Gorilla Trekking Sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable national park; Gorilla trekking in Bwindi is one of Africa’s most popular safari activities and a memorable experience. The adventure takes you through the pristine tropical forest in search of the majestic mountain gorillas. A specific gorilla family is sought and visited by only one group of trekkers per day. Getting up-close to these endangered apes is a breathtaking moment that many refer to it as a “life changing experience”. Some people wonder if this is safe, and the answer is YES. It is very safe to meet these mountain gorillas since they have been habituated and made ready for tourism. On the other hand, the apes also have to be kept safe and this has been managed through the clearly stated rules and regulations of gorilla trekking.

Bwindi Forest national park has four major trailheads for gorilla trekking spread all over different locations. Travelers can be advised on which trailhead to opt for considering factors such as their route to Bwindi, other destinations on their gorilla safari and availability of gorilla permits.

Gorilla tracking trailheads in Bwindi are found in the following regions;

Buhoma sector

Buhoma is located in the northern side of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. It is found in Kanungu district and the first to access when driving from Queen Elizabeth national park. It has five habituated gorilla families namely; Muyambi, Katwe, Mubare, Rushegura and Habyinyanja gorilla families. Apart from gorilla trekking, you can also go bird watching, for community visits or Batwa cultural encounter.

Rushaga sector

Rushaga region is in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. It is home to 8 habituated gorilla families namely; Mishaya, Nshogi, Bweza, Kahungye, Busingye, Rwigi, Mucunguzi and Busingye. The gorilla families are open for trekking all year through.

Rushaga sector can be easily accessed from Rwanda in a 5-6 hours drive other than the approximately 12 hours from Kampala. It is also currently the only sector where visitors can engage in the gorilla habituation experience.

Ruhija sector

With four (4) habituated gorilla families, Uganda Wildlife Authority offers 32 gorilla permits daily to trek in Ruhija sector. The sector is located in the southeastern part of Bwindi. Gorilla groups available for tourism include; Kyaguiro, Bitukura, Mukiza and Oruzogo. Other activities to do after tracking gorillas in Ruhija sector include going for the Batwa cultural encounter, visiting local community projects and bird watching.

Nkuringo sector

Nkuringo is a region in the southeast of Bwindi. Located on a higher altitude, Nkuringo is the best sector  for travelers looking for a more difficult trek. It has three (3) habituated gorilla families namely Nkuringo, Bushaho and Christmas. Bushaho gorilla family is found of often crossing from Nkuringo sector to Rushaga side. These two sectors are close to each other and visitors can stay at one sector and trek gorillas in the other. It is common that visitors stay in Rushaga and go trekking in Nkuringo because of the limited number of lodges in Nkuringo sector. Other things to do in Nkuringo include bird watching, hiking and scenic viewing and visiting the Batwa and Bakiga communities.

Gorilla trekking in all these trekking sectors starts early morning at the park offices in each region. A maximum of 8 visitors is allowed to track one gorilla family per day and only one hour is allocated to stay with the apes. The trek can last for 1 -3 hours or more depending on the location of the gorilla family.

While hiking through Bwindi, you have an opportunity to see other residents of the forest such as monkeys and birds. Chimpanzees and elephants are also present but rarely seen.

While on a gorilla safari to Bwindi Impenetrable national park, neighboring safari destinations can be visited too; Queen Elizabeth national park for a wildlife safari, Mgahinga national park for golden monkey tracking and volcano hiking and Lake Bunyonyi and Mutanda for canoe riding, scenic viewing and a delightful relaxation.

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