Key Rushaga attractions
Are you planning to have a safari in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to see different tourist attractions? Well in this article we are going to help you know which activities are good for you, where to stay, the best time to visit the sector, and how to get to the sector. Rushaga sector is part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park that is home to the endangered species of mountain gorillas in Uganda. The park is located in southwestern Uganda neighboring Mgahinga national park.
About Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Rushaga sector is one of the trekking regions of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park famous for hosting more than half of the mountain gorilla population in the world. Rushaga is located in the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and what differs it from other sectors is the gorilla habituation experience which is done only here and the Nkuringo sector of the park. The gorilla families undergoing habituation in Rushaga sector are Bikingi and Bushaho mountain gorilla families. Other mountain gorilla families in Rushaga sector are Bweza gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, Kutu gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla family, and Busingye gorilla family. Each mountain gorilla family is open for trekking at any time of the year and only 8 people are allowed to trek a single gorilla family. The following are the key attractions in Rushaga sector;
Gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector
Gorilla trekking is the most done activity in Rushaga sector and involves visiting mountain gorillas in their natural habitats for a maximum of 1 hour. Mountain gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector starts early in the morning at 8 am with a briefing. During the briefing, the tourists are taught about the dos and don’ts of the trekking activity after which they are grouped into 8 and the ranger guides lad them into the forest. during the trekking which takes 2-7 hours, there are opportunities of meeting different forest animals such as elephants, duikers, giant forest hogs, different bird species, tree species, and water sources.
After time trekking, the trekkers will finally meet the mountain gorillas and they will be given a maximum of 1 hour to be around them as they watch them do daily activities such as feeding, breastfeeding, hunting, and get to learn their habits as they take photos. After gorilla trekking, you can have lunch in the forest and trek back to the starting point where gorilla trekking certificates are awarded. There are a few mountain gorilla trekking permits in the Rushaga sector compared to the number of people who want to trek and for this matter, you are advised to book your gorilla trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences. The trekking permits are bought from the Uganda wildlife authority at a fee of $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents while East African Citizens pay UGX250,000
Spend more time with Gorillas in Rushaga sector
Gorilla habituation is one of the key attractions or activities done in Rushaga sector in the southern side of Bwindi impenetrable national park. it’s a unique activity only done in Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors of Bwindi in the whole world. Mountain gorilla habituation is done in two gorilla families of Bikingi and Bushaho gorilla families. Habituating mountain gorillas is the process of making mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this is done for 4 hours every day for a period of 2 years until the mountain gorillas pass the mocking stage. Mountain gorilla habituation is done by a maximum of 4 people who are always accompanied by a group of researchers and rangers. Mountain gorilla habituation is done by people who have valid gorilla habituation permits from the Uganda wildlife authority. The permits are sold at a fee of $1500 per person per trek and they are sold to children above the age of 15 years. You are advised to book your gorilla habituation permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid disappointments since the permits are few and are served on a first come first serve basis.
Mountain gorilla habituation starts at the sector quarters where trekkers are taught about the rules and regulations of the habituation activity after which grouped and the rangers together with researchers lead them into the jungle in search for the mountain gorilla families undergoing habituation. On finding the mountain gorillas, the trekkers are given a maximum of 4 hours to be around mountain gorillas as they make them get used to human presence. On your way to and from trekking, there are opportunities of meeting different park animals such as elephants, giant forest hogs, primates, different bird species, and different tree species.
Bird watching experience in Rushaga sector
Birding is one of the most done activities in Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park. The birding exercises cost $30 for both foreign non-residents and foreign residents while East Africans pay UGX10,000. The birding activity is led by well-trained UWA guides who are well informed about the different bird species that are in the park. Some of the bird species in Rushaga sector include Cardinal Woodpecker, Strange Weaver, African Pitta, Cabanis’s Greenbul, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater, Common Bulbul, Compact Weaver, Coppery Sunbird, Dark-backed Weaver, Cassin’s Hawk-Eagle, Rwenzori Batis, Dusky Crested Flycatcher, Rwenzori Batis, Dusky Long-tailed Cuckoo, Dusky Tit, Stripe-breasted Tit, Fan-tailed Widowbird, Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Red-headed Malimbe, Fork-tailed Drongo, Great Blue Turaco, Chestnut-throated Apalis, Grey Apalis, Greater Blue-eared Starling, Green Crombec, Grey-headed Sparrow, Crowned Hornbill, Yellow-eyed Black Flycatcher, White-tailed Blue-flycatcher, Yellow-browed Camaroptera, Brown Woodland Warbler, White-browed Crombec, Green-headed Sunbird, Green Hylia, Grey-throated Barbet, Tiny Sunbird, Green-throated Sunbird, Handsome Francolin, Grey-backed/Green-backed Camaroptera, Grey-headed Negrofinch, Stripe-breasted Tit, White-breasted Negrofinch, Honeyguide Greenbul, Klass’ Cuckoo, Collared Sunbird, Collared Apalis, and much more.
Batwa cultural experience
Some of the things you shouldn’t miss out on while on a safari in the Rushaga sector is the Batwa cultural experience. The Batwa cultural experience takes you to the Batwa group of people who were once forest dwellers but is evicted by the government in order to protect the remaining species of mountain gorillas that were going to extinction. The Batwa people now leave around the park and have adopted the way of living of other people. Batwa cultural experience is led by people from the Batwa themselves who lead you around the park showing you different plants that were used as local medicine, illustrating how they used to use bows and arrows to kill animals, how they used to gather fruits and collect honey. The Batwa cultural experience will also give you an opportunity to watch the Batwa women perform their traditional dances and songs. You can taste local food and also witness their style of dressing. The Batwa culture experience in Rushaga sector is done at a fee of $40 for foreign non-residents and foreign residents while East Africans pay UGX40,000.
Nature walks in Rushaga sector
Rushaga sector is made up of tropical and subtropical forests that have very old tree species and some of them are found nowhere else but in this park. The forest is called impenetrable due to the thick forests which make the nature walks amazing. Tourists in Rushaga sector can have an opportunity of doing a nature walk in this sector hence allowing them to learn about different tree species, see park animals, spot different bird species, waterfalls, seasonal rives and so much more. the nature walks are led by UWA guides and are conducted at a fee of $30 foreign non-residents, $15 foreign residents, and shs10,000 East African citizens.
Where to stay in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park to see some attractions
Several accommodation facilities are build inside and around the Rushaga sector of Bwindi so travelers shouldn’t worry about where to stay. These accommodation facilities range from luxury to mid-range to budget and they include Gorilla Safari Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla havens lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Four Gorilla Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, and Rushaga Gorilla Camp. Travelers intending to visit the sector in the high season are advised to book the accommodation in advance because rooms tend to sell out quickly.
What is the best time for the Rushaga sector to see different attractions?
Rushaga sector can be visited at any time of the year but the best time is the dry season when there is little or no rainfall. The dry season happens from June to September and December to February in Uganda. The advantage of visiting Rushaga in the dry season is that you find the vegetation thin giving clear views of animals and good photography, the trails are less muddy and the roads leading to the sector are passable.
What to book 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 to see different attractions in Rushaga sector can be done at any time of the year.