Staying in Buhoma and trekking gorillas in Ruhija
In Uganda, gorilla trekking permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National park are served according to the area and the Buhoma area and Ruhijah area are among the four gorilla trekking areas. Other areas for gorilla trekking include Nkuringo area and Rushaga area.
Although gorilla trekking in Ruhijah overnight in Buhoma is possible because of the short distance connection between the two, you need to drive for about two hours after the briefing. This road is in poor condition and rarely used by the public. You need to use a 4x4wheel drive to successfully drive on this road.
Most Popular Safaris
- 3 day Uganda gorilla trekking
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- 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
Both Buhoma and Ruhija are located in the northern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Ruhija area particularly is located east of Bwindi Impenetrable National park.
The way to Ruhija area from Buhoma area is scenic with lovely green cover of vegetation. This is a Uganda birding area too. Keen birder may have time to identify some birds on the way in case you return early from gorilla trekking and are not so tired from the trek.
Buhoma area is the headquarter of gorilla trekking in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Ruhija area is famous for its huge bird list, especially in Mubwindi swamp and deep valleys with undisturbed rain forest. When you use the road from Kabale that descends gradually through fine monatane forest, with microhabitats in the form of Second growth vegetation you have chances of spotting birds like handsome Francolin, Cinnamon-chested Bee eater, Western Green Tinker bird, Red-faced Woodland, Collared Apalis and others.
Which Gorilla Trekking Families Are In Ruhijah Area Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Ruhija gorilla trekking area hosts BItukura family, Oruzogo family, Kyaguriro family and Mukisa gorilla family. Other gorilla families located in Bwindi Impenetrable National park include Rushegura family, Mubare family, Habinyanja family, Nkuringo family, Christmas family, Muhozi family, Nshogi family to mention but a few.
Which Accommodation To Book In Ruhijah area and Buhoma area
Ruhijah Gorilla safari Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Broadbill Forest camp, Chameleon Hill Lodge
Buhoma Area Accommodation
Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany spring, Silverback Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Buhoma Lodge, Lake KItanda Tented Camp, Engage Lodge, Bwindi Volcanoes Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas and others
How aggressive Are Mountain Gorillas
In general mountain gorillas are serene creatures despite their sheer size and scary brown sunken eyes. This however doesn’t mean provoke them. They have feelings too and when they are agitated, they pull grass, thump their chests, hoot, walk on one leg, and much more.
After viewing the mountain gorillas, you have to slowly leave so that you don’t look as if you are just walking away. They love visitors that follow the rule of gorilla trekking because they are very sensitive
When Is The Best Time To Trek Gorillas In Ruhija Area
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National park is open all year round. The drier months however are most sought after although this area receives rain anytime without warning.
When booking gorilla trekking permits, you are given them according to the area and Ruhijah may be the choice given to you. You have to note that you need to hire a 4×4 wheeler because the road is slippery at times because of the regular rains that fall and the soft volcanic soils.
June to September and December to January are the most sought-after months because this area receives fewer spots of rain all factors are kept constant. The roads are drier and less humid atmosphere.
The month of March to May and November generally attract fewer visitors but those interested in an exclusive gorilla trekking experience can use this opportunity. In case you wish to close off the gorilla trekking families in Ruhija area, you have an opportunity to do it this time.
If you wish to photograph or film the mountain gorillas in Ruhija without obstruction from other trekkers, you may use this opportunity.
If traveling on a limited budget but wishing to use high-end facilities, the low season is a possible opportunity because most service providers may discount their prices then. When business is low, they have to break even and survive through this season.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija Area
Ruhija area is made up of highlands with Afromontane vegetation of undisturbed rain forests. It has ridges and deep valleys, and Swampy too. The soils are sometimes slippery and soggy making movement quite strenuous at times. The ranger guide leading a group in one of the gorilla trekking families in this area sometimes has to use a machete to clear the way for tourists to access these primates
You need to have some level of fitness so as to enjoy the entire trek. Some patience also gives you a great feeling about the entire trek no matter where you are allocated. With an open mind, you exhaust most of the beauties in this tropical rainforest.
Apart from mountain gorillas, you may get to spot other primates like olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and others.
Follow the instructions given by the ranger guides leading the group and at the briefing. This gives you comfort when moving in the forest because you are scared of facing other forest dwellers.
Carry the right gorilla trekking gear like safari tracking boots, long sleeve shirts and trousers, insect repellant, and others.
How Safe Is Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija Area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
The Ruhijah area is safe for gorilla trekking because the ranger guides of this area cooperate with other security organs in Uganda to keep law and order in this area. The communities around this area also deserve to be protected so that they do not turn against the mountain gorillas.
