GORILLA TREKKING IN RUHIJA SECTOR
Ruhija sector is one of the four sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and is located in the Eastern part of the park. Ruhija can be accessed from all corners but is much easier than Buhoma and Kabale. The Ruhija sector has a variety of terrain landscape that attracts scientists for research purposes.
It is located at an altitude slightly above 2,500m, tourists in Ruhija also do forest ridge, to watch the Virunga Mountains in DRC. You can walk/hike to the top of Rwamunyonyi Peak (2,607m) high, known as the
(Hill of many birds). Rwamunyonyi is the coldest and highest point in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park, and it is a large swamp. Apart from gorillas, Ruhija is also a home of elephants, monkeys, and antelopes.
Ruhija gorilla trekking sector has 4 fully habituated gorilla groups/families, the Bitukura group/family, the Oruzogo group/family, the Mukazi group/family, and the Kyaguriro group/family.
Permission to trek to Kyaguriro group/family is given in advance from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) because it is reserved for scientific research purposes. Trekking in the other three groups/families is done normally on a daily basis with 8 people assigned to each family.
It can take 4-6 hours to find your assigned gorilla group/family, but once you are in the presence of these gentle giants, it will be meritorious and enjoyable and spend one full hour with them.
Ruhija gorilla trekking sector is a home of four fully and successfully habituated gorilla groups/families all available for trekking namely;
Oruzogo gorilla group/family obtained its name after the well-known plant “oruzogo” where it was seen for the first time. It’s one of the fully habituated gorilla groups/families in the Ruhija gorilla sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Oruzogo gorilla group is one biggest gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with 17 individual gorillas led by a silverback called Bakwata.
The Oruguzo gorilla group/family was fully opened for trekking by Uganda Wildlife Authority in 2011. This group/family has turned out to be the most favored family because it’s very entertaining and joyful around visitors. This group/gorilla family is present for trekking in the Ruhija sector. Trek with Kisoro Tours Uganda for a lifetime experience.
The Bitukura gorilla group/family is one of the four gorilla families found in the Ruhija gorilla sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The Bitukura gorilla family was fully habituated and opened to tourists for trekking in 2007. Bitukura gorilla family/group is the only group in all groups of Bwindi Forest that was fully habituated in a period of one year. But usually, the full habituation processes of other gorilla groups/families last for 2-3 years in order for the process to be successfully completed.
Bitukura gorilla group/family has 14 individuals including 4 silverbacks habituated in 2007. It also has 4 females, 2 juveniles, 3 infants, and 1 infant. Before Bitukura gorilla family had 24 individuals but due to several fights some individuals moved to other areas.
Bitukura gorilla group obtained its name after the river Bitukura where it was seen for the first time. This group is famous for being friendly and peaceful in the Ruhija gorilla sector. Bitukura is open for tourism, book your permit to trek them with Kisoro Tours Uganda for the best life experience.
The Mukazi gorilla group/family is one of the four families found in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This group is headed by the dominant silverback Mukiza. This group came into existence in 2016 after the division of the mother group Kyaguriro. The group/family is currently composed of 13 members and these are; 1 silverback (mukiza), 6 adult females, 1 sub-adult juvenile, and 3 infants. Book with Kisoro Tours Uganda for a lifetime experience.
This family was one of the oldest in the Bwindi forest, it is also one of the most popular groups in the Ruhija sector. Kyaguriro was availed and opened to tourists for trekking after the demand for gorilla trekking permits went high in the Ruhija gorilla sector later in 2000. When the family was under habituation process, it was headed by Zeus Silverback. He later had a fight with silverback Rukina who fully disciplined and banished him to the forest. Later Zeus died in exile. After Zeus’ death, the family was overtaken and held by Rukina who was the silverback next in line. Rukina was later struck by lightning and died. Trek the Kyaguriro gorilla family in the Ruhija gorilla sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with Kisoro Tours Uganda for the best life experience.
