Are you planning to visit Nkuringo and Rushaga but traveling from Kigali? Gorilla trekking in Rushaga and Nkuringo from Kigali is very possible. Kigali is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is near the nation’s geographic center in a region of rolling hills, with a series of valleys and ridges joined by steep slopes. The city has been Rwanda’s economic, cultural, and transport hub since it became the capital following independence from Belgian rule in 1962. Kigali is developing rapidly, with new shopping malls, office buildings, and a world-class convention center built in the style of the King’s Palace of olden days, which lights up the night sky atop of one of the many hills. You can fly into Kigali International Airport and then drive to Nkuringo and Rushaga regions of Bwindi through Katuna or the Cyanika Border of Rwanda and Uganda.
Rushaga and Nkuringo Regions of Bwindi
Nkuringo region is found in south western Uganda sharing boarder with Congo. Nkuringo region of the famous Bwindi impenetrable national Park is of the core sectors for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Bwindi. The Rushaga trail head is found in south western Uganda close to Nkuringo as well, it is one of the of the four sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national Park where you can trek and see the magnificent Mountain Gorillas in their natural habitat in the world
Bwindi forest is one of the oldest forests in Africa and was declared a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site in 1994. Bwindi Impenetrable national park has more than 400 species of plant life, sheltering up to 120 mammals among which are the primates including the famous Gorillas, chimpanzees, baboons, forest elephants and antelopes among others. Nkuringo and Rushaga gorilla sectors of Bwindi impenetrable National Park has habituated gorilla families for gorilla trekking in this region. Every gorilla family in Nkuringo is allocated 8 visitors per day which gives you an opportunity to visit the gorillas any time of the year. There are gorilla permits available per day for gorilla trekking that allows you to see the gorillas for one hour and Four. Uganda wildlife Authority is in charge for the protection and conservation of gorillas in permits, all tourism activities in Nkuringo and Rushaga regions.
What activities to do in Nkuringo and Rushaga from Kigali?
Kigali is so close to Bwindi compared to the drive from Entebbe, Gorilla trekking is the main activity considered to do in Nkuringo and Rushaga region of Bwindi. Gorilla tracking refers to moving in the forest to see/view a given habituated mountain gorilla family. Gorilla trackers/advanced team/rangers use many signs and methods to trace these gorillas before gorilla trekking takes place, the trackers wakeup very early every morning and go to the forest in search for these mountain gorillas. They use natural means to track them like clapping, making wild sounds. Once they find them, then they will communicate to the park headquarters and it’s then the guides after briefing the visitors on dos and don’ts, they will start to walk and trek in the forest as they are directed by the trackers. This gives you 99% chances of seeing the gorillas in their natural environment in Nkuringo and Rushaga g gorilla region. The gorilla trekking permits costs USD700 per person for Non- Foreign Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents and Uganda Shillings 250,000 per person for East African Citizen and allows you one hour of watching the gorillas once you find them
Uganda has half of the remaining population of mountain gorillas in the world, it is such a life time experience to watch the endangered and rare mountain gorillas which have 95% DNA as human beings in Nkuringo gorilla region. The Mountain Gorillas in Uganda can be found in the hilly tropical forests in south western Uganda and you will be able to view the gorillas in their natural environment.
Gorilla Habituation experience
Gorilla Habituation experience is also one of the most interesting things done in Rushaga on your visit from Kigali. The experiences allows you to spend four hours with mountain gorillas still undergoing habituation. Only four people are allowed to do gorilla habituation activity in Bwindi Forest National Park in Uganda, with this you are required to book your gorilla habituation permit in advance to secure your place. The experience starts and takes up to half or a full day depending on the time you take to find them. Gorilla habituation activity is only done in the south of Bwindi impenetrable National Park between the sectors of Rushaga and Nkuringo. During this experience, you visit the gorillas that are in the process of being habituated and the gorillas are not yet used to Visitors and act wild, with researchers and guides, you monitor the way gorillas feed, move, rest and also communicate with them.
Trek to the top of the World
This is also one of the interesting hikes you can do in Nkuringo, it is short walk from Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge. You stroll through Nkuringo village and take some small foot paths to the top of the world. Beautiful views overlooking the surrounding mountains, valleys and ridges. The hike is about 2-3 hours.
