Uganda is a cultural melting pot with about 56 tribes with some having unique languages and dialects. This trip will bring you close to the Batwa, an indigenous tribe that is believed to be the original inhabitants of the forests in the Albertine region and the Virunga volcanoes found in DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. You will also choose to hike one of the three virunga mountains (Mt Sabyinyo, Mt Gahinga or Mt Muhabura).
Day 1: Arrive at Airport – Transfer to Mgahinga
We recommend you arrive through Kigali airport in Rwanda. Thereafter our professional guide will welcome you and transfer you to Kisoro Uganda at the base of the Virunga Volcanoes after a briefing on your trip. Enjoy winding roads of the ‘thousand hills’ and magnificent views of the Volcanoes from your lodge in Uganda. Stay at Mt Gahinga Lodge (Up Market), Lake Mulehe Safari lodge (Mid-range), Mucha Lodge (Budget).
Day 2: The Batwa Culture Trail Experience
Today you spend the day in Mgahinga gorilla national park experiencing the beautiful Batwa culture. The Batwa culture trail in the park gives you an opportunity to learn about their unique cultural heritage as the forest indigenous inhabitants. The Batwa Elders will accompany you and share amazing information about their culture and lifestyle while they lived in the forest – they will demonstrate their hunting skills and vast knowledge of medicinal plants. They will share how they co-existing with the animals in this forest before it was taken over by the cultivators and later gazzeted to be a national park. The highlight of this experience is the Ngarama cave and traditional music and dance.
Day 3: Hike the Muhabura, Sabyinyo or Gahinga Volcanoes
Home to three of the Virunga volcanoes that have great hiking trails. Gahinga in the local dialect means ‘pile of stones’ offers a gentler hike compared to the other two through the bamboo forest and marshy craters at the peak. The lower slopes are rich with forest birds and the marshes near the summit are home to the bushbuck, buffaloes, forest elephants and elusive duiker.
Muhabura is the most challenging peak in the park. In the local dialect it known as ‘Muhabura’ which means ‘the guide’. The hike will take most of the day, but the adventurous are rewarded with great sense of accomplishment and – on a good day – spectacular views of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.
Sabyinyo volcano is a hike taken by those who are physically fit and quite adventurous. ‘Sabyinyo’ is translated ‘old man teeth’ because of its formation. It is a one day hike with its summit being the border of Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo. In fact once at the summit you will be in all three countries at one go offering great views of all three countries.
Day 4: Return to Kigali for your Departure flight
Today after an experience exploring Mgahinga national gorilla park, you will be picked up by your driver guide to start the journey to Kigali for your departure flight. Alternatively you can choose to extend your safari and take on a gorilla trek or golden monkey trek or visit another national park.