Small-Group Tours
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Local Communities, Canoeing, Coffee-Making, & Monkey Trekking

These national parks have so much more to offer than just the mountain gorilla treks, spend an extra day in the area to learn more about the history of the local people on the Batwa Trail Cultural Tour or by visiting a village of the Mabungo community in Kisoro. Explore the other hidden gem of Bwindi, Lake Mutanda, in a traditional, dugout canoe and paddle between the lake’s 15 islands. Spend a few hours with small-scale, local farmers on a coffee-making experience. Or explore more of the area’s wildlife on the golden monkey trek in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

These community experiences are a means for Bamboo Ecotours to promote responsible tourism and generate a positive social impact from the growing ecotourism in the Bwindi-Mgahinga conservation area. Note that the revenue collected from local activities goes directly to the local families. By undertaking a community tour, you are directly supporting the welfare of communities living adjacent to the gorilla parks.

A golden monkey clings to a bamboo branch.

Golden Monkey Trekking in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  • Duration: 5 hours
  • Cost: $100 USD per person for the permit, paid directly to Uganda Wildlife Authority

Track these unique, magical creatures that are unique to the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa. You will depart the lodge in the morning and drive to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, located 49 km north of Bwindi National Park. The drive time between Bwindi and Mgahinga is 2.5 hours, from Lake Mutanda to Mgahinga is 1.5 hours, and 1 hour from Kisoro town. You will trek the golden monkeys in the morning and then return to Kigali. Alternatively, drive back to the lodge in Kisoro town or in the Lake Mutanda area. The golden monkey trek starts at 8:00 am at the Ntebeko gate, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Headquarters.

Three Batwa men play instruments and dance.

Batwa Trail Cultural Tour, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Cost: $80 USD per person for the permit, paid directly to Uganda Wildlife Authority

This tour takes you to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to explore how the indigenous Batwa communities lived in the gorilla forests before eviction in the early 1990s. Trained Batwa cultural guides will lead the cultural experience and showcase the ancestral practices such as hunting, fruit gathering, fire making, and the construction of grass thatched huts. The tour ends with an exploration of Garama cave, a site where the ancient Batwa king used to reside. At the cave entrance, you will find Batwa singing songs of grief and sorrow for the loss of the forest lands.

The Batwa, who are no longer able to access the forests for economic survival, struggle to meet necessities for daily life. The income collected from the Batwa cultural visit supports Batwa families to get basic household necessities. The tour starts at 9:00 am at Ntebeko gate, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Headquarters.​

A group of Batwa people gather for a photo in green tunics on the green hills of Uganda.

Visit a Batwa Community Village

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Cost: $30 USD per person

Learn about the Batwa community with a visit to one of the villages and learn about their everyday practices and traditions. Unlike the Batwa Cultural Trail Tour, this tour goes to the heart of the modern-day Batwa community. Learn about the tragic history that has shaped their current way of life. This is a unique experience and an opportunity to support one of Uganda’s marginalized groups.

A traditional dug out wooden canoe on Lake Mutanda.

Canoe Trekking at Lake Mutanda

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $30 USD per person

Get to know Uganda’s mountain-locked Lake Mutanda in a traditional, dugout canoe. Paddle out at sunrise or sunset to discover the lake’s many islands and rich diversity of wildlife. Glide alongside otters and rare species of birds, all the while enjoying the spectacular views of the Virunga Mountain range.

Guests enjoy a cup of coffee on their Uganda coffee making experience.

Coffee-Making Experience

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Cost: $30 USD per person

​Compliment your gorilla tracking experience with a coffee-making tour. Spend a few hours with small-scale farmers near Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The coffee farm is a five-minute drive from Kisoro’s center and owned by a local farmer called Peter.

Through the coffee tour, you will learn how to dig, weed, and harvest organic coffee in an authentic farming environment. You will get involved and learn about the process from seedlings to cup. You can also take part in picking, pounding, roasting, grinding, and drinking coffee. The skills and knowledge needed by farmers will bring a new appreciation to your coffee drinking habits.

Women of the Mabungo cultural tour balance baskets on their heads.

Mabungo Community Village Tour, Kisoro

  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Cost: 30 USD per person which includes transport from downtown Kisoro to the village

The Mabungo Community Village Tour is an optional activity to do after gorilla trekking at Bwindi National Park in Uganda. The village tour introduces you to the local culture by taking you to the beating heart of the community and inviting you to participate in daily life activities, from preparing local food to celebrations with traditional folklore. The proceeds from the village tour go directly to the local community.

Mabungo is a small village situated in Kisoro district among green rolling hills: a 30-minute drive from Kiroro town; one hour from Mgahinga Gorilla National Park; and, two hours from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, making it the ideal addition to a day of gorilla tracking.

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