Other safari activities to do after gorilla trekking in Uganda
What other safari activities to do after gorilla trekking in Uganda? Gorilla trekking is one of the top reasons why thousands of tourists visit Uganda. Gorilla trekking is exciting being around endangered mountain gorillas that share 98% Human DNA for 1 hour as you learn about their habits and take pictures. Mountain gorilla trekking is done in the western part of Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park.
Uganda is one of the best destinations where you can watch primates in different national parks of the country. The most trekked primates rare mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park, chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park, Kyambura gorge, Budongo forest, Kalinzu forest, Toro Semuliki wildlife reserve and Ngamba Island sanctuary, and golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga gorilla park. Other activities done in Uganda include game viewing, birding, cultural encounters, boat cruise, and hiking safaris.
Many tour operators include other activities on your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda. They include visiting other wildlife national parks, and cultural encounters making your safari exciting. Most of the activities done after gorilla trekking happens in Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Mburo national park, or Kibale forest national park because they are near the gorilla parks.
Other safari activities to do after gorilla trekking in Uganda
Uganda can be visited anytime of the year however; the best time is to visit the gorilla parks is during the dry season of June to September and December to February. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the forest therefore access roads to the Uganda’s national park and gorilla trekking trails will be dry and passable. The following are the major safari activities to do after gorilla trekking in Uganda;
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is one of the best birding sites in Uganda. The Park is home to over 350 birds with 14 endemics in the area. Bird species in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park include African green broadbill, collared Apalis, mountain masked Apalis, short-tailed warbler, Rwenzori turaco, Angolan swallow, strange weaver, dusky Crimsonwing, finely banded woodpecker, archer’s robin-chat, blue-headed sunbird, Rwenzori batis, yellow-eyed black flycatcher, Kivu ground thrush, Neumann’s warbler, western green tinker bird, red-faced woodland warbler, impressed African emerald, African green broadbill, white-headed saw wing, handsome francolin, stripe-breasted tit, regal sunbird, Grauer’s warbler, montane oriole, dwarf honeyguide, shinning African blue, African citral, white-tailed blue fly, Shelley’s crimson wing, handsome francolin, bar-tailed trogon, and blue-headed sunbird among others.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is home to over 180 bird species and these include Regal sunbird, Kivu ground thrush, black kite, bronze sunbird, speckled mousebird, blue-headed sunbird, Rwenzori batis, African paradise flycatcher, cape robin-chat, banded Prinia, alpine chat, waxbills, Pin-tailed whydah, yellow-billed kite, grey capped warbler, olive thrush, streaky seedeater, blue-headed coucal, bronze sunbird, firefinch, Rwenzori nightjar, double collared sunbird, and Yellow-vented bulbul among others
Golden monkey tracking
Golden monkey trekking is one of the activities that you can combine with gorilla trekking. Golden monkey trekking involves trekking beautiful primates only found on the slopes of Virunga mountains- Sabyinyo, Muhabura, and Gahinga in Mgahinga national park. golden monkey trekking is done by persons above the age of 15 with valid permits from the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The golden monkey trekking costs $60 for both foreign non-residents and foreign residents while East Africans pay UGX40,000. Golden monkey habituation permits cost $100 for both foreign non-residents and foreign residents and for East Africans they pay UGX100,000. Golden monkey trekking starts with a briefing at the park headquarters after which grouping is done and ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle in search of these beautiful primates. after several hours of trekking and allocating these monkeys, trekkers will be given a maximum of 1 hour to be around these primates.
After success full gorilla trekking there is an option of doing chimpanzee trekking in either Kibale forest national park, Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park, and Kalinzu forest. Kibale would be the best option because it has the highest number of chimpanzees in Africa. Kibale forest national park is home to other 13 primates and some of them include red-tailed monkeys, black and white colobus, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, and pottos to mention but a few. The Park is also home to mammals to elephants, duikers, bush pigs, and warthogs among others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale requires one to have a valid permit of which you are advised to book from the Uganda wildlife authority in advance at a fee of $200 foreign non-residents, $1500 foreign residents, and shs150,000 East African citizens. Trekking chimpanzees in Kibale forest national park is done by people aged 15 years and above and these must be free from any infectious disease such as flu and cough. Chimpanzee trekking starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where grouping is done and trekkers are taught rules and regulations of eth activity. ranger guides lead the trekkers into the jungle in search of these gentle apes and on locating them, they are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around them as they learn about their behaviors and take photos.
Game drives and boat cruise
After days of mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park, tourists can do game viewing and boat cruises in the nearest national park of Queen Elizabeth because they happen to be the nearest.
Game viewing in Queen Elizabeth national park is done in the Kasenyi and Ishasha sector of eth park where you get an opportunity to see tree climbing lions found nowhere else in Uganda. Other animals to see on the game drives include lions, elephants, hippos, leopards, buffaloes, Uganda kobs, topis, hyenas, warthogs, bushbucks, and waterbucks among others.
Doing a boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth national park on the Kazinga channel which is the largest in the world joining lake George to Lake Edward introduces you to a school of hippos, crocodiles, water birds such as Fish eagle, papyrus gonolek, martial eagle, black bee-eater, long-tailed cormorant, black crake, martins, little bee-eater, malachite kingfisher, and Nubian woodpecker among others. There are opportunities of seeing different park animals on the shores of the lake most especially in the dry season such as buffaloes, elephants, hippos, and antelopes on the shores of the lake drinking water.
Cultural encounters in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga gorilla park can be done at the Batwa communities who were once living in these parks. The Batwa originally found thick forests of these parks as their home and their main activity were hunting and fruit gathering. They used to kill small animals in the park for food and used to use herbs as their medicine. They were also beekeepers but when the government decided to gazette the park in order to protect the remaining species of mountain gorillas, the Batwa were evicted and had to settle in the areas outside the park.
Batwa trails in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Batwa experience in Mgahinga Gorilla Park are led by people from the Batwa who takes you through different parts of eth park, show you some of the local herds they used to use as medicine, tell stories about how they used to hunt and collect fruits in the forest and they will also showcase their traditional dance and drama as a way of entertaining you. the Batwa were poachers but after being taught about the importance of mountain gorillas they don’t do poaching anymore.