Best things to do in Uganda in 2024.

Best things to do in Uganda in 2024.

Things to do in Uganda; Uganda is one of Africa’s ideal travel destinations with fantastic natural scenery; captivating fauna and flora. Half of the world´s remaining mountain gorilla population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga national park. The climate is good in Uganda all year round – hot and wet, daytime temperatures generally hovering between 22-27 degrees Celsius. It cools down at night; enough for a jersey but woolens are not necessary. The rains come twice a year, in October/November (short rains) and Mid-march to end of May. Rainy season is no reason to postpone your travel however, as generally it rains for an hour or two and the rest of the day is clear and sunny.

The park has 10 national parks that are a home to various wildlife that range from animals, birds, waterfalls, mountains, plants, beautiful scenery, primates among many more. Below are some of the activities done while on your visit to the “pearl of Africa”.

Game drives

A game drive is an activity enjoyed by tourists while on their safaris in Uganda. This is used by a car which moves around some National parks that tourists visit. This is also with the help of the game rangers who help you to spot different animals and always tell tourists what the animals are called, where they stay, what they feed on and all information that you want to know about the animals. This will therefore help you get much information while on your Uganda safari.

Game drives are done very early in the morning where you will see animals getting out of their homes and this is the perfect time to observe many animals while on your safaris in Uganda. Game drives are also carried out in the late afternoon as the animals are constructing their homes and here you can also see many animals. This is an interesting activity that tourists enjoy as they get photographs of different animals that are unique, and some are only found in Uganda.

Queen Elizabeth National Park: For a classic African safari experience, the tracks through Kasenyi, the North Kazinga Plains and the Ishasha Sector offer virtually guaranteed buffalo, antelope and elephant sightings, along with warthogs and baboons. Taking an experienced guide in the early morning or at dusk is the most successful way to track down a pride of lions, and maybe even the odd leopard.

Murchison falls national park: A game drive around the Buligi game tracks on the northern bank with a trained ranger guide is a fantastic way to see and photograph the wide range of animals in the Nile Valley. Murchison falls is a home to different wildlife species; over 76 mammal and 451 bird species including the Buffaloes, Jackson hartebeests, Antelopes, Lions, Kobs, Giraffes, Hyenas, Bushbucks, and Warthogs among others. They are widely spread all over the Savannah grasslands, grazing or hunting for prey. This makes the park’s landscape so amazing for game viewing/game driving. Your guide will have a good idea where the lions are hiding, and you may even spot a leopard at dusk!

Lake Mburo National Park: The network of game tracks in the east of the park passes a variety of landscape features including acacia woodland, wetlands, grassy hillsides, rock outcrops and seasonally flooded valley floors. The park has more than 68 mammal species, including zebra, impala, topi, eland, bush buck, buffalo, warthog, leopard, hyena and jackal. There are no elephants and lions in the park, which makes it an ideal place for walking safaris.

Kidepo Valley National Park: A park ranger will help you spot the lions that may be sitting on the valley’s various rocks. Other wildlife includes elephants, leopard, bush duiker, jackal, bushbuck, bush pig, ostrich, buffalo and much more, in the wild Narus Valley.

Semuliki national park: Three tracks cross the savannah grassland of Toro Semliki Wildlife Reserve.

Hot air balloon safaris

Balloon safaris in Uganda are a not so-common activity that has recently been introduced by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Hot air ballooning can only be found at the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. Hot air ballooning is the kind of activity perfect for those on honeymoon, the adrenaline junkies and those seeking a once in a lifetime adventure. The scenes up there are spectacular and the air fresh and soothing. This for you will be an experience made of thousands of memories you will reminisce every time you think about your Safari in Uganda.

Hot air ballooning is the kind of activity perfect for those on honeymoon, the adrenaline junkies and those seeking a once in a lifetime adventure. The scenes up there are spectacular and the air fresh and soothing. This for you will be an experience made of thousands of memories you will reminisce every time you think about your Safari in Uganda. Hot air ballooning is the kind of activity perfect for those on honeymoon, the adrenaline junkies and those seeking a once in a lifetime adventure.

The scenes up there are spectacular and the air fresh and soothing. This for you will be an experience made of thousands of memories you will reminisce every time you think about your Safari in Uganda.

Bungee jumping

Bungee jumping is described as a sport where the participant free-falls from a platform, springing up and down from tension. It’s about attempting to do something that you thought you couldn’t do and also overcoming your inner most fears with an adrenaline rush!

It involves a number of techniques and set ups such as the swan dive, back dive, bat dive (hanging upside down and dropped) and lastly the water touchdown where the jump is calculated so that the jumper dips into the water without submersion. A boat is always ready for you down at the river, so that you are picked and do not have to swim after your jump.


Uganda is an equatorial country of astonishing contrasts. No other area in Africa can match its amazing diversity of habitats ranging from arid semi-deserts, rich savannahs, lowlands and montane rainforests to vast wetlands, volcanoes and an afro-alpine zone, and covering an altitude from 650 to 5000 meters.

This richness is reflected in the number of birds per square kilometer the highest than any other country in Africa! Given the small size of the country, which is approximately 235,000 square kilometers, Uganda boasts a national bird list of over 1008 species. This represents more than half the bird species that can be found in the whole of Africa.

Forests: Uganda has an area contiguous with the Great Guinea / Congo Basin rain forest on its western border. Subsequently there are a number of west and central African bird species occurring in Uganda that are not found elsewhere in East Africa.

One particular region is the Albertine Rift Endemic area (ARE), which has 38 species of birds confined to Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Congo. Of these ARE’s Uganda has 25, mostly confined to the forests of Mgahinga and Bwindi National Parks in the southwest.

