Gorilla Families in Ruhija | Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Gorilla Families in Ruhija: Ruhija sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated between Buhoma sector in the northern part of the park and Kabale town in the south. It is the least visited sector in Bwindi national park and only has four habituated gorilla families/ groups. Gorilla trekking is the main activity carried out in Bwindi impenetrable national park with a total of 19 habituated gorilla groups; of which 15 are available for tourists to track and the rest are meant for research purposes.

Gorilla Families in Ruhija

Gorilla Families in Ruhija sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Oruzogo family

The Oruzogo family in Ruhija sector in Bwindi national park was first opened to the public for gorilla trekking in 2011 following the habituation of the group. The Oruzogo family originally had 25 members with two silverbacks. Currently Oruzogo family is comprised of 17 members with one silverback Tibirikwata who is the leader of the family, 2 black backs, 5 adult females, 2 sub-adults and 5 infants. This is the only family in Ruhija sector with the highest number of gorilla members. This gorilla family derives its name from certain plant species near its home range where it was first sighted. Oruzogo became famous in 2013 when it had a set of twins by Kankonda female and is also known to be the most playful and joyful family in the national park.

Bitukura gorilla family

This gorilla family was habituated in 2007 and opened for trekking in 2008 which means that it was habituated for one and a half years unlike other families which are habituated for two years. After the habituation process the gorilla family was comprised of 24 members but due to fights within the family some members split to form other Gorilla groups. Bitukura family derives its name from the river in Bwindi forest where it was first sighted. It is comprised of 14 members including 4 silverbacks, 4 adult females, 2 juveniles, 3 infants and one baby. Bitukura family is dominated by Ndahura who is one of the second youngest silverback in the family and the group is known to be the most peaceful gorilla family in Bwindi national park.

Kyaguriro gorilla family

The Kyaguriro gorilla family in Ruhija sector in Bwindi national park was the first group to be habituated in Ruhija sector in 1999 but was set aside for research purposes. After habituation the gorilla family had 20 members with Rukina silverback as the leader of the family who later died because he was struck by lightning in 2015, the family was left under the leadership of an immature silverback Mukiza in 2016. Fights erupted in the group between Mukiza and Rukara an immigrant silverback from Bitukura and the group was split into two Kyaguriro A that is led by Rukara silverback is comprised of 10 members and Kyaguriro B also called Muzika family because it’s under the leader ship of Mukiza silverback and is also comprised of 10 members including 2 black back, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants.

Cost of trekking gorilla families in Ruhija sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

A single gorilla trekking permits in Ruhija sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park costs USD700 for foreign non-residents, USD600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African citizens. The gorilla trekking permit allows visitors to spend one hour in the presence of the habituated gorilla family in their natural habitat taking pictures, recording videos among others. However the gorilla trekking permit is offered only to adults aged of 15 years and above.

Number of people allowed to trek a gorilla family in Ruhija sector in Bwindi National Park.

A gorilla trekking group in Ruhija sector in Bwindi national park takes a maximum of 8 people per gorilla family/group hence there are only 24 gorilla trekking permits available on a daily basis.

Accommodation in Ruhija Sector.

Ruhija sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park has a number of luxury, midrange and budget accommodations facilities where visitors on a gorilla trekking safari in the park can stay. These  include; Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Gift of Nature Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Bakiga Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Safaris Lodge, Trekkers Tavern Cottages, Ruhija Gorilla Resort among others which provide comfortable shelter, unique camping sites, quality meals, drinks, wireless internet, reading rooms to visitors on a safari.

How to get to Ruhija Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Ruhija sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the eastern part of the park. It can be accessed either through Buhoma sector or Kabale town because it lies between these two areas. 

The sector can easily be accessed by air transport and road transport even by visitors travelling from Kampala city. Visitors can access this sector of the park by air from Entebbe international airport and land in Kihihi airstrip which is near Buhoma. From there you can connect to Ruhija which takes about 2 to 3 hours’ drive. You can also fly from Kigali airport in Rwanda to Kisoro airstrip and connect to Ruhija sector for gorilla trekking.

By road, you can drive from Kampala via Mbarara, Kabale to Ndego gate in Bwindi national park. Alternatively, you can also drive from Kampala city via Mbarara, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, Kihihi, Butogota, where from Butogota to Ruhija it takes around 2 hours’ drive to Ruhija sector.

Visitors doing gorilla trekking in Ruhija sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park can also connect to Queen Elizabeth national park for a guided game drive in Ishasha sector where you stand a chance to see the park’s famous tree climbing lions. You can also connect to Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale which is about 52km from Ruhija sector and get to enjoy a boat ride on th lake using a traditional canoe.

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