Sectors and Gorilla Groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi is one of Uganda’s most visited tourist attractions, well known as a gorilla and wildlife sanctuary at an altitude of 1,160m – 2,607m. The bio-diverse thick forest is home to half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas giving you a thrilling gorilla trekking experience which is the main activity in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Tourism in Bwindi focuses on four different sectors and these include; Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo, and Rushaga.
The different sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Buhoma is the most popular trailhead and the oldest located North of the park at an altitude of 1,500m. This is where gorilla trekking was first started in 1993 and it remains the busiest hence accounting for most of the tourist visits to the park.
The headquarters for Bwindi is found in Buhoma and here visitors have their briefing before they head out for the gorilla trekking activity. The Buhoma trailhead has 3 habituated groups and these are;
Mubare group: Named after the Mubare hills where it was first observed. The Mubare group was the first to be habituated for tourism in Uganda and it is the most physically unchallenging group to track.
Habinyanja group: This group started in 1997. It has the largest territory and is the most remote in Buhoma.
Rushegura is the other gorilla group in Buhoma. It can be easily located close to the trailhead but at times moves deeper in the forest.
Ruhija is the most beautiful trailhead situated on the East side of the park at an altitude of 2,340m with appealing views of the western rift valley and Virunga. Three gorilla groups can be tracked in Ruhija and these include; Bitukura, Oruzogo, and Kyaguriro.
Nkuringo is located in the southern part of the park north of Kisoro at the highest altitude of 6,800m. One habituated group (Nkuringo group) can be tracked in this sector. Here the gorillas can be seen in the forest and sometimes they can be spotted in public land eating crops.
Nkuringo is the most physically challenging compared to all the other trailheads and this is because of the terrain. It is therefore recommended for those who are fit enough for the strenuous hike.
Rushaga is also located south of Bwindi at an altitude of 1,900m. The sector has 5 habituated gorilla groups and these include; Nshongi, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahungye, and Busingye. Rushaga is very scenic and therefore offers great views of the jungle and Virunga volcanoes. The area attracts bird lovers with species like the Rwenzori turaco and Shelly’s crimson wing. Rushaga is the only sector that offers gorilla habituation.
It is the closest sector from Rwanda compared to the other sectors.
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