Staying In Rushaga And Trekking Mountain Gorilla Families In Rushaga
Staying in Rushaga and trekking mountain gorilla families in Rushaga. Rushaga area lies in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Booking accommodations for the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to do gorilla trekking in this area is the perfect choice. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is subdivided into four regions: Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the east, Nkuringo and Rushaga in the south. Bwindi forest is vast and separated by rugged features like ridges and plateaus, making movements challenging.
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Rushaga area has Gorilla trekking families: Nshongi Family, Kahungye Family, Busingye Family, Bweza Family, Mucunguzi Family, Mishaya Family, and Rwingi Family. Before booking accommodations for the gorilla trekking safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, you must consider where the permit is secured. If they are Rushaga gorilla permits, you need to book accommodations in the southern sector.
This is to avoid waking up early to drive in the dark from another area and catch up with a briefing in Rushaga. If you spend the night before the gorilla safari in another part of Bwindi, you may encounter obstacles that may lead you to be disqualified from the gorilla trek in case you miss the briefing.
Accommodations in the Rushaga area are categorized into Luxury, mid-range, and budget. Although most of these accommodations offer full board services, you need to know their packages to plan accordingly.
Securing accommodations in the Nkuringo area of Bwindi is another option, as these areas lie close.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking Permits for Rushaga Area
Before booking the gorilla permit, you must know the date and number of permits you wish to check availability for. This avoids moving back and forth with checking gorilla permit availability.
At Encounter Africa Safaris, we can assist you in booking the Gorilla trekking permits and additional safari logistics. If you specifically wish to trek gorillas in the Rushaga area, you need to state this upfront so that our consultant can focus on getting permits for this area.
When availability is acquired, you must secure your permits as soon as possible, as they sell out quickly. A first come, first served basis is used to book gorilla permits, yet a maximum of 8 permits are open for trekking per day. During the peak seasons, normally June, July, August, September, December, and January, gorilla permits sell out in advance, creating scarcity at the last minute.
Booking the gorilla permit in advance helps you plan appropriately for the gorilla safari and make other service bookings upfront.
Later, you must forward personal details like your full name as presented by the passport, nationality, date of birth, and passport expiry date. These are added to your gorilla trekking permit card for identification.
When is the best time to book Gorilla Trekking permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
Booking Gorilla trekking permits before the gorilla safari saves you from last-minute disappointment. To be safe, book the gorilla permit at least six months to a year before the trek. Most gorilla permits for the high season sell out in advance, and getting availability at the last minute is challenging, too.
In the dry season, which is usually June to September and December to January, there is high competition for these permits, and demand is at its peak. Finding gorilla permits at the last minute is quite challenging.
For the wet season, which is usually March, April, May, and November, the demand for gorilla permits is high, opening more chances for last-minute bookings. This doesn’t guarantee that you will always have these gorilla permits available. No matter the season, secure the gorilla permit in advance.
How Much is the Cost of Gorilla Trekking Permits for Bwindi?
At the moment, the cost of gorilla trekking permits is:
$800 for foreign nonresidents
$700 foreign residents
300000 for East Africans.
The cost of gorilla trekking permits covers park entrance fees, ranger guide fees, securing, government tax, local community support, one hour with the mountain gorillas, and a certificate after the gorilla trek.
Exclusions in the Gorilla trekking permit cost are tips, porter hire, accommodation, transport, and any other items of personal expenditure.
Which is the best or quickest Gorilla family to trek in the Rushaga area?
It is hard to determine the best gorilla family to trek from the eight gorilla families in Rushaga. Each gorilla family has different traits and showcases amazing behavior that makes it unique. Some Rushaga gorilla trekking families include the Nshongi Family, Kahungye Family, Busingye Family, Bweza Family, Mucunguzi Family, Mishaya Family, and Rwingi Family.
The gorilla family closest to the previous day’s starting point may be the furthest the next day. To enjoy the entire gorilla safari experience, open your mind to whichever family you are allocated to.
Even the criteria taken to allocate the gorilla families is hard to determine. Sometimes, gorilla families are allocated according to physical capability, age brackets, relations, etc.
How Sure Can I Be To Find The Mountain Gorillas In Rushaga Area?
There is a 99 % chance of finding the mountain gorillas of the Rushaga area in Bwindi. These mountain gorillas may live freely in the forest but do not move fast. They have bulky bodies, and their knuckle locomotion doesn’t favor fast movement.
Before opening the gorilla family to the public to book, it is first habituated until it is confirmed and ready for public viewership. The ranger guides keep monitoring these gorilla families, and each day, a team patrols these families to establish their nesting spot and possible hangout location.
These clues are what ranger guides leading tourists use to try and locate the mountain gorillas.
If you fail to find the mountain gorillas, the Uganda Wildlife Authority, through its refund policy, may refund you at least 75% of the total cost or allow you to visit the mountain gorillas the next day if case you want to.
