Located at the northern side of Bwindi impenetrable national park. Buhoma sector is among Bwindi’s exceptional gorilla sectors mostly liked and visited by the tourists.
The fascinating ape life situated at Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is one of the major highlights of a Uganda primate safari. This national park hosts half of the world’s mountain population in its forests.
There are over 300 individual mountain gorillas found in the sectors of the park. The park is bisected into four sectors located at the different regions of Bwindi impenetrable national park. With Buhoma at the north, Rushaga at the south, Ruhija at the east, and Nkuringo sector at the south region of the park.
Buhoma sector is the most visited sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park, compared to the other sectors of the park. This sector holds the remarkable gorilla history of Uganda. It was the first gorilla sector opened up for gorilla trekking in Uganda. And Mubare gorilla, one of its gorilla group, was the first habituated gorilla family, where gorilla trekking first took place.
Buhoma sector has about 3 habituated gorilla families available for trekking in the forest. These include; Mubare, Rushegura, and Habinyanja gorilla family.
This was the first gorilla group to be habituated for gorilla trekking in Uganda. It’s habituation process begun in 1991 and by 1993, gorilla trekking had started to commence by the tourists. Mubare group started off as a strong gorilla family with 13 members but these were lost in deaths, gorilla fights, and loss of female members.
The group was first led by a male silverback called Rudondeza. Who died in sleep in 2012. He died at the age of 50 years. He was succeeded by another strong silverback, Kanyonyi who still leads the family.
Mubare gorilla family derived its name from the Mubare hills where the family is located. The family currently hosts about 9 members.
Rushegura gorilla family is one of the families in Buhoma that holds the biggest number of members. This family split away from the Habinyanja group with the leadership of Mwirimu. The groups broke away from a place called Rushegura where the created family derived its name.
Rushegura gorilla group was habituated from 2000 and received its first visitors in 2002. Mwirimu fully established his family in 2010 with stable members.
This is the easiest gorilla family to trek. As it rotates near the headquarters of the park and can easily be sighted. The family currently is made up of a group of 19 members.
Habinyanja gorilla group
The Habinyanja gorilla family is similar to the Mubare gorilla group, as among the first gorilla families to be habituated in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi. It was habituated in 1997 and started receiving visitors as early as 1999. This family was initially in leadership by Mugurisi, who unfortunately died because of old age.
He left the group in leadership of two silverbacks Rwansiguzi and Mwirima. Who with time couldn’t handle the family together. Mwirima was a most centered leader who wanted to stay in one place, yet Rwansiguzi was a more adventurous silverback. This led to a difference in the preference for the family, that led to the split of Habinyanja in 2002. It was a peaceful split where Mwirima moved away from the group to create his own family that is currently the Rushegura family.
Rwansiguzi remained and established the Habinyanja group, till he was overthrown by Makara who is the current leader of the Habinyanja. This family derived its name a near swamp in Buhoma. Which is referred to” Nyanja”. Which translates to mean “Place of water”.
Buhoma offers Uganda’s memorable gorilla safari experiences visiting its various gorilla families.
Besides visiting the various gorilla families in Buhoma. The sector has a number of walking trails that reveal the beauty of Buhoma. The Munyaga river trail located the valley of Buhoma, is suitable for bird watching and primate viewing. The Waterfall trail, rewards breathing views of the three beautiful waterfalls located with in the sector.
Other trails in Buhoma include the river Ivi trail, Muzabajiro trail, and rushura hill trail. However, with tourists interested in a more cultural experience, the Batwa trail would be the best trail to walk. This leads to the Batwa pygmy’s homesteads. Where visitors enjoy the traditional performances from the pygmy community and more.
Accommodation at Buhoma sector
The sector has a number of accommodation facilities that cater for overnight staying visitors to the sector. These range from Budget, midrange to upmarket lodges, hotels, and guest houses. These include Bwindi guest house, Bwindi view bandas, Engangi lodge, Buhoma community rest camp, Buhoma havens, Lake Kitandara, Buhoma lodge, and Silverback lodge.
How to get to the Buhoma sector.
The strategic location of the sector is one of the reasons why most gorilla lovers trek the mountain gorillas in Buhoma. The sector easily connects to the Uganda western circuit, which follows around Queen Elizabeth national park, Rwenzori national park, semuliki national park, Kibale national park, and Murchison falls national park. The sector is easily accessed from all these national parks.
A road transfer from Kampala to Buhoma via the Masaka Mbarara highway takes approximately 8 hours driving a distance of 463.2k to reach the sector.
However, a with short travel time, travelers can opt for the use of an air transfer. From Entebbe international airport to the Kihihi airstrip, it takes only one hour to reach Buhoma.