Gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi starting from Rushaga region
Rushaga region is one of the 4 gorilla trekking safari sectors in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park a home to more than half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. Rushaga sector is situated on the southern side of the park on the neighbors with Nkuringo sector. It’s one of the sectors in the park where both gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experiences are done. the sector is home to over 7 habituated mountain gorilla families of which 2 are undergoing habituation and that is Bushaho and Bikingi mountain gorilla families. There are 99% chances of seeing mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector since there are so many mountain gorillas in the region. Each habituated mountain gorilla family in the Rushaga sector is trekked by a group of 8 people while those undergoing habituation are trekked by only 4 people.
Trek the Rushaga Gorillas in Bwindi
Gorilla trekking is the main done activity in the Rushaga region of Bwindi, the gorilla trekking activity starts with a briefing at the park headquarters where trekkers are taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity. After the briefing, the trekkers who have valid gorilla trekking permits and are free from transmitted diseases such as flu and cough are grouped into 8 and a ranger guide leads them into the jungle to search for an assigned mountain gorilla family. During the search, the trekkers have opportunities of seeing some of the park animals such as elephants, duikers, giant forest hogs, buffaloes, different bird species, plant species, and different vegetation covers.
After 2-7 hours of searching for mountain gorillas and locating mountain gorillas, the trekkers are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around mountain gorillas as they watch them do daily activities such as breastfeeding, hunting, feeding, take photos and also get to learn about their habits. After gorilla trekking the trekkers do move meters away from mountain gorillas and have their packed lunch in case, they carried it along with them after which trek back to the starting point where they are awarded gorilla trekking certificates.
Habituated gorilla families of Rushaga
There are over 19 habituated mountain gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park but all these are scattered around the different sectors of the park including the Rushaga sector. Rushaga sector alone has 7 habituated gorilla families and these are Nshongi gorilla family with 25 members, Kahungye gorilla family with 13 members, Bweza gorilla family 7 members, Mishaya gorilla family with 12 members, Bikingi gorilla family, Kutu gorilla family with 8 members, Mucunguzi gorilla family with 8 members, and Busingye gorilla family with 9 members.
How many gorilla trekking permits are in the Rushaga region of Bwindi?
There are only 7 habituated mountain gorilla families in the Rushaga region of Bwindi and since only 8 people are allowed to trek a single habituated mountain gorilla family per day. This means that the Rushaga sector of Bwindi has 56 gorilla trekking permits per day for tourists to be around mountain gorillas for a maximum of 1 hour. You are advised to buy your trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months if you are to trek mountain gorillas in the high season because the permits sell out quickly.
What is the gorilla permit price in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi?
Just like any other sector in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, the costs of a gorilla trekking permit price in the Rushaga sector are $700 for foreign on-residents, $600 foreign residents, and shs250,000 East African citizens. The gorilla trekking permits are issued out by Uganda Wildlife Authority so you can book directly using their websites or you can book using a trusted tour operator. The gorilla trekking permit is valid for one day, allows tourists to be around mountain gorillas for a maximum of 1 hour, and is sold to children above the age of 15years.
Travelers intending to visit the Rushaga sector in the high season are advised to book their gorilla trekking permits as early as 3-4 months in advance to avoid inconveniences given that the permits are sold out on a first come first serve basis.
Accommodation on a gorilla trekking safari in the Rushaga region
Rushaga region of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is well developed with several accommodation facilities in and around the sector where tourists do stay while on a safari. The region has accommodation facilities ranging from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on your travel budget. Some of the accommodation facilities in the Rushaga sector include Gorilla Safari Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Four Gorilla Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla havens lodge, and Rushaga Gorilla Camp. Travelers intending to visit the Rushaga region in the high season are advised to book their accommodation facilities in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconvenience since accommodation is served out on a first come first serve basis.
How best can you get to Rushaga Region for gorilla trekking safari?
By road transport, the region can be accessed from Kampala/Entebbe via Masaka – Mbarara – Kabale – Kisoro to the sector taking 9-10 hrs. Travelers from Rwanda can access the Rushaga sector using Cyanika and Katuna border taking only 4-5 hours from Kigali. By air transport, travelers can fly from Entebbe international airport or the Kajjansi airstrip to the Kisoro airstrip taking about 2 hours. From the Kisoro airstrip, the driver guide can drive them to the sector for a few hours.
What is the best time to visit the Rushaga region of Bwindi for Gorilla trekking safari?
Rushaga region can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to take a visit to this sector is the dry season. During the dry season, there is no rainfall or little since Bwindi is a tropical forest, the trekking trails in this sector are dry, less muddy, and not so slippery, the vegetation in the park is thin for clear views of animals and the roads leading to the region are passable. Rushaga sector can as well visit Rushaga sector in the rainy season because during this time there are huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The problem with traveling in the rainy season is that the roads leading to the park are impassable, the trekking trails are slippery and muddy, the vegetation is thick giving unclear views of animals and the rainfall is too much.
What to do with Africa Adventure Vacations?
Africa adventure vacations is a tour company based in Uganda licensed by the Uganda Tourism Board and a member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators. Booking with Africa adventure vacations provides you safety and confidence during your safari courtesy of well-trained safari driver guides who are well conversant with all routes and tourism destinations in Africa. You can book with us any of the activities you want to do in Africa such as mountain gorilla trekking, mountain gorilla habituation, birding, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking gorilla trekking safari Rushaga can be done at any time of the year.