Nkuringo Walking Adventures

Meaningful adventures on foot

These off-the-beaten adventures connect you with the people and the rural landscape.


We've been offering these exciting off-the-beaten-path adventures to our guests since our journey began sixteen years ago. These experiences made us fall in love with the humble people and the gorgeous rural landscape and continue bonding hundreds of guests that visit us every year.

Nkuringo, located in the southern sector of Bwindi, is not only famous for its intense mountain gorilla tracking experience but also for its off-the-beaten-track hiking trails that many seasoned hikers have explored. Top travel magazines such as Conde Nest and Lonely Planet have recognized this part of the world as one of the best hiking spots.

To celebrate this elevation, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge and its parent company, Nkuringo Walking Safaris, offer exciting walking adventures that allow guests to connect with the rural land and people. These walking adventures are perfect for anyone staying with us for more than one night.

The Ivy River Trail (13 km, 4-6 hours)

This Ivy River trail is the oldest route through the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and an important footpath for locals traveling from Nteko to Buhoma, particularly on market days.

There are three ways to hike the Ivy River trail: the first one leaves Nkuringo, walking 8 kilometers to Nteko village, and another 5 kilometers down the steep valley to Ivy River and back. The second starts at the Nteko outpost, 8 km from Nkuringo, where your driver would have dropped you, and you'll hike down the valley to the river and back. The third one is the most interesting, starting from Nteko, down the valley, and across the jungle to the Buhoma sector on the northern side of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

The trail puts you in the center of beautiful rural landscapes with several viewpoints overlooking lush mist-shrouded valleys before snaking into the jungle over the Ivy River, where monkeys, duikers, bush pigs, and some of Bwindi's world-renowned bird and butterfly species can be sighted.

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The Kashasha River Trail (17 km, 6-7 hrs)

The Kashasha River trail starts at the Nkuringo Sector. It meanders gently through the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the park's boundary, with several viewpoints overlooking lush mist-shrouded valleys. The trail then penetrates the jungle to find the Kashasha River and walk along the river for an hour.

The meditative walk along the Kashsha River with calming sounds of babbling brooks and the natural soothing melodies of the forest will leave you relaxed enough to finish the second half of the walking trail.

One can take an around trail going back to the Nkuringo sector or continue the route to the Buhoma sector. The latter is preferred by most birders and hikers coming from Buhoma to stay in Nkuringo or coming from Nkuringo to connect to Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Buhoma sector.

The Buniga Forest Trail (3 hrs)

The Buniga Forest Trail showcases the symbiotic relationship the Batwa pygmies had with the Bwindi jungle before they were ousted to turn the forest into a protected reserve. To reveal their unique heritage and traditions to the world, the Batwa people, through their community organization NCCDF take tourists into their small pocket forests, showcasing their historical nomadic cultures when they occupied the jungles.

Guests walk an hour to a Batwa-enacted settlement. Here, they'll observe how the women prepare, cook and serve a meal. They'll engage with medicine men, learn about the lush forest flora's medicinal properties, and hear ancient legends and traditional songs. They'll learn about the Batwa's fascinating way of life, from religion to their food gathering and hunting techniques, and how they made fires from rubbing sticks.

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Suma Waterfall Trail (4 to 5 hrs)

Suma waterfall is a 50-meter waterfall hidden away at the edge of Suma village, about 7 kilometers from the Lodge. The waterfall rumbles on the edge of the village to stream a river through a family-owned valley across the village, the sight of which is a magnificent wonder.

It's not just the waterfall that would take guests to Suma but the raw experience of walking through the beautiful landscapes and the communities. The vibrance of the village and kids chanting for a "haroo" (hello) will lift anyone's spirits. There's a man famous for marrying 16 wives in that village; you might hear something about him or even visit his home.

Bird Watching Trails (2-6 hrs)

Nkuringo sector, south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, offers some of the best montane-forest birding in Africa. A birding foray of 350 species that fly through and up the forest canopy will delight birding nerds in ticking off this list on a 2-3 hour excursion hosted by an expert guide.

It is a journey of discovery, traversing along winding trails framed by exotic and emerald vegetation through this ancient jungle and outside undulating terraced farms on the slopes of rugged western Uganda.

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Community Walks (2-3 hrs)

Organized by Walking Safari Guides, the village walk sets off at 09:00 or earlier from your Lodge, going through a misty waking town with the word 'gorilla' on all business names written at the top of the entrances.

Off the main road and onto a small path, you'll follow your guide into a village spread across a valley with impressive structures popping up the hillside. The homesteads built on hills are pretty impressive, with a blanket of Bwindi swathe painting the fore drop. These meditative moments will capture a guest's undistracted attention till they're woken up by jubilant kids shouting "Mzungu."

Guests can visit a local homestead and witness their daily home activities like preparing meals, and coffee, fetching water for home use, gardening, and listening to some of their stories. Observe the local sorghum beer production, see the local blacksmith at work, and visit the Women's craft center.

Bwindi Buffer Zone Walk (2-3 hours)

A buffer zone is a transition zone between Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the cultivated areas where the people live. Nowadays, a lot of tea is grown in the buffer zone because gorillas do not like tea; therefore, they go back into the forest instead of eating whatever they can find in the farmers' gardens. This walk is excellent for birding and learning about the rural farming communities.

Nombe Forest Pocket (5-6 hours)

The pocket forest was part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is still quite impenetrable. It was cut off from the forest as people needed more land to live on and cultivate.

The guided walking trail takes around 2 hours to get there, 2 hours on the edge of the forest, and 2 hours to walk back. The walk takes you through beautiful little farming villages. Nombe Pocket Forest trail is exceptional for birding.

Lake Mutanda Canoeing Excursion (3-6 hours)

The Lake Mutanda Trail from Kisoro is a favorite, with guests flying in on the early morning scheduled flight. It starts from Kisoro Town, 10 minutes from the airport, where guests have their first cup of local coffee and briefing with the walking guide.

From here, the trail walks through communities, schools, villages, and steeply terraced gardens. The walking guide will usually take you to a coffee plantation farm, where you learn the traditional process of making coffee from the plantation to the cup. However, the coffee tour is an extra activity: charged separately and done on request.

With gorgeous landscape views of the rural landscape and the shy Virunga Mountains, the trail descends to the Lake Mutanda boat landing site. Here, guests step into traditional dug-out canoes led by local fishermen and a walking guide for a 2-3-hour canoeing challenge on the beautiful calm waters of Lake Mutanda. At the end of the canoe experience, guests walk through the communities and villages of Bwindi outskirts until they meet their driver to transfer them to the Lodge.