Organizing a luxury gorilla safari holiday to Buhoma during high season
Are you planning and interested in doing your gorilla trek in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park during the high season, yes it is possible with Encounter Africa Safaris. We have mastered the art in making sure you secure the gorilla permits even if it tends to be hard especially during the high season during the months of June to September every year. During this time there are always many travelers interested in booking gorilla trekking in Bwindi and this makes the services and gorilla permits sell out making it had for travelers to have their treks in Buhoma forcing them to opt for other sectors in the park.
About Buhoma sector
Buhoma sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park; Buhoma sector was the first sector to be habituated in 1993 just after the park was declared a UNESCO Heritage. Buhoma is the most famous and most visited part of the park, harboring the oldest Gorilla family Mubare and three other families of Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe Gorilla families.
Buhoma sector attracts many tourists to have their gorilla trekking experience because it is home to the only two lodges in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park located within the Bwindi forest that is Gorilla Sanctuary Forest Camp and Bwindi Lodge. These lodges offer a stunning experience during your gorilla trek in Bwindi. The sector is also where gorilla trekking started and this also gives many travelers confidence that they will encounter gorillas here compared to other sectors, it is also home to many gorilla families second to Rushaga sector making it easy to get the gorilla permit. The sector is also home to many luxury accommodations compared to all other sectors in Bwindi making it great for luxury travelers, these are among the major reasons why gorilla permits and services sell out in advance in Buhoma sector.
Important things to consider when organizing a luxury gorilla safari holiday to Buhoma during high season
Booking your gorilla permits in advance
When organizing a luxury gorilla safari holiday to Buhoma we recommend you book your gorilla permits atleast 3 to 4 month prior your gorilla safari date. This is because during high season permits sell out in advance on first come first serve basis. You need a gorilla permit to be allowed to trek mountain gorillas in Buhoma, this costs USD700 for Foreign non residents, USD600 for Foreign residents and 250,000 Uganda Shillings for East Africa Citizens and this gives an opportunity to spend one-hour encounter with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi. Contact us here for more details on how to book gorilla permits for tracking in Buhoma in advance.
Staying in Luxury accommodation
This is very important to consider when organizing a luxury gorilla safari holiday to Buhoma during high season, for you to have a great experience and comfort during your safari it is great to stay in luxury accommodations. Buhoma has many luxury lodge options including the only 2 lodges located within Bwindi Forest that is Bwindi Lodge and Gorilla Sanctuary Forest Camp other luxury lodges in Buhoma include Mahogany springs, Silverback Lodge among others
Luxury and comfortable travel to Buhoma
You should consider travelling in 4×4 Land cruisers this will give you comfort on the road to Buhoma. There is also an option of flying to Kihihi Airstrip which is close to Buhoma, this will help cut the long drive from Entebbe/Kampala which is normally 8-9 hours drives to only 1-hour drive that you spend from Kihihi to your lodge in Buhoma.
What to wear during Gorilla Trekking
You might probably be wondering what to wear for your trek, below is a compiled list on what to wear;
- A long armed sweater since the park gets cold
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- Water proof hiking boots
- A hat and sun glasses depending on the weather though this is optional
- Cameras and long lasting batteries since photography is very important to keep your memories alive. Always remember to keep our flash off.
- A pair of Binoculars. This will help you see the vast birds Bwindi impenetrable forest has among other primates
- Gardening Gloves; these will help you when you are holding onto trees and branches through the trek.
- A rain coat; Since Bwindi impenetrable forest is rainforest, the rain is unpredictable so to be on a safer side, you will be required to carry along a coat.
- A mosquito Repellent; since it is a forest, it has different dangerous insects so it’s advisable to carry it along or wear it
- sun screen; Well this is optional but depending on the season, it might get too hot and you end up getting sun burns on your skin so to avoid that, you will need a sun screen.
- You should not wear very bright colors since this will charge or scare away the gorillas.
- Black and Blue colors are also not recommended since they attract Tsetse Flies So I would recommend neutral colors.
