Bwindi is one of Uganda’s best places to visit while on your Uganda Tour – especially for primate lovers. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorilla population. Famous for gorilla trekking tours, Bwindi Impenetrable National Pak has four sectors where mountain gorillas can be trekked and tourists always want to know which of the sectors is the Best sector to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi.
Best sector to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi – All of the four sectors are good for trekking, however, Buhoma sector is very outstanding than other regions making it very desirable for trekkers. Buhoma sector was the first sector to be opened to tourists in 1993 for Uganda gorilla safaris. The sector has the very first habituated gorilla family and up to date the sector is very much desired by tourists which makes permits for the sector booked so fast.
Getting to Buhoma is also easy as most travelers connect mostly through Ntungamo and Rukungiri then Butogota before getting to the Buhoma sector of Bwindi. It is also the closest region to connect to other national parks in the region like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The other sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are known as Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija sectors all with habituated gorilla families ready for trekking.
Gorilla trekking in the Buhoma sector is just like that of any other gorilla trekking destination –it starts in the morning (only one session per day) with a briefing from the park rangers at the park headquarters. During the briefing, tourists are briefed on the expectations during the trek, safety rules as well as the guidelines to be followed for the trek. It is during the time of briefing when each tourist is allocated the gorilla family that they will trek. Each family is trekked by a group of 8 people with ranger guides who take them through the whole process.
For Buhoma sector, allocation is done during the time of booking according to the travelers’ interest and availability of permits in the sector for the desired date. During the allocation of gorilla families, there is usually consideration as those who have difficulties hiking for long are allocated groups that are known to spend their day close to the park headquarters, and those that are physically fit are allocated groups that are further.
Gorilla trekking takes about 2-6 hours depending on where the gorillas spent their previous night. However, a maximum of one hour is what individuals can spend with the gorillas. Spend this time watching the interactions among the gorilla family, taking photos as well as videos to keep these amazing memories.
Gorilla families in Buhoma Sector of Bwindi
There are 4 habituated gorilla groups in Buhoma and these are;
Rushegura gorilla family has 16 gorilla families and one of the large groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The group poses a short time for trekking since they do not stay further from the park headquarters. This is a splinter group from the Habinyaja gorilla group which started to be trekked in 2002. Trekking this group takes less time as the gorilla members tend to live near the park headquarters. The trek may last less than five hours but not guaranteed as they may move further sometimes.
Habinyaja gorilla group was opened to gorilla tours in 1999 and was first seen near a swamp within Bwindi forest. The group has 19 members though it was formerly bigger than this. The group split and the Rushegura group was formed. The group was initially discovered around a swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and hence the name Habinyaja which literally refers to found in a swamp.
Mubare gorilla family is the oldest gorilla group in Bwindi forest. It was opened to gorilla safaris in 1993 following a successful habituation process of 2 years. It was named after the beautiful mubare hills. The group has about 10 members. Previously the group used to live close to the Buhoma park headquarters, however they move to further places and tourists have to trek for at least 5 hours.
Katwe Gorilla group has 7 individuals and the newest in the sector. In the group is 1 dominant silverback, 2 infants and 4 adult females.