these caves the Batwa local guide will take you around as he is narrating to you how life was in these caves and also these people are known to be great gatherer, hunters, and also artists in that they will take you on how to make the bamboo cups as you move these former homes of the Batwa which are now inhabited by bats and cob webs since these people were removed from the forests since the government wanted to civilize them and please don’t hesitate to give the Batwa guide some tip if you have because its channeled in the buying of books and school materials for the young people since the government and other NGOS want to make them civilized which will enrich them with knowledge about tourism hence reducing on the encroachment in the National park.

  1. Scenic Viewing Platform:
    Mgahinga national park is one of the top most parks which gives a good scenic viewing point because of the existence of this special point which is about 800M from the Park gate .Once you’re on top of this view, you will be rewarded with a good view of the Park and the surrounding environment and you will also have a clear view to Rwanda, lake Edward and the beautiful queen Elizabeth national park  and the best thing about this activity it is free and doesn`t require a guide which will cut your cost of the trip. Another exciting element about this point is that we are not allowed to give all the details about this spot because one who reaches the top gets to read and know the information from the display panels which are on top of the hill. Lastly you will be able to take the best shots with your friends while make the Virunga mountains your backgrounds , you cannot miss such a wonderful experience because words cannot say it all but you need to visit the national park and you will be my witness.
  2. Birding

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also one of the birding spots in Uganda blessed with 79 unique bird species that have been recorded within the park; these include several species endemic to the East Congo Montane region.
Over 295 species have been recorded in the Virunga Conservation Area as a whole and are endemic to the Albertine Rift Afro-montane region representing 59% of the region`s total of known endemic species.
Please contact the Park Management for a guide who will take you around and tell you all about these birds. Ensure to carry binoculars for the best view!!! Of these birds and also you can record the sounds with your phone because it is the moment of being in the wild listening to the whispers of the birds!!!! More so, Mgahinga gorilla national is one of the most adventurous national park in Uganda with the most exciting activities though it is regarded as one of the smallest  because it’s known for  free birding along the edge of the park and you will be able to see the beautiful birds and also listen to the beautiful melodies made by these birds and your guide will be able to identifying these birds for you by sound or when you see them,  don’t hesitate to ask him because your  guide is the best and this activity is done only in the evening for the free birding but you will have to book with your guide at around 10am in the morning for him to fix you in the day today activities. You have a choice to go for a long walk or simply relax in the campground. If one takes the long buffalo walk toward the Congo you get to a wetland area where you have a splendid view of a wide range of birds such as Fire Finch, Stonechat, Grey Capped Warbler, Ibis, Whydah, Speckled Mouse bird, Waxbills, and Yellow-Vented Bulbul. Do it at your own pace-relaxed and your guide can show you the best spots to see these birds.

  1. Border Trail:
    This is a 5 hours hike which covers 10km distance. It takes you first toward Sabyinyo and climbs up the base of Sabyinyo for a while through fine montane forest before turning towards the Congo side without applying for a visa. Along the trail you will get a great view of Mt. Sabinyo’s gorge and peaks which gives you a clear view of these gorges and Sabyinyo. When you get to the Congo side you get back along the international border, you can take a breath at this site to take some photos with your group. The route back to the Park Head Quarters is a great section for birding with a wide range of bird species so for birders this is a chance to see some birds at no cost because they will be along the trail as you go back to the headquarters of the park. There are two rest huts along the way that are good places for taking a break while on this route you will be able to spot some animals like the golden monkeys and elephants, more so you will be eating your snack at this resting point which makes Mgahinga the best national park no matter how small it is!





  • By road:
    From Kampala; it’s an 8 hours’ drive via Kabale to Kisoro town using 4wd cars as recommended because the roads can become slippery when it rains and for those without private transport, you can contact Nungi Safaris to organize your ground travel or one can take the daily bus transport services that set off at 0700 hours. From Kisoro town, you hike or take a special hire vehicle to the park gate, but it is advisable to use  Nungi safaris to plan your trip because you don’t have to hustle while on the trip , just contact us and we will give you the best of your trip
  • By Air: One can fly to Kisoro; Flight arrangements can be made with Eagle Air. This company has flights on Mondays and Fridays from Entebbe to Kisoro, so arrangements can be made to book your ticket and also organize for the ground transportation while in Kisoro, meaning you will need to book in advance with eagle air in order for you to be put on the flight , then us we will be waiting for you to do the ground transportation as you go to encounter the Gorilla

