Gorilla trekking starting from Rushaga of Bwindi forest park. Trekking in Rushaga starts from 7am with a briefing at the park headquarters
Uganda is one of the few countries with the endangered gorilla species in the whole world. These can be found in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park deep into their tropical rain forests. Bwindi national park is the only destination in the whole world which consists the highest number of the gorillas remaining in the whole world. The park is located in the south western part of Uganda. Bwindi national park has got four sectors; Ruhija, Buhoma, Rushaga and Nkuringo sector. Uganda has got a total number of 19 gorilla families of which Bwindi as a whole has 18 gorilla families in total, this leaves Mgahinga national park with just one gorilla family. This is one of the reasons why Bwindi national park was acknowledged as a UNESCO natural world heritage site with one of the ancient forests on the African continent.
About the sector
Rushaga gorilla sector is found in the south western part of Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable national park. More to that, it is a key sector when it comes to gorilla trekking. Rushaga sector has got a total number of 7 habituated gorilla families unlike the other sectors, Rushaga sector has got the highest number of gorilla families in Bwindi and the whole Uganda. These gorilla families include the following; Busingye gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla family, Bikyingi gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family and Mucunguzi gorilla family. This implies that there are 56 gorilla permits available for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable park every day since each gorilla group is only allowed 8 visitors per day.
Trekking starting from Rushaga trail head
Trekking is one of the most exiting activities with a lot of physical fitness benefits which involves visiting gorilla families in their natural habitats, the forest. As a visitor, you will get a chance to watch the gorilla families in their natural habitat as they continue to do their own daily activities like feeding, resting
Trekking in Rushaga starts from 7am with a briefing at the park headquarters with a lot of information, tips and guidelines that are important while trekking. This is necessary to make you aware of what to do and not do during your search for the gorillas.
A group of only 8 people can take part in the activity at a time. Also, only visitors above 15 years of age are eligible for trekking.
After briefing, a group of rangers, guides, researchers and trackers lead you into the forest. While there, you only have one hour to see the gorillas. After the trek, you move out of the forest to the park headquarters where you receive a gorilla trekking certificate. This certificate acknowledges your participation in gorilla trekking in Uganda.
Gorilla trekking permit and prices.
All gorilla trekking permits cost the same money in Uganda, gorilla trekking requires you to have a permit and this is the only way that you can go trekking. Permit costs are US 700$ for the foreign nonresidents, US 600$ for foreign residents and UG 250000 for east African residents.
You should book the gorilla trekking permit in advance before you depart from your country to avoid inconveniences and disappointments especially during the peak seasons of the year when there is less rainfall. The months of January, February, June, July, August and September usually sell out very fast. Therefore should be timely.
Booking for the gorilla permits is very easy as long as you trust Pamoja tours and travel company with your bookings. There are a few steps for booking your permits. We will check the validity of the permits depending on your travel dates. Thereafter, we will reserve them for seven days when you have to pay for them. You will then send us your payment invoice for us to secure your permit.
When the permit has been secured, we will then send you scanned copies of receipts from Uganda Wildlife Authority. It is only when you have the permit that you can go for trekking in these parks.
Best time to go for trekking
The best time for trekking gorillas has always been the dry season when there is less rainfall or no rainfall expected to interrupt you during your trek. The months of January, February, June, July, august and September present the best time for trekking. However, the fact that Bwindi national park is a tropical rain forest and it is under the tropics, expect rainfall anytime of the year. This should always find you prepared with your rain jackets, waterproof hiking boots, long sleeved dull shirt, long trousers, a pair of gardening glove, insect repellants, a hat and sunscreen, camera and binoculars to make your hiking experience better.
Sometimes the rainy season is the best for trekking because the gorillas don’t move a lot. This is because food is readily available in abundance making them easy to trace and see. Additionally, there are discounts on the accommodation facilities in the different lodges.
Accessing the sector
You can either get to Rushaga sector using air or road means of transport. Once you organize your tour with us, there is no need to worry about transportation. We can be organize private transport and your tour in the Pearl of Africa will be brilliant.
Using road transport directly from Kampala to Bwindi forest in Rushaga sector will take you approximately 8-9 hours’ drive, there are some stop overs like the equator for refreshments.
You can also drive from Kigali Rwanda to Bwindi which is a 4-5 hours ride using Cyanika or katuna boarders. This is quicker route and therefore implies that you should book an east African visa which gives you multiple entries into Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and it is only US100$.
While using air, there are scheduled and chattered flights that are organized in Kajjansi airstrip which fly directly to Kihihi airstrip Kanungu which is just a 2 hours flight. It’s from here that you continue to your final destination in Rushaga sector.
Accommodation facilities in Rushaga
The sector has got a number of accommodation facilities which offer various services, the best for customer’s comfort. You can stay in any lodge you wish which fits your budget and interests. These facilities vary in prices and services starting from budget accommodation, midrange accommodation and luxury accommodation. Since it is a famous area, there are plenty of hotels here from which you can make your choice. Ensure that you book your accommodation in time to avoid disappointments especially during the peak seasons of the year. Rushaga gorilla camp, four gorilla lodge, Rushaga gorilla havens lodge of Rushaga. You can also stay in the other sectors of the park of your choice i.e. In Nkuringo; Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, clouds mountain gorilla lodge, in Buhoma; Buhoma lodge, mahogany springs lodge, Bwindi lodge, gorilla forest camp, in Ruhija; trekker’s tavern lodge, Bakiga lodge or in Lake Bunyonyi lodges in Kabale.