You may come to Uganda to trek the gorillas, but may stay for many other reasons.
Things to do after trekking gorillas in Uganda
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest has 120 species of mammals – including about 30 elephants – 360 species of birds and over 200 species of butterflies.
The African Bird Club voted Bwindi Africa’s number one destination for birders. Even if you don’t know much about birds, I defy you to travel to Uganda without falling in love with them! A dark forest is not the easiest place to spot many birds but a trained bird guide can lure them out of the forest by expertly imitating their songs. Birdwatching is one of the muzungu’s favourite things to do after trekking gorillas in Uganda.
About 324 tree species have been recorded in Bwindi, including shrubs, giant fern trees and vines. Nature walks to see orchids and monkeys and guided birdwatching tours can easily be arranged. A walk to see the series of three waterfalls inside the park is highly recommended. If you have time, you can take the day’s walk from one side of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to the other. Highly recommended
A visit to the impressive Bwindi Community Hospital in Buhoma, majorly funded by its proximity to the centre for gorilla tourism activity, is a great thing to do after trekking the gorillas too. It is an amazing health facility in a poor and remote corner of the world.
Make time to meet the Batwa ‘Pygmies’ the original forest-dwelling tribe, who have given up their traditional home in the National Parks as a result of international pressure to protect the endangered mountain gorillas’ habitat. The Batwa culture is unique. For centuries, they lived and hunted within the forest. Meeting the Batwa, watching how they hunted and seeing their shelters in the trees, gives an intriguing glimpse of an ancient way of life. There are a number of Batwa community projects in Bwindi, Mgahinga and Virunga.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is the only place in Uganda where tourists can see the golden monkeys. I thought this guided trekking experience above the calderas and into the bamboo forest was excellent, and enjoyed it almost as much as seeing the mountain gorillas. It is (surprisingly) less well-known, so you can buy golden monkey permits when you get to Mgahinga.
Uganda has so many activities and things to see and do, you may well regret rushing home.
Game safaris to see elephants and lions, over 1000 bird species, chimp trekking; the friendliest, most welcoming people; lake rides in dugout canoes, hiking volcanoes, white water rafting, visits to village community projects, trying Ugandan food, horse-riding and quad bike safaris, lively African dance displays, boat cruises to view spectacular waterfalls, huge crocodiles and hippo, are just a few of hundreds of attractions Uganda and Rwanda have to offer.
For innovative itineraries and things to do in southwestern Uganda before or after gorilla trekking, check out Gorilla Highlands: community tourism, hiking, canoe trekking.
For gorilla trekking stories and Uganda and Rwanda travel advice, click on the hyperlinks in the Ultimate Guide to Mountain Gorilla Trekking. Still got a question? Contact the Muzungu.