Planning a Ruhija gorilla trekking safari from Kigali, Rwanda to Uganda
Planning a Ruhija gorilla trekking safari from Kigali, Rwanda, to Uganda. When you plan to do gorilla trekking in Uganda but in the Ruhija sector through Kigali, Rwanda, you must secure a gorilla permit for the Ruhija area. You must possess a visa if it’s a travel requirement to cross into Rwanda or Uganda. Securing an East Africa Visa to access Uganda and Rwanda is excellent. They are both in the East African community, and when you purchase the East African visa, you save the time of having to reapply at immigration. The East African visa gives you access to at least two countries in this community.
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To confirm your gorilla trekking safari attendance, buy a gorilla permit immediately. The Ruhija area has gorilla families like Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro and Mukisa. Currently, 32 gorilla trekking permits for the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open to public booking.
Ruhija area, located in the Eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, is a prime birding destination too. Gorilla trekking in Ruhijah sectors is a double opportunity for keen birders to do birding while you search for the only leftover mountain gorillas in the world. The Mubwindi Swamp trail may offer you a chance to spot grassland and forest bird species.
From the Ruhija area, you can combine gorilla trekking with other activities within Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, like visiting the local community, nature walks, or doing other Uganda safari activities. You can do chimpanzee trekking, game drives, launch trips in Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and others.
How To Plan Gorilla Trekking In Ruhija Area From Kigali
Book a Ruhija gorilla permit
When you intend to do a gorilla trekking safari in the Ruhija area, you must purchase a gorilla permit for this area. To open all your chances for permits in this area, buy the gorilla permits in advance. This is because they sell out fast, especially during the peak season when demand is high.
You can purchase the gorilla permit for Ruhija through an accredited tour operator like Encounter Africa Safaris. We can assist in buying the gorilla permits for you and plan your gorilla trekking safari, including accommodation booking, transport hire, and any other safari amenities.
You must know the people you hope to do gorilla trekking with to help check for the right availability and avoid moving back and forth. Alternatively, you can contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority directly to check for gorilla permit availability. Only some level of patience is required.
Forward personal information for identification, like your full name as indicated on the passport, date of birth, nationality, and passport expiry date. These are added to your gorilla permit card and retrieved on the day of the trek.
Secure accommodation for the Ruhija area
Ruhija area has limited accommodation options, but you can also overnight in the Buhoma area, about 2 hours from the Ruhija area. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has four areas, each with its own accommodations. It is best to spend the night closer to the area where your gorilla permit is booked to avoid having to rise early and drive in the dark in order to catch up with the briefing.
- Ruhija accommodations: Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Broadbill camp
- Buhoma accommodation: Gorilla Forest Camp, Gorilla Resort, Engage Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Mahogany Springs, Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge
Book Transport To Ruhija Gorilla Trekking Area
The road to the Ruhija area is in poor condition, so you need a 4×4 wheel drive vehicle. An experienced driver-guide familiar with the road to Ruhija must be booked in advance because when it rains, the road to Ruhija gets messy. From Kigali, you cross into Uganda via the Katuna or Cyanika border to Kabale, then to Ruhija, 48 kilometers from Kabale.
You can also get to the Ruhija area via the Buhoma area, about 2 hours away. The route from the Buhoma area to the Ruhija area is a better option, although longer. Kigali to Kabale to Kanungu to Buhoma to Ruhija is the route you can take.
Secure Alternative Uganda Safari Activities To Combine With Gorilla Trekking In Ruhija
If you wish to have extra time and enjoy more of Uganda’s safari destinations, we, Africa Safaris, can help you plan the most suitable itinerary at Encounter. From the Ruhijah area of Bwindi, after gorilla trekking, you can do a community walk in the Buhoma area, where you may get to spend time at a local homestead, visit a local medicine man and banana brewery, attend a folk dance performance but this is possible with advance arrangements.
Do a forest walk in the Buhoma area using the Munyanga River trail, where you can enjoy more bird species; take the waterfall trail passing beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns, orchids, sparkling waterfalls, and others.
- Connect to Queen Elizabeth National Park for a game drive, launch trip, and chimpanzee trekking.
From the Ruhija area, the drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park is about 111 kilometers to the Ishasha area and 207 kilometers to Mweya via the Buhoma area. This biosphere reserve is endowed with great sceneries, too, at the floor of the rift valley. By driving through the tracks in the park, you may spot lions, herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, topis, waterbucks, bushbucks,
The breathtaking launch trip on the Kazinga Channel allows you to spot amazing wildlife along the marshy banks of this channel. You may spot herds of elephants quenching thirst, cape buffaloes, lions, schools of hippos, crocodiles and others. Keen birders have a variety of bird species to spot flocking the shore, both local and international birds.
- Chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge is possible, too, in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
- Kibale National Park is the prime Uganda chimpanzee trekking destination.
This park hosts about 1500 chimpanzees, with over 15 chimpanzee troops open to public viewing. Only one hour is allowed with the fully habituated chimpanzees. You can participate in a chimpanzee habituation experience where you have four hours in the company of chimpanzee researchers and semi-habituated chimpanzees in the wilderness.
