BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST NATIONAL PARK
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a gorilla hub for Gorilla trekking. Bwindi Forest National park has four sectors including Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Buhoma sector.
BUHOMA SECTOR FOR GORILLA TREKKING
Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi in Kanungu district. Buhoma sector is an exceptional region of the park. Most of the tourist’s first inquiry if there is availability in Buhoma sector.
There is a resort of failing to get Gorilla trekking permits in Buhoma because Gorilla permits are issued on first come first serve basis. Buhoma sector has an interesting past and present history, which is the first region to be visited by a group of tourist trekkers to Bwindi Forest.
Each sector in Bwindi has a number of Gorilla families and the oldest of all is Mubare which was habituated in 1992.
Buhoma sector is very outstanding than other region, the best desirable sector for Gorilla trekkers. Buhoma is very accessible in Bwindi impenetrable park. It takes 2hours drive from Kabale town via Kanungu and 4 hours from Ishasha sector area known for tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National park.
Trekking in Buhoma sector is an added advantage for travelers to engage themselves in other activities including game drives in Ishasha, forest walks, communities and many more.
Buhoma can be accesses as well from Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara-Ntungamo-Rukungiri-Buhoma route, other alternative is to fly Kihihi airstrip.
Buhoma sector is a home to three Gorilla families which are already habituated, such as Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja family.
Each Gorilla family in Buhoma sector has a different story to tell. Mubare was first group which was habituated in 1992 its one of the oldest family with 9 members.
Habinyanja habituation in 1997 with 17 members, Rushegura family opened in 2000 the group consists of 19 members.
Buhoma has 24 Gorilla permits that are issued everyday in Buhoma the three gorilla families are visited by 8 people per a day.
Gorilla trekking offers a variety of activities and a number of attractions for trekkers.
Community walk, Batwa trail pygmies these where the first people to inhabit the forest of Bwindi there a lot of things to discover their day to day lifestyle, and Bakiga communities learn a lot of things from home away from home including digging, preparing local food, brewing, babysitting, beers, fruits, and many more Bird watching is a must do in Buhoma sector.
In the Buhoma sector, there are a number of accommodation facilities ranging from luxury, midrange and budget lodges all serving very high-quality services.
The services are very great with amazing quality services which offer excellent services delivered by professional and experienced staff.
Buhoma lodges include mahogany springs lodge, Bwindi forest lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi guest house, Bwindi view bandas, Bwindi volcano lodge and many more to encounter.
Lodges have a connection of shortcuts to the Gorilla trekking headquarters; this makes it easier for travelers to catch up with a short briefing.
Gorilla safari is a lifetime experience in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the lodges and camps make Buhoma the best area for trekking.
RUHIJA SECTOR FOR GORILLA TREKKING
Mountain Gorillas are one of the main reasons for Gorilla trekking in Ruhija sector. The region is home to a total of three Gorilla families including Oruogo, Kyaguiro, and Bitukura. They are all available for trekking. Just like other Gorilla sectors and in other countries inhabiting Mountain Gorillas, there is a strict rule which allows only eight people to trek the mountain Gorillas. There only 24 permits available for trekking in the Ruhija sector.
A gorilla trekker is sometimes asked to select the best region he would wish to trek in the mountain Gorilla as well this might depend on the availability of permits in the region.
Trekkers are encouraged to pack trekking shoes, long pants, rain jackets since the park is a rain forest expects it to rain any time.
Gorilla permits are at a cost of 600USD non-foreign resident’s 500USD well East African residents at 250,000. There is an availability of potters who are available for support well you trek and a cost. You will have packed lunch with you from the lodge since the time for the trek and have an encounter runs from 30mins to 6 hours since its unpredictable; remember these are wild animals they keep moving from one area to another, and also the toughness of the hike, one needs to be physically fit in order to have a better hike.