Accessing Ruhija Sector By road:
One can get to the Ruhija gorilla sector from Kampala/Entebbe by private and public transport which is approximately 8-10 hours, for public transport one will have to use buses that go to Kanyantorogo or Butogota and Buhoma towns then from there, one can hire a motorcycle (boda bodas) that will take you to Trekkers Tavern Cottages which costs nearly $10. When you book your gorilla trekking tour through Kisoro Tours Uganda, a private vehicle driven by well-trained safari driver guides will be provided for your easy transportation to and from the Ruhija gorilla sector.
Accessing Ruhija Sector By air:
You can fly to Kisoro airstrip or Kihihi airstrip from Entebbe airport then from here you drive for about 2 hours to get to Ruhija gorilla sector, the driver/guide is always waiting for you at the airstrip to transfer you to the hotel that has been booked in, the hotel can as well organize for you the transfer from the airstrip.
There are two best periods of the year to visit the Ruhija gorilla sector for trekking with Kisoro Tours Uganda and that is; from June-August and December-February.
This is because these are the driest months in Uganda, making trekking much more comfortable, although rains are possible at any time of year due to the equatorial climate.
The rainy/low season is from March-May and September-November.
However, the Kisoro Tours Uganda guide continued to explain that it is now becoming increasingly challenging to predict weather patterns in Uganda majorly in the southeastern part, therefore one might successfully trek gorillas during the rainy season. And that at this time accommodation may also be cheaper.
Gorilla Mist Lodge.
Gorilla Mist Lodge has 12 well-allocated rooms having a clear scenery of the Bwindi Forest Canopy, Virunga mountain ranges, free wifi, and Gorilla Mist Camp offers accommodation in Ruhiija gorilla sector, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This lodge is located 30 km from Bwindi National Park Headquarters in Buhoma and 50 km from Kabale town. There are well-trained chefs for the best African, Caribbean, Indian, European, and American manners of preparing food. Who are ever ready and prepared to prepare for whoever makes orders with them? We have laundry service and a massage parlor, a standby bird guide for whoever is interested in Birding as well as a cultural guide, have your life experience with Kisoro Tours Uganda.
The Kisoro Tours Uganda guide says that Bakiga Lodge is the best accommodation for visitors looking for a real African experience. It has amazing views of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Bakiga Lodge is a blended African eco-lodge, located in the Ruhija gorilla sector, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, it can take one almost 10 minutes to drive from the Ruhija Gorilla Trekking meeting point to the lodge.
They say “Our priority is your comfort”, and they offer warm Ugandan service and fantastic food.
The Lodge offers 10 spacious cottages, all self-contained with ensuite bathrooms.
At Bakiga Lodge, all cottages have private balconies with clear views of the Bwindi forest, available with wireless internet.
Trekkers Tavern cottages.
The Trekkers Tavern Cottages are strategically located 2km from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park headquarters, with suitable accommodation for tourists/trekkers for gorillas in Bwindi. The cottages are strategically located favoring birdwatching and community walks. On the balcony and on a clear day, one may be lucky enough to see the seven Virunga volcanoes. One may even see as far as Lake Edward, a lake that separates Uganda from the DRC and is famous for that. The dining area has WiFi at all times (although the fact that it is a remote area, the signal may not be as good as tourists are used to backing home). Ruhija is 52 km from Kabale and 502 km from Entebbe/Kampala.
Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge.
The Ruhija Gorilla Lodge in Bwindi is known to be a distinct safari lodge and worthy for all levels of travelers/tourists; The Lodge welcomes with a cool breathtaking scenery of Bwindi forest, peace and restful, home away from home, enjoy a lyric of insects and birds, to surprise visits of monkeys or even gorillas. Come and experience the Hospitality that is immersed in an entirely new and refreshing natural atmosphere which will make your stay a happy one.
Accommodation, they have three types of rooms all distinct from one another: the deluxe cottages, the Superior cottages, and standard rooms, they are all carefully designed to commingle with the Natural ambiance around. All cottages are well equipped with comfortable beds and ergonomic Furniture to fully maximize your comfort.