Wetlands: Uganda has 30,000 square kilometers of wetlands. Not less than 210 species, ranging from the Shoebill and African Skimmer to the endemic Fox’s Weaver, are found in these wetlands. More to the above are four Papyrus endemics; the Papyrus Gonolek, Papyrus Canary, White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Yellow warbler. And a White winged Black Tern roost of 2-3 million birds in the Entebbe area (Lutembe bay).

Savannahs: In Uganda savannahs vary from the remote, semi-dessert, dry thorn-scrub region of Karamoja in the northeast, to the richer fertile savannahs of the western rift valley. Queen Elizabeth National Park has a bird list of 604 species, the highest for any protected area in Africa.


There are various highlands and mountains in Uganda where hiking can be easily done. Some of the commonly hiked mountains include mount Rwenzori, mount Muhabura, mount Sabyinyo, Mount Elgon, mount Moroto, mount Mgahinga among others. The hikes take you through the tropical rain forests and bamboo where you will be able to sport some of the country’s forest animals like elephants, buffaloes, duikers, various primates like monkeys, gorillas, chimpanzees, different rivers and waterfalls which are so beautiful to look at as well as different bird species.

Hikes will present you with beautiful scenery of the surrounding landscape. Mount Rwenzori being the highest in Uganda is the most commonly hiked. The top of this mountain is the only place in Uganda where you are able to see snow. The hike to the top of the mountain will take you 7 or more days depending on the hiker’s speed and fitness. All the above mountains have something unique to offer to hikers.

Nature walks

Uganda is endowed with beautiful forests where activities such as forest/nature walks can take place. Some of the forest include Mabira Forest, Budongo Forest, Kibale Forest, Bwindi Forest, Mpanga Forest Reserves, Mgahinga forest. Participating in the nature trails in the forest offer visitors chance to view different primate species such as Chimpanzees as well as red and black colobus monkeys, among others. Besides the primates, the interesting nature walks through the dense ever green tree species in the forest enable the visitors to have an encounter with different forest bird species such as white-thighed hornbill as well as species of puvel’s illadopsis housed in the forest.

Cultural tours

Uganda is not only a country richly blessed with lots of wildlife, birds, great weather, breath taking landscapes, but also with a rich diversity of untapped culture and heritage. With 30 plus tribes, Uganda safaris is definitely the ultimate place to experience the diverse cultural immersion. From the assorted cultural mosaic of music, art, food and hand crafts to the cultural norms, the rituals, and royal regalia the experience is unmatched. With three distinct linguistic groups namely the Bantu, Nilotics, and the central Sudanese people. Each encounter presents you with a different set of practices and beliefs.

The central region is mostly inhabited by the Bantu specifically the Baganda whose history is mostly synonymous with that of Uganda. Other Bantu tribes include the Banyankole, Bakiga, Batooro in western Uganda, Busoga, Bagisu Bagwere among others, then the northern and eastern area of the country are mostly the nilotics who include the Acholis, Itesots, Langis, Alur, Karamojongs, Iks to mention but these, they were the first cattle herding people in the area, but later relied on cultivation to supplement their livestock.

The central sudanic people most of whom live in the northwestern part of the country include the Lugbaras, Alurus, Madis, among others speak a similar language and have strong cultural similarities. All these tribes of Uganda have unique culture to know about.

Chimpanzee tracking

Uganda has various forests and national parks in which chimpanzees can be found. You can either choose to go chimpanzee tracking, or a chimpanzee habituation experience. Some parks offer one options, some offer both. Some of the national parks and forests you can visit if you want to see chimpanzees in Uganda are Kibale national park, Budongo forest- Murchison Falls national park, and Kyambura gorge-Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu forest are some of the places where you can see gorillas in Uganda.

The best places to have a chimpanzee tracking experience or a habituation experience is in the parks. Habituated chimpanzees are accustomed to human presence and will not run off when they sense or see you approach but will stay put and you can see them and take pictures, from a distance of course.

Best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking.

Best time to visit Uganda for gorilla trekking.

Uganda is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa. With its dense misty forests, snow-peaked mountains, glassy lakes and sprawling savannas. Mountain gorillas are the allure for many visitors, but there’s an astounding variety of attractions for tourists. To visit these different destinations and attractions, you will need to know the best time to go.

Safaris in Uganda are best done during drier months of the year because of the best weather, sightings and accessibility.

Travelling in December is one of the best times to do a safari in Uganda, and it is the busiest month of the year and lodges are usually booked in advance. In fact, if you are searching for the best time to visit gorillas in Uganda then we suggest you book your safari (plus permits) in not less than 6 months in advance to secure a good slot for December because tourists compete for good accommodation facilities several months in advance besides purchasing permits for the most visited gorilla families.

About the climate, what you should know is Uganda’s rain comes twice in a year; In other words, Uganda has only two rainy seasons. The months of March to May are usually accompanied by extremely heavy rainfall, which leaves the weather unpredictable unlike the months of October and November that have little rainfall. To contradict this, is believe Uganda is an all-year travel destination because of its location on the equator. The temperatures range between 23 – 29 degrees Celsius implicating you can still enjoy your safari during the rainy months. The only obstacle you might face is your safari vehicle getting stuck on the muddy roads of the national parks unless you are travelling in a 4×4 tour vehicle.

The best game viewing months in Uganda are during the dry seasons that range from June, July and August as well as December, January and February. Primate walks in the forest are a big part of any safari in Uganda. The habitat of rain forests is, by default, very wet and one can’t avoid rain completely. However, after heavy rains, the sky usually opens up to bright sunshine.

It’s the good time to track gorillas because these are the drier months. The skies are clear, there is less rain and more sunshine. It’s easier to spot wildlife in the Savannah reserves since vegetation is less and animals gather around water sources. Despite being a high season month, the parks don’t feel crowded. Gorilla permits need to be booked very far in advance.