Kisoro town has a wide range of accommodation facilities ranging from the basic Camp-sites (for the ‘go camping tourists’) to the luxurious full board hotels and the choice about the accommodation in Mgahinga depends on one’s budget

List of accommodation places in Mgahinga

  • Mutanda lake resort
  • Travellers rest hotel
  • Virunga hotel camp
  • Country side guest house Kisoro
  • Amajambere lwacu camp
  • Volcanoes mount Gahinga safari lodge
  • Bunyonyi overland resort
  • Bird nest at Bunyonyi resort
  • Rugigana camp site
  • Mgahinga safari lodge
  • Sky blue hotel

More so, about the accommodation places and this can be mostly for budget travellers, there is a community camping site with ample parking space and its managed by the local community and also at this place you will do the self-camping, so you will be required to carry your own tent or some extra money to hire the tent at an affordable price



Lake Mburo National Park is located in Kiruhura District in Western Uganda. The park is situated about 30 kilometers (19 mi), by road, east of Mbarara, the largest city in the sub-region. This location is approximately 240 kilometers (150 mi), by road, west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. The coordinates of the park are: 00 36S, 30 57E (Latitude: 0.6000; Longitude: 30.9500)

Lake Mburo was originally gazetted in 1933 as a Controlled Hunting Area and upgraded to a Game Reserve in 1963. The Banyankole Bahima residents continued to graze their cattle in the Reserve until it was upgraded to National Park status in 1983. The Obote government’s decision to upgrade the Park was reportedly in part intended to weaken the Banyankole, who supported anti-Obote rebels. It came at the time of the Operation Bonanza massacre of 300,000. As the evicted pastoralists were not compensated for lost grazing land or assisted with resettling, many remained hostile to the Park’s formation. The rangeland outside the park was subsequently subdivided into small ranges and subsistence farming plots

In 1985 the second Obote regime fell and the previous residents of Lake Mburo re-occupied the Park’s land, expelling park staff, destroying infrastructure and annihilating wildlife. Less than half of the Park’s original land area was eventually re-gazetted by the NRM government in 1986

Lake Mburo national park is the smallest of the Uganda’s savannah parks and underlined by ancient Precambrian metamorphic rocks which date back more than 500 million years. It is a home of 350 bird species, as well zebra, impala, eland, buffalo, oribi, Defassa, waterbucks, leopard, hippo, hyena, topi and reedbuck.

Together with 13 other lakes in the area, Lake Mburo forms part of a 50km long wetland system linked by a swamp. Five of these lakes lie within the parks border. Once covered by open savanna, Lake Mburo national park now contains much woodland as there are no elephants to tame the vegetation. In the western part of the park, savanna is interspersed with rocky ridges and forested gorges while patches of papyrus swamps and narrow bands of lush riparian woodland line. The park has camp grounds and permanent tent facilities for visitors. Kimbla-Mantana African Safaris operate the only luxury tented camp inside the national park – Lake Mburo Tented Camp. In 2009, the Uganda Wildlife Authority which manages the park announced plans to introduce balloon tourism in the park


With a varied topography of marshland, acacia woodland, sweeping valleys, rock kopjes and rolling hills; Lake Mburo national park supports an impressive variety of flora and fauna including some unique wildlife. Covering just 260 square kilometers, the park is one of Uganda’s smallest, but this makes for some easy and exciting exploration into its unusual and diverse terrain. The five lakes for which the park is also renowned create an area of abundant birdlife and some of Uganda’s finest scenery. Once a game reserve was set up to protect wildlife from returning to humans displaced by the tsetse flies, Lake Mburo subsequently gained park status in 1983 and has since welcomed visitors to its range of habitats. The parks headquarters of Rwonyo are a good starting point for game walks or boat trips, and Lake Mburo itself sits in the center of the park in the heart of wetland system