Broadbill Forest Camp.
This is a locally run eco-lodge aiming at uniting the rare wildlife species and the indigenous people of the area by involving both parties in resources management practices and conservation knowledge. Attaining international standards towards rendering services and nature conservation by using indigenous ways, and utilizing and sharing the resources available is their wish.
The Kisoro Tours Uganda guide shares about other activities to do in the Ruhija sector after gorilla trekking, and these are as follows;
The Batwa culture experience is one of the other best activities or things to do after gorilla trekking in the Ruhija gorilla sector every traveler would wish to do. On the Batwa cultural experience tour one will be guided by one of the Batwa guides giving you an opportunity to learn about the traditional forest life of the Batwa who stayed in Bwindi Forest for decades making it historically a home of the Batwa, one will also enjoy the traditional cultural dances of the Batwa and other indigenous practices. This activity can be best enjoyed after your gorilla trekking as it takes 2-3 hours, travel with Kisoro Tours Uganda for your lifetime experience.
After gorilla trekking in Ruhija Sector, one can choose to go nature walk along the Forest. This forest walk is a very exciting activity that gives an opportunity to study tree species as well as other wildlife species in the forest like birds and butterflies.
At Ruhija you can do Bird watching after gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest which has over 400 known bird species while your stay here you will have a chance to speckle some birds, one can even organize with the lodge for a full-day birding activity if he/she deems it fit. The main place for birding activities in Ruhija gorilla Sector is at Mubwindi Swamp.
Ruhija sector is located close to Queen Elizabeth National Park, with your stay here during your gorilla trek you can visit both sections of Mweya and Ishasha for wildlife viewing and game safari, both Ruhija gorilla trekking and game safaris in Queen Elizabeth National Park will enable you to see and confirm what Uganda (Pearl of Africa) has to give in regards to wildlife. The southern part of Queen Elizabeth National Park where Ishasha is located is famous for tree-climbing lions while Mweya is known for wildlife on the Kazinga channel and boat cruise. Travel with Kisoro Tours Uganda for the best life experience.
5. Mountain bicycle tours.
After gorilla trekking Kisoro Tours Uganda can organize for you guided bicycle tours to visit the communities and villages bordering the Camp, this is always organized in advance at an affordable cost. you can also rid to Lake Bunyonyi on your free day
Essential things to carry for gorilla trekking in the Ruhija gorilla sector.
The gorilla permit is not debatable since it is the first and the most important thing you must pack. without it, there is no gorilla trekking activity to take place, resulting in the denial of a chance to trek interesting Giant Apes. No one would wish to go through this conundrum. Therefore book and acquire your gorilla permit on time to avoid any inconveniences. Kisoro Tours Uganda keeps gorilla permit cards for their clients having inscribed some cases of misplacement.
Obtaining a gorilla permit may not be enough. One has to carry a valid visa to verify the country of citizenship.
This will be used to carry safari gadgets, for example, documents (for example a gorilla permit), cameras, and binoculars, in case of packed lunch or snacks. To the aspects where travelers fail to have one, Great Kisoro Tours Uganda can avail you of a simple waterproof sack to put your essentials during the trekking process.
To the fact that while trekking gorillas, one has to go through the bushes since there is no clear path, Kisoro Tours Uganda advises travelers to avoid sneakers maybe if they wish to use them for town outings and recommends simple hiking boats since most of the time the places are muddy, slippery and impassable.
These gadgets may include but are not limited to. binoculars to use during birding, digital cameras for capturing all the amazing and breathtaking events during your safari, charger in case one is using rechargeable batteries for the camera, smartphones since the internet is available in most lodges, flash torches to use in case there is a shortage of power.
Another vital and often unconsidered element is hiring a porter/helper to carry your backpack and give extra support during walking/hiking. On the other hand, hiring or getting a helper/porter is a way of improving livelihood and supporting a family around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Contact Kisoro Tours Uganda in case you need details of other required things for gorilla trekking in the Ruhija gorilla sector and booking gorilla permits.