3 Unique Ways to Experience Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi is said to support the largest biodiversity of any East African forest. This means you can enjoy the tranquility of the forest and also see different monkey species.
Here are three additional ways you can enjoy your trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park;
1 A Cozy Stay at Mahogany Springs Lodge
Mahogany springs lodge is a luxury lodge on the northern part of Buhoma village. It is a splendid resting place after you go gorilla tracking. It has colorful walls and ceilings lined with neatly stacked dried banana fiber. Our two night stay here left me fascinated by their uniquely designed main building and cottages with panoramic views of the local land facing the forest.
The reception area included a gift shop, which opened out to the separate lounge and bar. A large decking area for outside dining, allows you to savor views of the picturesque hills and farm-land.
The stone-pathways leading to my room were guided by blooming flowers and plants with little birds singing.My cottage, called Henry had vast hill views with a small veranda where I sat to take it all in.
Another memorable feature was the excellent shower, with well packaged aromatherapy shower gel and lotion adding a pleasant touch. I can’t stress the value of a proper shower with good pressure and hot water after an activity-filled day.
Mahogany Springs lodge also has a small river running through it, where children come and collect water. This coupled with the bright gardens welcomes several birds flying around. About 190 bird species have been recorded in the Buhoma area and with the new Bird View cottage, I got to sit on the patio and observe some birds here before my hearty breakfast.
The lodge grows a lot of their own fruit and vegetables. We had delicious three course meals, served by equally delightful waiters. I especially enjoyed the mixed garden salad and pasta. WIFI is also available in the main building and rooms.
2 Support Local Women and Take Guided Walks around Buhoma
RIDE 4 A WOMAN is a local project setup to provide local widows with different vocational skills. They then earn money through sewing, basket weaving, modern agriculture methods and bike mechanics. Guests from Mahogany Springs lodge get to spend the day with the women and work with them. (This blog is centered on empowering African women to live life boldly, so this project sparked my interest 🙂
Ride 4 a Woman was founded in 2009 by Evelyn Habasa and Denis Rubalema. It is located just before the hospital in Buhoma and 2 kilometers from Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They also run Bwindi Community Homestay, under the domestic violence programme. For sustainability, it is also used as an accommodation facility.
Guided Walks around Buhoma
Another great way to explore the Bwindi is to take a guided walk. Guides around this area are knowledgeable and can help you find more animals than you would expect. If you are more interested in seeing birds on your walk, ask for recommendations at the UWA office for a guides experienced in bird-watching.
- If you would like to appreciate the scenery and see some monkeys take the three hour Water fall Trail that leads for 2km leading to the Munyanga River to the 33m-high waterfall.
- For good views across to the Virunga Mountains, take the Mazubijiro Loop trail and Rushara Hill trail, that both take about three hours.
- For a longer walk take the eight hour Ivo River walk for a chance to see monkeys, duikers and birds.
3 Shop and dance!
An excellent way to support the local artists and business in Buhoma village is browse through the roadside craft shops. You can find some souvenirs to take back home and remind you of your experience at Bwindi. You will also be welcomed by dancing from the cheerful children/women when you visit them
You can visit Bwindi Plus, a school set up by a staff member at Mahogany Springs, Bwindi Eco Children, the Batwa Women’s Organization and Bwindi Orphan’s group.
Have you visited Bwindi Impenetrable National Park? What was you experience like? I’d love to hear all about it 🙂 Are there additional activities you would recommend?