Some of the unique wildlife in this park includes grazing animals such as the impala, and Lake Mburo is the only park in Uganda that supports this Eco tone species. It is also home of the last Ugandan population of eland, the largest African antelope. Hyenas, leopards, buffalos, zebras and the warthogs are all found in the acacia woods and grasslands that surround the lakes of the park. There is a good chance you will see crocodiles, hippo, reedbuck and water buck here too, as well as some of the 315-strong bird species that have been recorded to date, including the elusive African fin foot. The wildlife is best enjoyed on a game drive or guided walk and the guides are experienced and knowledgeable at taking you to the sports. There is also the opportunity here for boat safaris down Lake Mburo, horse- back safaris and night drives, for the chance to see the more nocturnal animals, such as leopards, hyenas, civet and porcupine. The best end to the day is, of course, sundowners in the park, as the sun settles itself nearly below the horizon






Game Drives/Horseback Safaris:

The network of game tracks in the east of the park passes a variety of landscape features; acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock outcrops and seasonally flooded valley floors. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to roam the park in search of wildlife. An alternative view of the park, hopefully including sightings of animals rarely seen during the day, and can be seen clearly during the night is another story telling experience.

This is an exciting way to view wildlife, including eland and buffalo. Also commonly sighted are warthog, topi, impala, duiker, bushbuck, waterbuck and zebra. The four-hour hacks will take you up to hilltop viewpoints with the option of bush breakfasts or sundowners.

This activity can be broken into two , the night game drives and the day safaris drives whihch will give a chance to see all the wildife in the jugle and all the rare  animals can be seen in the night like the lions

Bird watching

You will do the birding activity in lake mburo and the best birding species in the park are swampy valleys of warakiri and miriti, the road sides bewteen rwoyo camp and jetty. There are aslo ideally- situated viewing platform at the salt lick, in mariti valley and in rubanga fores. Species observed at these locations include the rufous-bellied heron, bateleur, coqui francolin, grey crowned crane, black bellied bustrad, brown chested lawpwing among others

Rubanga forest can be visited using a vehicle or on foot. This is a real drw for keen, and prior arrnagement should be made with the warden. The rare red-faced barbet –only seen in lake mburo national park – is one of the forests featured species




Boat cruise

The wildlife –reach the eastern banks of Lake Mburo can be exposed during a two hour boat voyage. Keep an eye out for crocodiles, buffaloes and hippos as well colorful kingfishers, magnificent fish eagles, hammer kops and their enormous nests and even the prehistoric looking shoebill. The cruise starts from Rwonyo every after two hours starting at 8am

Lake Mburo is well-to-do with a variety of animal and plant species which can only be seen clearly if you take a boat trip. The Hippopotamuses, crocodiles and birds like Pelicans, Heron, Fish Eagle, Black Crake, and Cormorant can also be sighted here. And this boat cruise will also give you a chance to an additional activity of spot fishing though this will be done priors booking and on an additional cost and also the activity will give you a breath taking experience on the lake and also the pictorial moments while sailing on the waters

Sport Fishing:

Species of fish are found on Lake Mburo include lung fish, Tilapia and mud fish. Tourists can get a chance to catch fish using hooks. The designated fishing spot is at Mazinga. If you intend to fish, you are requested to obtain a fishing permit from Uganda wildlife Authority and this is an exciting activity in that you take what you get from the lake ; that is to say , if your lucky enough you may catch the biggest tilapia but if your not that lucky that day you might move with tod , thats why you will need art and luck to do this activity but all in all you will manage to catch a fish at least

Lake mburo contains around six speciesof fish, with tilapia the most common. The designated fishing spot is at mazinga; visitors planning to fish here should carry their own equipment

Hiking and and nature walks

Forest walk in Rubanga Forest: This forest offer a diversity of supportive habitat for birds therefore a very eye-catching place for bird watchers with over 40 bird species recorded

Usually, the whole park is open to walkers as along as they are followed and guieded by the park rangers. At rwonyo, a guided walk leads to a salt lick where animals are attracted to the salty rocks.

