Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the southern part of the park. With about 40 gorilla families in Bwindi National Park and 19 of those being fully habituated for gorilla trekking, the Rushaga sector has the highest number. The gorilla families in Rushaga include Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahungye, Busingye, Bikyingi, Rwigi and Mucunguzi all that offer different gorilla trekking experiences. it is in this gorilla region that gorilla trekking can take place from either Uganda or Rwanda due to its proximity. Gorilla trekking in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi has grown in the recent past due to the hike in gorilla permits in Rwanda which more than doubled to $1500 and yet gorilla permits in Uganda are at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for foreign residents and ugx250,000 for East African citizens. Travelers trekking from Kigali access the park, and Rushaga sector of Bwindi in particular, through the Cyanika border.
Why opt to visit Rushaga sector of Bwindi
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four gorilla sectors or sometimes called gorilla regions, say Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga. It is from these gorilla sectors that travelers choose to do gorilla trekking. All of them offer different experiences, and choosing the one to visit or to track from is quite hard. Whichever you choose to track from, advance booking is always required, and it is important for travelers to know that some gorilla sectors like Buhoma sell out very fast. Below are some of the reasons one would opt to visit the Rushaga sector of Bwindi;
Rushaga sector of Bwindi has the highest number of habituated gorilla families and thus has the highest number of gorilla permits that more travelers can visit the park. The 8 gorilla families in Rushaga sector has means that there are 64 gorilla permits available every day, with 8 persons tracking one gorilla family per day for one hour only. The high number of gorilla permits gives chance to more travelers being able to track, sometimes even at last minute. The variety of gorilla families also gives the travelers a chance to choose which one they would like to trek over the others.
Ease of access of Rushaga from Kigali is another reason why travelers should opt to visit the Rushaga sector of Bwindi instead of the others. The road drive from Kigali International Airport to Rushaga through the Cyanika border is roughly of 3 hours that a traveler can even do a one-day gorilla trekking safari.
Gorilla habituation experience which is available in the Rushaga sector only is reason enough for travelers to opt to visit this particular sector. Gorilla habituation is a process that involves mountain gorillas being trained to accommodate human presence. During the gorilla habituation experience, travelers get to spend 4 full hours with the gorillas as they learn of their behaviors and triggers to their aggression. Only 4 travelers can take part in the gorilla habituation experience per gorilla family per day. To take part in gorilla habituation, one needs to purchase a permit which costs $1500 for foreign non-residents, $1000 for foreign residents and ugx750,000 for East African citizens.
The availability of various lodging options of all ranges serving luxury, mid-range and basic or budget travelers is reason to visit this sector. The variety of lodging options means that one can have room availability even in such short notice, and for all travelers according to one’s budget. These lodges and camps serve yummy and organic meals with a service that is commendable.
Visiting Rushaga sector of Bwindi gives travelers chance to supplement their gorilla trekking safari with other activities in the park like the above-mentioned gorilla habituation, forest and nature walks, bird watching that will have birders spotting some of the rear birds of the park and those endemic to the Albertine Rift, the Batwa cultural trails, community visits among others that would have your gorilla trekking safari even the more wonderful. Travelers can also combine their gorilla safari with other national parks that give grate and true African game drives say in queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park among so many others. Travelers on an African safari can have gorilla trekking in Bwindi as a climax to their African visit. Get in touch with a trusted tour operator to help you plan the best gorilla trekking in Bwindi safari.