What accommodations can I Book for gorilla trekking in the Rushaga area?
Several accommodations are available in Rushaga and the Nkuringo area, categorized into Luxury, Mid-range, and Budget facilities.
You must book accommodations in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park just to get to the briefing ground in time.
Southern Bwindi accommodations: Clouds Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Safari Lodge, Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Backpacker’s Camp, Nshongi Camp.
Is Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga difficult?
The gorilla trekking adventure is quite tiresome, depending on the nature of the topography of the Bwindi forest, which is volcanic. As a result, some landforms like ridges and plateaus were formed and are covered with lush vegetation, which may obstruct your way. The ranger guide carrying a machete may try to trim the protruding vines to create the pattern.
When the mountain gorillas are on the slopes or deep in the valley as tourists, you have to hike to get to them. Having some fitness level saves you from getting exhausted before completing the trek. You can also munch on your energy bites to keep you energized.
What time do you return from gorilla trekking in Rushaga?
Return time after gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Rushaga area is hard to determine because it depends on factors prevailing in the forest. Finding the mountain gorillas is affected by the mountain gorillas relocating from the usual feeding spot to the deeper forest, the death of the gorilla family member, weather conditions prevailing in the day, the pace of fellow tourists, and others.
When you find the mountain gorillas, only one hour is allowed with them for conservation reasons. The fully habituated mountain gorillas are allowed one hour with humans. This is because human presence disrupts the day-to-day life of the mountain gorillas. These primates must consume enough foliage to last them day and night, groom their infants, lounge, and much more.
After meeting the mountain gorillas, stealthily get away so as not to cause any suspension, as mountain gorillas are very observant of intruders in their vicinity.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority policy, when you fail to locate the mountain gorillas, you are to be refunded 75% of the total permit cost, depending on circumstances that may have caused this. Alternatively, you are also given another chance to do the gorilla safari the following day if you have time.
Is Gorilla trekking in the Rushaga area safe?
Gorilla trekking is safe because a trained team of ranger guides leads each party. At least two ranger guides escort the tourists, one holding a machete while another carries a rifle in case of an emergency. With them, they have a radio call on which they keep communicating with other rangers on the ground in case backup is needed.
For the mountain gorillas not to charge against, you must follow gorilla trekking rules as briefed so as not to agitate these primates. Although they may not fight you, their reactions, like thumping their chests, hooting, and so much more, are intimidating.
In order not to forget anyone in the forest, the ranger guides follow the pace of the slowest trekkers but do not use this as an excuse to delay the rest.
The park security authorities of Rushaga work with other Uganda security agencies to maintain law and order in and around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
On an individual basis, you need to mind your safety by not walking into the forest without an escorting ranger guide. Although Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is not known to host carnivores, other forest inhabitants, like the forest elephants, snake bites, and others, may hurt you.
Do not engage in unlawful activities during your gorilla safari, like dealing drugs, as this may fetch a prison sentence for you.
Wear the proper gorilla safari gear like safari boots, safari hat, insect repellant, and others to keep away things that may hurt your body.
How To Get To the Rushaga area of Bwindi
From Kampala or Entebbe, you can get to Rushaga area by road. The drive time from Kampala or Rushaga may take about 8 to 9 hours through winding roads because of the effects of volcanic action in this area. From Kampala or Entebbe, the drive to the Rushaga area goes through Kabale to Nkuringo. The distance covered is about 519 kilometers.
You may also overnight in Kisoro, which is 80 kilometers from Kabale and 35 kilometers away from Nkuringo, and the drive time is about 1 hour and a half. A 4×4 wheel drive vehicle is recommended because of the nature of the terrain of the Kigezi sub-area.
Daily domestic flights from Kajjansi or Entebbe Airport are available to Kisoro Airstrip. You must secure a transfer vehicle as the airstrip is about 2 hours away from the Rushaga area.
Charter flight services are available from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Kisoro. Hire a transfer vehicle to your lodge in the Rushaga or Nkuringo area.
What can we Pack for Gorilla Trekking In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- Pack an extra fully charged battery for the camera or phone to exchange when one runs low.
- A travel Journal to take notes of your moments in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
- A torch to use for lighting when the lights go out, especially at night. Most accommodations in Bwindi National Park use solar power.
- A camera to photos and keep as memories of your gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
- Some hard cash to change into local currency if you wish to do any local transactions. Credit cards are not commonly used because of their lengthy procedures.
- Insect repellant as the wilderness is a habitat for several insects that may be stingers.
- Pack a First Aid kit in case of an injury while in the wilderness and if you have any personal illness. Do not forget some of the health documents from your doctor.
- Toiletries, just in case the lodge doesn’t provide
- Pack wilderness friend wear, but try to avoid bright colors as animals and insects may misunderstand these and attack you
- Energy snacks to bite while on game drives and other activities in the pack