Things to do in Ruhija after gorilla trekking tour
Things to do in Ruhija after gorilla trekking tour: Ruhija is found in Bwindi gorilla park which is in southwestern Uganda and is one of the regions to meet mountain gorillas. The sector is found on the eastern part of Bwindi gorilla park in Kabale district. Ruhija sector harbors some of the mountain gorillas of Bwindi gorilla park and 4 gorilla families have been habituated in this region.
Gorilla families to encounter in Ruhija region are Mukiza, Orugozo, Kyaguliro, and Bitukura. To see the above mountain gorilla families, you must have a gorilla permit. The gorilla permit for Ruhija can be got direct from Uganda Wildlife Authority or a trusted local tour operator at the same fee.
Gorilla permits for Ruhija sector cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 for East African citizens. The gorilla permits are cards that are shown to rangers to prove to them that you are allowed to spend time with the mountain gorillas. On the day of trekking, you will go with them to the briefing centre in order to be allowed to trek mountain gorillas.
The activity starts with a briefing at the sector offices and armed ranger guides lead the trek. To locate mountain gorillas in Ruhija can take you 2-7 hours of meeting different park mammals, primates, and birds. As soon as the gorilla group is located, trekkers are given 1 hour to be around the family watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits. After trekking mountain gorillas of Ruhija sector, travelers can be part of activities as explained below.
Activities to do in Ruhija after Gorilla trekking tour
Birding watching is one of the amazing activities to combine with mountain gorilla trekking in this sector. The activity is led by armed ranger guides that lead the birders through different birding trails that are in the sector. During the birding in this region, you will be able to see bird species such as blue-headed sunbird, African pygmy kingfisher, African green broadbill, dwarf honeyguide, Rwenzori batis, African paradise flycatcher, Kivu ground thrush, grey throated barbet, regal sunbird, tit hylia, crowned hornbill, cinnamon chested bee-eater, olive-breasted greenbul, western green tinkerbird, and nuemann’s warbler among others.
After trekking mountain gorillas in Ruhija, visiting the Batwa people is what you shouldn’t miss out on. During the Batwa visit, you will be led by the local people that will take you around the boundaries of the park telling you stories of how they used to live in the jungle, get food and use plants to cure illness. The Batwa cultural visit takes you to communities of the Batwa people to meet the elders who tell stories of long ago, traditional heals that still use plants as medicine, traditional dancers, and much more. You will see people do day to day activities, and you will be part of some community activities such as food preparation and farming.
To explore different attractions in eastern region of bwindi, you need to have nature walks after gorilla trekking. The nature walks in Ruhija sector enable travelers to see different park animals such as buffaloes, bushpigs, duikers, giant forest hogs, jackals, bats, birds such as tit hylia, regal sunbird, Rwenzori batis, African green broadbill, African paradise flycatcher, dwarf honeyguide, Rwenzori batis, Kivu ground thrush, plants, water sources among others.
Best time to have a tour in Ruhija
Ruhija sector can be visited at any time of the year but there are times that are better than others. The dry months are the best to have a tour in Ruhija sector and they happen from June to September and December to February. They are characterized by little or no rainfall that makes the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is thin and scattered with good views of the sector animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Travelers most especially the budget travelers can visit Ruhija sector of Bwindi in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. However the rainy season comes with too much rainfall, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is tall and thick with unclear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the sector are in poor conditions.
Where to stay on a tour in Ruhija for a gorilla trekking tour
There are lots of accommodation facilities in Ruhija where travelers can stay while on a gorilla tour in the Bwindi. The accommodation facilities in Ruhija range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and these include Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Bakiga Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Broadbill Forest Camp, Agandi Lodge, Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort, Chameleon Hill Lodge, Cuckoo Land Tented Lodge, Ecomarvels Gorilla Lodge, and Trekkers Tavern.
Getting to Ruhija sector
Getting to Ruhija sector can be done using road transport or air transport. luxury travelers can fly to Ruhija sector within 2 hours using Bar aviation, Aerolink Uganda or Uganda airlines from Kajjansi airstrip or Entebbe international airport to Kisoro airstrip. From the airstrip, you will be driven to Ruhija sector in a few hours while enjoying what is on the roadsides and meeting local people.
Travelers that are okay with traveling long distances or those that enjoy moving in vehicles can drive from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara to Kabale. From there they will connect to Ruhija sector and the journey takes 9-10 hours. Travelers from Kigali can connect to Ruhija sector by crossing to Uganda using Katuna border in Kabale.