All about Gorilla Trekking Sectors in Bwindi Forest
All about Gorilla Trekking Sectors in Bwindi Forest : Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is a wonderful park located in
south western part of Uganda. The park hosts half of the worlds remaining
mountain gorillas with 20 fully habituated gorilla families and 1 in Mgahinga
Gorilla National Park hence making 21 habituated gorillas in Uganda.
Bwindi forest has four gorilla trekking sectors and one of it hosts semi-
habituated families where the habituation experience can be done
The four sectors include; Buhoma sector, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo
sector. Travelers from Kigali can as well do Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
Forest because it is a short distance, connecting to Cyanika border straight
to the forest only goes for 2 to 3 hours. Catch a glimpse of the mesmerizing
landscape in the land of a thousand hills (Rwanda) as driving to the
breathtaking pearl of Africa.
Gorilla trekking sectors of Bwindi Forest in details
Buhoma trekking sector
This sector leads as it is the major trekking sector located in the northern
part of the park. The sector is home to 3 habituated gorilla groups and they
include; the mubare family that was the first to be habituated in 1992
making it one of the oldest communities with 9 members. Habinyanja gorilla
family opened up in 1997 with 17 members and Rushegura opened up in
2000 with 19 members.
Buhoma trekking sector is the most exclusive and every traveler’s first
choice because it is easy to trek gorillas here than in any other sector.
However, it should be noted that since this is favored by many travelers
then permits for Buhoma trekking sector are on a higher chance to run out
due to the increasing demand each and every day. There are 24 gorilla
permits offered by the Uganda Wildlife Authority every day to only 8 people
per sector. Therefore, we advise travelers to book a gorilla permit in
advance that is 6 months before the day of your travel. In this your chances
of getting to trek in Buhoma trekking sector the best are so high as first
come first serve is the order of the day.
Where to stay when in Buhoma trekking sector
There are several ultimate accommodation facilities in buhoma with super
wonderful customer service ranging from budget, midrange and luxury. It is
crucial to note that you should always get accommodation in the particular
sector you are to trek from to catch time especially for briefing before the
trek begins. Therefore, lodges in buhoma include;
- Mahogany Springs-luxury
- Buhoma lodge-up market luxury
- Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp-luxury
- Engage lodge-up market
- Silverback lodge- up market
- Haven lodge-midrange
- Buhoma rest camp- budget
Other activities to enjoy in buhoma trekking sector
Besides gorilla trekking in buhoma, there are other fascinating activities you
should not miss out and they include; community walk, garb a chance to
visit the Batwa people, enjoy their cultures and traditions, arts and crafts
which you can purchase to support them. Watch them do their daily
activities like; mothers baby-sitting, digging, brewing, preparing local food,
harvesting, grazing cattle among others. Delight in bird watching for there
are various colorful bird species in buhoma trekking sector among other
Rushaga trekking sector
Rushaga is the second-best trekking sector in Bwindi Forest situated in the
southern area of the park near Nkuringo sector and can be accessed easily
from Rwanda. This awesome sector hosts the biggest number of gorilla
families and they are about 8. They include; kahungye family hosting 12,
Mishaya featuring 10 members, Nshongi with 8, Busingye has 10, Bikingi
with 18, Rwigi having 10, Mucunguzi hosting 10 and Bweza gorilla family
having 11 members, two of them have been appointed for the habituation
This is the only sector where gorilla habituation process is carried out in
Bwindi Forest national park. Gorilla habituation is a massive adventurous
activity you should not miss out on a Uganda safari. This is a gradual
gentle process of taming gorillas to get used to human presence in their
natural environment. It should be noted that habituation is only done in
Uganda and in Rushaga sector. In the gorilla habituation, you get to spend
4 hours with the gorillas unlike trekking where only 1 hour is offered.
Rushaga sector offers over 64 permits on a daily sell, this makes it unique
from others that only offer 24 gorilla permits and makes gorilla trekking in
this particular sector so reliable. However, you should still book your permit
6 months before traveling no matter the sector you prefer. A gorilla
habituation permit is US$1500 for foreign non residents only 4 travelers ae
allowed per day. It is in Rushaga sector (southern part of the park) where
travelers grab a chance to get a clear view of Bwindi Forest.
Accommodation in Rushaga sector
There are several options when it comes to accommodations in Rushaga
trekking sector from budget, midrange as well as luxury. These lodges
include; Clouds Mountain Lodge, Chameleon Hill lodge, Gorilla safari
lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp among others.
Nkuringo Trekking sector
Just as Rushaga, Nkuringo sector is too located in the southern part of
Bwindi Forest. Nkuringo trekking sector is home to only one gorilla family
headed by a silverback called “Rafiki”. This gorilla family was habituated in
1997 and consists of 19 members who are all exciting hence leaving all
travelers that have done the activity in Nkuringo full of over flowing joy
(travelers call it the best gorilla family in the forest). However much this
gorilla family is fine and exciting, trekking from Nkuringo is really
exhausting because the sector is located on a high altitude. Therefore,
gorilla trekking in nkuringo sector is for the strong and travelers in good
health, this particular sector is recommended for youths in most cases.
