GORILLA TREKKING IN RUSHAGA GORILLA SECTOR
The Rushaga gorilla sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, this park is famous in the Tourism history of Uganda for providing habitat and sustainably protecting the endangered animal species (mountain Gorillas). Rushaga gorilla sector is among the four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This park is a patrimony to the favored mountain Gorillas that still exist in the wild, over 60% of gorillas are populating/inhabiting Bwindi’s impenetrable national park. The Rushaga gorilla sector is one of the sectors with the biggest number of Gorilla groups/families which are so far four in number.
Rushaga gorilla sector protects the Nshongi gorilla group/family, Busingye gorilla group/family, Kungye gorilla group/family, Bweza gorilla group/family, and Mishaya gorilla group/family.
Kisoro Tours Uganda guide explains why one is supposed to trek in this region
Here our esteemed readers will have the advantage to learn and study about the Rushaga gorilla sector with the strong reasons why one must do gorilla trekking in this sector.
- In your journey to the Rushaga gorilla sector, it will be advantageous to see the Volcanoes Mountains in distance however, mountains with clear views are the Virunga Mountains of DRC and the Mt Gahinga, Mt Sabinyo, and Mt Muhavura mountains of Uganda. It’s such an amazing scenery one can view, there is also another advantage to viewing ‘Lake Bunyonyi’ which is the deepest crate lake in Africa.
- Also on your journey to this gorilla sector, you will be animated with an astonishing experience of the relief made, the hills, and valleys will astound you, on the other hand, there is the chance to tour the beauty of Kisoro district famously called the Switzerland of Uganda.
- The fact that this gorilla sector has a diversity of habituated Gorilla families, it abets easier to book your permit in advance since 8 people are permitted to trek each Gorilla group/family meaning 40 permits are sold every day which is not in other sectors.
- In this gorilla sector depending on the visitor’s fitness, one is advised to select the gorilla groups they wish to trek before issuing them their permits since rangers are informed of the strategic locations of these families.
- Rushaga gorilla sector has different accommodation facilities in form of lodges that suit the standards of all travelers. All the lodges belong to the local community individuals. Trekking in the Rushaga gorilla sector and spending a night in either of the lodges will provide you with a chance to participate in community development in this area.
Gorilla families/groups in Rushaga gorilla sector, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
- Mishaya gorilla family.
The Mishaya gorilla group is located in the Mishaya region. The family has 12 members, with Silverback Mishaya as the group/family leader. This group/family abdicated from the Nshongi group, at first the family had 7 members but later the family expanded and currently with 12 members. Mishaya who is the greatest fighter has expanded the group by getting other members from other neighboring groups.
- Nshongi gorilla family
The Nshongi and Bweza families were at one point in time united but due to wrangles in the group/family, it was divided up with Silverback Kakono branching away with 12 members forming the Bweza group/family. Initially, the group had 18 family members but resulting of the division, there remained only 7 members. The family obtained its name after Nshongi because it is where it was first seen by UWA rangers. This group/family is currently led by Silverback Bweza (The Only one Silverback), 1 sub-adult, 1 juvenile, 3 adult females, and 1 infant. This group/family was officially opened for tourist activities after full habituation in 2009.
- Bweza gorilla family.
The Bweza group/family is one of the 5 groups found in the Rushaga gorilla sector in the southern parts of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This group/family branched off from the Nshongi gorilla family with the influence of Silverback Kakono who is the group’s dominant leader, silverback Kakono never deemed fit the leadership of Bweza Silverback in the Nshongi family then towards the end of 2013 Kakono had already established a new group which is currently comprising of 12 individuals with 2 Silverbacks, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 4 black backs, and 2 infants.
- Kahungye gorilla family.
The Kahungye gorilla group/family is also among the five families of the Rushaga gorilla sector. The group was fully opened up for tourists after undergoing a solid habituation process in 2011, this group was named after the hill known as Kahungye where the group members were seen first. This family has 17 individuals and is under the leadership of Silverback Rumanzi. It has other 3 Silverbacks, 3 adult females, 3 sub-adults, 3 juveniles 3 black backs, and 2 infants.