During these months, wildlife is available in plenty unlike in wet months where they tend to take shelter from the rain which might cause you to see them in less numbers especially for mountain gorillas.

March up to May and September up to November (Wet Season): The vegetation is greener and its low season, resulting in lower rates. Although wildlife in the Savannah reserves is easier to spot in the dry season, you’ll still see plenty, including newborn animals in the wet season. The scenery of Savannah plains is much greener during wet months too which might prevent you from getting exceptional views from the respective national parks especially Kidepo valley National Park and Murchison Falls National Park.

However, some of the roads get very bad and cars often get stuck. Forest trails can become slippery and challenging. If it pours with rain, changes can’t be made in the expensive gorilla permit. Departures go on as scheduled.

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi NP.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary.

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Uganda, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary stands as a symbol of hope and conservation for one of Africa’s most iconic creatures – the rhinoceros. This sanctuary, situated about 176 kilometers north of the capital city Kampala, plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the survival of rhinos while promoting ecotourism and community engagement.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is a Haven for Rhinoceros Conservation. Established in 2005, the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary was born out of the collaborative efforts between the Rhino Fund Uganda, Uganda Wildlife Authority and several conservation organizations. The main objective was to reintroduce rhinoceros into the country’s natural habitats after their extinction in the 1970’s while providing a safe environment for breeding and nurturing these magnificent creatures. At the brink of extinction due to poaching and habitat loss, the sanctuary has become a beacon of hope for both the critically endangered white rhinos and the rare black rhinos. The sanctuary provides a refuge for the southern white rhinos. These species, despite their imposing size and appearance, are highly vulnerable to various threats, including poaching for their horns. The Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary’s dedicated team of conservationists and rangers work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of these majestic creatures.

Conservation Efforts and Community Involvement.

The project at Ziwa Rhino sanctuary has shown the power people have to change actions and the health of ecosystems and support species survival. A project that started 18 years ago has now seen the sanctuary raise the number of Rhinos here to 42.

The sanctuary’s success can be attributed not only to its dedicated team but also to its approach in involving local communities. By creating a collaborative environment, the sanctuary has fostered a sense of ownership and responsibility among nearby residents. This engagement helps to diminish conflicts between humans and wildlife, ultimately contributing to the preservation of Uganda’s natural heritage. Ecotourism and Educational Experiences Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary offers a unique opportunity for visitors to witness rhinos up close and contribute to their conservation efforts.

Guided walking safaris allow tourists to observe these creatures in their natural habitat while learning about their behavior, ecology, and the challenges they face. This immersive experience not only raises awareness about rhino conservation but also generates funds that support ongoing conservation initiatives.

Future Prospects and Challenges.

While Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary has achieved notable successes in rhino conservation, challenges remain. Continued vigilance against poaching, habitat protection, and genetic diversity management are ongoing concerns. Furthermore, striking a balance between tourism and minimizing human impact on the rhinos’ environment requires careful planning. A Testament to Conservation Triumph Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary stands as a testament to what can be achieved through dedicated conservation efforts, community engagement, and responsible ecotourism. It showcases how a collaborative approach can rescue a species from the brink of extinction and offers hope for the future of rhinoceros populations in Uganda and beyond. As visitors walk amidst the sanctuary’s scenic landscapes, they not only witness the power of preservation but also become part of a larger movement to protect Earth’s most vulnerable inhabitants.

There are plans to reintroduce Rhinos into the wilderness, case studies are going on to see how successfully bring these giants into the Ugandan wilderness again. It is rumored that either Ajai Game Reserve or Murchison Falls National park could be the first places to see the return of these species. 

It is not just Rhino tracking that takes place here, but the sanctuary is also a great birding are and the Lugogo swamp at the sanctuary is a famous spot to see the shoebill. Visitors can track the bird on the canoes. There are also other animal species here like the water bucks, warthogs, among others.

It is a great stop for those heading to Murchison Falls National Park and looking to complete the Big 5. Or you can do a day trip the sanctuary from Kampala or Entebbe or even have a night stop at the ranch. It has camping option and the budget opt at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary guesthouse and the Mid-range at Amuka Lodge. 

What to do at Murchison Falls National Park?

What to do at Murchison Falls National Park?

Murchison Falls National Park is a natural wonder that beckons adventurers and wildlife enthusiasts from around the world. Spread across approximately 3,840 square kilometers, this park is a testament to the breathtaking beauty of the African wilderness. From awe-inspiring waterfalls to diverse wildlife, Murchison Falls National Park offers a wealth of experiences for those seeking to immerse themselves in the splendor of nature.

The park is a gem of East Africa, has a very scenic landscape and in this article, we shall explore what to do at Murchison falls National Park, how to get there and ensuring you get the most of your visit to this pristine wilderness area.

Getting to Murchison Falls National Park.

Before we delve into the incredible experiences awaiting you at Murchison Falls National Park, let’s talk about how to get there. The park is conveniently located approximately 305 kilometers northwest of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, making it accessible by various means of transportation.

By Air:

The quickest way to reach Murchison Falls National Park is by taking a domestic flight from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Pakuba Airstrip. This short flight offers a bird’s-eye view of Uganda’s diverse landscapes, setting the stage for the adventure that awaits you.

By Road:

If you prefer a more ground-level experience, a road trip to the park is an excellent option. The journey takes approximately 5-6 hours from Kampala, and it’s advisable to hire a 4×4 vehicle to navigate the rugged roads. The drive is an adventure in itself, as it offers the chance to witness the changing scenery and rural life of Uganda.

Exploring Murchison Falls National Park.

Now that you’ve arrived at Murchison Falls National Park, it’s time to dive into the myriad of activities and experiences this pristine wilderness has to offer.