Walks on the western side of the lake begin at 7am and take two hours. At this time of the day, you encounter hyenas returning to theri dens and hippos retreating to the lake. Hikes through the woodland provide an opportunity to sight forest birds and mammals, while the walk to the top of the hill will reward you with a spectacular view of 9 of the region’s 14 lakes. All walks should be booked before coming to the bational park to all the interest walkers and the birders atrubanga forest

Horseback safaris

Horse safaris are an exciting way to view wildlife, including eland and buffalo. Also commonly sighted are warthogs, topi, impala, duiker, bush buck  and zebra. The four- hour hacks take visitors up to hilltop viewpoints with the option of bush breakfast or sundowners. This activity is arranged at mihingo lodges and it will also make you feel like a cowboy in texas…


Cycling routes are available in lake mburo national park. With the combination of exercise and game viewing , our guided cycle trips are hard to beat…we have 8 mountain bikes and avariety of short flat trails and longer hilly rides depending on your preference; or your own bikes but we always provide but at a cost. This is one of the most spectacular experince you can everr have at the park becuase you get invloved in order to make it happen and full of fun

Cultural encounters

This is a cultural exhibit close to rwakobo that is run by the park authorities. Visitors are able to see the traditional homesteads of the local bahima people and learn about the way of life in this area. And this activity can also be done around near mbarara town  at igongo cultural centre




Lake mburo national park is accessed by raod from entebbe/ kamapala driving south words for approximately five to six hour drive. This drive takes you to the equator crossing where you can stop  and have some coffee and take some photographs or partipate in some experiments to prove that indeed , this is the equator. And then you will drive to the national park and a 4*4 W drive cars are advisable to use because some days raods can be slippery especially during the rainy season


There are a range of accommodation places ranging from budget to luxury lodges in the park and outside the national park in Mbarara town which are listed below

  • Mihingo lodge
  • Arcadia cottages
  • Rwonyo camp
  • Rwokobo rock
  • Mantana tented camp
  • Lake Mburo safari lodge
  • Eagles nest
  • Nshara and sangi community campsite
  • Igongo Country Hotel (Mbarara)
  • Lake View Resort (Mbarara)



 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park offers some of the finest montane forest birding in Africa and is a key destination for any birder visiting Uganda plus its major attraction being the gorilla

Amongst the numerous possibilities are no fewer than 23 of Uganda’s 24 Albertine Rift endemics, including spectacular, globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill and Shelley’s Crimson wing.

Bwindi is one of the few in Africa to have flourished throughout the last Ice Age and it is home to roughly half of the world’s mountain gorillas.

Of Uganda’s forested reserves, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is best known for its superb gorilla tracking, but it also provides refuge to elephants, chimpanzee, monkeys and various small antelope and bird species. The national park can be visited at any time, but not advisable during rainy seasons especially April – May and September – November




Kibale National park covers an area of about 795km and it’s acknowledged to have one of Uganda’s most gorgeous tropical forests. It’s a habitat to much forest wildlife and among these includes the primates along with chimpanzees. The forest occupies the northern as well as the central part of the park. Kibale in the northern part has a peak of about 1590m above sea level. The northern part is also well known as the wettest area with an annual rainfall of about 1700mm.The rainy months include March-May as well as September-November. It has an average temperature of about 14-27oc and temperatures are high in the south because of the landscape falls into the scorching rift valley floor

Kibale Forest National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Africa for chimpanzee tracking. Kibale’s 795km2 National Park contains one of the most beautiful and with the most varying tracts of tropical forest in the whole of Uganda. This is a place to a number of forest wildlife, most especially 13 species of primate coupled with chimpanzees. The Forest covering predominates in the central and northern part of the park on the raised Fort Portal plateau. At the park’s northern tip, Kibale is highest and stands 1590m above sea level.

The southern Kibale connects to the heart of Queen Elizabeth National park. These parks are acknowledged to have an area of about 180km relocation corridor for wildlife. This tends to extend from Ishasha to the distant southern part of Queen Elizabeth National park along with the Sebitoli forest located in the northern part of Kibale.

One of Uganda’s most gratifying parks to discover a lot of attraction is Kibale. The park is suited near to the peaceful Ndali-Kasenda crater and it’s a 30 minutes’ drive to Queen Elizabeth, Semuliki National park, Toro Semuliki wildlife Reserve along with Rwenzori

Flora and Fauna in Kibale Forest

Kibale’s varied altitude holds up different varieties of habitat, ranging from moist evergreen forest (wet tropical forest) along the Fort Portal plateau, then through the dry tropical forest (moist semi deciduous), and then to the woodland & savanna along the rift valley floor.

