Mountain Gorilla - Uganda Safari Vacations
While in Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the main park to go for appealing sights of Mountain Gorillas though Mgahinga is an alternative. Bwindi is home to the highest numbers of Uganda’s Gorilla species and this is the reason why most travelers choose it from year to year. These Gorillas are herbivorous in nature feeding young bamboo shoot, stem, and other tree leaves. They live in groups known as Gorilla families and each family led by a large dominant silverback. All Gorillas in Bwindi are not approved for trekking purposes; only the habituated Gorillas are the ones that are used to human presence. Other are wild and dangerous to human life. Currently eighteen Gorilla families are habituated for Gorilla trekking experience. These eighteen gorilla families are divided and found in four Bwindi ’sectors including Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhija sector.
Gorilla Families & Sectors
Buhoma sector in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, was the first to be gazetted amongst the four sectors. It started with Mubare Gorilla family which was habituated in 1992. It’s located close to Ishasha sector, that’s why it’s one of the mostly visited sectors of Bwindi because you can either switch from Bwindi to Queen Elizabeth National Park or switch from Queen to Buhoma via the Ishasha sector route. This route rewards with great chances to sight the famous Tree climbing lions resting up in the fig tree branches. Buhoma has four habituated Gorilla families that include Mubare the oldest, Habinywanja, Rushegura and Katwe Gorilla family. Visitors to the sector can also enjoy the local visits to the Batwa and Bakiga communities for cultural encounters.
Ruhija sector lies in the Eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Standing at an altitude of 2350m above sea level, this sector is ranked with the coolest temperatures in Bwindi area. Its home to three habituated Gorilla families including Kyaguriro, Bitukura and Oruzogo Gorilla family. Apart from Gorilla trekking, the sector offers hiking adventures up to the Rwamunyonyi peak with scenic views of landscapes. Ruhija is also common with different primates including Black and White Colobus monkeys, Red tailed monkeys and Vervets.
This sector records the highest numbers of Gorilla families among the four Bwindi’s sectors. It’s nestled in the southern Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Lookers of Gorilla habituation experience can too only do it in this sector. Gorilla families in Rushaga include Bweza, Busingye, Kahungye, Nshongi, Mishaya, Bikingi and other groups that are used for habituation. Similarly, Visitors to Rushaga sector can visit the Batwa communities after the jaw dropping Gorilla trek. Or visit the nearby Lake Mutanda for a breathtaking boat ride.
Started with one Gorilla family, Nkuringo sector now is home to three habituated Gorilla families. These families include Nkuringo, Bushaho that cross to Rushaga and Christmas Gorilla family. It was opened for Gorilla trekking in 2004; it’s in south western Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and just 40km north of Kisoro town. Nkuringo is located on a higher altitude than other sectors. A visit rewards with breathtaking views of stretching forests, inland vegetation, rolling hills and more. For trekkers in Nkuringo sector, physical fitness is a must.
Other Wildlife Species
The diverse flora of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park provides fantastic habitats to other Wildlife species including Wild animals, primates, insects, plant life and 350 bird species. Wild animals include African elephant, Antelopes, forest hogs and more. Primates are the Red tailed monkeys, common chimpanzees, black and white Colobus, and Vervets. Common bird species include African green broadbill, cream banded swallow tail and more. Not mentioned are the carnivores such as African civet, African golden cat, side striped jackal and more.
Gorillas are the main highlight for a safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Therefore the major activities to be part while in the Park include Mountain Gorilla trekking and Gorilla habituation experience. Other activities include community visits to the Batwa people and bird watching.