Best Gorilla Trekking Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in southeastern Uganda, close to the Rift Valley. Its misty slopes are bordered by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which date back over 25,000 years and have over 400 plant species. This “impenetrable jungle” also protects an estimated 459 mountain gorillas – over half of the world’s total, with numerous habituated groups that can be tracked.
This biologically diverse location is home to over 120 creatures, including baboons and chimps, as well as elephants and antelopes. Almost 350 bird species live in these woods, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda includes four gorilla trekking sectors that guests may visit on their Uganda gorilla safari: Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga.
Which is the best sector for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
You will need precise and extensive information on each sector to determine which sector is ideal for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Here’s a glance at each of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s gorilla trekking sectors:
Buhoma Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The Buhoma sector, located in the northern section of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, is one of four outstanding gorilla trekking sectors that you should not miss when visiting Uganda on a gorilla trekking safari. When it comes to mountain gorilla activities, the Buhoma area is well recognized as Uganda’s oldest trailhead.
The Buhoma gorilla trekking sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a pioneer of gorilla trekking trips in Bwindi Forest and Uganda, with the Mubare gorilla family becoming the park’s first habituated gorilla group in 1993.
Pros of gorilla trekking in Buhoma Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Rushegura, Katwe, Mubare, Habinyanja, and Binyido gorilla families are known gorilla families in the Buhoma sector and among the most trekked gorilla families during Uganda gorilla trekking safaris in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Buhoma sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park is easily accessible by visitors going from Kampala and Entebbe, with drives to the park lasting roughly 8-9 hours as opposed to other sectors such as Rushaga, which takes approximately 10 hours.
- If you do not want to travel to the Buhoma sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you can fly from Kajjansi or Entebbe International Airport to Buhoma, avoiding the long journey. Both Bar Aviation and Aerolink provide regular and chartered flights to Kihihi Airstrip in the park, which take around 1-2 hours depending on route routing. You may drive to your lodge in the Buhoma area from Kihihi Airstrip.
- If you want to combine a gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with a wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Buhoma sector is the ideal option.
- The Buhoma sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also ideal for guided nature walks/hiking or birding trips, with intriguing paths to explore such as the River Ivy Trail, Rushura Hill Trail, Munyaga River Trail, and Muzabajiro Loop Trail.
- As compared to other gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi, the Buhoma sector provides a wider range of accommodation alternatives. Buhoma Lodge, Buhoma Haven Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Mahogany Springs, Bwindi Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Engagi Lodge, and Silverback Lodge are just a handful of the accommodations available in the Buhoma sector.
Cons of gorilla trekking in the Buhoma sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- With the strong demand for gorilla permits in the Buhoma sector by most people traveling to Bwindi impenetrable national park on a gorilla safari in Uganda, gorilla permits are always fully booked, necessitating you to reserve your gorilla permit at least 6 months in advance.
- Also, due to its central location in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Buhoma sector does not provide the ideal alternative for travelers wishing to conduct gorilla trekking from Kigali in Rwanda.
Ruhija Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Ruhija Gorilla Sector is located in the Bwindi Forest National Park’s eastern region. It is the closest sector to Buhoma and features four gorilla families available for trekking during your Bwindi Impenetrable National Park gorilla trekking safari: the Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro, and Mukiza gorilla families.
Pros of gorilla trekking in Ruhija Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Because it is near Kabale, the Ruhija sector is the greatest option for seeing Lake Bunyonyi following your gorilla hike.
- Ruhija sector is the quietest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s four gorilla trekking sectors, offering you the most private gorilla trekking experience.
- Because of its proximity to the Buhoma sector, people may sleep in Buhoma and undertake gorilla trekking in the Ruhija sector.
- Ruhija, at a little over 2,500 meters, provides breathtaking views of forest crest after forest ridge all the way to the Virunga mountains.
- Climbing to the summit of Rwamunyonyi Peak, which is 2,607 meters above sea level and is popularly referred to as the “hill of many birds,” is achievable from the Ruhija sector, making it an excellent choice for those interested in hiking or guided nature excursions in Ruhija sector. Rwamunyonyi is the highest and coldest point in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and it is surrounded by a large marsh.
- The Ruhija section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is also the only area in the park where elephants may be spotted. Other animals include monkeys and antelopes.
- Because it is located at a high altitude, the Ruhija sector is one of the greatest gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park if you are seeking a challenge during your gorilla trekking adventure.
- The Ruhija area is easily accessible from Kampala, taking around 9 hours to drive. This area is accessible from Kampala or Entebbe through Kabale town, which connects to Ruhija.
- Another option is to drive from Ntungamo to Rukungiri, Kihihi, and Butogota before continuing on for another two hours to Ruhija. Other activities available to guests include primate tracking, birdwatching, guided forest walks/hikes, and Batwa community excursions.