When Is The Best Time To Do Gorilla Trekking In the Ruhija Area?
Ruhija area is open for gorilla trekking all year; however, the dry season is most preferred because the mountain gorillas and other forest dwellers are more active. The trails in Ruhija area are more passable because there is little undergrowth protruding over to obstruct your way.
It is quicker to have access to where the mountain gorillas are feeding or lounging, as there is less humidity in the forest to keep them in hiding. Even other forest occupants like birds, butterflies, and other animals are quicker to spot in the dry season because there is life in the wilderness.
In case you have a limited budget, the wet season, which is the low season, is March, April, May, and November. The chances of getting discounts are high from service providers like accommodation facilities. They may lower their facility costs to break even.
If you need less obstruction while you trek to find the mountain gorillas, the low season may provide you with this opportunity there are fewer people booked to do gorilla trekking this season.
What is the cost of a Gorilla Trekking Safari to Ruhija area?
Gorilla safaris are packaged according to Luxury, mid-range, and budget, but each package has different inclusions. The gorilla permit is the common cost for all these safari packages. The gorilla permit cost is $800 per person for foreign non-residents, $700 for foreign residents, and 300000shs for East African residents.
The cost of a gorilla permit includes park entrance fees, range guide fees, security fees, one hour with the mountain gorillas, mountain gorilla conservation, local community support, certificate after gorilla trekking, and government tax.
To determine the cost of a gorilla safari, some of the below are considered:
- The number of people on the gorilla tour.
- The number of days on the safari.
- Additional activities to combine with the gorilla safari.
- The time of booking the gorilla safari.
- The gorilla trekking package you choose.
- Other factors.
How sure Can I Be To see The mountain Gorillas in Ruhija area?
Seeing the mountain gorillas of Ruhija area is 98% chance. These mountain gorillas are first habituated to human presence for a certain period of time until proven ready for visitors. The gorilla habituation process helps them get accustomed to human presence without alternating their nature.
Besides, mountain gorillas have a bulky weight of about 300 kilograms for a fully grown adult male mountain gorilla, and a fully grown female is about half this weight. Their bulky bodies do not favor fast movement, so even though they may relocate, they may be close to finding.
Trackers that rise earlier to try and find where these gorilla families spent the night and their possible destination for the day provide clues. The ranger guides use these clues to help tourists locate the mountain gorillas.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority has a refund policy if tourists fail to locate the mountain gorillas. About 75% of the total gorilla permit cost is reimbursed, but this depends on prevailing factors.
How Long Is Gorilla Trekking In Ruhija Area?
Some tourists have been lucky to reach the mountain gorillas in two hours, while others take more time. The length of the gorilla trekking adventure can only be determined by factors like the proximity of the mountain gorilla food, weather conditions prevailing per day, death of a gorilla family member, and others.
The pace of other trekkers also contributes to locating the mountain gorillas. Tourists are required to have some level of patience because the mountain gorillas are free wild animals that live in the forest without anything restricting their movement.
Why Must I Be Fit Before Gorilla Trekking Safari?
Having some level of fitness before gorilla trekking is very important. The nature of the topography where mountains live is volcanic, with highlands like plateaus and ridges tangled with thick vegetation that has accumulated over time. Sometimes, the mountain gorillas spend part of their time on the slopes of these highlands. In order to maneuver some challenges you may encounter while you trek to find the mountain gorillas, you need to have some level of fitness.
The Ruhija area is placed at the ridge top, so expect some challenges while searching to locate the mountain gorillas. Carry the right gorilla safari gear to protect you from getting hurt while walking through this thick, undisturbed forest. While in the Ruhija area, you can hike through the bamboo zone to Afromontane vegetation, where you can enjoy great views of Lake Bunyonyi and the Mafuga forest.
How safe can I Be When Doing Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija area?
An experienced and well-trained Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger guide leads each gorilla trekking group. These take you through what you are expected to do before moving into the forest, how to behave with the mountain gorillas, and when departing from them.
Each day, a team of trackers patrols the forest in advance in order to establish where the mountain gorillas may have spent the night, their possible hangout spot, and in case snares were set, they destroy them. The safety of the mountain gorillas and their visitors is very important.
Although mountain gorillas may not be aggressive towards their visitors, abiding by gorilla trekking rules is important. The ranger guides are there to remind you about the practices of the dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking for your safety.
At least two ranger guides lead the way to find the mountain gorillas, one carrying a machete and another a rifle in case an emergency emerges. The ranger guides constantly communicate with headquarters security in case backup is needed.
Be sure to return in one piece while you trek to find the mountain gorillas by following the stated rules and regulations of gorilla trekking.
As a tourist on a gorilla safari, stay tight with the people you are trekking gorillas with. This is to protect you from getting lost in the jungle. Even though the ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker, diverging from other trekkers may get you lost in this thick jungle where there is no network connection
Only try to enter the forest with an escorting ranger guide because the forest has other unhabituated dwellers that may harm you.
Carry some emergency first aid in your backpack while you trek to find the mountain gorillas, just in case you need it.
You can purchase your permit through us today. Contact us for more information.