This is a guide on how to spend 4 days in Ruhija region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park. Bwindi impenetrable National Park is a world heritage site and home to over half of the worlds mountain gorillas. Ruhija is one of the four regions of Bwindi impenetrable National Park and a focus of our discussion today. A 4-day adventure in Ruhija region of Bwindi is a life time experience and spending more time in the region of the forest gives one an opportunity to tell a true story of this side of Africa. Ruhija region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is located in the south western part of Uganda in Rubanda district. Rubanda is a new district which was cut from Kabale district. It is home to more than half of the only remaining Mountain Gorillas in the wild making it famous and the best place to trek the Mountain Gorillas as well as other activities. Encounter Africa safaris will help you organize how to spend 4 days in Ruhija region of Bwindi.
Ruhjia region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park has a variety of activities one can do in four days while in this region. Encounter Africa safaris has put down some of these activities to enable you plan accordingly but shoul you have more questions or require more information, please contact us on email or phone. Below is how one can spend 4 hours in Ruhija region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla trekking in Ruhija region is one of the best activities to do in the region, Gorilla trekking refers to moving in the forest to see/view a given habituated mountain gorilla family. Gorilla trackers/advanced team/rangers use many signs and methods to trace these gorillas before gorilla trekking takes place, the trackers wake up very early every morning and go to the forest in search for these mountain gorillas. They use natural means to track them like clapping, making wild sounds. Once they find them, they will communicate to the park headquarters and then after briefing the visitors on dos and don’ts, the visitors will start to walk and trek in the forest as they are directed by the trackers. This gives you 99% chances of seeing the gorillas in their natural environment in Uganda.
Ruhija region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park has over four habituated mountain gorillas ready for gorilla trekking including Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Oruzogo and many others. Encounter Africa safaris assists in booking and securing gorilla permits on your behalf. Feel free to contact us on email or phone for more details on how to check availability, reserve and secure Ruhija gorilla permits.
The advantage of Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija sector Bwindi Forest National park is its terrain is not too hilly and steep compared to Rushaga and Nkuringo in Bwindi Forest National Park. Ruhija sector has four Gorilla Families that is Bitukura, Oruzogo, Mukiza and Kyaguriro which are all open for Gorilla tracking. However, for you to secure a spot for trekking you will need to book in advance.
The gorilla trekking permit costs USD700 per person for Non-Foreign Residents, USD600 for Foreign Residents and Shs.250, 000 for East African Citizens. The permit only allows one hour of viewing of the gorillas and is such a life time experience to encounter with the gorillas when you spend 4 days in Ruhija region of Bwindi.
Cultural experience is one of the most interesting activities to do when you spend 4 days in Ruhija region of Bwindi. Bwindi Forest National Park used to be inhabited by the Batwa people commonly referred to as the pygmies for many years until of recent when they were removed from the Forest to the surrounding communities of Bwindi Forest National Park to ease mountain gorilla conservation and tourism. They will demonstrate how pygmies used to spend their time in the forest, where they used to stay, how they used to harvest wild honey as well as hunting. They will show off their dances and explain how they have managed to settle and enjoy normal life outside the forest. You can as well visit the rest of the community in the out skirts of the forest where there are women groups that do crafts, sell food and community schools. We encourage if you have any donation to support the children with clothes and scholastic materials. You will have a good time with the locals in Ruhija region of Bwindi
Most birding is done in Mubwindi swamp in Ruhija region. Bwindi Forest National Park is a home to various unique bird species including the Albertine Rift endemic birds and it is a place to be for bird watchers. Key bird species to spot on your birding tour in Bwindi National Park include Handsome Francolin, Rwenzori Nightjar, Dwarf Honeyguide, African Green Broadbill, Archer’s Robin-Chat, Red-throated Alethe, Yellow-eyed Black-Flycatcher, Red-faced Woodland Warbler, Short-tailed Warbler, Grauer’s Warbler, Mountain Masked Apalis, Collared Apalis, Stripe-breasted Tit, Rwenzori Batis, Blue-headed Sunbird, Regal Sunbird, Strange Weaver, Dusky Crimson wing. We do organize birding packages to Bwindi Forest National Park with professional birding guides with whom you are able to identify different birds.
