The south-western part of Uganda is known as ''Little Switzerland'' , a lush, mountainous region dotted with freshwater lakes, which makes it the perfect base for a number of activities beyond gorilla tracking. The area is great for walking, hiking, mountain biking, cultural village tours, bird watching or water sport activities.
The forested peninsula of the resort and the surrounding lake attracts a wide variety of birds. There is first-of-all Uganda’s National Bird: the grey-crowned crane, but we also see pelicans on the lake and the noisy Hadada ibis feeding on the shore. In the nearby swamp and on the islands one can find the African spoonbill and the sacred ibis. Raptor birds like kites, buzzards and hawks circle in the sky and the colourful sunbirds and busy weaverbirds can be spotted throughout the day. The lake is also home to the African clawless otter, which can be frequently seen from your veranda. Lake Mutanda is one of the few lakes in Uganda that is bilharzias-free and therefore safe for swimming or to experience a ride in a traditional dug-out canoe just like the local fishermen. If you do not feel like paddling, you can also enjoy a sunset boat cruise on our motorized pontoon boat.
For those wanting to see more of the region, a two-day hiking and canoeing trip to nearby Mulehe and Bunyonyi lakes can be organized through the resort with prior arrangement. Spectacular hikes in and around the Virunga Volcanoes can be organized through the Uganda Wildlife Association office in Kisoro.
BIRD SUNDOWNER (boat); 2 hours by canoe; 1 hour by motorboat
Contemplate your day as you enjoy a nice drink whilst listening to the enganga traditional guitar and relax watching birds.
$35 1 person, $5 per additional person by motorboat. $20 1 person, $5 per additional person by canoe.
MUKOZI VILLAGE LAKE TRIP (boat & walking); 3-4 hours
After Kyangushu Island with an ancestral burial place you will anchor near the picturesque village of Mukozi. You will be warmly welcomed by the children of the nursery school, pay a visit to a craft maker and a traditional healer and finally stop for a sip of something outrageous in the local bar.
$45 1 person, $10 per additional person by motorboat. $25 1 person, $10 per additional person by canoe.
MUKOZI VILLAGE ROAD TRIP (walking); 2 hours
The same program as the Mukozi Village Lake Trip, without the boat ride.
$20 1 person, $5 per additional person
LAKE MULEHE TRIP (boat & walking); 6-7 hours
The boat takes you to Kyangushu Island where in former days the ancestors were buried. Back on the mainland the children of the nursery school will give a short performance. After the school visit, an experienced local fisherman will explain his ways of catching fish. Your local lunch will be served in the village , where you will also see a craft maker at work. The trip will end with a visit to a traditional healer.
$30 1 person, $10 per additional person by motorboat. $20 1 person, $10 per additional person by canoe.
MUTANDA ISLAND TRIP (boat); 3-4h; 2h motorboat
Your ride to the burial place of Kyangushu will be followed by Mutanda Island, the biggest and the only inhabited one. On a clear day it offers views of Bunagana (Congo border), Lake Mulehe and Bwindi NP. On a Sunday you can dance with the 70 villagers in their church
$50 1 person, $5 per additional person by motorboat. $20 1 person, $5 per additional person by canoe.
*Please note that considerable proceedings go to the community
Batwa Trail and Garama Cave
A new tourism trail, result of a collaboration between the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the United Organisation for Batwa Development in Uganda, is helping the indigenous Batwa pygmy people to keep their culture alive, following their eviction from the forests of southwest Uganda more than two decades ago. The Batwa are Uganda’s traditionally forest-dwelling pygmy people. About a century ago, there was a conflict between the Batwa and the Bantu speaking people in the region. The Bantu tried to expel the Batwa people from the area, so they hideout in Garama Cave. The Bantu had no idea there was a hidden cave in the forest and therefore could not find the crafty Batwa. Your guide will explain how the Batwa lived and fought out of this cave. The cave is 342 meters in length and 14 meters deep, and is now only inhabited by bats, The walk to and from the cave passes through mountain woodland with plenty of opportunity to enjoy the scenery or watch birds ($80,- pp, including Mgahinga NP fee).
Difficulty: Moderate - Hiking time: 3 - 4 hours – Distance: 3 km – Elevation gain: Very little
Hike in Sabinyo Gorge (‘’where it is always wet’’):
This hike takes you deep into Sabinyo’s lush gorge. It is moist, with thick vegetation and there is a beautiful moss-lined stream along the walk. This trail reveals the true height of Mount Sabinyo. At the end of the gorge you find yourself looking straight up at the peaks. With the peaks up and a small waterfall by your side, the end of the gorge is a great spot for a rest. Keep your binoculars ready! The gorge is one of the best birding spots of the park. Look for the Rwenzori Turaco, Duikers, and Golden Monkeys ($70,- pp, including Mgahinga NP fee).
Difficulty: Moderate - Hiking time: 4 - 5 hours – Distance: 6 km – Elevation gain: Little
Climb Mount Muhavura (‘’The guide’’):
Seen from all over the Kisoro district, Mount Muhavura truly acts as a guide. Towering above the land, this typical cone shaped volcano provides some of the best views in Uganda. On a clear day one can see all the other Virunga volcanoes, Lake Edward in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi and the peaks of the Rwenzori Mountains. Muhavura does not have the thick forest that Mgahinga and Sabinyo offer. Much of the climb is gradual incline up a rocky surface covered by grasses and small shrubs. The low vegetation gives you excellent views of the area throughout the day. At the top (4127 meter) you are awarded wit fine views over Congo and Rwanda, and a clear crater lake about 36 meter wide. Look out for scarlet-tufted malachite sunbirds among the giant lobelias (60,- pp, including park fees).
Difficulty: tough, very steep! - Hiking time: 8 - 10 hours – Distance: 12 km – Elevation gain: 1700 m.
Climb Mount Sabinyo (‘’Old Man’s Teeth’’)
Mount Sabinyo offers three challenging peaks to climb. The trail takes you up a ridge along the Eastern side of peak 1. If you wish to continue, the climb to peak 2 involves walking a ridge with breath taking drops into the gorges of Rwanda and Uganda. Finally, the hike up to peak 3 is steep with several ladders and much scrambling. You are sure to get your hands dirty en route to peak 3. On top of peak 3 (3669 meter) you will be in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo at the same time! The Sabinyo hike takes you through all different vegetation belts, and you have good chances of seeing Golden Monkeys, Duikers, Rwenzori Turaco and Sunbirds ($60,- pp, including park fees).
Difficulty: tough, very steep! - Hiking time: 8 - 10 hours – Distance: 14 km – Elevation gain: 1300 m.
Golden Monkey trekking
Mgahinga forest national park provides the best site to encounter wild golden monkeys in their natural environment. The park also rewards the presence amidst the three of the mighty virunga ranges in Uganda. Trekking golden monkeys in their bamboo forest of Mgahinga national park is unforgettable since it also rewards visitors the view of different bird, unique tree species, butter flies, the beautiful mountainous relief among others.
Mgahinga is among the smaller parks with many different activities like Gorilla trekking, birding, mountain climbing, cave exploration, Batwa community visit- also known as the keepers of the forest. Mgahinga golden monkeys are habituated and are used to human beings -therefore, are not harmful to human beings however, the visitors should be able to take photos at the fastest speed.
(regular tracking (1 hour) $90 pp, including park fees - Habituation tracking (4 hours) $140 pp, including park fees)