Buhoma sector of Bwindi is the most sought after gorilla trekking region in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Located in the northern part of Bwindi in the district of Kanungu, Buhoma gorilla sector is the most developed and an exceptional region that almost all travelers who call in to book permits first inquire on availability in Buhoma sector. With about 40 gorilla families recorded to be in Bwindi, 19 are fully habituated and can be tracked by travelers, with the Buhoma gorilla sector having 4 of them.
Buhoma sector of Bwindi was the first sector to be opened for gorilla trekking in Uganda in the year 1993. Mubare gorilla family was the very first habituated gorilla family and upon completion of the habituation process, it was availed for gorilla trekking to tourist. Buhoma region currently has four gorilla families habituated and available for Buhoma gorilla trekking. These include Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe gorilla families.
Buhoma gorilla trekking allows 8 travelers per gorilla family per day, and one must be 15 years and more to take part in gorilla trekking. Gorilla permits, as always, sell out very fast but those in Buhoma sector sell out much faster than the rest. Travelers interested in Buhoma gorilla trekking must book their permits a long while in advance as early travelers usually book these permits which are actually given on a first come first serve basis. Gorilla permits cost $700 for foreign no-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250,000 for East African citizens.
Why trek mountain gorillas in Buhoma sector or Buhoma region?
As earlier mentioned that Buhoma sector was the birth of gorilla tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and that Mubare gorilla family which was the very first habituated family availed for gorilla trekking calls Buhoma region home, many tourists opt to track gorillas from this particular gorilla region. Below are more reasons why travelers opt to trek mountain gorillas in Buhoma sector or Buhoma region, and why you too should opt for this sector in particular;
Buhoma sector of Bwindi has four habituated gorilla families that travelers can track while in this particular gorilla region. Harboring the first habituated gorilla family of Mubare and being the first gorilla sector to host tourists on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda is one reason you should visit this historic gorilla region. The other gorilla families in Buhoma sector include Habinyanja which was fully habituated in 1997, Rushegura in 2000 and the most recently formed Katwe gorilla family. These “many” families means that 32 permits are availed per day to visit the mountain gorillas of Buhoma sector, booking in advance is much advised.
Ease of access
Buhoma sector of Bwindi is the most easily accessed gorilla sector or gorilla region in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Travelers who have Queen Elizabeth National Park on their itinerary can easily access Buhoma sector on a 4 hours’ drive from the Ishasha sector, the home to the tree-climbing lions. Buhoma sector is only 2hours away from Kabale town. Travelers can alternatively fly into Kihihi from Entebbe or Kajansi on chartered planes and then drive for about an hour or so to the park. Buhoma sector being having an easy access has it having a bigger advantage over the other sectors as travelers can include other activities like game drives in Queen Elizabeth national park.
A variety of accommodation facilities
Buhoma sector or Buhoma region, is the most developed sector of all the four in Bwindi. Buhoma sector of Bwindi has a variety of lodging options that range from upmarket to basic. Buhoma sector of Bwindi boosts of having the highest number of upmarket lodgings it is no wonder many tourists opt to track gorillas from this sector. Delicious and organic food with high quality service is what you should expect once you book lodgings in Buhoma, with very comfortable sleeping places. Some of the lodges in Buhoma even have connecting paths to the gorilla trekking starting area that travelers can walk on foot and not have to wake up so weirdly early.
Apart from gorilla trekking, Buhoma sector of Bwindi has a number of other activities that travelers can take part in, for example bird watching, nature/forest walks, Batwa cultural encounter, volunteer activities among so many. It is in Buhoma sector that there are a number of volunteer opportunities due to the availability of a number of conservation projects like Conservation through Public Health (CTPH). Travelers can also visit the local communities and take part in the day-to-day activities of the locals, say preparing local food, brewing local beers, coffee picking, among so many others.
Buhoma sector of Bwindi is indeed a wonderful place to visit, rich in nature and history and a perfect hideaway, not with all those amazing lodges in place. Gorilla trekking in Buhoma is also much easier, why not opt for this sector indeed. Get in touch with a trusted tour operator to help you plan the best Buhoma gorilla trekking safari.