Gorilla Trekking In Rushaga Sector

Gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector

Gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector

Gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector : Rushaga Sector is one of the four sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the only place in Uganda for gorilla habituation experience on which you can spend 4 hours with the gorillas.

Rushaga Sector is located in the Southwester Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable National Park.

Bwindi impenetrable national park is one of the two mountain gorilla habitats in the world protecting almost half of the global mountain gorilla population with over 400 mountain gorilla individuals and 22 habituated gorilla families.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park covers an area of 331 square kilometers stretching on a hill, looking across the vast, rugged rift valley land scape boasting magnificent views of the Virunga Mountains.

Gorilla Groups in Rushaga Sector

The Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable National park is home to 8 gorilla groups open for gorilla trekking with two families reserved for research and habituation experiences. Rushaga sector has more fully habituated gorilla groups than any other sector in Bwindi and is the only sector gorilla habituation experience can be done.

rushaga gorillas

Gorilla groups in Rushaga Sector include

  • Nshongi Gorilla Family
  • Mishaya Gorilla Family
  • Busingye Gorilla Family
  • Bweeza Gorilla Family
  • Kahungye Gorilla Family
  • Bikingi Gorilla Family
  • Mucunguzi Gorilla Family
  • Rwiigi Gorilla Family.

 Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga Sector

Gorilla trekking in Rushaga Sector of Bwindi impenetrable National Park starts at the sector’s headquarters with briefing about the rules and regulations to follow and being allocated a gorilla family to trek, in groups of 8 people with armed ranger and guides. You will head to the various trailheads basing on the gorilla family assigned to you, then trek into the forests of Bwindi looking for mountain gorillas.

Note: when assigning a gorilla family to trek, UWA guides base on the physical ability of the trekkers and their interest.

When you locate the gorillas, you are given 1 hour of being in their presence while watching them play with each other and watching their behavior. Visitors are allowed to take pictures as long as their flashlight is off as it irritates the gorillas.

 A gorilla trekking permit in Rushaga sector costs as follows

Status Price ($)
Foreign non – Residents $ 700
Foreign Residents $ 600
East African community Residents UGX 250,000

Note: Only individuals of the age of 15 and above are allowed to take part in gorilla trekking in Rushaga Sector.

Gorilla Trekking Experience

Very early in the morning, highly trained trackers and guides head into the Jungle to pick up gorilla spoor and clues that are left behind by the gorillas as they roam through the jungle. The search begins when you find the gorilla’s new nests, usually on the ground or occasionally in a tree every night.

Note: Gorillas never use the same nest

Infants that are too young or do not have the ability and skill to construct their own nest share with their month, on an average a gorilla moves less than one mile each day and because of this they are never far away from their previous night’s nest.

As visitors, when you reach the family’s location, approach cautiously. Getting close to mountain gorillas (powerful and intelligent giants) is very intimidating most especially for first timers, your guide will instruct you on how to use non-threatening body language as a way to put the dominant silverback at ease and allow him to assert his dominance.

rushaga gorilla trekking

Rules and Regulations to follow

When trekking mountain gorillas in Rushaga sector, there are several rules and regulation to follow while in the presence of the gorillas and in the jungle.

  • Your visit must not exceed one hour, this is to avoid agitating the gorillas and they can tolerate human’s stay for a short while.
  • Visitors should keep a distance of 7 – 10 meters away from the gorillas, gorillas most especially juveniles may not observe this rule but as a visitor you should observe the guide’s interactions.
  • Visitors are not allowed to eat anywhere near the gorillas
  • When a gorilla approaches, do not panic or try to run. The gorillas most especially the silverbacks may seem aggressive but if you follow the guide’s instruction you will get no harm.
  • Avoid flash photography as it irritates the gorillas

Other activities to do in Rushaga Sector

Gorilla Habituation Experience

Gorilla Habituation Experience is only offered in Rushaga Sector, this amazing activity offers you a fantastic opportunity to spend 4 hours amongst the gorillas while connecting, observing and takes wonderful photos and videos.

Unlike mountain gorilla trekking, gorilla habituation experience offers a more extensive, intimate and powerful connection with these gentle giants.

The habituation process offers more time to relax and understand the everyday life of a gorilla family, for photographers the experience presents a more relaxed environment to capture great shots in the challenging wild scene of Bwindi.

Visit the Batwa Pygmies

For many centuries Batwa people used to live in Bwindi forest before the area was gazetted as a protected area, today the Batwa live in the communities around the park and still their cultures are deeply rooted in the rainforest jungle of Bwindi.

On your visit you are entertained by local dances and drama, demostrations of the high skills of hunting, building of grass huts, visit the medicine, taste their local meals among others.

Other activities you can do in Rushaga sector include walking and bird watching

Best time to visit Rushaga Sector

Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park can be visited all year for gorilla trekking and other activities, however the best times of the year to go are from June to August and December to February which are dry seasons.

In these months of the year, the trails in jungle are drier and less slippery and chances of not getting wet a higher. The dry season also give a better experience for photography.

Note: because of the tropical forests, it can rain at any time of the year in Bwindi impenetrable national park even during the months of the dry season.

Also, the months of the dry season coincide with the peak season in Uganda and Bwindi impenetrable national park as well, gorilla permits and accommodations are on high demand in this period that is why you need to book in advance of about 3-6 months.

Where to stay

There are several accommodation options in Rushaga sector ranging from the most luxurious options in Bwindi, midrange options to budget options. These accommodations include

  • Rushaga Gorilla Camp
  • Gorilla Valley Lodge
  • Nshongi Camp
  • Gorilla Safari Lodge
  • Wagtail Eco Safari Camp
  • Bwindi Jungle Lodge
  • Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge
  • Mutanda Lake Resort
  • Chameleopn Hill Lodge
  • Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge
  • Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge

How to get there

Rushaga sector is situated in the southern region of Bwindi impenetrable national park located in Southwestern Uganda, road and air transport means can be used to get there.

 By road : Rushaga sector can be accesed from Kampala City where most safaris start from using two routes that is Kampala – Kabale – Rushaga route and Kampala – Kisoro – Mutanda – Nkuringo.

Kampala – Kabale – Rushaga route

This is the easiest route to Rushaga, this route is approximately 497 kilometers with only 43 kilometers on a dirt road taking approximately 10 hours to get there.

Kampala – Kisoro – Mutanda – Nkuringo.

This is the longest route to get to Rushaga from Kampala, this route approximately 527 kilometers and takes approximately 11 hours of drive to get there.

It is also possible to get to Rushaga sector from Queen  Elizabeth National Park on Ishasa – Kihihi – Rushaga route, on this route you drive through Kihihi via Kanungu, Rutoma and join Kabale – Kisoro Highway at Rubanda and continue up to Muko where you branch off the high ay.

By air: this is the quickest way to get to Rushaga sector, domestic and chartered flights to Rushaga sector are available from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro Airport. Then connect to the park by road, flight to Rushaga are offered by flight companies such as Aerolink and Bar Aviation.

Back To Top