Other activities in Nkuringo sector
While in nkuringo sector, there are more activities you can delight in part
from gorilla trekking and they include; birding, get an opportunity to spot
colorful bird species in this sector, hike along kishasha and ivy trails and
here, enjoy the breathtaking view of the forest. You can also tour around
the community as visiting natives and learning about their interesting
cultures and traditions
Accommodation facilities in Nkuringo trekking sector
Mutanda Eco Community Centre, Nshongi camp, Bwindi Backpackers
lodge (are all budget lodges). Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge, Nkuringo
Bwindi Gorilla Lodge (luxury lodges). It should be noted that some luxury
lodges can be offered to a traveler at a mid-range cost.
Ruhija trekking sector
This is another hysterical gorilla trekking sector situated in the eastern side
of Bwindi Forest. The sector harbors 3 fully habituated gorilla communities
such as Oruzogo, Kyaguliro and Bitukura family. The sector stands on a
height of 2,350 above the sea level hence making it the coldest trekking
sector in all and 24 gorilla permits are issued here.
Ruhija is the best sector when it comes to birding, here you get chance to
spot birds like; yellow eyed black flycatcher, yellow streaked greenbul,
hornbills, dusky crimson and so many more. During the Ruhija trekking,
you have an opportunity to come across the forests’ other beautiful natural
wonders like; caves, waterfalls, rocks, unique tree species among others.
Accommodation in Ruhija
Budget lodges- Bakiga Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Mist
Camp, Broadbill Forest Camp. Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge can as well be
mid-range however there are no luxury lodges in Ruhija.
Cost of a gorilla permit in Uganda
It is crucial to note that you can not do gorilla trekking in Uganda without a
For foreign nonresidents, a permit costs US$700 per trek per person
Foreign residents can get it at US$600 each person per trek
East African citizens’ costs UGX 250,000 each person (Uganda, Tanzania,
Kenya, Burundi South Sudan and Rwanda).
Here is the packing list below for a gorilla safari in Uganda
Gorilla permits and passports
You will be asked to present your valid passport and gorilla permit before
trekking. Do not forget other valuable documents like yellow fever card,
visa and always travel with a passport that is not about to expire.
Clothes to pack for a gorilla safari include; a pair of long socks and long
trousers, water proof jacket and long-sleeved shirts, Warm clothes will keep
you warm because the forest is cold, long-sleeved shirts and trousers
protect you from pricks by sharp sticks and insect bites. Other essential
clothing for a gorilla safari is; warm pajamas for the cold nights, a pair of
shorts for relaxations after the long strenuous day.
Whether you are to do gorilla trekking or not, we advise you to pack boots.
High quality boots keep you in position so that you do not slide off when
hiking, they keep you clean on the muddy ground and very comfortable
better than sneakers which may even hurt your ankles during the journey.
These help you push away some tree branches and vegetation that may be
in your way as moving. It is better you wear them and protect your palms
from pricks and insect bites therefore garden gloves are a must on your
Hat, sunscreen and sun glasses
During the dry season, these are so essential items you should not even
miss out. All the above protect you from the scorching sun during the dry
season of Uganda.
They include; hand sanitizers, tooth brushes and pate, wipes, lotions,
deodorants, shavers, sanitary towels for ladies, shampoos and a toilet
paper just in case you want to ease during the long journey. These are also
a must though not only on a gorilla safari but in other parks too.
Camera with a large memory and strong batteries
On an African safari especially in Uganda, do not miss out a good camera
to keep all the interesting memories and show your friends back home.
Take photos and videos of the mountain gorillas feeding, toddlers playing,
the eye-catching park sceneries and so many more. This is a real signature
to your memories and can be compared to none. However, do not take
flash photos when with the gorillas, they will get perturbed. Do not forget to
pack extra batteries.
Apart from gorillas that are more that vivid, on a trekking journey you will
encounter various bird species that may require a binocular to be seen
clearly. Buffaloes, colobus monkeys, chimpanzees, forest elephants among
others may be a bit far so binoculars are of a great use here.
Drinking water, snacks and snacks
A gorilla trek may be longer than you even expected because it is
unpredictable. It usually takes between 30 minutes to 6 hours therefore this
can be long tiresome and you can as well get hungry. Energy snacks are
got from supermarkets and some shops in Uganda. Make sure you pack
them before leaving the hotel of residence or lodge. Enough water is
needed because you will probably get exhausted and want some water to
quench your thirst after sweating.
Gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Forest national park are all good for
gorilla trekking and we promise you will get the best experience ever on
your gorilla adventure in the pearl of Africa. Are you planning a gorilla safari
in Uganda? We hope the above information has reached your expectations
about trekking sectors and you now know where you are going to do yours.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon. For more information, contact us
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly on
256775630809 / +256784912876 to speak to our reservations team.