Current Habituated gorilla groups in Rushaga and their composition
Rushaga gorilla trekking area lies in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This area is so far composed of five fully habituated gorilla families that have been opened to tourist viewing. These families include; Nshongi gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, and Mishaya gorilla family.
Before opening a gorilla family for the world to visit, they undergo habituation. gorilla habituation is the process of getting wild mountain gorillas used to the presence of humans. This process may take over 3 years. A group of researchers and habituators follow this family from de-nesting time to re-nesting time to note down the possible details about the family in general, and each family member and later give them names for easy identification.
Most Popular Safaris
- 3 day Uganda gorilla trekking
- 5 days gorillas & chimp safari
- 3 day Uganda gorilla via Kigali
- 5 days gorilla trekking Rwanda
- 5 day Uganda gorillas & wildlife
- 3 day fly in gorilla habituation
- 5 day gorilla habituation and chimps
- 3 day Bwindi double trek via Kigali
- 5 days gorillas & game safari
At the moment, 4 tourists are allowed to accompany the group of habituators and researchers in the wild to help with the habituation process. This is possible in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National park. you must however obtain a gorilla habituation permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Apart from the mountain gorillas, this area is a primate-rich area hosting some olive baboons, blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, grey-cheeked mangabey, Bush babies, and others.
This rich bird life in the Rushaga area makes it a double blessing for keen ornithologists. You may get to spot birds like Handsome Francolin, Alpine Chat, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Malachite Sunbird, Montane Double-collared Sunbird, and others.
Details Of Gorilla Trekking Families In Rushaga
Nshongi Gorilla Family
This family acquired its name from River Nshongi and has about 36 members. Nshongi the current silverback over through his father mishaya who later died of old age. This silverback worked so hard to rebuild this family to the current number of family members.
Kahungye Gorilla Family
This gorilla family was opened for tourist visits in 2011. This family is one of the largest in this area hosting about 27 mountain gorillas. Including silverbacks, blackbacks, adult females, Juveniles, and infants
Busingye Gorilla Family
This gorilla family was opened in 2012 after splitting from Kahungye gorilla family. The family is slowly gaining popularity.
Bweza Gorilla Family
The Bweza gorilla trekking family is under the Dominant Silverback Kakono. At the moment the family has 12 individuals including sub-adults, blackbacks, infants, adult females, infants, and a dominant male. this gorilla family was opened for tourists in 2012
Mishaya Gorilla Family
The Mishaya gorilla trekking family has about 7 members with Mishaya dominant silverback that split from the Nshongi gorilla family.
How To Get To Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Area in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
When you drive from Kampala to the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is up to Kabale 414 km from Kabale to Nkuringo 105 km lasting close to 4 hours
Another alternative is to overnight in Kisoro, which is about 80 km from Kabale. The drive from Kisoro to the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is about 35 km taking about 1 hour and a half.
Each day domestic flights leave Kajjasi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport to Kisoro airstrip but you need to book a transfer vehicle to your lodge. These flights go once a day and are dependent on demand and weather conditions. You may land on the Kihihi airstrip and use a transfer vehicle to Rushaga.
For exclusive transport, you may Charter from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Air Strip to Kisoro or Kihihi Airstrip. A transfer vehicle is necessary because the flights do not land in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park you need to do advance booking.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits For Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Area
You may have a confirmed or tentative date when you wish to do gorilla trekking and the number of people you are traveling with for gorilla trekking. In case you have a genuine reason for wishing to go gorilla trekking in Rushaga, state it too in the comment section.
Our safari consultant has to check on the Uganda Wildlife Authority gorilla permit list status as of that time. This is because this changes anytime because of demand for the gorilla permits everywhere yet they are limited to only 8 tourists per family.
In case availability for your preferred gorilla permits is positive, we request all our clients purchase their gorilla permits as soon as possible. No gorilla permit is reserved without payment because it’s the only way for one to show commitment to taking this safari.
Later we request some personal details like the full name on your passport, nationality, date of birth, and others. These are for Uganda Wildlife Authority record purposes and part of it is put on your certificate after completing gorilla trekking.
When Is the Best Time to Book Gorilla Trekking Safari To Rushaga Area
Any time is gorilla trekking time in Uganda because you are 99 % sure of seeing the mountain gorillas in the wilderness. Although they are mobile primates, they can be traced because of their bulky body size.