How to get Buhoma Sector for Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi
By Air: You can get to the Buhoma by air which is faster and less tiresome. Aero link is a domestic airline offering both schedule and charter flights to Kihihi Airstrip from where you connect to Buhoma. There is no direct flight to Buhoma but you can be dropped off to Kihihi where you will be picked up by our professional guide and dropped at your lodge. The drive time from Kihihi to a nearby lodge is approximately 1 hour. Passengers are always required to check in 90minutes before the scheduled departure time of your flight. It is also important to note that aero links baggage is 15kilograms per person and an excess is charged at 3usd per kilo. There also private charters available for client’s that have different timing requirements and different routings too. You might also want to travel with your kids which are free for an infant below 2years old. Children above 12years are carried at 70% of the adults fare.
By Road: Buhoma can be accessed through the main high-way road from Entebbe/Kampala which approximately 8-9 hours drive. You will pass through Kabale town and proceed to Buhoma. The Park can also be accessed from Kigali, Rwanda which is approximately 4-5 hours drive.
Best time to organize a luxury gorilla safari to Buhoma
Buhoma located in Bwindi impenetrable forest is open for trekking all year round but it is also important to note that the forest is a tropical rain forest and can receive rain at any time. The best months to track gorillas include; June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery. On the other hand, when you happen to travel during March to May and November there are chances of higher rainfall, you will be able to get discounts from some lodges for your accommodation.
Why book your luxury gorilla safari Holiday to Buhoma during high season with us?
Founded in 2003, Encounter Africa safaris takes pride in customizing tailor made safaris. It has a very diligent and trust worthy team. Your queries are answered within 20minutes by our team of professional tour consultants. These consultants will make a travel plan for you, answer to all your questions and make sure all your services are booked in advance for you to avoid inconveniences. We also have very knowledgeable safari guides depending on your language preferences. some Luxury Gorilla safaris include; the 2-day Gorilla Fly in safari, the 3-day Gorilla Fly in safari, 4 Day Gorilla fly in safari, it all depends on your preference. Feel free to contact us.
About the Gorilla families in Buhoma sector
Mubare Gorilla Family
This is the oldest gorilla group in Bwindi and was habituated in 1993 when tourism had just been introduced to Bwindi. The name Mubare was derived from the famous Mubare Hills where the team of trackers first sited the group. After the habituation, the group was made up of 12 members, headed by Ruhondeza and over the years with raids and misfortune, the group was reduced to only 5 members. After the death of Ruhondeza who died at over 50 years and with now new leadership from another silverback Kanyonyi, the group has managed to regrow and currently has 9 members.
Habinyanja Gorilla Family
The group was habituated in 1997 and started tracking in 1999. The group is also found in Buhoma sector. The name Habinyanja was derived from a Rukiga word “Nyanja” which means a water place. This was because the group was first sighted nearby a swamp pond in Bwindi by then the head of the group was Mugurusi and after his leadership was succeeded by two brothers Mwirima and Rwansigazi. Rwansigazi loved to travel while Mwirima loved to stay in one place. Later Rwansigazi formed the group Rushegura. The head of this family is the Silverback Makara and is comprised of now 17 members with 9 Adults, 5 infants and 3 juveniles. This group is one of the easiest to track and to reach it is a 45 minutes drive from the starting point, and you head out to the trail at Nyamishaba village.
Rushegura Gorilla Family
This group split away from Habinyanja gorilla family and was opened up for tracking in 2002. This breakaway was led by Mwirima who was a strong silverback and wanted to form his group after many years of power struggle with his brother Rwansigazi, by the time Mwirima left he took with him, 7 members. Later he died, and now the group is under the leadership of a black back. The group has managed to increase its member to 19 members from the original 8 members. This group keeps moving between Uganda and DR Congo as it lives on the border edge and keeps crossing over many times. This is another easy group to track with tourists starting their trek from the park headquarters and walk just 15 minutes to get to the trail in Mukono.
Katwe Gorilla Group.
This is the newest group in Buhoma sector, and this group took up to 3 years to be fully habituated and ready for visitor tracking. The group has one dominate silverback, four females and two babies. It’s not exactly known how many members this group has as other members keep moving in and out of the group. This group was founded in 2018, and this was done in a bid to increase the number of Gorilla permits available per day hence increase the revenue of the country as well.