The Magnificent Murchison Falls:

Your visit to Murchison Falls would not be complete without witnessing the park’s namesake attraction. The Murchison Falls, also known as Kabalega Falls, is a stunning natural wonder where the Nile River narrows and forces its way through a 7-meter-wide gorge before plunging 43 meters down. To get a close-up view of this incredible spectacle, embark on a boat cruise to the base of the falls. The sight and sound of the rushing water are awe-inspiring, and the refreshing mist adds to the experience.

Game Drives:

Murchison Falls National Park is renowned for its abundant wildlife. Game drives are a must-do activity for wildlife enthusiasts. The park is home to the Big 4 of the “Big Five” – lions, elephants, buffalos, and leopards. During your game drive, you’ll also have the opportunity to spot giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, and numerous bird species. The best times for game drives are early morning and late afternoon when the animals are most active. For those that want to complete the Big 5, you can do the visit to Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for the Rhino Tracking activity.

Bird watching:

With over 450 bird species, Murchison Falls National Park is a paradise for birdwatchers. The park’s diverse habitats, including savannah, riverbanks, and forests, attract a wide range of avian species. Keep your binoculars handy as you explore the park, and you might spot the iconic African fish eagle, Goliath heron, and the rare shoebill stork.

Chimpanzee Tracking:

While Murchison Falls is known for its savannah and wildlife, it also offers a unique opportunity to encounter our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – chimpanzees. The Budongo Forest Reserve, located within the park, is home to a thriving population of chimpanzees. Join a guided trek through the forest to observe these intelligent primates in their natural habitat.

Hot Air Balloon Safari:

For a truly unforgettable experience, consider taking a hot air balloon safari over Murchison Falls National Park. Soaring above the savannah, you’ll have a bird’s-eye view of the park’s wildlife and landscapes. The early morning balloon ride offers a peaceful and surreal perspective of the African wilderness. But this activity is currently not available now.

Nature Walks and Hiking:

Exploring the park on foot is another way to connect with its natural beauty. Guided nature walks offer a chance to learn about the park’s flora and fauna while experiencing the sights, sounds, and scents of the wilderness up close. For more adventurous hikers, the Rabongo Forest and the top of the falls offer challenging trails and rewarding vistas. Also the walk on the Baker’s trail offers an amazing view of the falls.

Sport Fishing:

This is a great opportunity to get the biggest of the Nile Perch that dwell in the Nile River. Each year there is a competition for fishing at the park and a number of anglers turn up for the event. The adventure can be booked through operators like us.

Where to Stay in Murchison Falls National Park?

Murchison Falls National Park offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets and preferences. From luxury lodges overlooking the Nile to budget-friendly campsites, you’ll find a comfortable place to rest after your adventures in the park.

Paraa Safari Lodge, Chobe Safari Lodge, Nile Safari Lodge: These are luxurious lodge offers stunning views of the Nile River and provides a perfect blend of comfort and natural beauty.

Pakuba Lodge, Sambiya Lodge, Budongo Eco Lodge, Murchison River Lodge, Twiga Safari Lodge, Murchison Bamboo Lodge: These are Situated inside the park and at top locations and outside the park Fort Murchison is an amazing one.

Red Chilli Rest Camp: If you’re traveling on a budget, this campsite provides affordable accommodation and is a popular choice among backpackers. Same as Hornbill Bush lodge, Parkside Safari Lodge.

Tips for a Memorable Visit in Murchison Falls National Park.

Pack Light: Remember to pack comfortable clothing, a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and sturdy hiking shoes.

 Respect Wildlife: While observing the animals, maintain a safe distance and follow your guide’s instructions to ensure your safety and the well-being of the animals.

 Stay Hydrated: The African sun can be intense, so carry plenty of water to stay hydrated during your excursions.

 Local Guides: Hiring local guides is highly recommended, as they have extensive knowledge of the park and can enhance your experience with their insights.        

Murchison Falls National Park is a true gem of Uganda, offering a rich tapestry of natural wonders and wildlife encounters. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a birdwatcher, or simply seeking the tranquility of the African wilderness, this park has something to offer everyone.

With its accessibility and diverse range of activities, a visit to Murchison Falls National Park promises to be an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa’s untamed beauty. So, pack your bags, embark on your chosen adventure, and prepare to be captivated by the magic of Murchison Falls.

Tourist Attractions in Kisoro.

Tourist Attractions in Kisoro.

Tourist Attractions in Kisoro; Located in South-Western Uganda and borders Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the South and West, respectively. It also borders the Districts of Kanungu and Kabale in the North and East, respectively.

Population: About 220,000 people

Main Town: Kisoro town and has a population of about 10,700 people.

Area: 729.7 Km2

Land and Vegetation: The District is hilly and key highlands include Mt. Muhavura at 4127 meters above sea level. About 3.88 and 2.95 percent of the district area is covered by open water and wetlands, respectively. Forest reserves occupy about 0.96 percent of the area.

The following are the key tourist attractions in Kisoro district.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Situated in Kisoro district, southwestern Uganda, this park was gazetted in 1991 and is a part of the great Virunga Conservation Area, which is 434km. Although it is the smallest in the country covering about 33.7km, it is very important as it is one of the only two parks in Uganda that offer habitat for the endangered mountain gorilla. Gorilla tracking is one of the key tourist attractions in this national park.

Game viewing / primate viewing.

Besides the mountain gorillas, other animals found in the park include buffaloes, elephants, bushbucks and the threatened golden monkey among others making game viewing another key activity within this park.

Volcanoes Climbing.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers three extinct volcanoes for physically fit hikers. The three volcanoes, Mt. Sabyinya (3666m), Mt. Muhavura (4127m) offer excellent volcano climbing experiences.

Cave Exploration.