As a tourist on safari, you need to consider your safety too while on a gorilla trekking tour in Ruhijah.
- Carry light but useful baggage that you are capable of taking care of packing your travel items in a potable duffel bag that you can lift even if no one gives you support. The packing light also doesn’t overfill the safari vehicle. There is enough legroom for you and the people who traveled with you to stretch.
- Travel with limited cash because credit cards are rarely used in Africa because of the lengthy procedure of collecting money from them. Even when you have to use a credit card, your details must remain with you or a person you trust to avoid cyber theft.
- Eating street food from anywhere may cause food poisoning. When you have a stomach disorder, you may be disqualified from attending gorilla trekking.
- Keep up with the rest of the group you are allocated to do gorilla trekking. This is to prevent getting lost in the wilderness. Although the ranger guide follows the pace of the slowest trekker, you need to move fast so as not to take long in the wilderness.
- Traveling with precious items like jewels is risky because you may be a target for bad people.
- Counting a lot of money in public may attract thieves who may plot to attack you. Even carrying a lot of cash is not a great idea.
- Do some exercises to keep fit just in case you need to hike to locate the mountain gorillas. They at times feed or lounge on the slopes so in order to locate them, you have to hike.
What Are the Rules for Gorilla Trekking In the Ruhija area?
- No feeding the mountain gorillas because they are wild animals that must search for their own food.
- Provoking the mountain gorillas is forbidden because they may be agitated and move into hiding.
- The use of flash photography is forbidden because mountain gorillas are scared of new occurrences in their environment.
- Surrounding the mountain gorillas during gorilla trekking is forbidden because they feel ambushed and this may cause them to retreat into hiding.
- Eating or smoking 300 meters from the mountain gorillas may cause them to grab it from you. They are wild animals that must not depend on the human provision.
- Littering in the forest is forbidden because this alters the nature of the forest where mountain gorillas feed from.
- Spitting on vegetation is not a great idea because it contaminates the foliage which is fed on by the mountain gorillas.
- Wearing a mask when you locate the mountain gorillas is a must since the outbreak of Corona Virus to protect them from catching communicable infections from humans.
- Keep a distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas to reduce the chances of spreading any infection to these primates.
- When you locate the mountain gorillas you have just one hour with them because they have been habituated to being in the presence of humans for that time.
- Noise-making is forbidden when trekking to locate mountain gorillas because they are generally serene creatures that live in a generally quiet environment.
- Mountain gorillas are highly susceptible to human infection so in case you have a cough, flu, cholera, Covid 19, volunteer to stay behind so that you don’t pass this to the mountain gorillas.
What Is the Age Limit For Gorilla Trekking In the Ruhija area
15 years above is the age limit for doing gorilla trekking because of the below factors
The time of locating the mountain gorillas is unknown and depends on a number of factors like proximity of food, in case they have a fight with a wild family, death of a family member, and others. This may be hard to contain for a child below this age.
The topography of this area is generally volcanic with ridges and plateaus to hike sometimes to get to the mountain gorillas. This may be hard to overcome for a child below 15 years.
No noise making in the forest which is hard to deal with for a child below the age of 15 years because they would like to talk about whatever they see or anything that happens to them.
Some level of fitness is necessary to enjoy the entire gorilla trekking experience. This is because you need to hike to locate the mountain gorillas at times. This is hard to deal with for children below this age.
Mountain gorillas are scary at first glance for some people. You need not show this to the mountain gorilla because you look suspicious. In case the Dominant silverback notices this, he may order the entire family to go into hiding.
The provocative nature of the mountain gorillas may not go well with a child below the age of 15 years which may cause a stampede in the forest in case the child makes noise.
What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking
- Safari boots to wear while in the jungle as the ground is so boggy and may have pricking items.
- Safari clothes in colors that a wilderness friendly
- A camera to take memories of what conspired during a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda
- Garden gloves to wear in case you have to hold a tighter grip on a creeper in the forest
- Pajamas warm enough for the extremely cold nights
- A torch for lighting in the night when lights go off
- Some hard cash to change into local currency in case you need to purchase something during a gorilla trekking safari. Credit cards are rarely used because getting money from them takes a long time.
- A foldable safari hat with a wide brim to protect your hair from dripping water off the tree leaves.
- Insect repellant to smear the body with in order to keep away insects.
- A pair of binoculars to get a clearer view of far-ranging features
- Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide them or if you are not comfortable using them
- A travel adapter and charger in case you need to recharge your electronic gadgets
- Sunscreen in case you visit another pack and you have to bask under the sun by the poolside.
- A pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from buzzing insects in the wilderness.
- Snacks to munch on when you get hungry while gorilla trekking
- Bug spray in case your room may contain them