From the primary school level, we have been studying that Uganda is the “Pearl of Africa”. This is true because the country is gifted by nature. Though Kampala has many hangouts, sometimes you need to get out of this congested city to some far places for a weekend. The country has many amazing places to visit and spend a weekend out of the city.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park – Uganda
This weekend, let’s plan a 3-day gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National park. This park is located in the southwestern part of the country, about a 9-hour drive from Kampala along Masaka-Mbarara highway. The park is a world heritage site and the most famous in Uganda because it inhabits half of the World’s remaining population of endangered mountain gorillas. Gorilla tracking is the main tourist activity. Bwindi Forest was the home of the indigenous Batwa people (Pygmies).
What to do on the 3 Day Gorilla safari for a weekend?
Gorilla Tracking Experience
Stop of the Equator
Mpambire Drum makers’ village tour
Batwa Cultural Entertainment
Proposed 3 day Weekend Travel Program to Bwindi National park
Friday: Day 1: Transfer to Bwindi Impenetrable National park
Leave Kampala in the morning (7:00 am) and take western direction along Masaka highway with Enroute stop at the Equator for photographs, continue through Masaka to Mbarara town where you will stopover for lunch at Agip motel or Igongo cultural center. Continue with the journey through Ntungamo and Kabale, arrive at the park by evening, check-in your lodge, refresh and get ready for cultural entertainment from the Batwa people, diner, and overnight.
Saturday: Day 2: Gorilla Tracking, Transfer to Lake Bunyonyi
Wake up early for breakfast and transfer to the park headquarters for an assembly, briefing, and group allocation. Everyone must have a gorilla permit that acts as permission to join the trek in search of the gorillas in their natural habitat. The gorilla permits must be booked in advance from Uganda Wildlife Authority. It costs UGX250.000 for Ugandans and US$475 for Foreign residents as well as US$600 for foreign non residents. Each gorilla group is visited by a maximum of 8 persons per day. This guided trek is quite strenuous, going through steep and slippery jungle grounds, can take 2-7 hours depending on how the gorillas move in their natural habitat. You are advised to carry enough drinking water and some snacks because you can’t tell how long you are likely to hike. Once you meet the gorillas, you are allowed to stay with them for 1 hour, take photos (avoid using flash cameras), and record videos, enjoy gorillas feeding, mothers breastfeeding and juveniles swinging on trees. Descend to the base for lunch, and organize to transfer to beautiful Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale for dinner and overnight.
Sunday: Day 3: Canoe Ride, Drive back to Kampala
Breakfast followed by canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi, visit different Islands before driving back to Kampala. Expect Enroute stopover at Mpambire drum makers, arrive in Kampala by early evening.
Canoe Ride on Lake Bunyonyi
End of the tour
What to carry on a Gorilla safari?
Warm clothes because the place is cold at night
Rain jacket because we expect rain any time
Hiking boots/shoes covering up to ankle level
Long-sleeved shirts or Blouse
A hut and sunglasses
Where to Stay on a Gorilla safari in Uganda?
Bwindi Impenetrable National park has many accommodation options to cater to different visitors with different budget levels. Here we find campsites, low-budget lodges, mid-range/deluxe accommodation, and super-luxury lodges.