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Rushaga sector is located in the south part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rushaga is a home for more than 5 Gorilla Families which by far is the most of any sector and its gorilla families being easy to trek due to the nature of terrine in the region. Rushaga can be easily accessed through Kisoro and becomes a straightforward tracking point for those traveling from Kigali. The habituated families in this region include Busingye, Bweza, Nshongi, Mishaya, and Kahungye which are all available tracking and open to tourists. Also, this is the only region in Bwindi that offers Gorilla Habituation experience with two families Bushaho and Bikyingi currently going through the process. The sector, also like buhoma and ruhija sectors, offers a chance of the Batwa community visit experience for those interested in cultural encounter.
About Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
The park is located in South-western Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kabale Districts. It is situated in mountainous countryside, which, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary, constitutes an important water catchments area for many rivers, supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region. This is the richest forest in Uganda, in terms of the number of plant species, as the area is one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa where lowland and montane communities merge. The valley bottoms contain a dense ground cover of herbs, vines, and shrubs with only a few trees hence its name, the impenetrable forest. This is one of the richest faunal communities in East Africa. There exists about one half of the world’s population of the endangered mountain gorillas. There are also several endangered species of birds with limited ranges. Gorilla tracking began on 1st April 1993. It is advisable to make reservations at least 3-6 months before your intended date of visit.
There are 4 locations for tracking gorillas in BINP these are Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, and Nkuringo. The 4 locations have a total of about 18 families as of December 2018. Tracking permits need to be bought prior to tracking by booking directly with the reservations office at Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Headquarters or through a reputable tour agent. Permits can be paid for up to two years in advance.
About gorilla families in Rushaga sector
Nshongi Gorilla Group
This used to be the largest gorilla group in Bwindi and boosted over 36 Gorilla members in the Family. Over the years the group has broken up twice to form the now Bweza and Mishaya Gorilla Family. At the moment the group has 25 members with Nshongi as the dominant silverback heading the group and other 3 sub silverbacks, 4 blackbacks, 7 Adult females and 6 juveniles and 4 infants. The fact that this group has many members makes it a beauty to watch as it’s a jolly and playful group with the infants mostly.
Mishaya Gorilla Group
This group is a break away from the nshongi Gorilla group, and in 2010 there were flight and disputes and Mishaya the silverback split to create its group, the silverback managed to take away with him 7 members, the group is famous for its fighting nature and over the course of the years it has managed to attract other members (female) with the number now increasing its members up to 12 and 3 infants.
Bweza Gorilla Group
This initially broke away from Nshongi Gorilla Family with 8 members in 2013, and while park authorities through this group would reconcile with Nshongi and join back, it failed to do so and was opened up to the general public for tracking. The group and consists of 1 silverback, 2 infants and the others being females and juveniles. It’s the most exciting group to watch by visitors as it goes about its day to day activities in the park.
Kahungye Gorilla Family
The group was habituated in 2011 and opened for tracking, and by then it had 27 members, not even after a year the group through flights, and misunderstandings split creating the Busingye group. As of now the group remained with 13 members with the silverback Rumansi and followed by 2 black backs Rwigi and Ruhamuka, females and juveniles.
Busingye Gorilla Family.
The group was created in 2012 after splitting up from Kahungye group, and the group gets its name from its head Busingye meaning “peace” ironically he is not a peaceful Gorilla, he is known for picking fights amongst other groups. Busingye started with 7 members, but now the group has been able to grow up to 8 members and is thriving from grabbing females from other males, and this is a sign of power.
Gorilla Habituation experience gorilla families in Rushaga sector
The process where mountain gorillas are trained to get used to humans is called Gorilla Habituation, the process takes several years of training with a team of well-trained Gorilla rangers and doctors, they spend day after day with the gorillas making them get used to seeing people. The process takes up to 4 hours every day with the Gorillas, and there are two families for habituation, i.e. Bikyingi gorilla family and Bushaho gorilla families currently undergoing this process. Bikyingi family is located in Rushaga 21 members with 1 Silverback 2 sub-adults, 9 females and 9 infants while Bushaho family located farther south close to Nkuringo sector is made up of 8 individuals with 1 silverback called Bahati, 1 black back, 1 sub-adult, 3 adults females1 juvenile and 2 infants. Bahati the head a former member of Nkuringo Gorilla Family.
How to book Gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector
You will need to secure your gorilla permit in advance to confirm you have booked Uganda gorilla trekking in the Rushaga sector. Gorilla trekking permits are purchased from Uganda Wildlife Authority, this can be done at their headquarters in Kampala or Kisoro for tourists arriving in Uganda through Entebbe it is recommended to purchase their gorilla permits from Kampala and for tourists arriving in Uganda through Kigali they can purchase their permits at the branch headquarter of Uganda Wildlife Authority in Kisoro town which is 1-2 hours drive to Bwindi. Eco Adventure Safaris is one of the best gorilla safari companies which can purchase for you your gorilla permit in advance and on short notice, once you confirm your dates and share them with us via email or WhatsApp we will first tentatively reserve the gorilla permits for you online and then send you an invoice for you to make payment and once money comes through on our account we will purchase your gorilla permits immediately and send you scan copies of your permits for your records and perusal and this will confirm you have purchase your gorilla permits for your gorilla
What is the best time to go Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga sector?
The best time to go for gorilla trekking in Uganda is during the drier months of January, February, June to early September, this is makes it easier to travel to the park and gives a clear view of gorillas given the vegetation cover is not too much high grown
What to wear during Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga sector?
You might be probably wondering what to wear for your trek, below is a compiled list on what to wear;
- A long armed sweater since the park gets cold
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Water proof hiking boots
- A hat and sun glasses depending on the weather though this is optional
- Cameras and long lasting batteries since photography are very important to keep your memories alive. Always remember to keep our flash off.
- A pair of Binoculars. This will help you to see the vast birds Bwindi impenetrable forest has among other primates
- Gardening Gloves; these will help you when you a holding onto trees are branches through the trek.
- A rain coat; Since Bwindi impenetrable forest is rainforest, the rain is unpredictable so to be on a safer side, you will be required to carry along a coat.
- A mosquito Repellent; since it is a forest, it has different dangerous insects so it’s advisable to carry it along or wear it
- A sun screen; Well this is optional but depending on the season, it might get too hot and you end up getting sun burns on your skin so to avoid that, you will need a sun screen.
- You should not wear very bright colors since this will charge or scare away the gorillas.
- Black and Blue colors are also not recommended since they attract Tsetse Flies So I would recommend neutral colors.
Where to stay during Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga sector
Gorilla trekking in Rushaga lodges, you can stay at Rushaga Gorilla camp, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Icumbi Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge and Karungi Camp. You can stay at Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Clouds Mountain gorilla lodge or Lake Mutanda Resort, all these lodges are close to the start point of Gorilla Habituation and Gorilla trekking.
Why book Gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector with Eco Adventure Safaris?
Eco Adventure Safaris is a local tour operator in Uganda, we take pride in customizing tailor-made Gorilla trekking in Uganda. Including Combining Gorilla Trekking in Uganda with Kenya Safari. We have a very diligent and trustworthy team. Your queries are answered within 20 minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make you a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. Contact us here about Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga sector.