In the central part of the park, around Kanyanchu, the high forest consist of a mixture of evergreen trees and deciduous with the evergreen species being dominant. Vegetation rise to over 55m and establish a semi closed canopy of massive stratified tree crowns. With shade tolerant herbs, a variety of ferns, shrubs and broad leaved forest grasses, the undergrowth is sparse. 351 tree species have been registered in the park.


Chimpanzee Habituation and Chimp Tracking

About Chimpanzees

The average weight of an adult well grown male chimpanzee is between 35 and 70 kilograms, with a height of approximately 3 meters whereas an adult female chimpanzee weighs between 26 and 50 kilograms and a height between 2 and 4 feet. A chimpanzee’s life expectancy is at 40 years whereas that for those living in captivity can extend up to 60 years. In Uganda today, Efforts to actually conserve the chimpanzees are extensively acknowledged and well supported.  Actually The Jane Good all Foundation has played a major role in the overall conservation of not only these Chimpanzees but the Gorillas as well found in Uganda.

Chimpanzees are the closest relatives to humans sharing about 98% of their DNA composition with humans.  They are Sociable, intelligent as well as communicative and among their very fascinating traits are the ability to utilize tools like rocks for crushing nuts, empty pods for hollowing out water plus sticks for capturing termites from their holes. These skills are for long been passed on from generation to another and researchers say that different troops have specialist tasks, basing on their habitat as well as diet. Chimps stay in groups of 10 – 100 members. They can babysit each other’s young, kiss, groom one another and even hold hands. The young chimps become independent at the age of 4 year. Nonetheless, chimps can be aggressive and unsociable, mainly if disturbed. Although they spend some time on ground, they normally feed and do make their sleeping nests up in the trees. Their diet varies comprising of leaves, seeds, fruit plus flowers.

Chimpanzee Habituation Experience

This is a lifetime experience that allows accompany Kibale’s researchers and habituation at chimpanzee during their daily activities, thereby getting used to human presence without changing their nature state. During your tour, expect coming across the chimps de-nesting (in their nocturnal nests) between 05:30 to 06:30 before them throughout the day till they make new nests and the night around 19.00. The Habituation Experience by tourist for low season months of March, April, May and November

Primates walk (Chimpanzee tracking)

The most favorite of Kibale’s walks embarks on from the Kanyanchu Visitor center at 08.00am & 15.00 and lasts 2 to 3 hours. Chimpanzee are the most sought after primate by visitors, but you should look out for the black & white Colobus, red tailed monkey or the grey cheeked mangabey. Your guides will be able to show you pittas & different bird species and will give details of the tradition of the plant species within the forest. This walk is for 6 people in a group. Advance booking is all-important especially during Peak Sea.

Rules and regulation of Chimpanzee tracking

  • A distance of just about 8m is very important between you and the chimps.
  • People with diseases such as flue or diarrhea may not allow in the park.
  • Avoid eating near the chimps.
  • Children below the age of 12 are prohibited from entering the park.
  • Guide is the only one to help get access to the forest.
  • Chimps need freedom therefore no provoking them once you enter the park.
  • Flash photography is not allowed in the park.

What to carry along

  • Wear shoes that have a good grip, suitable for climbing steep moist muddy slopes
  • A number of people actually feel more at ease when wearing clothes that are long sleeved as this will protect them from the pricking thickets as they move through the verdant jungle
  • Do not forget a rain gear, since the weather here is highly unpredictable
  • Bring enough drinking water plus snacks to bite on
  • Carry a pair of binoculars

It’s a 12km hike and usually done in the dry seasons. The months are mid-November-February, June and September. Hiking helps discover the park’s assorted habitats such as river line forest, swamp, grassland and tropical rainforest. You will get an opportunity to see the different species of birds like duiker and primates bushbuck. The nature walks usually start at 08.00 and the focal point is at Kanyanchu Visitor Centre and final touches are at the elephant wallow at 14.00.Booking in advance will be to your advantage.


Sebitoli Forest
Sebitoli is situated 12km away from Fort portal town on the Kampala-Fort portal main road. This portion of the forest provides excellent bird along with primate viewing in the moist evergreen forest with stratified tree crowns of a semi closed canopy.