- Flights from Kampala or Entebbe to Kihihi Airstrip provide access to the Ruhija area. Domestic flights to Ruhija Park are available from Bar Aviation and Aerolink, and take between 1-2 hours depending on the travel route.
Cons of gorilla trekking in Ruhija Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Because the Ruhija area has few lodges, lodging options are restricted. Bakiga Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Broadbill Forest Camp, and Gorilla Mist Camp are among the lodging choices in the Ruhija region.
- Because of the high altitude, gorilla trekking in the Ruhija Sector is not recommended for people who are not physically fit or willing to take on the climbing challenge.
Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
The Nkuringo sector, which is located in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, is one of the park’s four principal gorilla trekking sectors. The Nkuringo gorilla sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is unexpectedly one of the least visited places that offers great gorilla trekking experiences to visitors on Uganda gorilla trekking safaris.
The Nkuringo gorilla group was the first gorilla family to be habituated in this region. Bushaho and Christmas gorilla families are two more habituated gorilla groups in the Nkuringo area.
Pros of gorilla trekking in Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- The Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is known for its views of Mount Nyiragongo and Mount Nyamuragira in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- The Nkuringo sector is the ideal option for travelers wishing to halt at Lake Mutanda or Lake Mulehe in Kisoro. Tourists may always take a boat ride on Lake Mutanda or Lake Mulehe before or after a gorilla walk in the Nkuringo sector since the terrains in the Nkuringo sector are not as hilly as those in other sectors of Bwindi impenetrable national park.
- The Nkuringo sector is also ideal for travelers who want to undertake gorilla trekking in Bwindi National Park from Kigali, Rwanda. This is because the area is easily accessible via the Cyanika border in Kisoro district, which takes around 5 hours.
- Visitors to the Nkuringo sector may also combine gorilla trekking with other activities including community visits, guided nature walks, and bird-viewing excursions.
- There are also local flights from Kampala or Entebbe to Kisoro Airstrip, followed by a 2-hour drive to Nkuringo. Domestic flights from Kampala/Entebbe to Kisoro are operated by Bar Aviation and Aerolink Uganda and take roughly 1-2 hours depending on the flight route.
Cons of gorilla trekking in Nkuringo Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- The Nkuringo sector is one of the most difficult sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla trekking safaris. This is due to the difficult terrain in the area, which makes hiking quite strenuous and challenging.
- The gorilla families in the Nkuringo sector are located at high altitudes, making it difficult for visitors to access the gorilla groups and, as a result, making gorilla trekking difficult for those who are not physically fit. Housing choices in the Nkuringo sector include to name a few, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Virunga Camping, and Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge.
Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Rushaga Gorilla Sector is located in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s southern region. It is situated in Kisoro District, close to the Nkuringo area. Shongi, Bweza, Kahungye, Bikingi, Busingye, Mishaya, Mucunguzi, and Kutu are the eight gorilla families found in the Rushaga region of Bwindi Forest National Park. This area is popular for research and is the only sector in Bwindi National Park that offers gorilla habituation experiences to guests as an activity.
Pros of gorilla trekking in Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Rushaga sector is the ideal option for travelers wishing to do both gorilla trekking and gorilla habituation experience.
- Rushaga sector is the finest site to undertake gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for those interested in a two-day gorilla safari from Kigali.
- As compared to other gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Rushaga sector contains the most habituated gorilla families.
- The Rushaga area is easily accessible from Kigali, Rwanda, via the Cyanika border near Kisoro. The drive from Kigali to Rushaga takes about 4-5 hours.
- Domestic flights to the Rushaga sector are accessible through either Bar Aviation or Aerolink Uganda. Flights from Kampala or Entebbe to Rushaga arrive at Kisoro Airstrip, from which you will need to drive for roughly 1-2 hours to your Rushaga sector lodge.
Cons of gorilla trekking in Rushaga Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- The Rushaga area is tough to reach for individuals traveling from Kampala or Entebbe because the journey takes roughly 10-11 hours.
- Due to the rocky terrain in the region, gorilla trekking in the Rushaga sector might be difficult.
- Due to its remote position within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, tourists have difficulty connecting to neighboring national parks such as Kibale National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park.
In conclusion, the ideal area for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park depends entirely on your degree of physical condition and interest. Nkuringo and Ruhija are the ideal gorilla trekking sectors for people searching for a more strenuous gorilla trekking safari.
Buhoma and Rushaga sectors, on the other hand, are the ideal alternatives for people looking for a less rigorous gorilla trekking adventure. Furthermore, the Rushaga sector provides the finest option for those wishing to perform gorilla habituation and gorilla trekking from Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city.