Garama cave is one of the caves where the once crafty Batwa (who were warriors) lived and fought their Neighbours, the Bantu. The cave is 3kms from the park headquarters and it takes about 4 hours. The guide will show you how the Batwa lived and fought out of the cave. The cave is 342m in length and 14m deep and is now inhabited only by bats.

Viewing platform / hills.

This is about 800m from the park gate. On top of this platform, one is able to view the magnificent scenery of the National Park and the surrounding areas. There are display panels at the hill point that give you information about what you see. The hilly nature of Kisoro caused by volcanic activity gives the visitors opportunity to hike, which is one of the rapidly developing activities.

Bird Watching

Avi-tourism is a fast-growing activity in this area. This activity is carried out along the edge of the park. A stroll along the buffalo wall towards Congo takes you through a wetland area that is rich in a variety of bird species.

Forest / Nature walks

Forest walks are carried out within the forested part of the national park. Nature walks are done within and outside the communities.

Community / market visits

Market visits are on a particular day of the week. This is usually a lifetime experience for the visitors. Community visits are also organized so the visitors can get to know more about the people of Kisoro (Bafumbira and Batwa).

Crater Lakes

Kisoro has a number of crater lakes, the most outstanding being the emerald-green lake Mutanda located 14kms north of Kisoro town. The lake offers the best experience of sundowners/sunset cruises. It is also ideal for canoeing, fishing and other recreational activities.

 Scenery Viewing

The spectacular views of the rift valley and the magnificent crater lakes offer great scenic views thus making scenery viewing one of the important tourist activities. Other spectacular sceneries include the Abbis at Muremure in Kitende parish.

 Cultural Performances

The rich and unique culture of the Bafumbira and Batwa enhance the display/performance of beautiful cultural dances and practices which would leave the visitors yearning for more. These performances are done on request by the visitors.

 Crafts and Souvenirs industry

The rich culture of the Bafumbira and Batwa people includes unique and diverse variety of crafts and souvenirs baskets and souvenirs beautifully woven to the last detail. These are a unique product that could enhance community tourism in Kisoro. The extensive papyrus swamp stretching from Kisoro to Lake Bunyonyi in Kisoro may sustainably be utilized to provide the raw materials.

 Cave exploration and Antiquities

Cave exploration and antiquities are already under exploration in the district. The lava tubes left after volcanic activity are add to the scenic attraction of the caves. The prominent caves include Ruhenju in Gigozi parish, Soko in Soko parish and Mwambike near Mutorere Secondary School. The caves were used as safe haven during the tribal wars.

 Hotel and Catering

The district has a number of outstanding tourist hotels. These include Gahinga Rest Camp, Mgahinga Safari Lodge, Volcanoes Hotel and Sky-Blue Motel. During the 2001 survey of tourism establishments, there was a total capacity of 453 beds. The hotel and catering sector in the district employed 143 people at the time.

Rwanda’s Culture and Heritage: A Tapestry of Tradition and Resilience.

Rwanda’s Culture and Heritage: A Tapestry of Tradition and Resilience.

Located at the heart of East Africa, Rwanda is a country that boasts a rich tapestry of culture and heritage. Known as the “Land of a Thousand Hills” for its breathtaking landscapes, Rwanda is equally remarkable for the diversity and depth of its cultural traditions. From its ancient rituals to its modern renaissance, Rwanda’s cultural heritage is a testament to the resilience and unity of its people.

A mosaic of Ethnic Groups

Rwanda is home to several ethnic groups, with the Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa being the most prominent. These ethnic distinctions, however, do not define the entirety of Rwanda’s cultural identity. In fact, one of the most remarkable aspects of Rwandan culture is the strong sense of national unity that transcends ethnic boundaries.

The historical roots of ethnic diversity can be traced back centuries. The Tutsi, historically cattle herders, and the Hutu, primarily farmers, have coexisted in Rwanda for generations. Each group brought its own unique customs and traditions, which over time blended to create a distinctive Rwandan identity.

Ubunyarwanda: The Spirit of Togetherness

Despite the tragic events of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, which left deep scars on the nation’s psyche, Rwanda has made impressive strides in reconciliation and unity. The philosophy of “Ubunyarwanda” has been instrumental in this healing process. Ubunyarwanda emphasizes the shared identity of being Rwandan above ethnic divisions. It promotes dialogue, understanding, and forgiveness, fostering an environment where all Rwandans can coexist harmoniously.

Traditional Rwandan Arts

Artistic expression is integral to Rwandan culture. Traditional music, dance, and crafts play a significant role in conveying the stories, history, and values of the Rwandan people.

• Intore Dance: The Intore dance is one of Rwanda’s most iconic cultural expressions. It’s a high-energy dance that showcases the strength, agility, and grace of the performers. With rhythmic drumming and intricate footwork, the Intore dance is a visual and auditory delight.

• Imigongo Art: Imigongo art is a unique Rwandan art form that involves creating geometric designs using cow dung. These intricate patterns are not only aesthetically pleasing but also deeply symbolic. They represent themes of transformation and regeneration.

• Traditional Music: Traditional Rwandan music is characterized by its use of traditional instruments like the inanga (a stringed instrument) and the umuduri (a flute). The songs often tell stories of love, history, and everyday life in Rwanda.

Imigongo Art Patterns

Cuisine: A Flavorful Journey

Rwandan cuisine is a delightful reflection of the country’s agricultural heritage. Staple foods like plantains, sweet potatoes, beans, and cassava are central to Rwandan meals. The most famous dish is called “Ugali,” a type of porridge made from maize or cassava flour. It’s usually served with a variety of vegetables and meat, if available.

A popular Rwandan snack is “Brochette,” skewered and grilled meat, often enjoyed with a side of spicy sauce. In Rwanda, sharing food is a symbol of unity and hospitality, reflecting the culture’s emphasis on community.

Language: A Bridge between People

Kinyarwanda is the national language of Rwanda and serves as a unifying force in this diverse nation. While French and English are also official languages, Kinyarwanda is the primary mode of communication for most Rwandans. This language binds people from different backgrounds, fostering understanding and solidarity.

Religion and Spirituality

Rwanda is a predominantly Christian country, with the majority of the population being either Catholic or Protestant. However, traditional Rwandan beliefs and practices, which include ancestor worship and belief in spirits, continue to play a significant role in the lives of many Rwandans.

The harmony between Christianity and traditional beliefs is a testament to Rwanda’s ability to synthesize different cultural and religious elements into a cohesive whole. This fusion of faiths has contributed to the unique spiritual fabric of the nation.

Conservation Efforts: Preserving Natural and Cultural Heritage

Rwanda’s commitment to preserving its natural and cultural heritage is evident in its conservation efforts. One of the most famous examples is the conservation of mountain gorillas in the Volcanoes National Park. This initiative not only protects a critically endangered species but also preserves the rich cultural heritage of the Batwa people, who have a deep connection with the forest and its inhabitants.

Rwanda has also made substantial efforts to preserve its historical sites related to the Rwandan Genocide. The Kigali Genocide Memorial is a somber but essential place for remembrance and reflection. It stands as a testament to Rwanda’s commitment to never forget the past and to ensure that such a tragedy is never repeated.

Rwanda’s Cultural Renaissance

In recent years, Rwanda has experienced a cultural renaissance, with a renewed focus on the arts, education, and cultural exchange. Initiatives like the Ubumuntu Arts Festival have brought together artists from Rwanda and around the world to explore themes of humanity, reconciliation, and unity through the medium of performance art.

Additionally, institutions like the Rwanda Art Museum and the Ivuka Arts Center have provided platforms for local artists to showcase their talents and connect with a global audience. These efforts not only promote the cultural richness of Rwanda but also contribute to its economic development through tourism and the creative industries.

Rwanda’s culture and heritage are a testament to the resilience of its people. Despite a history marked by challenges and tragedy, Rwanda has emerged as a nation that celebrates unity, diversity, and the indomitable spirit of its citizens. Its culture is a living, breathing testament to the power of reconciliation, forgiveness, and the human capacity for renewal. As Rwanda continues to write its story, its culture and heritage remain central to its identity and its vision for a brighter future.

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi NP.

Planning for gorilla trekking in Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is an exhilarating and unique wildlife experience that allows you to observe these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. It is mainly done in Volcanoes National Park, located in the northwestern part of Rwanda. It is one of Rwanda’s top tourist activities

To participate in Rwanda gorilla trekking, you will need to obtain a permit from the Rwanda Development Board (RDB). These permits are limited and it is recommended to book them in advance. The cost for a gorilla tracking permit in Rwanda is currently $1,500 per person.

Preparing for Rwanda Gorilla Trekking: What to pack?

When preparing for gorilla tracking, it is important to wear appropriate clothing and gear. Here are some recommendations:

1. Comfortable Clothing: Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants to protect you from scratches, insect bites, and vegetation.

2. Waterproof Jacket: Carry a waterproof jacket or raincoat as weather conditions can be unpredictable in the forest.

3. Sturdy Hiking Boots: Invest in a good pair of hiking boots with ankle support to provide stability and protect your feet during the trek.

4. Gloves: Wearing gloves can come in handy for gripping vegetation and protecting your hands.

5. Hat and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses.

6. Insect Repellent: Apply insect repellent to avoid mosquito and other insect bites.

7. Backpack: Carry a small backpack to store essentials such as water, snacks, camera, and personal items.

8. Camera: Bring a camera with extra batteries and memory cards to capture the incredible moments with the gorillas. However, keep in mind that flash photography is not allowed.

During the gorilla tracking experience, you will be accompanied by experienced guides and trackers who are familiar with the gorilla families and their movements. The trek can vary in duration, ranging from 1 to 5 hours, depending on the location of the gorilla group you are assigned to track. Once you locate the gorillas, you will be allowed to spend up to one hour observing and photographing them from a safe distance.

It is important to note that gorilla tracking is a sensitive activity, and strict rules are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the gorillas. These rules include maintaining a distance of at least 7 meters from the gorillas, avoiding direct eye contact, and not touching the gorillas or their surroundings.

How to get Rwanda gorilla Trekking Permits?

To obtain a permit for gorilla Trekking in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, you will need to follow the necessary steps:

1. Contact the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or a reputable tour operator like us: They can provide you with information on availability, pricing, and reservation procedures.

2. Decide on the date and duration: Gorilla permits are limited, so it’s advisable to book well in advance. Determine how many days you would like to spend tracking gorillas.

3. Provide necessary personal details: You will be required to provide your full name, nationality, passport details, and any other details requested by the RDB or tour operator.

4. Pay the permit fee: The gorilla permit fee in Rwanda is quite substantial and serves as a conservation measure. Make sure to inquire about the current permit fee and payment methods. Payments are typically made in advance to secure your spot.

5. Obtain confirmation: Once your payment is received, you will receive a confirmation letter or email with details of your permit, including the date and park entrance.

6. Travel arrangements: Plan your travel to Volcanoes National Park accordingly. You may need to arrange transportation to the park entrance.

It is important to note that gorilla permits are in high demand, and availability can be limited, especially during peak seasons. Therefore, it’s best to plan and book your permit well in advance to ensure availability on your preferred dates.

Overall, gorilla tracking in Rwanda offers an incredible opportunity to witness the endangered mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. It is a truly unforgettable experience that allows you to contribute to gorilla conservation efforts while creating memories that will last a lifetime.

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi NP.

