Distance from Buhoma to Ruhija sector
Distance from Buhoma to Ruhija sector: Buhoma and Ruhija sectors are some of the gorilla trekking regions in Bwindi located on the northern and eastern sides of the park respectively. Bwindi has four gorilla trekking sectors and the other 2 are Rushaga and Nkuringo located on the southern side of the park. Over 21 mountain gorilla families live in these sectors and all are open for trekking purposes.
Distance from Buhoma to Ruhija sector
The distance from Buhoma to Ruhija sector is not so long and it’s because of this that travelers can stay in Buhoma and then visit Ruhija for gorilla trekking. A lot of travelers to Bwindi impenetrable forest national park can stay in Buhoma region and still trek mountain gorillas of Ruhija sector in the morning. This is because Buhoma sector has a lot of accommodation facilities the fact that it’s the oldest sector 9n the park where mountain gorillas trekking was done.
Some travelers prefer Buhoma sector being it’s the oldest region of the park to other sectors. Since it has a few mountain gorilla families and every traveler wants to trek in this region, the permits do sell out quickly leaving travelers without any choice but to stay here and trek mountain gorillas of Ruhija sector.
There are times when a traveler wants accommodation in Ruhija sector but finds out that their favorite lodges or lodges of their travel budget are fully booked so what normally happens is booking lodges in Buhoma region because it’s the closest to Ruhija sector.
When a traveler visiting Ruhija for gorilla trekking accepts to use lodges in Buhoma region, they will be asked to wake up very early in the morning and travel to Ruhija sector briefing point which takes 1-2 hours depending on the nature of the roads. Because gorilla trekking starts at 8 in all park sectors, travelers can wake up early at 6 and make it to the briefing point.
Travelers that have decided to stay in Buhoma and go gorilla trekking in Ruhija sector are advised to use 4×4 safari vehicles because there are times the roads be muddy and impassable especially in the rainy season of March to May and October to November. To avoid delays, getting stuck and delays for the briefing, it’s better to get a good safari driver and a good safari vehicle.
Even though Ruhija is located very close to Buhoma region, we advise travelers to book their gorilla safaris in advance when the lodges are still available to avoid inconveniences. When you use accommodation facilities in the sector you are joining to visit, you don’t have to wake up very early to move to the briefing point, you do wake up and take breakfast and then drive or walk to the sector headquarters. For travelers that just love staying in Buhoma but for permits for Ruhija sector, we can still organize memorable safaris for them.
There are so many accommodation facilities in Ruhija sector for travelers that do early gorilla bookings. These lodges range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and where to stay depends on the travel budget. Some of the accommodation facilities in Ruhija sector which travelers can use include Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Broadbill Forest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ecomarvels Gorilla Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Agandi Lodge, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort, Cuckoo Land Tented Lodge, Trekkers Tavern, and Gift of Nature Lodge among others.
Cost of gorilla trekking permits in Ruhija from Buhoma sector
For every traveler to encounter mountain gorillas, they need a gorilla trekking permit and this is issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority which is a government body that controls and manages all park activities. A single gorilla trekking permit costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa.
Gorilla trekking experience in Ruhija from Buhoma sector
Staying in Buhoma and going for gorilla trekking in Ruhija will require a traveler to wake up very early in the morning and reach the briefing point in time. 4 gorilla families including Oruzogo, Kyaguliro, Mukiza, and Bitukura are available for trekking purposes in Ruhija. To trek these families, those that have valid gorilla trekking permits start by gathering at the sector offices where armed ranger guides do teach about the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity. These wardens also allocate trekkers to different gorilla families according to age and physical ability.
Groups not exceeding 8 people are made and armed ranger guides do lead them in the jungle till they locate the gorilla family. Searching for mountain gorillas can take 2-7 hours and this normally depend on the location of the gorilla family plus the speed of trekkers. During the search, travelers are able to meet different forest mammals, primates, and birds.
When the mountain gorillas are spotted, armed ranger guides give trekkers 1 hour to be around the family and this enables them to know how these apes behave, there is taking pictures and mountain gorillas will be seen doing day to day activities such as hunting, nesting, eating, breastfeeding, and coupling among others.
Apart from gorilla trekking, travelers visiting Buhoma and Ruhija sectors can be part of birding where they can spot over 350 birds being that these two regions have the best birding spots. Travelers can also take a visit to the Batwa communities and interact with local people or they can be part of the nature walk activities to explore the park on foot.
When to trek Ruhija gorillas?
Ruhija gorillas can be trekked at any time of the year however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry season months from June to September and December to February are the best to encounter Bwindi gorillas and this is because the months have little or no rainfall which leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short and scattered with great views of the gorillas and the roads connecting to the region are in good condition.
Travelers can still stay in Bwindi and visit Ruhija for gorilla trekking in the rainy season which happens from March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities because lodge owners do lower prices to attract a few travelers to the park. Travelers should however not that there is plenty of rainfall during these months and this makes the roads connecting to the sector muddy and impassable, the trekking trails in the park are muddy and slippery and the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals.