Where to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi?
Where to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi?: Located in the southwestern part of Uganda, Bwindi gorilla park is the best place to see mountain gorillas in Africa. The national park harbors the highest number of mountain gorillas surviving in the world. Bwindi gorilla park has been dived into 4 sectors where different mountain gorillas do live. Each of the sectors of Bwindi has different mountain gorilla groups that can be trekked at any time of the year.
4 sectors are in Bwindi gorilla park and these are Nkuringo region in the south, Ruhija sector in the east, Buhoma region in the north, and Rushaga region in the south. 21 mountain gorilla families do live in these 4 sectors of Bwindi and 2 of them are designed for habituation a unique activity that allows travelers to stay with mountain gorillas for 4 hours.
Regions to where to see gorillas in Bwindi
Nkuringo sector is one of the places to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi gorilla park. The area is located in the southern part of the park in Kisoro district. Nkuringo can be accessed from Kisoro using the dirty roads leading west from Muko, midway Kabale-Kisoro road. The sector can be accessed from Kampala or Kigali using Cyanika border in Kisoro. Air transport travelers can access Nkuringo using Kisoro airstrip where drivers transfer them to the sector.
Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector
Nkuringo gorilla group is home to only 3 mountain gorilla families of which 2 are open for trekking purposes and 1 is open for habituation. The gorilla trekking activities are done on gorilla families Nkuringo which is the oldest in the region and Christmas gorilla family. Gorilla habituation experience is done in Bushaho gorilla family which is trekked by only 4 people accompanied by rangers. conservationists and rangers.
Accommodation facilities in Nkuringo sector
Nkuringo sector offers accommodation facilities that range from budget to mid-range to luxury options and some of them include Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, Gorilla Heights Lodge, Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpackers Lodge, Mutanda Eco Community Centre, Nshongi Camp, Crested Crane Bwindi Hotel, Lake Mulehe Gorilla Lodge, and Virunga Campsite.
This is the first area where gorilla habituation took place in Bwindi gorilla park. Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of the park in Kanungu district. The sector can be easily accessed using chartered flights that land right inside the sector on Kihihi airstrip. Buhoma region is famous for being the sector with the oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gorillas. Gorilla habituation was done on Mubare gorilla group which is the oldest gorilla family in Bwindi and this was the year 1991. The gorilla group was open for trekking activities in 1993 after 2 years of habituation.
Gorilla families in Buhoma sector
Buhoma sector has 5 fully habituated mountain gorilla families that are open for trekking throughout the year. The gorilla trekking activities are done among families such as Mubare which is the oldest family in the whole park, Habinyanja gorilla family, Rushengurea gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family, and Muyambi gorilla family. Only 8 trekkers can trek a single gorilla group in this region and those that have a specific gorilla family to trek can inform their local tour operators before the trekking day.
Accommodation facilities in Buhoma sector
There are so many accommodation facilities in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi where travelers can spend a night or more and these range from luxury to mid-range to budget options such as Buhoma Lodge, Engagi Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Forest Lodge, Mahogany Springs Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Ride 4 women Guest House, Silverback Lodge, Buhoma Rest Camp, Haven Lodge, and Volcanoes Bwindi Lodge.
Rushaga sector is one of the sectors in Bwindi that receives the highest number of visitors in a single day because it harbors the highest population of mountain gorilla families. The sector is located in the southern part of the park near Nkuringo region. Rushaga sector is one of the regions in Bwindi where travelers spend more than 1 hour with a gorilla family. Bikingi gorilla family is found in this region and travelers can spend 4 hours with it while making it get used to human presence.
Gorilla families to see in Rushaga sector
Rushaga gorilla family has 8 gorilla families making it the sector with the highest population of mountain gorilla families in the park. The sector is home to Nshongi gorilla family, Rwigi gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, and Kahungye gorilla family.
Accommodation in Rushaga sector
Lots of accommodation facilities are spread around Rushaga sector of Bwindi but where travelers can stay depends on their budget for they range from budget to mid-range to luxury options for example 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.
Ruhija sector is found in the eastern part of the park in Kabale district. The sector can be accessed from Kampala in 9-10 hours or Kigali via Katuna border in 4 hours. Ruhija sector is one of the places to meet mountain gorillas in Bwindi gorilla park for it has some habituated mountain gorilla families. The sector is also home to over 350 bird species, 120 mammals, and 10 primate species of which some are seen during the trekking activity.
Gorilla families in Ruhija sector
Ruhija sector on the eastern side of the park is home to four mountain gorilla families. These are Oruzigo gorilla group, Bitukira gorilla group, Mukiza gorilla group, and Kyaguliro gorilla group. Only 8 people are allowed to trek any of the gorilla families in Ruhija and they must be 15 years old with valid gorilla permits. The fact that 8 people trek a single gorillas family brings us to 32 gorilla trekking permits every single day,
Accommodation facilities in Ruhija sector
Some of the accommodation facilities in Ruhija sector 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.
How much is seeing mountain gorillas in sectors of Bwindi
Trekking a mountain gorilla group in any of the four sectors of Bwindi requires one to have a gorilla trekking permit. The gorilla trekking permit that allows travelers to be around gorillas for 1 hour costs $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents, and UGX250,000 East African citizens. The gorilla habituation permit that enables a traveler to be around mountain gorillas for 4 hours costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 foreign residents, and UGx750,000 East African citizens.
When to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi sectors
Each sector of Bwindi gorilla park is open for trekking at any time of the year however certain months are better than the rest. The dry months that occur from June to September and December to February are the best to visit all the sectors of Bwindi because during that time, there is little or no rainfall that leaves the trekking trails dry, the vegetation is short and scattered with good views of the mountain gorillas and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists most especially the budget travelers can visit Bwindi gorilla park in the rainy season to enjoy huge discounts on accommodation facilities. The rainy season in Bwindi occurs from March to May and October to November and during the period there is too much rainfall that makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation is thick and tall with unclear views of the gorillas and the roads leading to the park are in poor conditions.
Bwindi gorilla park can be accessed easily from Kampala or Kigali using road transport or air transport. Bwindi gorilla park can be accessed using air transport from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip using some of the airline companies such as Aerolink Uganda, bar aviation, or Uganda airline. The flights land at Kihihi international airport for those going to Buhoma or Kisoro airstrip for those going to Nkuringo, Rushaga, and Ruhija sectors.
Bwindi can be accessed using riad transport and the shortest journey is from Kigali and crossing t Uganda using Katuna border in Kabale or Cyanika border in Kisoro where you branch off at different points to any of the gorilla sectors you want. The longest journey is from kampala/enteebe abd using masaka, Mbarara, kabale, Kisoro road and connect to different parts of the park.