One of the best ways to really learn about a country and its people is to walk through the plantations and villages and you can do this in lovely forests such as Mbira, Semliki and Bwindi and in Kibale, the location of many crater lakes where they grow vanilla and coffee.
The foothills and surrounds of Bwindi is home of the Mountain Gorilla. The dense impenetrable forest of vines and huge trees, dense vegetation and steep mountain sides make for challenging walking but the rewards of seeing the gorillas is the most rewarding of all. A relatively good level of fitness is definitely required. The gorilla treks are certainly a highlight of the area but the forest, volcanoes, lakes and plantations that you see are also fabulous.
Specialist hiking in the Mountains of the Moon with its icy peaks and snow drifts, montane vegetation and unique wildlife is possible in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park which includes the third highest peaks in Africa and due to the challenging conditions only experienced climbers are allowed. Here one finds astounding scenery with the Congo Basin and Rift Valley and Lake Albert in the distance, impressive views and sights surround you.
Walking safaris not only complement but also adds a whole new dimension to the gorilla and chimp trekking and each walk is different dependent on routing. If you are on a private walk these can be designed around each person so if you are particularly interested in culture then we can introduce you to people in their home villages and visit small wooden stalls along the roadside selling local produce- markets are super to visit and gain a true insight to local life. Visit coffee and tea plantations, honey and basket making co operatives and see the source of where your coffee comes from!
Along the ridges small holdings are dotted with homesteads and cultivated fields of potatoes, cabbages, green beans and peas on the hill slopes. The walking safaris in Bwindi are adventurous – travelling with knowledgeable guides through the Impenetrable Forest looking for orchids, flowers, butterflies and birds along the route.
If moving from one side of the park to the other you will be trekking with porters, through a landscape not possible to traverse with vehicles, stopping along the route to take in the forests treasures. Monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, some of Bwindi's world renowned bird species and many butterflies can be observed.
When travelling with expert local guides you will be humbled by the heartfelt sincerity of the local people as you experience something completely unique on your Uganda journey. Depending on your level of fitness and how much you want to walk, Semliki Valley National Park offers walks to hot springs situated in a tract of hot mineral encrusted swamp land.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
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