The drier months that is June to September or December to January are most sought after. Bwindi Impenetrable national park is known for receiving untimely rains but this season has fewer spots of rain falling.
The trails are passable and rivers flow within the limits of their course. Although less sunshine penetrates through the dense forest canopy, the ground is not so soggy. Even the mountain gorillas feed closer to the ground during this period.
The demand for gorilla trekking permits is however very high and competition for other services like vehicle hire, driver guide fees, and others is high.
When you book gorilla trekking permits to the Rushaga area in low season, you may have the chance of doing an unprepared exclusive gorilla trek. In case there are no people booked to do gorilla trekking in the family you are allocated, you may do it just for you and your people.
For that photographing or filming for commercial purposes, in order to get the best moments of the mountain gorillas without obstruction from other trekkers, the low season may be preferred.
If you have a limited budget, you can opt for the low season when some service providers are likely to offer discounted prices. Even the high-end facilities may discount their costs making it affordable for people with other packages to enjoy their services.
How safe Is Gorilla Trekking In Rushaga Area?
The security of the Rushaga area is so far very good because of the cooperation between the ranger guides and the other security officers.
You have to also be conscience of your personal security
- Do not count large sums of money in public which may attract thieves.
- Carry no valuables on safari that may be lost in the wilderness or stolen
- Never eat from anywhere without the knowledge of your driver guide because you may get food poisoning
- Stay close to your gorilla trekking group so that you are not lost in the forest. The ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker.
- Pack the right gorilla trekking gear like tracking boots, safari clothes, insect repellants, and others.
- Cary has some hard cash to change into local currency because credit cards are rarely used for transition in Africa because of the lengthy procedure of collecting money from them.
- Avoid wearing camouflage because it is forbidden in Uganda. Try not to break the law you may end up in prison.
- If you travel with children, ensure they are in your sight to prevent them from getting lost in the jungle.
- Never go into the forest without an escorting ranger guide because you may encounter other unhabituated animals that may harm you without defense. Even tracing you in the vast forest may be hard.
- Inform the people you travel with or your lodge receptionist about your way about in case you need to step out. This is for your safety.
What Is The Cost Of Gorilla Trekking In the Rushaga Area
The price of a gorilla trekking permit for Rushaga is $700 per person for foreign none residents, $600 for foreign residents, and 250000 shs for East African Residents.
This costs cuts across all safari packages that include luxury, Mid-range, and Budget gorilla trekking safaris.
Other factors included in the gross gorilla trekking safari quotation include
The number of people traveling with for gorilla trekking
The more paying people included in the gorilla trekking safari, the less the cost of the safari per person. This is because you get to share some costs like the vehicle hire costs, gas, ranger guide fees, and accommodation in case of twin room sharing.
Timing for booking the gorilla trekking tour
The peak seasons normally attract high costs for safari amenities and others. This is because of competition from other safaris like game drives, chimpanzee trekking, and others.
Number of Days on safari
The more days on a gorilla trekking safari, the higher the gross cost because services are charged per day.
Additional activities Combined with Gorilla Trekking
When you combine gorilla trekking in Rushaga with other activities like birding, chimpanzee trekking, and mountaineering, the total cost increases
The safari package you choose for the gorilla trekking tour
When you select a budget gorilla trekking tour package, its cost is different from mid-range packages and luxury packages. Each of them has different inclusions and exclusions so take note of this before booking.
The type of transport you chose for gorilla trekking
The cost of taking road transport is different from those booked on flying gorilla trekking tours.
What Are The Rules Of Gorilla Trekking In the Rushaga area
- No surrounding the mountain gorillas when you locate them. They feel agitated by people around them which may push them into hiding.
- Anyone with a communicable infection is not 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 fend for their own food.
- 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.
- Spitting on vegetation is forbidden because it may contaminate the foliage on which mountain gorillas thrive. It is disgusting too for other trekkers who regularly visit.
- 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.
- Keeping a low voice or talking in a low tone is advised so as not to scare the mountain gorillas or other forest dwellers that are interested to watch while trekking to locate the mountain gorillas.
- 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.
- Wearing a mask during gorilla trekking is a must for all trekkers as a preventative measure decided on by Uganda Wildlife Authority to prevent spreading infections.
- 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.
- In case you wish to take a long call, 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.
Contact us for more information about gorilla trekking in Rushaga.