Current gorilla habituated groups in Ruhija and their composition
Ruhija gorilla trekking area lies in the Eastern part of Bwindi impenetrable National park in the Northern sector. This area so far has about 4 gorilla trekking families open for tourism. These include Bitukura gorilla family, Oruzogo gorilla family, the Kyaguriro gorilla family and Mukisa gorilla family.
For a gorilla trekking family in Ruhija area to be confirmed ready for tourist viewing has to undergo habituation. This process may take over three years of monitoring and observing the wild gorilla family to get them accustomed to the presence of humans without altering their nature.
Most Popular Safaris
- 3 day Uganda gorilla trekking
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- 5 day gorilla habituation and chimps
- 3 day Bwindi double trek via Kigali
- 5 days gorillas & game safari
Ruhijah area is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s prime birding area. For keen birders on gorilla trekking safari, this is a double blessing if allocated this area.
This area prides itself on its varied vegetation from montane vegetation to the bamboo zone. Here you may spot birds like Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, African Hill Babbler, Rwenzori Batis, white-tailed Crested Flycatchers, and others.
How To Get To Ruhija Area
From Kampala, you may pass Kabale which is 414 km to Ruhija is about 42 km kilometers on a murram road. You need to use a 4×4 wheeler because of the poor road condition even the public doesn’t frequent this route.
Daily domestic flights depart Entebbe Airport and Kajjansi Airstrip to Kihihi airstrip. You need to hire a transfer vehicle because the Kihihi Airstrip to Ruhija is about 3 hours to 4 hours away.
Details Of Gorilla Trekking Families In the Ruhijah Area
Bitukura gorilla family
As one of the gorilla families in the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Birukura gorilla family has about 13 family members. Of these, the group has 4 silverbacks with Ndahura as the dominant silverback, 3 adult females 2 blackbacks, and 1 infant.
This family acquires its name from River Bitukura where it was first spotted. It was habituated from 2007 to 2008. this is the shortest time so far in the history of Uganda’s gorilla habituation to open a gorilla family for tourist viewing after 1 year.
Oruzogo gorilla family
This is one of the most exciting gorilla families in the Ruhija area and was habituated in 2011. It acquires its name from a local plant called Oruzogoto where it was spotted first. By the time of habituating, it had 17 family members under the silverback called Bakwata. The Oruzogo gorilla family has 5 adult females, 5 infants, 2 sub-adults, and 2 blackbacks
Kyaguriro gorilla family
The Kyaguriro gorilla trekking family is the oldest gorilla family in this area habituated in 1999 but was under for a long time under research. Because of the high demand for gorilla trekking permits, this family was opened in 2016 for tourists to view Zeus as the dominant silverback.
After he was dethroned by Rukina’s silverback, he fled into the forest where he died after Rukina was struck by lightning. The dominant silverback then Mukiza who succeeded him was fought by Rukara splitting the family into two then Kyaguriro A and Kyaguriro B gorilla families were born. At times Kyaguriro B is called the Mukiza gorilla family.
Mukisa gorilla family
This is under the leadership of Rukiza silverback and emerged after a silverback from the Butura gorilla family interfered with the affairs of the Kyaguriro gorilla family splitting the family into two groups.
Gorilla trekking Experience in Ruhuja Gorilla Trekking Area
You have to attend a briefing in order to be allowed access to the mountain gorilla families in the Ruhija area. You then drive from the Buhoma area for about 2 hours to reach the starting point for your gorilla trek.
The time for locating the mountain gorillas is not known because it may take between 2 hours to three-quarters of the day. some level of patience is required to succeed.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits For Ruhija Gorilla Trekking Area
Note the date when you hope to do gorilla trekking in the Ruhija area and the number of people you hope to trek with to avoid going back and forth with checking availability.
When you send us an Enquiry about your interest in doing gorilla trekking on a particular date, our safari checks availability from the Uganda Wildlife Authority gorilla permit listing and gets back to you.
We advise our clients to purchase their permits as soon as availability is got because it changes at any time due to high gorilla permit demand. Mountain gorilla permits are limited per family which is a maximum of 8 permits.
No gorilla permit is preserved for anyone without payment because a first come first served basis is used when allocating gorilla permits. The only way to show interest in doing gorilla trekking is by purchasing a gorilla permit. Change in availability at any time because of high demand from all over the world.
Some personal details are required like the passport expiry date, Nationality, Full name as presented on the passport, and others.
A gorilla permit card with some of your details is printed with a black strip at the back. It is this that is swiped into the machine on the day of gorilla trekking for clarity.
Some of these details are included on your certificate after gorilla trekking.
When Is the Best Time to Book Gorilla Trekking Safari To Ruhija Area
Gorilla trekking is an all-year-round activity because gorilla families live in particular locations for some time until they run short of food sources.