Kihingani Wetland
Guided walks, just like those at Magombe, are carried out in the Kihingani wetland, simply outside the national park close to Sebitoli


Bigodi Wetland

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a fascinating area, located in Magombe swamp. this area is recognized for an extensive array of biodiversity among which are several primates species like the red Colobus monkey, baboon, black & white Colobus monkey, blue monkey grey cheeked, mangabey, vervet monkey, red tailed monkey and the L’Hoest monkey. Additional Mammals such as chimpanzees, Sitatunga, mongooses, bush pigs, otters plus bush bucks, also visit this swamp coming from the adjacent Kibale National Park.

The Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary is a great example of a community-based approach to the natural resources management which can be of good economic benefit to the different local residents living within this area plus the tourism industry as well.

The Bigodi is a paradise for bird watchers. Actually skilled birders can spot up to fifty new species on a bird list. Today, 138 species of bird have been recognized within the Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary. Among the major bird species within the sanctuary is the grand Blue Turaco.

The swamp is administered by the Kibale Association for Rural and Environmental Development (Kafred), and it actually benefits greatly from the adjacent Kibale National Park, since there are a number of primates such as the chimpanzees that occasionally visit the swamp, adding on the diversity of wild animals that tourists see within the Bigodi.

Its name “Bigodi” was derived from a local Rutooro word, “kugodya”, that means ‘to walk tiredly / wearily’. It is supposed that when visitors reached the Bigodi swamp on foot, they actually were at all times too tired to go on and visit the jungle; and for this reason they decided to rest there.

Conservation of this swamp has its real benefits, since it receives more than $150 000 got from tourists each year. A fraction of this earning was used to build Bigodi Secondary School as well as a nursery school, in addition to pay salaries of the school teachers; furthermore bridges have also been constructed over swamps plus streams within the village.

Additional benefits include:

The Tips plus sales from fruits plus vegetables earned by farmers;

Some tourists have over a number of years been sponsoring a number of children living within this village for advance studies;

A number of local people have transformed their homes into African-homesteads for tourists to visit. This actually offers tourists a closer encounter of the day to day lifestyle of the local resident people;

The women in here have created the Bigodi Women Group that consists of 40 members presently, who make good-looking beads using re-cycled paper plus additional materials got from this swamp like raffia plus phoenix-palm leaves used in weaving baskets and making bags respectively. A number of their local products are also exported to as far as Europe;

Fortunately Poaching within this region has tremendously reduced, nearly to stoppage, since the poachers themselves are today serving as tour guides, that take tourists through the impressive swamp as well as guide during the community walks in the villages;

In addition the road that runs through this village was also constructed by the funds earned by the Bigodi swamp project.


The nature walk begins from Kanyanchu or Sebitoli and it takes about 2-6 days. The en route will help discover the forest and late rest in the community-run campsites close to the villages of Kikoni, Nyakalongo and Nyaibanda. You will get to know the different cultures that are found in this area like the Batooro and Bakiga culture. Only 6 people are allowed to take on the nature walk and booking in advance is very important.

Best-known as the former Long Distance Walk, an adventurous visitor can follow a 2 to 6 days trail through the forest. The entire walk begins or ends at either at Kanyanchu or Sebitoli. The path explores the forest throughout the day, coming out in the evening to relax in the community-run campsites close to the villages of Nyaibanda, Kikoni and Nayakalongo.

This offers you an opportunity to link up with the local people & gain insights into their cultures (Batoro and Bakiga).  Porters can be employed at the trailheads to carry your equipment’s. Groups of up to six people can take on the walk. But Pre-booking is necessary for efficient organization of the walk.


Kibale National Park is suited in the western part of Uganda and covers an area of about 26km south-east of Fort Port. Kanyanchu river camp is well known to be the heart of tourism activities and this is easily accessible from Kampala from the North through Mubende as well as Fort Portal. In the southern part, you can use Mbarara or Kamwenge road to get to the park.

Travelers say that the northern route is shorter and faster and has a distance is about 300km with a tarmac road going to Fort Portal and also a distance of 36km on murram to Kanyanchu. The Sebitoli forest camp is accessible and it’s second in the tourism sector.