Gorilla Buffer Zone Walk
A buffer zone is a transition zone between Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the cultivated areas where the people live. Nowadays a lot of tea is grown in the buffer. You will be able to see various tea plantations and other crops grown by the locals. You will enjoy this when you visit Nkuringo from Kigali
Batwa cultural experience
The Batwa experience is also an interesting activity to do in Nkuringo and Rushaga. The Buniga Forest Trail showcases the life of the Batwa native pygmies their historical nomadic cultures when they occupied the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest until 1991 when the forest was gazette as a national park. The tribe was forced out of the park and since then have been struggling to cope with modern life outside the jungle. The Buniga forest trail is a USAID initiative put together to help the Batwa community earn a living from tourism around the UNESCO world heritage site. This walk is truly an experience, not challenging at all, but rather informative and exciting.
Ivy River forest walk
This Ivy River route ascends and descends gently through beautiful areas of the rain forest with several viewpoints from the marram road to Nkuringo overlooking lush mist shrouded valleys. The trail is also an important footpath for local people travelling to and from Nkuringo particularly on market days to Nteko village on the southern boundary of the park. Monkeys, duikers, bush pigs and some of Bwindi’s world renowned bird and butterfly species can be sighted.
Visiting the Suma Waterfalls
The waterfall is found in a village called Suma the waterfall is surrounded by different species of trees that are home to plenty of endemic bird species, for example, Northern Double Collared Sun Bird, the Violet Backed Starling and the Great Blue Eared Starling. This activity can be done any time but the best time is in the morning hours.
Nkuringo and Rushaga region of Bwindi Forest National Park is a home to various unique bird species including the Albertine Rift Endemic birds and it is a place to be for Bird watchers, Key bird species to spot on your birding tour in Bwindi National Park include Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimsonwing. We do organize birding packages to Bwindi Forest National Park, with professional birding guides you are able to identify different birds.
In Nkuringo and Rushaga, you can participate in Volunteering activities. You can volunteer in community based projects, teaching in schools as you empower the local communities staying in Nkuringo of Bwindi.
What kind of Vehicles are used for a road trip from Kigali to Nkuringo and Rushaga?
As Eco Adventure Safaris, we only use/ recommend 4×4 safari vehicles that are well serviced and driven by our professional guides to trek the hills of Bwindi forest for your amazing gorilla safari from Kigali to Nkuringo and Rushaga gorilla regions. For budget safaris, we always quote our clients 4×4 safari customized Super custom/Van that are very comfortable and have enough leg room and luggage space, the super custom can carry one to five persons and the van can be used for group tours of about nine to ten persons.
For a luxury gorilla road trip from Kigali to Bwindi, We use 4×4 land cruisers which can carry up to seven persons and they cost more. Yes you can have a budget safari and still opt for a land cruise for your comfort. All our vehicles have A C, drinking water, Tourism License stickers and are well serviced for your great gorilla safari.
Where to stay in Nkuringo and Rushaga region of Bwindi?
Gorilla trekking in Rushaga and Nkuringo from Kigali. Rushaga and Nkuringo Regions are close to each other, you can stay in lodges in one region and do activities in another region. Nkuringo sector has a number of lodges, hotel and camps where you can stay for your gorilla trekking activity. These range from budget to luxury, with different prices and service standards. Eco Adventure Safaris can help you book the hotel of your choice, you can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge as the budget and midrange option and Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge as the luxury option, Four gorillas lodge, there is also an option of staying in Rushaga sector which close to Nkuringo and Just about 1hour drive to the Park headquarters in Nkuringo Region. In Rushaga, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Gorilla safari lodge, Ichumbi Lodge. The lodge rooms can sell out during the high season and we encourage you to book in advance
Why book Gorilla trekking in Rushaga and Nkuringo from Kigali with Eco Adventure Safaris
Eco Adventure Safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe run and owned by Ugandans. We specialize in life changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your gorilla permits and gorilla safari. Contact us here about Gorilla trekking in Rushaga and Nkuringo from Kigali