Walking Safaris and Canoeing
On the far south-west of the country is a beautiful country with beautiful scenery and very friendly people. There are walking safaris and traditional dug-out canoes through beautiful highlands and fresh lake of Mutanda. The many islands in this lake and the traditional dug-out canoe makes this place an amazing and worth a visit. The journey by traditional dugout canoe and walk from Sheba’s campsite in kisoro to Nkuringo Gorilla Camp takes about 8 hours. Traditional dugout canoes will be waiting for you to embark for the Mutanda section of the journey from the pontoon at Sheba’s campsite to Rwajenge landing site. The travel time to the landing site on the northern shore of Lake Mutanda is 3 hours.
So you will want to do something different than just sit in the car and drive or be driven, get on this lake, canoe around the islands, get on these islands and get to know the real African person. Visit these homes on the islands, get personal with the locals, have a great view and sip some real African coffee.
There are many islands in the lake given over primarily to banana cultivation but one island is under the administration of the National Forestry Authority where it still maintains it’s primary forest cover and Vervet monkeys reside.
The lake and cultivated shoreline are home to many common birds including Hadada Ibis, Crested Cranes and Black headed herons. The land area is dotted with small homesteads where villagers are to be seen cultivating their fields and attending to livestock. Potato cultivation is prolific in the dark volcanic soils, where cabbages, green beans and peas are all also to be seen farmed on what appears to be impossibly steep gradients. The Kigezi and Kisoro districts of Uganda despite being heavily populated contribute substantially to the countries overall food production.
After a 20-minute walk from Rwajenge you join an unsurfaced road which you follow for a further 10 minutes to find the trail that leads up to the first rest and viewpoint outside of the Mubano Trading Centre. Continuing along the footpath you will pass through a series of banana plantations and fields of sorghum when in season. The sorghum crop is distilled into a very popular beverage known locally as Obushera. The distilled sorghum beer is extremely potent and consumed with great passion by both men and women.
10 kilometers before Nkuringo you reach a road junction where the track you have been following joins the main murram road from Kisoro close to Rubuguri trading center. This point is referred to as Rubuguri junction in the documentation. Nkuringo Gorilla Campsite is a further 10km distant and 3 hours walking. Some travellers prefer to complete the journey to Nkuringo. The views along the road are just breathtaking whether traveling by vehicle or on foot.
Your driver can rendezvous with the vehicle at Rubuguri junction to transport those that are weary onward by vehicle to the lodge.
This route leads you to the Nkuringo family of Gorillas and you can decide to track the gorillas the following day or relax still.
From Nkuringo to Buhoma, On the next day, after you tracked the gorillas and if you loved this walking activity the other day, and want to have more of it, There is another walking activity taking you through the Bwindi jungles, the impenetrable forest, proceed through the trading centre of Ntungamo to the National Parks offices at Nkuringo (300m) to pay park fees and secure the services of a national parks ranger guide to escort you to the national parks Headquarters at Buhoma. There are two routes that can be followed although both routes meet in the forest to become one before reaching Buhoma.
The two walking trails are known as The Ivy River and Kashasha River Routes. The latter trail is the most direct walk. Buhoma is 13 km through the forest on the Kashasha River Trail where the tin roofs of Buhoma are clearly visible from the Nkuringo campsite. The Ivy River route is ideally suited to tour groups that have vehicle support to either drop or collect them some 7 kms from Nkuringo along the Nteko Ridge at the junction for the Ivy River trail with the forest. The trail offers visitors a close up experience of the natural wonders within a rain forest environment. Birds are prolific in Bwindi and your guide will point these out to you during your walk.
As there is no road for vehicles through Bwindi between Buhoma and Nkuringo your driver will have to randavous 170 km taking about 6 hours, and then find you in buhoma either to proceed or for an overnight.