Why you should trek gorillas in the Rushaga region of Bwindi
Rushaga gorilla trekking area of Bwindi Impenetrable national park lies in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and here is why you should trek gorillas in the Rushaga region of Bwindi. Rushaga area is so far home to about 5 gorilla trekking families that are open for tourism purposes that is Nshong gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family and others two still under habituation.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park gorilla trekking is currently done according to area and Rushaga area is part of the four areas. Other areas include Nkuringo area, Buhoma area and Ruhija area. You must possess a gorilla trekking permit booked in Rushaga area to be allowed in this area for this safari.
Most Popular Safaris
- 3 day Uganda gorilla trekking
- 5 days gorillas & chimp safari
- 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
Overnighting in one area and do gorilla trekking in another is quite risky with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This is because of the long distance you have to travel early morning to catch up with early briefing time before gorilla trekking. The way has a lot of hurdles like slippery roads, logs obstructing the road, flat tires, and others.
How To Get To Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Area
The drive from Kampala to the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is up to Kabale 414 km from Kabale to Nkuringo 105 km lasting close to 4 hours. You may overnight in Kisoro, which is about 80 km from Kabale. From Kisoro to the southern part of Bwindi, you have 35 km to cover in about 1 hour and a half.
Daily domestic flights leave Kajjasi Airstrip or Entebbe Airport to Kisoro airstrip but you need to book a transfer vehicle to your lodge. These flights go once a day and are dependent on demand and weather conditions
Charter flight arrangements can also be made but advance booking is needed.
Accommodations In Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Area
Rushaga Gorilla Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla lodge, Gorilla hill eco Lodge, Lake Mahere Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Guest House, Bwindi Cultural Center. You can still overnight in Kisoro town.
When Is The Best Time For Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga Area
Gorilla Trekking in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is open all year round but the most exciting is from June to December to January. The forest receives less rain during this season and forest dwellers are more active. This is biosphere reserve is home to primates like chimpanzees, olive baboons, grey-cheeked mangabey, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, L’Hoest’s, and others.
For keen birders, you can do double gorilla trekking and enjoy some of the Albertine rift endemics like Alpine Chat, Kivu Ground Thrush, Malachite Sunbird, Dusky Tutle Dove, Montane Double Collared Sunbird, and others.
How To Book Gorilla Trekking permits for Rushaga Area
Note the date when you wish to do gorilla trekking in Uganda and the number of people to travel with for gorilla trekking.
When you enquire about us Our safari consultant has to check the availability of gorilla permits for the Rushaga area. You also need to state the reason for your preference for the Rushaga gorilla trekking area.
In case availability is positive, we request you purchase your gorilla trekking permit as soon as possible. This is because the gorilla permits get sold off fast and the status of the gorilla permits changes at any time.
A first come first served basis is used when purchasing mountain gorilla permits because of the high demand the world over. The mountain gorilla permits are limited with an only a maximum of 8 gorilla permits per family.
You have the option of doing gorilla habituation in the Rushaga area which takes about 4 hours as you follow semi habituated gorilla family. These gorillas still have wild traits in them but are very interesting to follow because they are charming. Only 4 people are allowed to accompany the group of researchers and habituators per trek.
After booking your gorilla trekking permit, you are required to provide details like your full name as per your passport, nationality, date of birth, passport expiry date, and others.
What Is the Cost of gorilla Trekking In Rushaga Gorilla Trekking Area?
The gorilla trekking permit is the universal cost of a safari to the Rushaga area. At the moment the gorilla trekking permits cost $700 per person per trek lasting only 1 hour. Gorilla habituation in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is $1500 per person takes 4 hours.
Other factors to consider for gorilla trekking costs include
The number of people traveling for gorilla trekking. The more paying people traveling for gorilla trekking, the less the cost per person. This is because you get to share some expenses like vehicle hire, driver guide fee, twin rooms, and others. As a solo traveler on a gorilla trekking safari, you bare the gross cost of the gorilla trekking tour.
The timing for your gorilla trekking safari that is if you use the peak season, the prices of most services are high while discounted prices may be forwarded to you during the low season. This may reduce your per-person cost.
The number of days on safari also matters whereby the more days you are on your gorilla trekking safari, the higher the cost of your safari. Services offered during gorilla trekking are normally charged per day.
The additional activities you have included in your gorilla trekking itinerary, the higher the gross cost for your safari. You may decide to do birding, scenic viewing, mountaineering, chimpanzee trekking, and others.
How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking In Rushaga Area
Gorilla trekking is done in a volcanic area so expect to hike the slopes at times to get to the mountain gorillas. Sometimes the mountain gorillas spend part of their time at the slopes and other times lounge in the valley.
In case they are feeding from the slopes, you need to climb the slippery or boggy highlands to locate the mountain gorillas.