It’s a direct route from Kampala with about 16km prior to Fort Port. In case you want to use a bus, it will be easy because it runs daily from Kampala to Fort port via Sebitoli then Fort Portal along with Kamwenge via Kanyanchu.


The park has excellent accommodation with Kibale primate lodge that is located in Kanyanchu. Others include up-market accommodation, tree houses and undemanding cottages are discovered at Sebitoli. Every accommodation has a campsite with a restaurant serving both local and international cuisine. Budget accommodation is also found at Bigodi, Nkingo and Ndali crater area. Ndali is well known for its up-market accommodation and other budget alternative such as Chimpanzee guesthouse along with Lake Nkuruba Fort Portal town also has high standard accommodation.

Primate lodge Kibale

Primate Lodge in Kibale is a fashionable Eco-lodge located within Kibale National park. It’s enclosed by a flourishing tropical forest that is a habitat to many different species of primates for instance the chimpanzees. It’s secretly sheltered in the rainforest, it’s one of the lodges that give a really dependable jungle familiarity and it’s the most favorable place for tracking the primates in Uganda. Primate lodge Kibale has accommodation for all visitors ranging from luxury, cottages as well as tents. This lodge gives a chance to take your time in the morning and first have breakfast and later on plan for the day and how you are going to track the chimpanzees without much trouble.


Luxury Safari Tents

The lodge has about 8 lavish safari tents, wooden platform with a thatched roof that tends to match well with the environment. The verandahs on each tent offer a beautiful view of the enclosed forest. The inside of the lodge is designed with an African style with beautiful beds. The bathrooms and toilets have a natural touch of the environment made out of local stones, wall paintings as well as bamboo.

Forest Cottage

The lodge has about 7 friendly cottages are secretly located in the forest. The rooms are big with double beds, a sitting room with an African design and standard en suite bathrooms and toilets.

Sky Tree House
Another exciting adventure is the sky tree house, it has a bedroom with other facilities that can enable you enjoy a nigh there. It’s suited at a 10 minutes’ walk from the major lodge. Giving you a perfect view of the Elephant lurch, at night, all elephants gather at this point

Restaurant and Bar

The restaurant serves both international and local foods with hospital waitresses. Next to the restaurant is a fully stocked bar with a beautiful scenic view of the forest.

Lounge area
The lounge has well designed chairs; soft cushions along with sofas that will make you enjoy the red-tailed monkeys in the forest.

Cultural dancing Fire place

The evenings are usually enjoyed around the camp fire to give you all the warmth you need. Late in the night, you will experience the great sounds of the forest as well as the winding forest elephants.

Tourist Activities
Among the activities include chimp tracking, Forest walk, bird watching, Bigodi village walk discovery of the crater Lakes, Cultural heritage, Hike at the slopes of Rwenzori  along with the Nature trail. Enjoy a tour To Uganda’s national parks.

Other lodges

  • Chimps nest
  • Chimpanzee forest guest house
  • Kibale safari lodge
  • Ruboni community camp
  • Cvk resort
  • Kyaninga lodge
  • Fort motel
  • Nyanabulitwa country resort and safari camp



Kidepo Valley found in Northeast Uganda bordering Kenya and Sudan covers1442 sq km. Kidepo is referred to as Uganda’s most remote national park. It has magnificent scenery featuring Savannah and mountain landscape and it lies in a rugged, semi-arid valley of Karamoja region. For any birder Kidepo has over 475 species including East Africa’s rarest and most sought after birds such as Black-breasted Barbet and Karamoja Apallis.


  • Wildlife Game Drives
  • Visiting Kangorok Hot Springs
  • Birding
  • Hiking Mt. Morungule
  • Cultural trip meeting the IK/Karamajong Tribe



Kidepo mammal list of over 80 species includes 28 that are found in no other Ugandan National park. There are 77 species of Mammals recorded, amongst these are: the Bat eared Fox, Klipspringer, Carcal, Strait Hyena, Ungulates like Bush Elephant. Other mammals in Kidepo include Buffaloes, Bohor Reedbuck, Zebra, Kongoni, and Spotted Hyena, lion, leopard and Waterbuck.

