BUHOMA GORILLA TREKKING SECTOR – BWINDI IMPEANTRABLE NATIONAL PARK

Buhoma Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable national park :  Buhoma sector is the oldest sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national park and a pioneer of all the 4 sectors that harbor endangered mountain gorillas for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park. Buhoma Sector is located in the Northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable national park and is the most visited sector especially by travelers who wish to combine Gorilla trekking with the Batwa Experience.

The other sectors of Bwindi include Rushaga sector in the South, Nkuringo sector in the south and Ruhija sector in the East. These 4 sectors make Bwindi impenetrable national park one of the best destination to visit for mountain gorilla trekking.

Buhoma sector has only 5 habituated mountain gorilla families trekking daily thus the Uganda Wildlife Authority issues out 40 permit for 40 trekkers to take part in the adventurous gorilla trekking safari in Buhoma sector. These families include Mubare Gorilla Family the oldest and first gorilla family to be habituated in Bwindi impenetrable national park, Rushegura Gorilla Family, Habinyanja Gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family and Muyambi Gorilla Family.

Mubare gorilla family was habituated in 1991 and by 1993, it was open for trekking as the first gorilla family to be trekked. At the time of habituation, Mubare gorilla family had only 12 members and was named Mubare due to the fact that it was first spotted along Mubare hills. Currently the family is under the leadership of silverback Ruhondeza and it consists of only 9 members. Being the first gorilla family to be trekked, Mubare family is loved by several trekkers who wish to spend an hour with the family members of the first gorilla family to be trekked in Bwindi impenetrable national park.

Habinyanja gorilla family was first spotted along the pond leading to the name Habinyanja. This family started its habituation process in 1997 under the leadership of the dominant silverback Mugurusi and 2 years later it was opened for tourism in 1999. The leadership of this great wasn’t easy and resulted into internal fight that led to the death of Mugurusi leaving 2 brothers in control of the family that is Rwansigazi and Mwirima.

These 2 brothers however ended up breaking up as Mwirima left the family with some members and formed his own family called Rushegura leaving Rwansigazi in charge of the Habinyanja gorilla family. Habinyanja gorilla family currently has 18 members under the leadership of Rwansigazi.

Buhoma Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Gorilla Trekking in Buhoma Sector

Rushegura gorilla family as mentioned above was formed by silverback Mwirima who was once part of Habinyanja family but later on left the family in 2002 with some other 8 group members to form his own though he later on died in 2014. Currently Rushegura gorilla family consists of 16 members under the leadership of Silverback Kabukojo.

Katwe gorilla family was habituated opened for gorilla trekking in 2018 after undergoing the habituation process. At the time of habituation of Katwe gorilla family, Buhoma sector had only 3 habituated groups including Mubare, Rushegura and Habinyanja thus the introduction of Katwe gorilla family for trekking in January 2018 saw a rise in gorilla trekking permits from 24 to 32. Katwe thrills with 9 members.

And lastly, Muyambi Gorilla Family is yet the newest gorilla family in Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park under the leadership of Muyambi family that was once part of Mubare family and later on left the family to make his own. Trekking to Muyambi gorilla family was opened in 2019 making it yet the newest family in Bwindi impenetrable national park.

Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector

Gorilla trekking is a general experience regardless of the sector one intends to trek in. however, the experience of trekking gorillas in Buhoma sector is such a rewarding one being the first sector to be opened up for trekking in 1993 with the first gorilla family Mubare family that attract lots of trekkers.

Trekkers as usual have to arise from the comfort of their beds as early as possible and head to the park headquarters to participate in briefing after which trekked are briefed into 5 groups and set off on a forest walk to search for the gorilla families that have been habituated and available for trekking.

A gorilla trekking permit in Buhoma sector costs $700 for Foreign Nonresidents, $600 for Foreign Residents and Ugandan Shillings 250,000 for Ugandans and East African Community Member states.

Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector enables only 1 hour in presence of gorillas and all trekkers are advised to adhere to gorilla trekking rules and regulations at all the time for safety and security purposes.

Getting to Buhoma Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national park

Buhoma sector can be accessed by road or by air

A road drive from Kampala/ Entebbe take about 8-9 hours’ drive and can as well be accessed from other destinations like Queen Elizabeth national park which is about 3-4 hours’ drive. However, a flight from Entebbe or Kajansi to Bwindi takes about 1 hour and a half.

Where to stay / accommodation facilities in Buhoma sector

Being the first sector to be opened for trekking, Buhoma sector thrills with a good number of accommodations catering for budget, Midrange and luxury. Some of the lodges include Buhoma lodge, Buhoma haven lodge, Buhoma community Rest Camp, Silver back lodge, Volcanoes Safari Bwindi, Engagi lodge, Mahogany Springs Camp, Bwindi forest lodge, Gorilla Resort, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and many more.

Other things to do in Buhoma sector;

Apart from gorilla trekking, Buhoma sector is as well famous for other different activities including the Batwa Experience, guided nature walks, birding and many more.

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