This is why you need some fitness to go through the entire experience.
The ranger guide has to use a machete at times to clear the way for you to go through tangled vegetation that has existed over years. This drape of vegetation cover has survived over 25,000 years as a remnant of the ice age era that swept Africa during the Arid conditions.
How Dangerous Are Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas are naturally serene though on the outlook they are scary. They have dark brown sunken eyes with a dark fur coat of hair over the body. Mountain gorillas use knuckle walks for movement. When angry the mountain gorillas thump their chests, hoot, pull grass around them, walk on one foot, and retreat into the deeper ends of the park.
You must follow the rules of gorilla trekking to enjoy the full hour allowed to be in their company. Touching the infant is not good because it angers them.
When To Locate The Mountain Gorillas In Rushaga Area
Locating the mountain gorillas is not known but you may take between 2 hours to three-quarters of the day. This is one reason why stating the easiest family to trek is hard.
Locating the mountain gorillas depends on the proximity of their food. When plenty of food is in the close areas of the forest, the mountain gorillas occupying these areas may be easy to locate.
In case the gorilla family loses a family member, they may sob and hide in the deeper ends of the forest. A gorilla family known to be feeding close by may go into the deeper ends of the forest in a short while.
When a gorilla family loses during a battle with another gorilla family, they move into the deeper sides of the forest to rejuvenate and retreat.
The weather condition in the forest may force the mountain gorillas to be close or far in the forest. The severe rain seasons sometimes cover the food for the mountain gorillas especially when rivers flood. You need to hike to the slopes to find them.
Is Rushaga Area Safe For Gorilla Trekking
Rushaga area is safe for gorilla trekking because rangers work with other Uganda security organs to keep law and order in this area and protect the forest dwellers too.
Each day, a group of rangers wakes up early to follow mountain gorillas in the wilderness. They give a report to the rangers which is forwarded to even the security of the park. The rangers also have radio calls which they use for communication in case they need backup.
General security in the Rushaga area is present but you personally need to pay attention to your safety.
Never enter the pack without a ranger guide because you may be attacked by unhabituated forest dwellers like forest elephants, giant forest hogs, vipers, and others,
Counting a lot of money in public is dangerous for you because you may attract the wrong people to follow you.
Carry some limited cash which you can change into local currency in case you need to do some local transactions. Using credit cards in Africa as a means of exchange is still not common because of the lengthy procedure of collecting money from these cards.
Bring the right gorilla trekking gear with you so that you can protect your feet from being hurt.
Avoid eating from anywhere else apart from the designated points recommended by the ranger guide. This is to avoid getting food poisoning.
In case you carry valuables, declare them to the lodge manager so that they can be kept in the lodge safe in case there is one. This is to avoid being on tension while taking the gorilla trek.
Move with your passport and other identification documents so that in case you get a problem, you can be helped.
Rules Of Gorilla Trekking In Rushage Area
- Keep A distance of about 8 meters from the mountain gorillas when you locate them.
- Wear a mask during gorilla trekking because of the Covid-19 pandemic. This became one of the rules to be followed when you locate mountain gorillas.
- No, using flash photography when with mountain gorillas because it scares them. Mountain gorillas are frightened by new occurrences in their presence.
- Never drink or smoke about 200 meters from the mountain gorillas because you may not know the effect of the smoke till further notice in the life of the mountain gorilla.
- In case you wish to sneeze or cough does it away from the mountain gorillas or in your elbow to prevent the spreading of germs .cover your mouth or nose with a handkerchief for hygiene purposes in this case.
- Ask the ranger guide to dig a hole for you in case you need to ease yourself. Cover everything well in a hole of over 30 cm, beyond recognition so that the primates cannot exhume it later.
- Never dump garbage in the forest and volunteer to pick it up in case you find it. The forest is the sole food provider for mountain gorillas and other primates so must be kept in its natural setting.
- Do not spit on vegetation or soil in the park during gorilla trekking because it’s unhygienic and vegetation is food for the mountain gorillas.
- The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years because of the nature of this experience. The time for locating the mountain gorillas is unknown yet the way is strenuous at times because of steep topography and slippery ground.
- Do not attempt or provoke the mountain gorillas because they will move into hiding yet every tourist in the group has individually paid for a gorilla permit to be in the presence of the mountain gorillas for the time allocated.
- When with mountain gorillas, try to keep your voice low and avoid sudden movements. Mountain gorillas are sensitive to unfamiliar noise in their vicinity.
- Just one hour is allowed with the mountain gorillas when you locate them to allow them to go about their day’s activities.
- Avoid surrounding the mountain gorillas when you locate them because they will feel agitated by your presence. The mountain gorillas fear new occurrences in their presence.