It is worth an experience to spend 4 days in Buhoma region of Bwindi in the Jungle! Buhoma is a sector headquarters found in the North of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southern Uganda where you can see different habituated mountain gorilla families and other alternative parks and community activities. Buhoma region is one of the four sectors of Bwindi impenetrable National park under the management of Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government body in charge of all National Parks in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the oldest parks in Africa and is a habitat to half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the World and this gives you 98% chances for you to view and see the gorillas. In this article, we will basically look at all possible activities in this region and how one can spend 4 hours in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The advantage of spending more time in one place or region is that you get to enjoy your lodge, reduce driving from one place to another, and provide an opportunity to understand and explore what is there to do and see.
Buhoma sector was the birth of Gorilla tourism in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Uganda at large. This is because the first mountain gorilla family to be habituated and opened up for gorilla trekking was in this region. To set the records clear, Mubare mountain gorilla group resident here was the first mountain gorilla group to be habituated and opened to the public for gorilla trekking in 1993. Gorilla tracking /to see the gorillas in Buhoma is the Major activity done in this sector and shouldn’t miss on your to-do list when you spend 4 days in Buhoma region of Bwindi. There are five habituated mountain gorilla families in Buhoma sector and these are; Rushegura gorilla family, Muyambi gorilla family, Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, and Katwe gorilla family.
Gorilla tracking starts early morning at 8:00 am with a briefing by the park guides and wardens about the dos and don’ts while on the trek, you are later led in to the forest to see the beautiful mountain gorillas. Once you find these mountain gorillas, you are allowed only one hour for photography and observing their behavior and then you will return to park headquarters for your certificate. Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the most popular gorilla trekking region and most loved by tourists because it has many lodging options, it is on a lower altitude and gorilla families here are easy to trek.
Gorilla Permits are very essential for you to do gorilla tracking in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Forty Permits are available every day in Buhoma to allow visitors to trek the Gorillas, for every gorilla family, only eight visitors are allowed to visit the gorillas per day in Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable National Park. Once you contact and book your gorilla package with Encounter Africa Safaris to see the gorillas, we shall send you an invoice and book the permit on the system tentatively, once you make payment, we shall secure your permit from Uganda wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala and later send you scanned receipt of your permits for your records and perusal. One week close to your trip dates, we will collect your permit cards from the Uganda wildlife Authority and your driver-guide will present them on the day of trekking at the park headquarters for you to be allowed to trek. As Encounter Africa safaris, we always provide all services to meet your expectations while organizing a flying safari to Buhoma to see gorillas
Gorilla Permits are only eligible to visitors/Persons aged above Fifteen (15) years. Gorilla permits should be booked in advance, you can purchase gorilla permits up to 2 years in advance to secure your place for gorilla tracking in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. During the high season of July, August, September, December, January and February every year, gorilla permits tend to sell out very quickly. As Encounter Africa safaris, we always advise all travelers to always book and reserve the permits in advance so that you don’t miss out on your desired date of travel to trek the gorillas.
For Bird watching, Buhoma sector and in Particular Bwindi impenetrable National Park. There are 348 bird species have been recorded at Bwindi. They include 25 restricted-range species, of which 23 are confined to the Albertine Rift and four are globally threatened: African Green Broadbill -Pseudocalyptomena graueri-Vulnerable, Grauer’s Rush Warbler -Bradypterus graueri; Endangered, Chapin’s Flycatcher -Muscicapa lendu; Vulnerable and Shelley’s Crimson-wing -Cryptospiza Shelley- Vulnerable.
Most birding is done at River Munyaga and Mubwindi swamp in Buhoma, Bwindi has three bird species that are the only surviving representatives of their respective genera: African Green Broadbill, Grauer’s Warbler (Graueria vittata) and Short-tailed Warbler (Hemitesia Neumann). Indeed, both the broadbill and Short-tailed Warbler are thought to be more closely related to Asian- than to African species!
There are guided Nature walk trails as well where you identify primates, trees and bird species, the walks take you through the forest and you can hike as well. There is a long and short walk trail that connects buhoma sector to the south sector of Bwindi impenetrable National Park which is Nkuringo Sector. You will cross rivers, swamps, Waterfalls and listen to the beautiful sounds in the forest. Have an ultimate experience when you spend 4 days in buhoma region of Bwindi. Forest walks can be done after or before gorilla trekking and is also an activity for those families that travel with kids below the age of 15 years. Such nature walks provide an opportunity to explore the forest in detail and also using this time to relax and feel what nature has to provide. You can book a forest or nature walk on ground and it does not have to be pre-booked. There is no maximum numbers attached to this activity.