Oribis are plentiful in the Narus Valley, whilst the dry thorn thickets in the north are home to Guenther’s Dik Dik. Senegal Galago and Sidestriped Jackal may be found in the rest camp at night and White-tailed Mongoose is common but more likely to be found on a night drive. The park also has a very rich and diverse reptile fauna.


The Apoka Rest Camp and Park Headquarters overlooking the swallow, southern Narus Valley is a grand spot to start your Kidepo birding. A small permanent water hole at the edge of camp attracts swallows and a variety of seedeaters including Yellow-rumped Seedeater and is visited at night by Four-banded Sandgrouse, Elephant, Buffalo and occasionally Lion. Clapperton’s Francolin, Black Coucal, African Moustached and Broad-tailed Warblers, Marsh Tchagra and Crimson-rumped Waxbill may be seen in the rank grass along the normally dry stream bed adjacent to camp or along the track to Apoka lodge.

Key Species of Birds

Ostrich, Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Stone Partridge, Kori, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Bruce’s Green Pigeon, African Swallow-tailed Kite, White-bellied and Hartlaub’s Bustards, Rose-ringed Parakeet, White-bellied Go-away bird Four-banded Sand Grouse, Long-tailed and Standard-winged Nightjars, Eastern Yellow and Jackson’s Hornbills, Pygmy Fox Kestrel,  Falcon, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned Rollers, Abyssinian Ground, White-crested Turaco, Clapperton’s and Heuglin’s Francolins, Violet-tipped Courser, Black-headed Plover,  Singing Bush Lark, White-faced Scoops Owl, Little Green Bee-eater, Pied, Isabelline and Heuglin’s Wheaters, African Grey Flycatcher, Red-fronted and Black-breasted Barbets, White-bellied Tit, Northern White-crowned and Yellow-billed Shrikes, Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit, Slate-coloured Boubou, Fan-tailed Raven, Superb Starling, Pygmy and Beautiful Sunbirds, Rufous and Chestnut Sparrow, Brown-backed Woodpecker, Red-winged Lark, Foxy and Red pate Cisticolas, Green-winged Orange-winged and Red-winged Pytilias, White-browed and Chestnut- crowned Sparrow Weavers, Grey-capped Social and Speckle-fronted Weavers, White-headed and White-billed Buffalo Weavers, Ethiopian Swallow, Karamoja Apalis, Brown-rumped Bunting, Steel-blue and Strawtailed Whydahs, Red billed Oxpecker,  Black-bellied and Black-faded Waxbill, Eastern Violet backed and Yellow-spotted Petronia.

Cultural Trip meeting the Karamajong tribe

The Karamajong tribe operates the North-Eastern part of Uganda. Explore and learn about the culture of this remote tribe with Lorukul culture group which is located outside Kidepo Valley NP. The Karamajong mainly herd livestock.  Walk with your guides to the traditional homesteads also referred to as “Manyatta”, cattle enclosures and granaries can also be seen. Meet the king of the Karamajong who will tell you more about his tribe and beliefs. The cultural trip fee contributes to putting up essential facilities in the region like clinics.


Apoka Lodge luxury lodge is located in the middle of Kidepo National Park with spacious rooms and private veranda. Each room has a sitting room and bathroom. A restaurant and swimming pool are available as well.

Apoka Rest Camp, run by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, offers comfortable bandas within the national park, including bedding, mosquito netting and showers. It is suggested that you bring all your own food although it can be cooked for you if necessary.

Nga’Moru Wilderness Camp: Nga’Moru Camp is situated on the border of the park only 4kms from the Katarum Gate. Here you will find comfortable accommodation in either Safari Tents under thatch or in Cabanas, and all accommodation is en-suite. Nga’Moru is located on a hill, and the camp offers spectacular views of the Narus valley and the savannah plains stretching all the way to the Morungole Mountains.  Hyenas, Elephant, Waterbuck, Zebra and Lion are frequent visitors to the Camp.

It is recommended that a ranger-guide accompany you at all times whilst at Kidepo Valley National park and this can be arranged on arrival at Apoka. Park officials recommend that all vehicles travelling north into the Kidepo Valley be escorted by multiple armed guards due to the intermittent presence of poachers and cattle rustlers in the area. Kidepo Valley National Park is accessible either by road or by air.