Ruhija sector of Bwindi is one of the four sectors that make up Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Ruhija sector of Bwindi is in the eastern part of the park, just between Buhoma in the north and Kibale town in the south. This gorilla sector is easily accessed and it connects to Queen Elizabeth National Park Mountain gorillas are the main inhabitants of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Ruhija sector of Bwindi is blessed to have four habituated gorilla families that tourists can choose from to track on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda.
Why visit the Ruhija sector of Bwindi?
Gorilla trekking safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are done in the four sectors of the park, say Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija sectors. Gorilla trekking in each of these four gorilla sectors is unique, and so is just about any other activity that choosing the one to zero down to requires a traveler to have a little more information on each. Below are some of the reasons the Ruhija sector of Bwindi should be considered;
The mighty and yet gentle mountain gorillas are the major reason that travelers visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With 19 gorilla families in the park that travelers can track while on a gorilla trekking safari, Ruhija sector of Bwindi alone has four gorilla families. Bitukura gorilla family, Oruzogo gorilla family, Kyaguliro and Mukiza gorilla families are the four available fully habituated gorilla families that tourists can track while in Ruhija sector of Bwindi. Only up to 8 persons of the right age (15 years and above) can track a particular gorilla family per day for only one hour. That means that there are 32 gorilla permits available per day in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi. A traveler has a number of families to choose from to track. Booking in advance is however recommended to secure one’s permit. A gorilla permit with effect from July 2020 will be at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and East African citizens would only pay ugx250,000 to acquire a gorilla tracking permit. Packing the essential items for gorilla trekking and following the set rules and regulations for gorilla trekking is equally important.
Ruhija sector is the best spot for bird watching. With over 23 endemics, this sector is a recognized Important Birding Area. Some of the birds a traveler is sure to see in Ruhija among so many others include the starred robin, hornbills, dusky crimson wing and the yellow-streaked greenbul. Keen birders can spot more than 100 birds a day. They are encouraged to carry their binoculars such that they can clearly see even those really tiny birds or those that are rather far away. Having an experienced bird guide is an added advantage.
Forest walks in Ruhija are amazing and are a great way for one to explore the impenetrable forest of Bwindi on foot. The beautiful waterfalls, caves, abundant plant life, birds and a variety of animals make the forest walk even the more amazing!
The Batwa cultural encounter
While in Ruhija, visiting the Batwa and having an encounter with them is something all travelers should take part in. the Batwa are the indigenous people who previously co-existed with the gorillas and greatly depended on the forest for their livelihood, say food, shelter, and medicine. The Batwa cultural encounter will have travelers experiencing the life of the Batwa as they will be showing them how they lived then in the forest, say how they collected wild honey, made fire from just sticks, their hunting skills, how they cooked and what, their medicinal plants among so many others. Traditional dances and songs are a climax of the Batwa cultural encounter.
Cool and conducive weather
The weather in the Ruhija sector is exceptional. Though extreme sometimes, the weather is conducive and is perfect for photography, especially in the morning when the fog covers the forest. In the nights, travelers are given warm water bottles to give them some extra warmth.
Local community projects
There are so many local community projects in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi with a number of craft shops belonging to the locals, especially the women who have them as their source of income. These craft shops have women coming together to weave and make a number of items that travelers can buy. Travelers can also join the women in the making of these items.
Ruhija sector has comfortable lodging options available to tourists to use. Luxury, mid-range and basic lodging options are all available to cater for the different budget options of the travelers. Booking accommodation before your safari is very much advised, and booking accommodation should be done after confirming the gorilla sector from where you are gorilla trekking.
Take time to book or plan a visit to the Ruhija sector of Bwindi and you’ll always long to return. Trusted tour operators can always help you out, reach out to them for the best gorilla trekking safari to Ruhijja sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.