Learn about life in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park before Covid-19; People, Activities and Gorillas.

home to the mountain Gorillas in Uganda. It holds half of the mountain gorilla in the whole world. With exception of the Covid-19 days, a day never passes without seeing any tourist vehicle entering Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which really brings a smile to the people that depend directly and indirectly on Tourism; the potters, the village guides, and the craft shop owners all put a smile on their faces after seeing the tourist vehicles enter Bwindi.

The following morning, the craft shops are opened up, the potters well dressed in their uniforms walk to the park offices to render their services to the tourists. The tourists in their preferred lodges after having their breakfast and having a short briefing from the Guides, they then move to the park offices for a briefing from the head Ranger about what to do and what not to do in the park. For example, not to look at the Gorillas straight in the eyes, not to put on the flashlight while taking pictures and more so others. After the briefing the clients then hold their walking sticks, the potters holding their bags and carrying those that do not trust themselves in hiking. Each client that hires a Potter has to pay the Potter not less than $5 so it’s the tourists’ choice to give the Potter the amount he/she wants to give according to the services offered.

Hiking then goes on in search for the gorillas, they are sometimes easily found because the rangers start tracking them from where they left them the previous day. Even though they move away, they still do not move over the night. Early in the morning the Rangers go and follow them up easing the search. When at the gorillas the tourists are given one full hour watching the mountain gorillas, the Gorillas really portray human character like breastfeeding the young ones just like the humans. During nighttime they lay down the soft tree branches and sleep, the juveniles playing around, the silverback safeguarding the family just like any father at home.

After one log hour with the Gorillas, the tourists then head back to the park offices. Here they receive certificates of Gorilla trekking and of course taking pictures of success. Payments to the potters are made at that moment after gorilla trekking. The tour Guides are there patiently waiting for the tourists in their Vans for the next step according to their itinerary whereby some are supposed to travel immediately either to another Destination or stay in Bwindi for more night(s).

To those whose itinerary says that they have to stay for one more night, they then move to their lodges and have some rest for some few hours or have hot lunch just in case they did not take packer lunch with them while going for the Gorilla Trekking. The packed lunch always contains some snacks and drinks to keep their stomach okay, because there is no guarantee that the gorillas are to be found in the estimated time so it might take long and then the tourists might feel hungry.

After the rest is when the LOCAL GUIDES start moving around waiting for the tourists that may have booked with them to go for the village or community walks around Bwindi. The craft shop boys are always at their shops ready to showcase their craft works and get some money for food and other home necessities, this is where the people who are not working in the tourism field become dependents of the field because of the local guides, craft shops owners and the potters also get some money to run their shops or even get some school fees for their children making all the people of Bwindi dependent on Tourism directly and indirectly.

When the tourists are out on village walks, they happen to visit the neighboring villages around, meet the local people, associate with them and see how best they move on with their life, chill with them and even have some taste of their food. Tourists then visit the Batwa “Pygmies” who are one of the oldest people in Africa. For centuries they roamed the forest looking for fruits and honey and hunted with bows and trained dogs. As the woods were cut down by Bantu, Batwa numbers dwindled.

After Bwindi was made a National Park, the Pygmies are managing to associate with the local Communities and moving in the same line of living with life. The Birder tourists also move around with their Guides, with the binoculars, notebooks, pens and other birding equipment looking for so many birds’ species that are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

After all the activities are done, the tourists then move back to their lodges to have their dinner, analyze how the day went, look into the itinerary and prepare for the next day or the meet Destination or do some other preferred activities.

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi NP.

How to acquire Gorilla Permits in Uganda.

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is done in 2 national parks; Mgahinga national park, which is a home to 1 gorilla family (Nyakagezi) and Bwindi impenetrable national park. Bwindi has 4 sectors, and each is a home to at least 2 gorilla families. All tourists planning to do gorilla trekking in any of these destinations will need a gorilla permit. The Gorilla Permit allows you enter the park with the company of ranger guides to look for these gentle giants. All permits are got from the Uganda wildlife authority headquarters in Kampala.

The gorilla permits cost $600 per person for foreign national residents (FNR), $500 for foreign residents (FR) and shillings 250000 for East Africans. This price goes up to May 30th, 2020. As of 1st July 2020, the prices will be increased to $700 (FNR), $600 (FR).

There are 2 options to acquiring the permit: you can make payment to UWA yourself or through your tour operator.

If Booking Uganda Gorilla Permits Directly Through UWA (Uganda wildlife authority), you first have to contact UWA’s reservation office by email inquiring about the availability of the dates you intend to track the gorillas. Note that you need to consider a full day of travel from Kampala to Bwindi after you have landed in Kampala. If the dates you want are unavailable, you can request UWA to let you know of the nearest dates (of which they will probably do). You will then decide to make payment.

At this time, they will advise you of their banking details, so that you can proceed to make an electronic transfer of the money. Please remember to immediately send a copy of the transaction receipt by email or fax to UWA. The transfer should usually take not more than 3 days and UWA will keep your tentative booking for at least 7 days as they await the transfer to go through. Please ensure that you instruct you bank to deduct the bank charges from you. If the money sent is less, your permit may not be booked.

Booking through a Tour and Travel Agent. Many tourists have however found the above procedure quicker and less tedious ways of reserving their gorilla permits by working with local Uganda tour operator. The tour operators will usually charge a fee of US$20-$50 per gorilla permit.

Some other companies will not charge you for buying gorilla permits if you are getting other tour services (like transfers and tours) through them. But if you only like them to help you acquire the gorilla permit alone, a maximum of $35 applies on each gorilla permit booked.

The procedure is almost similar as above, except that the tour agencies tend to speed-up the process and most likely you will get you gorilla permit confirmation faster.

3 Days Gorilla Trekking Safari in Bwindi NP.

Gorilla trekking FAQs.