There are a lot of things to encounter on your trek or in the Bwindi and the sector of the park these include the following:
Batwa pygmy encounter/The Batwa pygmy trail:
This is a visit to the first people who lived in the forest as their habitat. They were evicted from the forest in 1991 when the tourism board was introduced to the park. Learn about their day to day activities, culture lifestyle, hunting, honey collection, use of herbal medicine, traditional lifestyle and many more.
Visit the community projects
In the Ruhija sector, one can choose to volunteer. This is based on projects that are owned by the local people in the areas of the community, learn on their day to day activities as they make baskets, crafts, beekeeping, these projects are established to help on the development of the community. The tourism fund is the source of employment for the local people yet some are farmers, porters and many more.
Tourists have chances to take part in the activities and during the activities, you will gain knowledge of the sector. This helps in improving the standards of living for the people in the community.
The local people enjoy wildlife conservation and sustainable development in Ruhija and Bwindi.
Ruhija is the best spot for bird watching best favorable for bird lovers, the region is home to about 23 endemic birds, these include grey bush shrike, yellow streaked greenbul, hornbills, Dusky crimson, yellow-eyed black flycatcher and many more.
Ruhija is recognized in the Important Bird Area for global conservation importance.
The trekkers are always recommended to bring binoculars for easy spotting of birds. The guides help one to spot birds and explain their unique features. For each bird you have spotted, this is an amazing experience to offer.
Enjoy a forest walk through the nature trails of Bwindi forest. It’s an experience of its kind. The best way to discover the entire forest, waterfalls, caves, rocks and many more. Expect to meet animals and enjoy the sweet sounds of birds singing in the trees.
Ruhija is a very comfortable, safe and luxury lodge with affordable prices.
Ruhija has a number of lodges including Gorilla mist camp, Bakiga lodge, Trekkers Tavern lodges, Agandi lodges and many more.
There many professional chefs, housekeepers, waiters and many more. Accommodations are booked 2 months before travel.
Amazing environment with sounds of the wild, birds especially at night, cold weather in Ruhija this is an attribute to the hilly terrain and dense forests in the region.
Warm water bodies are provided in each room at night this helps to keep warm and away with freeing in the coldness.
Ruhija sector is found in the eastern of Uganda it’s worth a visit, have to face to face interaction with the endangered gorillas in their natural habitat.
MGAHINGA SECTOR FOR GORILLA TREKKING
Mgahinga National Park is located high in clouds, at an altitude of between 2,227m and 4,127 m. Mgahinga National Park was created to protect the habitat for mountain Gorillas inhabiting the dense forests and the dense forests. Mgahinga National Park is also home to the golden monkeys, which are believed to be inhabited only in Uganda.
Aside from Wildlife, the park also has a huge cultural heritage. The indigenous Batwa pygmies were the first people to inhabit the forests with the mountain Gorillas.
Gorilla trekking at Mgahinga National Park.
The atmosphere is adventurous and filled with natural beauty. A day for trekking allows you to go through Mgahinga together with a well-trained guide who is very informed about the forest and its habitats.
Gorilla trekking starts from Ntebeko where Entrance at the gate is at 8 am in the morning and usually, this may take about 4 hours. The rightful time to spend with the mountain Gorillas is one hour.
When is Trekking Mountain Gorillas in the National park best?
The rightful time to visit the place and trek the mountain Gorillas is in the two dry seasons when the area is easily accessed. During this time the thick forests can be penetrated easily the paths are not muddy as during the rainy season.
The dry seasons run from mid-December to end of February and June to October however one can still prefer to trek the mountain Gorillas throughout the year and every season.
By road one can reach the Nkuringo sector from Kampala via kabala to Kisoro a journey of about 8 hours.
By air one can board a plane from Entebbe to Kisoro airstrip, the airstrip is nearby the park this is the quickest way to access the park which is a journey of about 1 hour.
The flights have to scheduled for booking in advance with local Uganda safari operator.