The drier times are preferred because the forest receives fewer spots of rain that would disturb you on your way to locate the mountain gorillas. Even the mountain gorillas feed closer to the ground during this period which is June to September and December to January.
This is, however, peak season too for the Uganda tourism calendar so expect high costs for services that support safaris in Uganda like accommodation, car hire, driver guides, and others.
The low seasons that is March to May and November sometimes come with discounted prices from tourism service providers like accommodations and others.
Chances of taking the gorilla trek in Ruhija alone are possible in the low season in case no one is allocated to the family you trek.
If you need less disturbance during your gorilla filming or photography, the low season may provide you with this opportunity because less or no people are allocated to the gorilla family you trek.
You take your time in the forest during the low seasons in case no other people are allocated to your gorilla trekking family. There is no one to delay you or rash you during gorilla trekking. You feel every beat of the adventure at your own pace
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Trekking In the Ruhija Area
Purchasing your gorilla trekking permit is the number one preference and in case you acquire one for the Ruhija area the cost is $700 per person per trek. This is the universal cost for all gorilla trekking budgets. Other factors to consider include
The timing for booking your gorilla trekking safari that is if peak season the gross cost of gorilla trekking may be very high during peak seasons. This is because of the completion of some of the services that support Uganda’s safaris. The low seasons may attract discounted prices from service providers lowering the gross cost.
The number of days you spend on safari also matter where by the more days on safari the higher the cost of the gorilla trekking package. Some of the safari quotation components are charged per day so the more days the higher the safari cost.
When you use air transport the cost is different from when you use road transport during the gorilla trekking tour.
Other activities that you combine with gorilla trekking like chimpanzee trekking, white water rafting, visiting the source of the Nile, and others. These are all charges differently which increases the total cost of the safari.
The safari package you choose for gorilla trekking also contributes to the total cost whereby when you select a luxury package, Mid-range, or Budget package its inclusions and exclusions are different. The high the inclusions the higher the safari package.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking In the Ruhija Gorilla Trekking area?
The Ruhijah area has ridges and plateaus which you may need to hike to get to the gorillas at one time. The mountain gorillas keep meandering through this area, especially in the valleys. The way to Ruhija is bumpy and slippery at times so you need to hire a 4×4 wheeler to get to this destination.
Some level of fitness is necessary for you to maneuver this trek because at times you have to hike to where the gorillas may be lounging or feeding from.
Carrying the right gorilla trekking gear that will protect your feet from being hurt is a great advantage. Pack gorilla trekking boots, long safari trousers, a shirt, insect repellants ad others.
How Safe is Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija Area
The Ruhijah area is safe for gorilla trekking but ensure you also take caution about yourself like not carrying precious items, counting money in public, staying close to your gorilla trekking group, not entering the forest without an escorting ranger guide and others. These personal safety measures protect you from getting lost or losing some of your belongings during the gorilla trekking adventure.
What Are The Rules Of Gorilla Trekking In the Ruhija area?
- Putting on a mask when you go gorilla trekking is a must for all trekkers and sanitizing your footwear as a preventative measure decided on by Uganda Wildlife Authority to prevent spreading infections.
- Keep tight with the group you are trekking with. Avoid surrounding the mountain gorillas when you locate them. Try not to make them feel agitated by people around them which may push them into hiding.
- Not rising your voice or Keeping a low voice is advised so as not to scare the mountain gorillas that are very conscience of intruders in their environment or other forest dwellers that are interesting to meet while gorilla trekking.
- No one with a communicable infection is allowed to visit the mountain gorillas because they are highly susceptible to these infections like flu, cholera, Corona Virus, Ebola, and others.
- Never use flash photography while with the mountain gorillas because they get scared of new occurrences in your presence.
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because it alters the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas thrive.
- If you need to sneeze or cough do it away from the mountain gorillas or in your elbow so as not to spread infections to the mountain gorillas.
- If you wish to smoke or eat, do it at least 200 meters from the mountain gorillas because they may be forced to grab it and eat it. Mountain gorillas are wild animals that must find their own food.
- The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years. This is because the time for locating the mountain gorillas is unknown. These children may not be in a position to hike the slopes where the mountain gorillas may be lounging.
- The time you locate the mountain gorillas is limited to just one hour. You have to utilize it well so that you can keep memories of your experience with the mountain gorillas.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden because they may get agitated and go into hiding. They may be serene creatures, but they have feeling too and mood swings.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas leave a space of about 8 meters from them so as to reduce any chances of passing an infection to them.
- For fecal materials, do it in a whole of about 30 centimeters deep. Ask the ranger guide to dig it and cover it well afterward beyond recognition. The mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers may wish to exhume this waste but cover it to prevent this.
- Try to avoid Spitting on vegetation which is food for the mountain gorillas. This is forbidden because this may contaminate the foliage on which mountain gorillas thrive. For regular trekkers, this is disgusting too and unhygienic.
Contact us for more information.