Visiting the community should be part of your activities while staying in Buhoma. You can do the Batwa cultural experience which was put in place by the displaced Batwa pygmies to educate their children and to share their amazing heritage and traditions with the world. The Experience takes place outside of the park in an old-growth forest on land that is next to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park. The Batwa experience begins with a nature walk, hike through the forest seeing the forest alternatively, through the eyes of the original people of the Forest. Learn how they hunted the small animals they used for food, what things they gathered, how traps and nets were used. You can as well visit the local women groups and purchase souvenirs as you support their livelihoods, take part in their daily activities, watch their cultural dances, visit the schools and donate scholastic materials.
While in Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you may interest yourself in visiting coffee and tea plantations around this region. Kigezi region is popular with tea and coffee growing and one of the biggest tea plantations is Kayonza. You will appreciate how tea is grown, looked after, and processed to make fine tea. Those who want to add on an agricultural walk while in Buhoma should contact Encounter Africa safaris by phone or email.
While on safari in Buhoma region, you may wish to spend one or two days sharing your knowledge and skills with community and conservation projects in the area. Encounter Africa safaris encourages responsible travel where your visit impacts positively on the communities around this region. We work with selected schools, women groups and conservation organizations in Buhoma region to make sure that all those that need volunteer placements do so with ease. Feel free to contact us on email or phone for more advice on all volunteer opportunities in and around Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park.
Buhoma sector has a variety of accommodation choices where you can stay when you spend 4 days. The lodges range from high Market Luxurious to Budget Lodges. For top Luxurious Lodges include Gorilla Forest camp, Buhoma Lodge, Bwindi Lodge, Mahogany springs lodge, Bwindi Trekkers lodge. The midrange Lodges include Buhoma Havens lodge, Silverback Lodge. For budget lodges, you can stay at crested crane Buhoma Lodge, Buhoma community Camp, Ride for a woman lodge and many others. Contact us with a lodge of your choice and we tailor your itinerary or even suggest for you the best option depending on your budget.
Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable National park is the most accessible region and depending on where you will be coming from, this is how you will access it. If coming from Kampala/Entebbe by road, it’s about 9-10 hours’ drive a journey which will see you stop at Mpambire royal drum makers, the equator, Mbarara town mostly for lunch before proceeding to Buhoma via Rukugiri, kihihi onwards to the northern part of Bwindi impenetrable national Park.
If coming from Queen Elizabeth National Park most especially the Ishasha sector, Buhoma region is about 3-4 hours drive. It’s for this reason that people who visit Queen Elizabeth National Park prefer trekking or visiting Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable National park compared to others.
Buhoma region can also be accessed by air. There daily scheduled and charter flights that depart Entebbe Airport or Kajasi Airstrip to Kihihi Airstrip. Most of these flights take about 2 hours followed by 2 hours road transfer to your respective lodge in Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Most scheduled flights operate on a minimum of two people and have both morning and afternoon flights that those interested in flying can book. Encounter Africa safaris organizes both road and fly-in safaris to Buhoma to see mountain gorillas and other activities as mentioned above. For more information about this, please do contact us by email or phone and we will advise accordingly.
Buhoma region just like any part of Uganda can be visited anytime of the year. The most preferred time however is the drier season where rains are less allowing easy trekking in the forest to see mountain gorillas and other activities. In drier seasons, the trails are less slippery making it easy to move in the forest. Visibility also becomes easy during drier seasons compared to rainy seasons. Traditional rainy seasons include March, April, May, October and November while drier seasons include June, July, August, early September, December, January and February. Encounter Africa safaris operates tours to Buhoma throughout the whole year and please feel free to contact us for the best advice you can rely on to plan your dream gorilla trekking safari.
Encounter Africa safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe, run and owned by Ugandans. We have been in operation for over 10 years and we specialize in life-changing experiences and sustainable tours and holidays to all East African countries. We are members of AUTO (Association of Uganda Tour Operators) and are registered by UTB (Uganda Tourism Board). We have a good and long working relationship with UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) making it easy to book your gorilla permits and other park activities in Buhoma region of Bwindi. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings.
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