Bwindi Forest National Park is made up of a tropical forest which is one of the oldest forests in the world existing for more than 250,000 years back; it has ancient tree species and some of them are endemic to this forest. It is as well known to be impenetrable due to its thick canopy making nature walks enjoyable. On your nature walking safari in Bwindi Forest, you will have a chance to learn about different tree species, spot different bird species as well have a chance to sight different animals including rare forest elephants and if lucky, monkeys and baboons. The Mubwindi swamp walk and other walks to the streams and waterfalls are also activities you can do when you spend your 4 days in Ruhija region of Bwindi.
For those who prefer to make a difference on their visit to Ruhija region of Bwindi impenetrable National Park can add a day or two to share their skills and knowledge with women groups, schools and many projects geared to environmental and community development in this region of the forest. When contacted, Encounter Africa safaris will assist in looking for a project where you will be placed in order to contribute through volunteer work. This can be done before or after the main activity of gorilla trekking.
Ruhija region can be accessed by road transport from Kampala or Entebbe which is 8-9 hours’ drive with stops at the equator and for lunch. The journey is very enjoyable for there is a lot to see on the road. For example, its on this journey that you have an opportunity to have a stop at the equator for photography, Mpanbire royal drum makers to see how drums are made out of wood, as well as checking out the Ankole long-horned cows along the way. As you transcend to Kigezi region, you will realize a change in altitude with flatlands being replaced by rolling hills and valley until you reach Ruhija region.
You can as well drive to Ruhija region from Kigali, Rwanda which is approximately a 4-5hours drive through the Uganda-Rwanda boarder at Katuna. You will have a stop in Kabale Town for lunch and then proceed to Ruhija for your gorilla trip (At the moment, this is not possible due to the fact that Uganda-Rwanda land boarders are still closed but we are monitoring the situation as events unfold). For those who prefer driving less distances, the Kigali-Ruhija road trip is the best option. At the moment, the wrangles between Uganda and Rwanda has affected this route since land borders were closed even before the outbreak of Covid 19 Pandemic.
If coming from Ishasha side of Queen Elizabeth National Park, Ruhija region is about one and a half hours to two hours drive on a murram road. This road connects Buhoma and Ruhija and that’s why some people can even stay in Buhoma and do activities in Ruhija. One of the reason why tourists may choose to stay in Buhoma region and trek or do activities in Ruhija is due to the state of Lodges this side. Buhoma region is by far much better than Ruhija when it comes to Lodges. Many high end and Midrange Lodges are in Buhoma compared to Ruhija. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris for suggestions before making any decision.
By Air transport, you can get to Ruhija region with a domestic flight to Kihihi Airstrip located in Kanungu district which is 2 hours for both flight and drive to the Park for approximately 2 hours. For those interested in Flyin safaris to Ruhija should contact Encounter Africa safaris for details. There both daily scheduled and charter flights from Entebbe to Bwindi that one can book through Encounter Africa safaris. For more details, feel free to contact us on email of phone.
Ruhija region has a variety of accommodation places to stay based on your budget structure, with budget, mid-range and luxury accommodations all available. For budget and camping; Gorilla Mist Camp, Gift of Nature Lodge, Trekkers Tavern Cottages and Broadbill Tented Forest Camp, while for mid-range accommodation we have Bakiga Lodge and for luxury accommodation we have Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge. Some travelers opt to stay in hotels/ lodges/camps in Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable national Park which is very close to Ruhija region.
Encounter Africa safaris is a Local tour operator based in Uganda with its head offices in Entebbe. Encounter Africa safaris is run and owned by Ugandans. We have been in operation for more than 15 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 all activities. Encounter Africa safaris is highly reviewed on trip advisor as well as Safari bookings. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris to plan how you can spend 4 days in Ruhija region of Bwindi.
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