About Mountain Gorillas, the mountain gorilla is one of the two sub species of the eastern gorilla. On the IUCN Red List, it is listed as an endangered species. The total population is estimated to comprise of 1,004 individuals as of 2018 census. Mountain gorillas are tremendously social and live in groups of 2 to 40 led by the silverback, a dominant male that is the chief leader and protector. The majority of males leave their biological group around 11 years old. Some move alone and others travel with other males for a few years until they attract females to join them.

The silverback leads the group to the best spot for feeding and resting throughout the year. Generally, conflicts are resolved through standoffs and intimidating behaviors meant to frighten intruders away without causing physical harm. However, almost 10 times stronger than the biggest American football players, a silverback protects its group from attacks by humans, leopards, or other gorillas—even if it means sacrificing his own life.

The female usually gives birth when she turns 10 and has offspring every four or more years. Newborns are weak and weigh only about four pounds. Their first movements are awkward, like a human infant, but they develop almost twice as fast. Infants nurse and are gradually weaned after they turn three when they are more independent. Mountain gorilla infants have been a principle focus for poachers.

Their diet is made up of more than 10 different species of plants. These great ape favors celery, thistles, wood, and roots. And it rarely needs to drink since it gets most of its water from the plants it consumes.

Where can I see mountain gorillas?

Mountain gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat in only 3 African countries. One population lives in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and the other in the Virunga Mountains in three adjacent national parks: Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Uganda is a home to over 500 mountain gorillas, which is half of the world’s population, making it an ideal destination. There are 18 habituated gorilla families in Uganda, 17 live in Bwindi impenetrable national park and 1 life in Mgahinga national park. Some of the gorilla groups include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguliro, Nshongi, Mishaya, kahungye, Busingye, Bweza, Nkuringo, of Bwindi and Nyakagezi of Mgahinga.

Gorillas in Bwindi are split into four regions, which are Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east Nkuringo and Rushaga in the southern section of Bwindi Forest. The Uganda gorilla permit is relatively cheap, costing $600.


Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is a luxury gorilla trekking destination with the gorilla permit costing $1500. The gorillas live in volcanoes national park and is a home to 10 habituated groups which are all open for trekking. Rwanda gorilla groups include Igisha group (Susa B), Kurira group (Susa A), Amahoro group, Umubano family, Karisimbi family, Sabyinyo group, Kwitonda group, Hirwa family, Agasha family, Bwenge group, Titus group, Muhoza family and Pablo family.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Virunga national park is a home to 8 gorilla habituated gorilla families. D.R Congo is the least visited destination due to high insecurity threats associated with tourist kidnaps and killing of park rangers. The Congo gorilla permit costs $450. Gorilla families in Congo include Rugendo, Munyaga, Mapuwa, Lulengo, Kabirizi, Bageni, Nyakamwe, and Humba gorilla families.

How many mountain gorillas still survive in the wild?

The mountain gorilla is one of the most animals in the world and one of the most endangered. The new census reveals the surviving mountain gorilla population has now risen above 1,000. This represents a rise of 25% since 2010 in its heartland of the Virunga Massif in central Africa. It also marks success for intensive conservation work in a region riven by armed conflict, and where 6 park guards were killed.

What is the best time for gorilla trekking?

Gorilla trekking is an all-year-round activity. The best time to trek gorillas is during the dry season, which runs from December to early February and june to September. This is the best time because less rain is expected in the forest.

Gorilla trekking involves moving through forests for more than 2 hours, hiking some hills and highlands in the parks, depending on the location of the gorillas that day.

Trekking gorillas during the wet season is possible but a bit challenging. The trails get wet, muddy and slippery, which is tiresome for some trekkers. During the wet season, rain can be expected any time while in the forest, which really does make the experience enjoyable for most trekkers.

Can persons with disabilities trek gorillas?

Mountain gorillas live in mountains at altitudes above 2500 meters and the trek takes from between 3-6 hours. The older, less mobile and physically disabled people have always found gorilla trekking difficult due to the steep hikes and long hours of trekking.

Trekkers with disabilities can either use sedan chairs which is carried by 4 porters or a stretcher. This can be hired at the park headquarters at $300 or more depending on various factors like; time spent in the forest, distance, weight of the client. This way, the person is carried to the hills on the forest and gets a chance to watch the gorillas in their natural habitat.

What are the chances of seeing mountain gorillas?

Chances of seeing mountain gorillas on any trek in any of the destinations has been put at 95% meaning that chances are so high that when you pay that highly priced gorilla permit, you will see these gorillas.

On the trekking day, trackers go into the forest ahead of the group to look for the gorillas. They will keep in contact with your park ranger guide and direct him/her of where the gorillas are as they follow them. So, the chances are so high.

How much does a mountain gorilla weigh?

Gorillas are the world’s largest primates, with males weighing around 143-169kg and standing about 1.4-1.8m tall in the wild. Females tend to be 20-30cm shorter and weigh roughly half what the males do. A male gorilla’s armspan is enormous, stretching 2.3-2.6m, while female gorilla’s armspans are proportionally smaller.

The world’s largest gorilla in the wild weighed 267kg when it was shot in Cameroon, but it wasn’t as tall as another silverback gorilla that was shot in Congo in 1938. That silverback stood 1.95m tall, measured 1.98m around the chest, had a 2.7m arm span and weighed an impressive 219kg. In captivity, gorillas have reached even greater weights, sometimes in excess of 310kg.

What do gorillas eat?

Gorillas are mainly herbivores, and their diet mostly consists of bamboo, fruit and leafy plants, though western lowland gorillas also eat small insects. Adult gorillas can eat up to 30kg of food each day. As roaming herbivores, gorillas play a vital role in seed dispersal. Many large fruit trees depend upon these animals to survive.