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Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Sector

Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Sector Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the southern part of Uganda and is famous for hosting half population of the world mountain gorillas

Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Sector

Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Sector- Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the southern part of Uganda and is famous for hosting half population of the world mountain gorillas. The other mountain gorillas can be trekked in volcanoes national park of Rwanda, Virunga national park of DR Congo, and Mgahinga gorilla park of Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has 4 gorilla trekking sectors where trekking can be done with each sector having different gorilla families. The sectors are Ruhija, Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Buhoma.

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is not only home to mountain gorillas but also 120 mammal species, primates, 348 bird species of which 23 are endemic to the area, and 400 different tree species. the national park was established in 1991 and was recognized as a world heritage site in 1994 by UNESCO. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has the highest concentration of primate species in the whole world, the park is a home of 13 primate species.

Gorilla families in the Rushaga sector

Busingye gorilla family

Busingye gorilla family is found in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. The gorilla family broke away from the Kahungye gorilla family in august 2012. The name Busingye was derived from a local word to mean “peace” given the dominant silverback. Busingye gorilla family is made up of 9 individuals composed of 1 silverback, 3 infants, and 5 females. This gorilla family is one of the hardest to trek because the silverback is found of taking his family deep in the mountain tops to avoid intruders.

Kahungye gorilla family

Kahungye gorilla family was made up of 23 members at the time of habituation and was dominated by the silverback Rumansi but after habituation, the group split in a few months from the Busingye gorilla family. The group is now made of 13 members with 3 silverbacks.

Bweza gorilla family

Bweza gorilla family was formed after Bweza the dominant silverback separated from Nshongi gorilla family which was the largest gorilla family in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park by then to form its own in 2012. The group now has 12 members among which include 2 silverbacks, 4 black backs, 3 adult females, 1 juvenile, and 2 infant gorillas.

Nshongi gorilla family

Nshongi gorilla family was the biggest habituated gorilla family in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park at the time of their habituation, the gorilla family was opened up for tourism in 2009 when it was made up of 36 members and the name was got from river Nshongi where they were first sighted.

Nshongi gorilla family split in 2010 when the silverback Mishaya off with 10 individuals to form his own family now known as the Mishaya gorilla family. In less than two months Bweza also decided to break away and form his own gorilla family and the Nshongi gorilla family was left with only 7 members.

Mishaya gorilla family

Mishaya gorilla family was formed after the silverback Mishaya broke off from the Nshongi gorilla family the largest gorilla group in East and Central Africa to begin his own family, Mishaya was famous for fighting other gorilla groups to group members to his own family. Mishaya comprises 12 members with 1 silverback, 2 blackbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles, 4 infants

Due to several fights with other silverbacks, Mishaya sustained several wounds that later led to his death on 3rd February 2014 and was buried inside the park. Mishaya gorilla family is now led by Mwine.

Why Rushaga is recommended for is gorilla trekking.

As you are travelling to Rushaga, you will watch mountain volcanoes from a distance and you will see the best sights of Gahinga, Virunga and Muhavura. It is a fine-looking scenery to watch for. You will also have an opportunity to watch Lake Bunyonyi which is known as the deepest Crater Lake in Africa.

As you are driving to Rushaga region, you will be electrified with incredible experience of the topography, the hills, valleys will surprise you, and on top of that you will also enjoy the prettiness of Kisoro district which is well known as the Switzerland of Uganda.

There are habituated Gorilla families in Rushaga sector and it is stress-free to book your permit in advance of 3 months because 40 permits is sold on a daily basis and 8 people are permitted to trek per Gorillla family even though four people are grouped to practice habituation in Rushaga region and this  sector has two habituated Gorilla families. Gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250,000shs for East African citizens. The gorilla permits allow you to stay around mountain gorillas for a maximum of one hour and it’s sold to persons of ages 15 and above.

Before a permit is issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, you should first alert the tour operator in charge about the gorilla family.  This is so because the gorilla families are located in various areas and therefore your physical fitness determines which sector to trek in. Rangers are available to spot for you the gorilla family of your choice since they well know where to find the specific gorilla family that you are trekking for.

Rushaga region has various lodges. These lodges are possessed by the locals of this region which is different from other sectors where lodges are owned by foreign investors. As you are trekking in Rushaga sector and you feel like spending a night, you can sleep in one of these lodges and they include Gorilla safari lodge, Rushaga Gorilla camp, Nshongi Gorilla camp, Rushaga gorilla havens lodge, among others.

Visiting this region gives you an opportunity to join the developing sector of the region. There are many activities that take place in this community if you compare it to other sectors of the park. Gorilla habituation activity allows tourists to interact with them for 4 hours as you are on the wild training of gorillas which are close to human race.

Gorilla habituation in Rushaga sector

There are only 3 gorilla families undergoing habituation in Rushaga and these are Bushaho and Bukingi. The gorilla habituation permits in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park cost $1500 and this permit allows trekkers to stay around these gorillas for four hours. The gorilla permits are sold to people of 15 years and above while those with infections such as flu won’t be allowed to trek mountain gorillas. Those intending to habituate mountain gorillas in the Rushaga sector most especially in the dry season are advised to book their gorilla permits 3-4 months in advance. Only 4 people are allowed a day to habituate gorillas.

When to visit Rushaga sector

Rushaga sector can be visited at any time of the year but the best time to visit is the dry season. The dry season happens every year in June, July. August, September, December, January, and February. During these months, the terrain is not slippery and the roads are passable.

What to carry for Rushaga gorilla safari

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park receives rainfall at any time of the year so when you are planning to come to the park whether in the dry season or the wet season you should carry a rain jacket, waterproof hiking shoes, long-sleeved warm clothes, insect repellents, good quality camera, enough drinking water and energy-giving snacks.