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Gorilla discovery is a safari tour and travel company based in Uganda, fully licensed to conduct safaris within Uganda and Rwanda. We offer several tours and safaris in Uganda including Gorilla Tours, wildlife adventures, mountaineering trips

Mountain gorilla families and permits in the Rushaga sector

Trekking or habituating mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector is done by only those people that are above the age of 15 years and to trek any of the families you must have a valid gorilla trekking permit

Mountain gorilla families and permits in the Rushaga sector

Rushaga sector is part of the great Bwindi impenetrable forest national park located in the southwestern part of the country. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is home to over 19 habituated families and 2 which are undergoing habituation. Rushaga sector alone has 7 habituated gorilla families that are open for trekking at any time of the year. The sector also has 2 other families that are open for habituation and these are Bikingi and Bushaho gorilla families.

Trekking or habituating mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector is done by only those people that are above the age of 15 years and to trek any of the families you must have a valid gorilla trekking permit or habituation permit. These permits are sold by the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the trekking one allows a trekker to be around mountain gorillas for 1 hour while the habituation permit allows the trekkers to be around the mountain gorillas for 4 hours with extra opportunities of making them get used to human presence.

Gorilla families in Rushaga sector of Bwindi

Rushaga sector is home to 8 mountain gorilla families of which 2 are open for habituation and 7 that are open for trekking at any time of the year. The 2 that are open for habituation experience are Bushaho and Bikingi gorilla families while the 7 that are open for trekking are Kutu gorilla family Kahungye gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, and Nshongi gorilla family. There are 7 habituated mountain gorilla families in Rushaga sector which means that there are 56 trekking permits in this sector and the semi habituated mountain gorilla families being 2 there are 8 permits available for tourists every day.

How to book a gorilla safari to Rushaga

Africa adventure vacations limited helps travelers on booking safaris to Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. All we do request from you are the travel dates and using these dates we check for the availability of the permits with the Uganda Wildlife Authority and once the permits are available we go further to book for you a permit. We shall send you an email containing ways you can pay us money and once we have received the money, we can go further to book for you the permits. after booming the permits, we can also book for your accommodation based on your budget for the case of transport we do have different safari vehicles.

How much are the gorilla permits for the Rushaga sector?

Gorilla permits for the Rushaga sector cost the same price as those for the other sectors. The trekking permits cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $60 foreign residents, and shs250,000 East African citizens. Travelers who want to spend up to 4 hours with mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector need to pay $1500 foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and shs750,000 East African citizens. The gorilla trekking permits allow trekkers to be with mountain gorillas for one hour while the habituation is 4 hours. These gorilla permits are sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority to persons above the age of 15 and for those planning to trek or habituate in the dry season, we advise you to book the gorilla permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences.

Gorilla trekking and habituation in Rushaga sector of Bwindi

Both gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation in the Rushaga sector starts with a briefing at the park offices where trekkers are briefed by the rangers about the dos and don’ts of the gorilla trekking or habituation activity. From the briefing, the trekkers are grouped not exceeding 8 (gorilla trekking) and 4 (gorilla habituation), and then the ranger guides lead them into the jungle to search for these gentle primates.

During the search, the trekkers get chances of meeting different sector animals such as buffaloes, giant forest hogs, elephants, duikers, birds, and different vegetation types. On meeting the fully habituated gorilla families, the trekkers are given a maximum of 1 hour to be around these apes, and during this time, they are allowed to take photos, watch them do daily activities as they learn about their habits.

For gorilla habituation, when the trekkers meet the mountain gorillas the 4 hours start counting and during these hours, you are given an opportunity to make mountain gorillas get used to human presence, watch them do daily activities, learn more about their habits by asking rangers and take photos. After the activity, the trekkers can get back to the starting points for their trekking certificates.

Accommodation on a safari to Rushaga sector

Depending on your budget, there are so many accommodation facilities where travelers can stay while on a safari in the Rushaga sector. These accommodation facilities range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and they include Gorilla Safari Lodge, Nshongi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla havens lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Four Gorilla Lodge, and Rushaga Gorilla Camp.

Getting to the Rushaga sector of Bwindi

Travelers can get to the Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park in one day using either road transport or air transport. By air transport luxury travelers need to book their flights in advance with AeroLink Uganda or Fly Uganda. The flights to southwestern Uganda start from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip and from here the driver guide will be waiting for you at the airstrip to drive you to the booked accommodation or Rushaga sector.

Travelers using road transport can start from Kampala/Entebbe to Masaka – Mbarara – Kabale and then Kisoro where they branch off from Muko to the sector and this normally takes 9-10 hours. Those in Kigali Rwanda can get to the sector using Cyanika border in Kisoro and this normally takes 4-5 hours.

What is the best time to visit mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector?

Rushaga in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can be visited at any time of the year just that some months are better than the rest and these are the dry months. The dry months in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi occur in June to September and December to February and they are characterized by little or no rainfall, the vegetation in the area is thin giving clear views of the mountain gorillas and good photography, the trekking trails are less muddy and dry while the roads to the park are passable.

Tourists can as well visit the Rushaga sector in the rainy seasons of October to November and March to May because during these months the lodges offer huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The trekking in the rainy season takes little time because the mountain gorillas don’t move too far from the starting points due to plenty of food in the forests. Travelers need to know that during the rainy season the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick giving unclear views of the park animals and the roads to the park are dry. Travelers intending to visit Rushaga in the dry season are advised to book their trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences.

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, Chimpanzee trekking and habituation, birding, golden monkey trekking, game drives, hiking, nature walks, and community tours among others. Booking can be done at any time of the year.