There a number of accommodations in the area that range from luxury, midrange, and budget suits and there are various lodges that are suitable for relaxing and spending the night. Some of the lodges are found in Ntebeko, Kisoro and Lake Mutanda.
In Ntebeko the accommodations are Volcanoes mount Gahinga safari lodges, Amajembere Iwacu camp. The loges in Mutanda include Chameleon hill lodge and Lake Mutanda. Kisoro lodges can offer accommodation at Kisoro Travellers Rest hotel and River Mucha hotel.
NKURINGO SECTOR FOR GORILLA TREKKING
This region is one of the four Gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi including Buhoma sector, Ruhija, and Rushaga.
Nkuringo sector for Gorilla trekking is located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National park. The area is habitat to the famous Nkuringo Gorilla family. The family is headed by Rafiki, and this family is the most fascinating Gorilla family where each individual in the gorilla family is amazing. This gives tourists great attention.
Nkuringo sector gorilla family has a group of 19 members who are joined from Bushaho Gorilla family who crosses from Rushaga sector.
Nkuringo sector gorilla family was the first to be habituated in 1997.
In the sectors of Bwindi impenetrable southern part, Nkuringo is the only sector which has given birth to Gorilla twins in December 2004; this was a big record in Bwindi Impenetrable National park.
This Gorilla group in Nkuringo is known for roaming outside of the park. It has led to the displacement of local people who used to settle in the villages of Nkuringo sector.
In the early 2000s, there was an outbreak of scabies in the Nkuringo gorilla family however it was later cured.
Nkuringo gorilla sector is found on the high altitudes and this makes it more strenuous for the tourists to hike within the impenetrable forest. The sector is recommended for the energetic and physically fit youths who always manage and enjoy the hilly forest.
Nkuringo Gorilla sector neighbors one of the Gorilla families called Nshogi in Rushaga sector which is just like any other habituated Gorilla family. A total of eight people is allowed to trek the Gorillas of Nkuringo gorilla group.
The minimum age limit for Gorilla trekking is 15 years of age and anyone below the age of 15 years is not allowed to trek the mountain Gorilla.
Travel to Nkuringo sector for a great Tour out of the noisy city and enjoy great sceneries of Kabale’s landscape view to Nyiragongo and Nyimuragira of Congo, which provides a wonderful view in the sky. During the time in which they erupted in 2010, those who visited enjoyed to the maximum.
Accessibility to Nkuringo sector.
To get to Nkuringo, one goes via the Kabale-Kisoro road. If one uses a bus, the journey can last for 11-12 hours.
The junction takes 45 kilometers which are about 3 hours. One can as well use the route via Buhoma through Kihihi or Butogota, but this is more tiresome and its better hiring a private vehicle provided by a tour company.
Nkuringo Gorilla trekking has a number of activities included apart from Gorilla trekking, i.e. Bird watching, Hiking, and cultural encounters.
Birding in Nkuringo sector
Nkuringo Gorilla sector is not one to be missed out when it comes to viewing the beautiful bird species. The sector provides one of the best sceneries for bird watching as compared to other sectors.
Therefore for those who prefer birdwatching, they will have a chance to canoe at Lake Mutanda using a wooden paddle, enjoy viewing the various colorful bird species, amazing sceneries of Virunga volcanoes in Uganda and Rwanda border.
Hike in Nkuringo region of Bwindi impenetrable
Trekking in Nkuringo sector in Buhoma the next morning enjoy a nature walk through an impenetrable forest as you pass via the Ivy,Kishasha and enjoy the fantastic views which are within the forest. These include spotting of bird species as they sing in the air, spotting primates such as monkeys and many more with them as they swing from tree to tree. It’s an amazing encounter in the forest.
Visit the local people of the area, have lunch with them, continue with the nature walks to the village of Batwa and Bakiga local people, the Batwa people were the first to inhabit the forest ,you will encounter a number of various cultural activities including cultural performances in songs and dance, visit the local healer who extracts medicine from plants, observe making various art, craft materials including baskets, mats, bags, sandals and many more talented local people.
