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Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park Uganda Gorilla Trekking – Uganda Gorilla Tours And Gorilla Safaris

Trekking Bikingi gorilla family

Bikingi gorilla family

Trekking Bikingi gorilla family

Trekking Bikingi gorilla family: Bikingi gorilla group is one of the gorilla groups found in Rushaga sector of Bwindi gorilla park. Rushaga sector is among the four sectors of Bwindi located in the southern sector of the park. Bwindi is a gorilla park in the southwestern part of Uganda protecting the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world. Bikingi gorilla family is one of the mountain gorilla families found in Rushaga in Bwindi gorilla park.

Habituating Bikingi gorilla group started in 2012 after the group had split from Mishaya gorilla group. Habituating biking gorilla family is still going one because the family is purposely up for habituation purposes in Bwindi gorilla park. Making the mountain gorillas of this family get used to human presence wasn’t easy because some of the members in the group from Mishaya gorilla family were still wild.

As of today, Bikingi gorilla family is comprised of 15 members which include the ruling silverback, 5 infants, 2 sub-adults, 2 juveniles, and 5 adult females. Bikingi is led by silverback called Bikingi which was named after the group. Bikingi gorilla family is found in Rushaga gorilla sector and it’s the only gorilla family that is open for habituation purposes in the region.

Bikingi gorilla group

Habituating mountain gorillas of Bikingi gorilla family was done by a group of researchers, rangers, and conservationists in the beginning but as of today tourists are also allowed to be part of the trekking activity. Tracking biking gorilla family starts early in the morning at 8 am with a briefing at the Rushaga sector offices. The wardens teach the trekkers which don’t exceed 4 about the rules and regulations of the gorilla habituation activity before armed ranger guides lead them into the jungle. The gorilla habituation activity is done by a group of researchers, conservationists, trekkers, and rangers who visit the gorilla family on a daily basis and spend 4 hours with the members.

Searching Bikingi gorilla family in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi takes 2-7 hours of passing through different trekking trails, meeting different park mammals, primates, and birds. Once the mountain gorilla family is located, the 4 hours do start to count and in that period, the trekkers are able to do some of the things that make gorillas get used to human presence, be part of the naming if any, learn about the gorilla habits, take photos as they watch them do daily activities.

Cost of gorilla trekking permits for Bikingi gorilla family

The habituation permits for Bikingi gorilla family do cost $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and shs750,000 East African citizens. Travelers are asked to book their habituation permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences. The permits can be booked from the Uganda Wildlife Authority website or any trusted local tour operator.

A waterproof backpack

A waterproof backpack

Packing  for Bikingi gorilla group

Bikingi gorilla trekking requires one to carry all the essentials needed for a successful safari and some of them include waterproof hiking shoes, cotton stocks, a pair of gaiters, rain jacket, long-sleeved pants, long-sleeved shirts, insect repellents, sunscreen, a hat, a light backpack, camera, a pair of binoculars, sanitizer, facemask, energy-giving foods, and reusable drinking water bottle.

Best time to habituate Bikingi gorilla family

Rushaga sector is open all throughout the year so travelers can always trek Biking gorilla group however there are months that are better than the rest. The dry months that occur from June to September and December to February are the best to habituate Bikingi gorilla family because they are characterized by little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is thin with unclear views of the park animals, and the roads leading to the park are passable.

Habituating Bikingi gorilla family can still be done in the rainy season of March to May and October to November to enjoy huge discounts in accommodation facilities however, during the rainy season the trekking trails are muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick with unclear views of the park animals, too much fog leads to poor photography and the roads leading to the park are impassable.

Accommodation facilities in Rushaga sector

Places to stay if you visit Bwindi gorilla park to trek Bikingi gorilla family are those found in the Rushaga region. They do range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and they include Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Four Gorillas Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Gorilla Valley Lodge, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, Nsongi Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Haven Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Resort, and Wagtail Eco Safari Lodge.

Accessing Rushaga sector to trek Bikingi gorilla family

By air: Travelers can fly from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kisoro airstrip. Flights to Kisoro airstrip take 2 hours and are conducted by different airline companies in Uganda. To use a flight to Rushaga sector, you will have to inform your tour operator in advance to book a seat for you.

By road transport: Travelers can access Rushaga sector in the south of Bwindi to trek Bikingi gorilla family using road transport. Road transport to Rushaga sector takes you through fantastic scenery with great views of plantations, homesteads, towns, hills, and waterbodies. The journey starts from Kampala via Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, Kisoro to Rushaga sector and takes 9-10 hours. The shortest way to reach Rushaga is coming from Kigali and crossing to Uganda using Cyanika border and then continue to Kisoro where you connect to Rushaga sector.

bird watching in Rushaga Gorilla trekking sector

bird watching in Rushaga Gorilla trekking sector

Activities to do after trekking biking gorilla group

Birding: Birding in Rushaga sector is carried out with a help of a range guide in the morning hours along mutanda. Bird lovers are able to watch over 300 bird species in the area of which some are endangered to the Albertine region. Notable birds in the Rushaga region include African green broadbill, bar-tailed trogon, grey cuckoo shrike, kivu ground thrush, finely banded woodpecker, black bee-eater, regal sunbird, handsome francolin, bar-tailed trogon, chestnut throated apalis, grey cuckoo shrike, western tinkerbird, collared apalis, tit hylia, Rwenzori batis, dusky twinspot, short-tailed warbler, and montane oriole among others.

Nature walks: Nature walks are some of the activities that can be done after trekking members of Bikingi gorilla family. Nature walks in Rushaga sector are done using kajembehajambe trail which had 2 trails one for bird nature walk trails and the other for waterfall trails. During the nature walks, tourists will be able to spot different bird species, mammals, primates, and vegetation. Rushaga sector has animals such as buffaloes, duikers, monkeys, olive baboons, elephants, antelopes, bush pigs, and much more.

Cultural tours: Among the things to do in Rushaga sector after trekking Bikingi gorilla family is visiting the Batwa people. The Batwa live around the park since they were evicted out of the forest to protect wild animals most especially the mountain gorillas. A visit to the Batwa community is led by the local people who take you to different communities to watch how these people live their day to day life, visit traditional healers to see how they use local medicine to cure illness, be part of food making, listen to stories of ling ago and get entertained by the traditional dancers.

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