Ruhija Gorilla Trekking – Bwindi Gorilla Sectors–Uganda Gorilla Safaris
Ruhija Gorilla Trekking : Ruhija is one of the four outstanding gorilla trekking sectors that is Buhoma, Nkuringo and Rushanga where Gorilla trekking experience can be conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is located in southwestern region of Uganda, approximately 8 to 9 hours’ drive from Kampala inclusive with stopovers to the equator in Kayabwe along Masaka road. Bwindi is honored as the world’s half remaining mountain gorilla population among the other three mountain gorilla trekking destination that is Rwanda can gorilla trekking can be done in Volcanoes National park and Democratic Republic of Congo Virunga national. The park has 20 habituated gorilla families where gorilla trekking can be carried out and are stipulated in four Gorilla sectors known as Ruhija, Buhoma, Rushaga and Buhoma Gorilla Sectors.
However, Ruhija sector boosts with four habituated gorilla groups and among them include; Bitukuri family, Oruzogo family, Kyaguliro group Mukazi family at the same time known as Kyaguliro B. Among these gorilla families, Kyaguliro gorilla group was put a side for fully habituated Gorilla tourism. And it is noted that 8 people are allowed to trek in this habituated gorilla family.
Despite the fact that, Ruhija has few gorilla group compared to Buhoma sector and it offers a stunning ecotourism experience –Ruhija is one of the sectors you shouldn’t miss to visit. Ruhija has an advantages of its good terrain which is not such hilly as we compare it with that of Rushaga and Nkuringo. Ruhija terrain is more supportive for the aged travelers and best place to go trekking.
Besides Gorilla trekking, bird watching is the second done activity. Bwindi also is good for primitive walk where one is given a chance to enjoy a primate walk to encounter more of primates like white and black monkeys, colobus monkeys that can be seen swinging on the tree branches within the sector. You can still visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for birding or primate walk which are pocket friendly.
In general, Ruhija is located a few meters away from the crater Lake –Lake Bunyonyi is a beautiful area for birding, canoeing –visit the stunning islands and more so to relax after carrying out -Gorilla Trekking Experience and a great location to meet up with local Batwa cultures.
In Ruhija Gorilla Sector there are four gorilla families including;
Bitukura Gorilla Family
Oruzogo Gorilla Group
Kyaguliro Gorilla Group
The Kyaguliro Group is set aside for research, therefore 16 gorilla permits are available every day and only 6 people allowed to track the Kyaguliro Research Group.
Due to the few families in Ruhija, there is less number of tourists who visits this region compared to Buhoma sector which has many gorilla families. Although Ruhija offers more of ecotourism experience compared to Buhoma.
How to get there
Ruhija sector is located between Buhoma Gorilla Sector in the north of the park and Kibale town to the south thus easing the accessibility from both parts of south and north. You can as well connect to Queen Elizabeth national park a Uganda’s second largest National park after Murchison Fall National park, where you can choose to do a combined safari with wildlife. Traveler connecting to Queen Elizabeth may have time to do a game drive in the Ishasha sector and be able to view the tree climbing lions.
Traveling by car from Kampala or Entebbe to access the main destination is about 8 to 9 hours.
Then from Queen Elizabeth National Park to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National park it takes 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
Note, there are no direct flight to Ruhija region but the only option is to fly via Kihihi on Buhoma side and after landing drive two hours to Ruhija. Or –land in Kibale town while using charter flight and then drive to Ruhija.
Apart from Gorilla trekking in Ruhija tourists can do several other activities such as birding, nature walk, Mountain bicycle tour, visit the local community, Batwa cultural experience and primate walk experience.
Where to stay Ruhija –Accommodations
Ruhija region has perfect accommodation facilities with quality amenities such as; Ruhija Lodges, Agandi lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Cuckoo land tented Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge among others.
Gorilla Tracking in Ruhija Sector
The Ruhija region is quite an amazing safari destination found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park with four gorilla trekking sectors and one of the four incredible Gorilla trekking activity can be done in these stunning gorilla families;
The Oruzogo Gorilla Family
There are more than 23 great mountain gorillas with one silverback and tourists like visiting this family because of its big size. Due to its big size, there are a lot of most playful Juveniles and toddlers that exists in the family and visitors who conduct there trekking are never bored. This gorilla group is among the newly existing habituated gorilla group for visitors in Bwindi, which began in 2011 and this is a great opportunity to most of visitors who visits Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park for Gorilla trekking.
Bitukura Gorilla Group
The Bitukura gorilla group is the most peaceful gorilla family comprised of 14 members with four silverbacks. Bitukura is totally different from other gorilla families, for it took one and half years to get used to human presence. Before it was made up of 24 gorillas but others choose to leave the group and split to form their own gorilla family.
Gorilla trekking tour –Bwindi Ruhija Gorilla Sector
Gorilla trekking experience starts early in the morning with briefing that at 7am local time. This group it gives breathtaking to visitors though they have to be physically fit to hike the terrain, porters are available to help those with heavy luggage at every small cost. After briefing, head out to the forest trails with the guide in search of mountain gorillas which can take 30 to 7 hours depending to their movements. Once are found, one hour is allowed to spend with mountain gorillas in the family as you learn how they play, feed, care about their younger ones among others.
What is the cost of Gorilla trekking experience?
Gorilla trekking experience goes at USD700 for foreign nonresident and USD600 for foreign resident per person per trek. You can decide to do a whole day activity with 4 hours allowed to watch the amazing lifestyle of these gentle giant in the midst of the jungle –known as Gorilla Habituation Experience which goes at cost of USD1,500 for foreign nonresident and USD1,000 for foreign resident per person per trek.