Gorilla trekking sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park-Uganda Safari News
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the popular Uganda gorilla trekking safari destination because of the many Mountain Gorillas within the park (about half of the world’s remaining). With a total of 17 habituated Mountain Gorilla families the gorillas are distributed into 4 gorilla trekking sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija). This is the only natural gorilla national park that has the biggest population of mountain gorillas therefore making it the prime destination with all chances to see a mountain gorilla.
Each morning gorilla trekking is undertaken with a total of 8 tourists trekking a single gorilla family at a permit cost that goes for USD 600 per person per trek. A total of 4 tourists spend a maximum of 4 hours undertaking the mountain gorilla habituation experience with a non-fully habituated gorilla family. Wondering which gorilla trekking sector has what number of gorilla families and where to go for your gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, here is an explanation of all the sectors;
1. Buhoma Gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This was the first sector to be opened for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park and still the most popular sector. Established in 1993, Buhoma is still regarded as the best Uganda gorilla safari experience sector. There four (4) habituated gorilla families/groups, Mubare gorilla family was the first group to be opened for gorilla trekking in 1993 followed by Habinyanja (1997), Rushegura (2000) and Katwe gorilla family.
This is the most popular gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park probably because it got the popularity first. The other reason is that it is more accessible from Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park (for tourists connecting from these parks) and Kampala-Uganda’s capital.
Buhoma gorilla trekking sector offers fly in safari options of either morning or afternoon rather than the southern sector that has only morning fly in safaris because of the weather which also makes it a popular sector.
2. Nkuringo Gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
In the Southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Nkuringo gorilla trekking sector. Nkuringo sector was established in 2004 which makes it the second to be established gorilla trekking trailhead. It has three (3) gorilla families one for gorilla trekking known as Nkuringo gorilla family, Bikingi and Christmas gorilla family. Christmas gorilla group was recently introduced for gorilla trekking after completing the habituation process.
Nkuringo gorilla group live at about 600m above sea level below the trailhead on Nteko ridge. Trekking gorillas in this sector is challenging and requires one to be physically fit, it is tough but so much adventurous. If you need a challenging gorilla trekking tour in Uganda then this is the best group to trek.
3. Ruhija Gorilla trekking sector
Ruhija gorilla trekking sector is regarded as the most remote sector of all the four. It is situated in the Eastern side of Bwindi impenetrable national park. The sector has four (4) gorilla families which are Oruzogo, Bitukura, Mukiza and Kyaguriro. Though a gorilla trekking sector, this is also the best sector for a birding safari in Uganda as you trek the gorillas, Bwindi forest being named as the best birding destination in Africa by bird club. The sector is famous for abundant birdlife and a three-hour hike to Mubwindi swamp which is very rewarding for passionate birders alongside the gorilla trekking experience. It is the only place for sighting the African Green Broadbill in the whole of Bwindi Forest.
4. Rushaga Gorilla trekking sector
Rushaga gorilla trekking sector has the highest number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest with six (6) habituated gorilla families open for gorilla trekking safari in uganda and one for mountain gorilla habituation. Rushaga gorilla families for trekking include Nshongi family, Mishaya family, Kahungye family, Busingye family, Bweza family, and Bikingi family. The many gorilla families are attributed by some as a result of constant wrangles in the families yet others attribute it to the many hills in the area that habituate different groups. This guarantees a chance to glimpse at a gorilla on your Uganda gorilla trekking tour.
While planning to go gorilla trekking to Bwindi no matter the sector, a tourist should not worry about accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park because there’s luxury, mid-range and budget accommodation close to the park.
In regards to accessibility, by road Ruhija is closer, followed by Buhoma and then Rushaga and Nkuringo in Kisoro. A 4X4safari vehicle is recommended for a drive in the region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has the biggest number of mountain gorillas but this doesn’t make the other parks with mountain gorillas any less exciting. Each gorilla trekking experience is unique and can not be the same, the same gorilla that is happy and lively today can be the calm and un playful the next day. Whether on a Rwanda gorilla trekking safari to Volcanoes National Park or on a gorilla trekking safari in Congo’s Virunga National Park the experience is always rewarding. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda has a single gorilla family open for gorilla trekking but it still has the best experience with a hike, several Albertine rift endemic bird species and the only park where mountain gorillas co-exist with mountain gorillas. Dubbed where gold meets silver, an experience here is just unique.