Sectors Of Bwindi Impenatrable Forest National Park
Sectors of Bwindi- Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is one of Uganda’s national parks located in south western Uganda on an of 334 sq.km. the park is a home to more than a half of the remaining total population of endangered mountain gorillas in the world. The other mountain gorillas are found in Mgahinga national park in Uganda, volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in DR Congo.
Mountain gorillas are endangered species of primates having 96% human DNA making them closest relatives as bonobos and chimpanzees. They are herbivores animals feeding on mainly vegetation like the bamboo shoots, leaves, stems, fruits, and sometimes they are seen feeding on insects, termites and ants. Mountain gorillas were almost extinct in the 19th century but the conservation efforts by Uganda wildlife authority have seen increase in population over the years.
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the southern sector of the park, the sector is a home to the most popular Nkuringo gorilla family well known for their playful behaviors because of many juveniles in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
Nkuringo sector provides beautiful views of the famous Virunga mountains shared between Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda. This area of the park should be visited by the young or energetic people because the Nkuringo gorilla family lives on a higher elevation making it hard to trek the mountain gorillas. Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector include Nkuringo gorilla family which has 12 members with 2 silver backs, 1 blackbacks, 2 adults females and 3 juveniles, Bikingi gorilla family with 15 members including 1 silverback, 2 sub adults, 5 adult females, 2 juveniles and 5 infants, Bushasho gorilla family composed of 8 members; 1 silverback, 3 adult females, 1 blackback, 1 juvenile, 1 infant and 1 sub adult.
Rushaga sector of Bwindi
Rushaga sector is one of the sectors located in the extreme southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national near Mgahinga national park making it easily accessible from Rwanda. Rushaga sector harbors 5 gorilla families.
The five habituated gorilla families in Rushaga sector include Busingye gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Nshongi gorilla family, and Kahungye gorilla family. Rushaga is the only sector in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park where gorilla habituation is done and there are two gorilla families undergoing habituation as of now namely Bushaho gorilla family and Bikingi gorilla family.
Buhoma sector is located in the northern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and one of the most visited sectors. Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park was the first sector to have gorilla habituation done. In 1992. Mubare gorilla family was the first group to be habituated as soon as Bwindi impenetrable forest was gazette as a national park.
The other gorilla families in Buhoma sector include Habinyanja gorilla family, Rushegura gorilla family, Muyambi gorilla family, and Katwe gorilla family. Buhoma sector is close the Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park and Kihihi airstrip. Buhoma is famous for having the most up market lodges.
Buhoma sector also boasts with several hiking and nature walk trails such as the Munyanga trail, Muzabajiro loop trail, Ivy river trail and Rushura trail that gives you panoramic views and the best picnic sites with lots of wildlife and birds to be seen.
Ruhija sector of Bwindi
Ruhija sector is situated in the northern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and is a home to 4 habituated gorilla families namely Bitukura gorilla family with 13 members and 4 silverbacks, Orugozo gorilla family with 23 members and 1 dominant silverback, Mukiza gorilla family comprised of 10 individuals and 1 silverback and Kyaguriro gorilla family with 15 individuals with 2 silverbacks
Wildlife in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
The park is not only a home to mountain gorillas bit also 350 bird species among which include Rwenzori batis, tit hyalia, strange weaver, handsome francolin, strange weaver, chapin’s fly catcher, handsome francolin, and red throated alethe, 120 mammals such as elephants, giant forest hogs, side stripped jackal, bush pigs, antelopes, African civet, duikers, buffaloes, insects, over 200 butterflies and primates like the L’hoest’s monkey, red tailed monkey, De Brazza monkeys, potto, black and white colobus, baboons, and galago among others. The following are things to do in different sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable national park on a safari
The main activity done in Bwindi impenetrable national is mountain gorilla trekking. This is done in any of the four sectors – Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga or Nkuringo under the guidance of expert park rangers.
A maximum of eight people aged 15 and above are allowed to track each gorilla family per day, while obeying the set rules and regulations as taught to you during the briefing and these include the 7-meter distance from the mountain gorillas, no making noise, no eating near using flash fewer cameras, no littering the park and respecting the gentle Apes all times.
Bwindi impenetrable forest is a true birder’s haven, hosting over 346 species, of which over 25 are believed to be endemic to the Albertine region and approximately 23 non-endemics. Additional, Guinea-Congo-forest biome bird species, Western Green Tinker bird, blue headed sunbird, Fine-banded Woodpecker, Kivu ground thrush, African Wood Owl, black bee-eater, cinnamon-chested bee-eater, African emerald cuckoo, regal sunbird, western tinkerbird, and Archer’s Robin-Chat among others thus becoming the best spot for group birding experience while at Bwindi impenetrable forest national park.
The commonly used Trails include Mubwindi swamp, Buhoma sector, and the Bamboo zones among others.
This is one of the activities you should engage in as a tourist to or from Bwindi Impenetrable national park. You will enjoy a scenic ride at Lake Mutanda, which gives you a clear view of the Virunga ranges, unique bird species, and thriving tree plant species by the lake shores. Chances are that you will spot the locals of the place fetching water.
Batwa Pygmy Experience
Interacting with the locals will put a smile on your face, especially after successful mountain gorilla trekking. The Batwa pygmies are believed to be one of the oldest group of people that existed on planet earth, initially living in the forests as wonderers and fruit gatherers, who depended on the plants and animals for food, medication, and shelter.
However, though they have been displaced from the forest, their spirits are still alive, and they keep demonstrating what they inherited from their forefathers. They take you through honey gathering and tasting, sing interesting songs, lead visitors to the caves, and tell ancient stories related to their inherited origin among others.
This gives you the opportunity of adventuring the captivating biodiversity of flora and fauna at Bwindi national park, watching numerous bird and plant species, farmlands, forest walk, and participating in the community walk and community funded projects.
Cost of Gorilla Safari in Bwindi Forest
The cost of a gorilla safari in different sectors of Bwindi is based on a number of factors such as accommodation level, permits, transport, hiring sedan chairs for visitors with disability among others. A gorilla trekking permit costs $ 700 in Uganda. 75% of the paid money is used to conserve the surviving gorilla population. The government also cuts off its 15% and the local community take 10%. Remember the permit also includes gorilla watching for one hour, entrance fee ranger fee and advance trackers. These are some of our prices for gorilla trekking safaris;
1 Day Gorilla Trekking Uganda Costs About $1100
2 Days Gorilla Safari Costs About $ 1280
3 Day Gorilla Tour Costs About $ 1450
Other Trekking Costs to Consider
Food and drinks cost about $50 per day. Many tour operators include soft drinks and meals.
Air ticket depends on the country you are from but it is estimated to be $500-$2400
If chartered flights are to be arranged from airport to the nearest gorilla trekking points, it will cost $ 600.
Hiring a car will cost you around $80 per day.
Visa and Border Crossing.
The visa for East Africa is at an amount of $100. The visa works in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda
Cost of Porters
A porter can be paid 20 dollars and also you can hire a Sedan chair at around $500 for porters to carry you.
Tips for Cutting Costs
Do not travel alone.
Stay in finest budget lodges.
Select Uganda over Rwanda.
Dodge using public transport buses and do not leave on time.
Dodge chartered flights.
Book your gorilla tour during low season.
Accommodation in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
There are several accommodation facilities in different sectors of Bwindi ranging from luxury to mid-range to budget to camping where tourists can sleep at the sector where they obtained a gorilla permit. Some of the lodges in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park include Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla Mist Camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Camp, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Buhoma Lodge and Ruhija Gorilla safari lodge among others.