Discover more activities of the Batwa pygmies such as hunting, fishing enjoy storytelling about their past life.
Nkuringo region of Bwindi has the most favorable facilities including Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo safari budget, Nkuringo Gorilla camp; they provide delicious meals for a sweet taste.
Nkuringo is the fantastic sceneries at Nkuringo where activities are carried out, believing the visit to Nkuringo sector that leaves you with amazing memories to experience.
RUSHAGA SECTOR FOR GORILLA TREKKING
Rushaga sector for Gorilla trekking is located in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There 5 Gorilla families in Rushaga and this is the only sector for Gorilla habituation. The sector can be closest accessed through Rwanda in a 4 Hours’ Drive.
Rushaga is also the best area for Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the only area permitted for habituation experience for four hours with the mountain Gorillas, hiking such as the waterfall hike and cultural interactive experiences. It’s an amazing encounter away from home.
Rushaga sector for Gorilla trekking is nearby Nkuringo area, and it has the biggest number of Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
The southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest is the best area for viewing the scenic areas of the park. The lodges have been created in the area since there very many choices around the sector including Rushaga Gorilla camp, Gorilla safari lodge, Gorilla havens lodge, Gorilla valley lodge and many more.
There about 8 Gorilla families in Rushaga. It takes a maximum of 4-hour drive from Kigali and Gorilla permits cost 600 USD lesser than for Rwanda which costs 1500 USD.
Rushaga Gorilla sector is the best area to encounter your lifetime trek. There more permits for trekking Gorillas in Rushaga than any other sector. You can as well choose to join the researchers for gorilla habituation. It’s a 4-hour experience with the Gorillas and only 4 people are allowed, unlike the gorilla trekking activity where 8 people are allowed to trek the Gorilla and only given 1 hour with the mountain Gorillas.
The permits for Gorilla habituation in Rushaga cost 1,500 USD while gorilla trekking costs 600 USD only.
Gorilla habituation experience is not to be missed. It’s only done in Uganda and Rushaga area of the park.
One can access the Sector from Entebbe airport in Uganda to Rushaga sector of Bwindi, it takes the only 3-hour drive from Kigali airport to Rushaga area.
Fly into Rwanda and trek the Gorillas in Uganda, the visitors trekking the Mountain Gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda have a lot to spot. Most clients find it amazing choice to fly in from Rwanda to Uganda.
Lodging in Rushaga and Nkuringo area
There are many choices of accommodation in Rushaga-Nkuringo, these have increased over the years, they range from upmarket, moderate and budget lodges.
The lodges include Clouds mountain Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla camp, Gorilla safari lodge, Chameleon hill lodge and many more.
The other lodges in the area such as Gorilla Valley lodge, Bwindi Gorilla lodge, Mutanda Lake Resort, Bwindi jungle lodge Lake Mulehe.
The Travelers Rest Hotel is in the town of Kisoro.
Hike the trails in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Forest, the trails may take 3-hour trail this combines, nature, local history, and culture.
Kara Ridge Trail is moderate with very amazing difficulty panoramic views of beautiful sceneries, local culture, visiting the Batwa people and many more. There many very many views in Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda.
There very many trailheads beginning and ending in Kisoro one can as well enjoy canoe across Lake Mutanda.
Cultural Activities in the Rushaga – Nkuringo Areas:
One activity not to miss is the Buniga Forest Walk with the Batwa Pygmies who have lived in the area for over 500,000 years and were the original people of the Forest.
There are Village Walks, Home Visits – hands-on Craft activities – the list is boundless.
Be sure to buy some locally made arts and crafts to take home. It will benefit you and also the ones who made it and give income to their families.
If you are interested in more cultural activities, including dancing, drumming, jewelry making and like, let us know and we will facilitate your request.
The Buniga Forest Walk is a great way to get to know the Batwa People – the first People of the Forest.