where is the Rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable forest national park
The Rushaga sector of Bwindi is among the four sectors that make up Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The Rushaga region is situated in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park accommodates over 400 mountain gorillas, which makes up more than half of the total mountain gorilla population left worldwide. The Rushaga sector of Bwindi offers the highest number of mountain gorillas from five different gorilla families, not like other sectors of Bwindi that offer three gorilla families or less, hence making the Rushaga sector one of the best-done sectors in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park for mountain gorilla trekking and the only sector where mountain gorilla habituation is done in Uganda. The mountain gorilla families in the Rushaga sector include the Busingye gorilla family, the Bweza gorilla family, the Kungye gorilla family, the Nshongi gorilla family, and the Mishaya gorilla family.
Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Rushaga sector of Bwindi accommodates the highest number of habituated mountain gorilla families compared to other sectors of Bwindi. Rushaga sector of Bwindi offers 40 mountain gorilla trekking permits per day compared to the other remaining three sectors. Although travelers are advised to book their mountain gorilla trekking permits early enough—at least three months prior to their travel dates—tourists can easily suggest a particular mountain gorilla family that they would like to trek with. Therefore, tourists can choose a mountain gorilla family that matches their body fitness in order to avoid exhaustion. Since mountain gorilla trekking involves moving while searching for mountain gorilla families deep in the tropical forest, some travelers may wish to see more than one mountain gorilla family. It’s also possible. During your mountain gorilla trek, you will be escorted by the guides and the park rangers due to the fact that they know more about mountain gorillas, such as how gorillas are handled, and they are well-versed about the forest, such as where these mountain gorillas are located at a particular hour because mountain gorillas move from place to place within the forest while searching for food. Each mountain gorilla family in the Rushaga sector has a silverback leader that helps to determine each gorilla's movement each day and the daily activities within the family. While trekking mountain gorillas in the forest in search of the habituated mountain gorilla family, you may notice a variety of bird species singing, colorful butterflies, black and white colobus monkeys, chimps, and other unique creatures, as well as the beautiful scenery within this dense tropical forest.
Travelers should know that there are only a total of eight mountain gorilla trekking permits, which means that only eight people are accepted to trek a particular mountain gorilla family, and Uganda’s age limit for mountain gorilla trekking is just 15 years. With that view, children below this age are not allowed to trek with mountain gorillas or have a mountain gorilla habituation experience. In order for the traveler to go mountain gorilla trekking, every tourist needs a mountain gorilla trekking permit, which costs $700.
Gorilla Habituation Experience in Rushaga sector
Mountain Gorilla trekking is done in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi as well as gorilla habituation experience where tourists are permitted to spend more time with gorillas compared to the normal mountain gorilla trekking where tourists only spend an hour interacting with mountain gorillas. Therefore, with the gorilla habituation experience, tourists spend four hours interacting with the habituated mountain gorillas, and only a total of four people are accepted to spend time with that particular mountain gorilla family per day.
Currently, only two mountain gorilla families are under habituation in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park; habituated mountain gorilla families include Bikyingi and Bushaho. In other words, these mountain gorilla families have been trained to become accustomed to human presence in their natural habitat. A mountain gorilla habituation experience permit goes for only $1500 per person.
How to access the Rushaga Sector of Bwindi
Right from Entebbe or Kampala, you can travel via Mbarara and Kabale districts to the Rushaga sector, which takes approximately 8–9 hours. Travelers may choose to reach Rushaga by flight from Entebbe Airport to Kisoro Airstrip. Aerolink offers morning flights that are normally scheduled for this trip to Kisoro, then you proceed to the Rushaga sector.
Traveling to the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable offers tourists a chance of spotting the chained Volcano Mountains from a far distance, such as Mount Muhavura and Mount Gahinga. Rushaga also offers beautiful scenery, such as the Lake Bunyonyi interlocking spur.
Rushaga sector offers a variety of tourism activities besides mountain gorilla trekking that attract more tourists, such as mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, and nature walks. Therefore, all these activities allow tourists to view other unique creatures such as many bird species, colorful butterflies, mammal species such as chimpanzees, squirrels, black and white colobus monkeys, and fantastic waterfalls. The Rushaga sector takes tourists for cultural experiences to the Batwa and Bakiga communities, where travelers may be able to encounter different cultural activities within these communities.