- Busingye gorilla family
The Busingye gorilla group/family was at a point in time combined with the Kahungye gorilla group, later Silverback Rwigi circumspect with Silverback Rumanzi resulting to the departing hence forming up his own group. The group was opened to tourists for trekking after fully habituated around August/2012, Busingye was named so, from a hill acting as a home to this gorilla group. Initially, the group had 27 members and later after the breaking up, dominant Silverback Rwigi who created all this chaos went off with 9 individuals.
Around 2014, this group got new family members and now the group is comprised of 10 individuals, and these are; one (1) Silverback and the leader (Rwigi), four (4) adult females, one (1) sub-adult, two (2) juveniles and two (2) infant males.
NOTE: The Kisoro Tours Uganda guide explained that due to different factors, the statistics in the population for these gorilla families keep changing, these factors may include; regeneration/birth of new babies, death, divorce and separation, or even immigration and many other related factors.
Other activities to do in the Rushaga gorilla sector after trekking gorillas?
- Bird watching.
Rushaga gorilla sector is a habitat to more than 350 known species of birds making it one of the best birding centers in Uganda. In the process of bird watching, one has to be with an experienced birder and move following different birding trails of the Rushaga sector. This activity is best done in the morning or in the evening when birds are feeding and mating.
- Batwa culture experience.
This is one of the best activities to do in Rushaga after gorilla trekking because it involves interacting with the local people the Batwa who initially lived with animals in the Bwindi forest. During the interaction, one will be able to share with a man who cures diseases with herbal medicine, one will know about their past life in the forest, and most amazing their hunting experience with bow and arrows plus making fire from rubbing sticks.
- Nature walk/hiking.
The nature walk is guided by an experienced nature guide and an armed park ranger since there are expectations of meeting scary animals, it is an amazing activity to do Rushaga gorilla sector after gorilla trekking because one will be able to tour around and explore the park personal next to nature with wildlife species. In this activity, you will follow unique trails and be able to see different primates, birds, plant and tree species, different species of butterflies, the three-horned chameleon, listen to sweet melodies of different bird species, and many others that help you relax your mind.
The best time to visit the Rushaga gorilla sector as discussed by a guide from Kisoro Tours Uganda?
Rushaga gorilla sector can be visited all year around but what is termed as the best time is the dry season in the months of June to August and December to February. During the dry season it is much easy to drive in the National parks and for those who are doing gorilla tracking it’s easy to walk in the forest, and passable supporting the trekking activities, and more so, the green coverage is thin making viewing of gorillas and other plant and animal species clearly.
How to get to Rushaga sector, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park south western Uganda?
Rushaga can be accessed by both road and air, it can also be easily accessed from Kigali Rwanda. For example from Kigali airport to Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Forest takes only between 4 to 4 and half hours drive while from Entebbe airport takes between 9 to 10 hours drive which means flying to Kigali and trek gorillas in Uganda is easier than flying to Entebbe airport.
By road transport, while using road transport one will travel from Entebbe/Kampala through Masaka to Mbarara up to Kabale and finally to Rushaga gorilla sector. This may take approximately 8-10 hours.
One can get to the Rushaga gorilla sector by public means of transport by boarding a bus from Kampala that takes you to Kabale then switch to a private taxi that will stretch you to the park headquarters.
By Air transport, Kisoro Tours Uganda collaborates with some domestic companies for example, Aerolink which runs scheduled daily flights from Kajjansi Airfield or even Entebbe Airport to Kisoro airstrip. From there you automatically connect to the park by road a car.
Rushaga gorilla sector can even be reached from Kigali/Rwanda. Here one flies from Kigali international airport and then crosses over to Kisoro or Kabele, from Kigali to Kisoro by road via the Cyanika border takes about 3 to 4 hours from here you connect to the lodgers in the Rushaga gorilla sector.
Different places to stay around the Rushaga gorilla sector as shared by the Kisoro Tours Uganda guide?
Rushaga gorilla sector gives a variety of opulence, luxury, average, and budget home facilities including; Gorilla Safari Lodge with 8 cottages, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Nshongi Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge with 10 cottages, Wagtail Eco Safari Camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge with 9 cottages, Mutanda Lake Resort on lake mutanda, Clouds Mountain gorilla Lodge among others.
These lodges provide quality services and facilities to tourists on a gorilla trekking safari. Tour with Kisoro Tours Uganda for the best life experience.