Primate Holidays

Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park  : One of the four sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where gorilla trekking safari takes place and where the renowned gorilla species gets habituated in Uganda is Rushaga Sector. The largest concentration of critically endangered mountain gorillas may be found in the four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is situated in southwest Uganda. These sectors include Rushaga, Ruhija, Buhoma, and Nkuringo sector.

Rushaga sector is among the four sectors located in the southern part of Bwindi national park in Kisoro district in which the endangered mountain gorillas can be trekked. Rushaga sector is characterized by elevated terrain and due to this factor gorillas keep on splitting into other families to take up distinctive hills in the area and is most significant destination for picturesque views of gorgeous hills, the Virunga volcanoes including Mount Gahinga, Mount Muhabura in Mgahinga national park, Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke in volcanoes national park and lake Bunyonyi the deepest lake in Uganda and second deepest in the world.

Because there are more habituated gorilla families in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, visitors can select the gorilla family they wish to trek with based on their level of physical fitness, as the gorilla families are spread out across different areas. This makes Rushaga the most suitable place to go gorilla trekking safari. Among the gorilla families in the Rushaga area are;

Nshongi family; this family originates its name from a river near where it was first discovered and was the most populous with 35 members at the time of habituation experience in 2006, but currently is comprised of 7 members including 1 silverback, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 1 juvenile and 1 infant, after Mishaya silverback ran away with 10 members to form his own family.

Mishaya gorilla family; this group broke from the Nshongi family in 2010 because of disagreements under silverback Mishaya which went away with other females to form his own family which is composed of 12 members. The strongest silverback was Mishaya, who was renowned for engaging in combat with other wild gorillas to win females for his own group. Afterwards, Mishaya passed away in 2014 at the age of 28, and Mwinne Silverback currently rules the household.

Kahungye gorilla family; the group was habituated in 2011, gets its name from a peak in Rushaga area in which the family was first discovered and before division to create a new family called Busingye, the family had about 27 members. There are now 17 members of the Kahungye family; 3 black backs, 3 silverbacks, 3 adult females, 3 sub-adults, 3 juveniles, and 2 babies. Rumanzi is the group leader, followed by Gwigi and Ruhamuka silverback.

Busingye gorilla family; this group derived its name from an indigenous phrase that translates as peace and was named after the dominating silverback Busingye that is found of fighting fellow wild gorillas so as to take females to add in the family. There are nine members of the group three adult females, four juveniles, one silverback, and three adult females after they broke away from the Kahungye family in 2012.

Bweza gorilla family; this is led by silverback Kakono and consists of 12 members: two silverbacks, four black backs, three adult females, one sub-adult, and two infants. Due to several arguments within the family, the group broke away from the Nshongi family and became habituated in 2012.

Mucunguzi gorilla family; which is a new group in Rushaga, was the youngest and third-in-command silverbacks of Bweza’s split-off family. The name Mucunguzi means “saviour.” There are eight members in the family.

Rwigi gorilla family; this is a new gorilla group to trek in Rushaga Bwindi national park, it separated from Kahungye family. Six animals make up the family: two juveniles, three adult females, and a newborn. Rwigi silverback is the dominant member of the group.

Bikingi gorilla family; is also found in the Rushaga sector and used to be under habituation experience but now open for gorilla trekking. With fifteen members, it is composed.

Rushaga sector is renowned for gorilla trekking safari activity with about 64 gorilla trekking permits which are accessible daily and every gorilla trekking permit costs $800 consequently must be booked 3 to 6 months before before the trekking date to avoid concurrence and each gorilla family allows a maximum of 8 people to trek daily for a maximum of one hour with the gorillas. Permits for gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park are available to adults who have reached the age of fifteen.

Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

In addition to gorilla trekking, the Rushaga sector provides additional safari activities in Uganda’s Bwindi National Park, such as:

Gorilla habituation experience, gorilla habituation experience is a process that is carried out by researchers, scientists, rangers, conservationists, guides. This is where the gorillas are trained to get used with the human presence for trekking.  Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s Rushaga Sector is the only area where gorillas have become used to their surroundings. The eight-member Kutu gorilla family is one that is subject to habituation. The gorilla family is visited by a group of 4 people daily and permitted to spend 4 hours with the gorillas acquiring their behaviors, ways of life among others unlike gorilla trekking activity which allows 8 people maximum and 1 hour with the gorillas. Gorilla habituation experience permits cost $1500 per person, and are available for adults above the age of 15 years and are reserved either directly through Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Primate Holidays the most reputable tour operator in Uganda.

Nature walks / hiking, this is an additional  safari activity carried out in Rushaga sector in Bwindi national park in which you adhere to respectful trails like the Kara ridge trail which offers excellent panoramic perceives of Bwindi national park, Rubuguri town where you will communicate with the local communities and the Batwa people, the Kapata trail which is an easy trail that takes around 3 hours and the famous trail through Bwindi forest which links you to Lake Mutanda where you investigate in a wooden dugout canoe and the trail ends in Kisoro. In the Rushaga sector, you can witness a variety of primates, including Olive baboons, Vervet monkeys, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Red-tailed Monkeys, and rarely seen forest elephants, as well as animals, including warthogs, giant forest geets, African civets, bush pigs, and bushbucks.

Bird watching, Bwindi national park is a home of over 348 bird species which are found in the four sectors. Early morning, bird watching is conducted along Lake Mutanda and in the Bwindi forest in the Rushaga sector. Here, avian enthusiasts can witness a variety of bird species, providing an amazing safari experience. These species include the Grey Cuckoo Shrike, Finely Banded Woodpecker, Bar-tailed Trogon, Kivu ground, African Wood Owl, African Green Broadbill, Green Tinker Bird, and Mountain Yellow Warbler.

Cultural encounters, Rushaga sector consists of the Bakiga community and the Batwa community who were the original people of the forest. Take part in local performances and entertainment such as dances, songs, stories, and drumming among others to gain a great understanding of different cultures and traditions. You will also learn more about the Batwa people and their way of life, including how they hunted in the forest, gathered fruits and honey, visited craft shops where they made art and craft items like baskets, mats, hats, bags, and sandals, and experienced the Buniga forest walk and village tours where you will interact with the locals.

Boat ride on Lake Mutanda, this one of the lava resigned lakes in Uganda where you will enjoy a ride on a wooden dugout canoe to the surrounding areas. This is an amazing safari experience that will let you to observe a variety of animals, bird species, and monkey species while you’re riding, adding to the excitement and pleasure of your safari.

Where to stay in Rushaga Sector.

Rushaga sector is situated in southern part in Bwindi national park and offers various luxury, midrange and budget accommodation facilities where tourists will stay during the safari in Rushaga sector including gorilla safari lodge, chameleon hill lodge, Rushaga gorilla resort, Four Gorillas Lodge, Rushaga gorilla haven lodge, Rushaga gorilla camp, wagtail eco safari camp, gorilla valley lodge among others that provide superior local and international the dishes, relaxed beds, breathtaking views of the scenery among others therefore gives tourists the chance to hang out and calm down after a gorilla trekking  safari activity, or gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga sector.

Best time to visit Rushaga Sector in Bwindi National Park.

Despite the fact that Bwindi is a tropical rainforest and it can rain at any time of year, the best time to visit is during the dry season, which is June, July, August, December, January, and February. Rushaga sector is the best destination in Bwindi National Park and has the highest number of habituated gorilla families.

The Rushaga sector of Bwindi National Park is the greatest place to visit if you want to have an unforgettable safari experience in Uganda. It offers amazing and exhilarating moments of gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation safaris.

How to get to Rushaga Sector.

Rushaga sector can be reached by road as well as air. If you choose to travel by air, you can arrange a scheduled flight from Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip and then connect to Rushaga sector. Alternatively, you can fly to Kigali, Rwanda, and then travel by road through the Cyanika border, which will take approximately three to five hours. Travelling by car from Kampala via Mbarara and Kabul to Kisoro takes around 9 to 10 hours; although it’s a long and exhausting journey, it’s an exciting one that you’ll love.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *