New Born baby gorilla in Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national park
New Born baby gorilla in Ruhija sector: The Uganda Wildlife Authority on the 13th/October/2020 announced the new birth of a baby gorilla in Ruhija sector for Mukiza family of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The mother gorilla called Twijukye gave birth on the 11th/October/2020 raising the numbers of Mukiza family to 15 members.
Makiza is a named gorilla who was formally a member of Kyaguliro group of gorillas however after the death of a mature silverback as it was struck by lightning, the 20 members of Kyaguliro group split into 2 groups commonly as Kyaguliro A headed by Bitukura thus Bitukura group and Kyaguliro B headed by Mukiza thus Mukiza group as both the silverbacks could not stand each other. Mukiza groups had a total of 10 members when Kyaguliro group split but now has 15 members after the birth of the new baby gorilla. Before Kyaguliro family was split into two, the group was initially reserved for research however, due to demand; it has been fully habituated for gorilla trekking. In total, Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national park has a total of 3 habituated gorilla families available for gorilla trekking in Uganda which include Mukiza, Bitukura, and Oruzogo families.
The other groups including Bitukara gorilla family which initially was composed of 24 members but due to flights and disputes, the group reduced to 14 members as others went to join other families. Therefore, Bitukara group is composed of 4 silverbacks, 4 adult females, 2 juveniles and 3 infants and a baby. The Oruzongo gorilla family comprises of 17 individuals. This group is one of the best groups for gorilla trekking because of their joyful, fun and playful nature that entertains visitors. This group is comprised of 3 silverbacks namely Kaganga, Kasumali, and Batwate, 6 adult females, 3 adult males, 2 infant males and 1 infant female.
Ruhija sector of Bwindi national park Uganda is located in the Eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National park closest to Katuna border of Uganda and Rwanda of all the Bwindi gorilla trekking sectors. It is easily accessed from either Kabale town to the south of the park or Buhoma sector of Bwindi national park to the north for travellers coming from Queen Elizabeth national park. Compared to other Bwindi gorilla trekking sectors including Buhoma, Rushaga, and Nkuringo, Ruhija has fewer guerrilla groups however, it has the best eco-tourism experience whereby gorilla trekking in its terrain is not that hilly if compared with Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors. It is best recommended for elderly or aged travellers. This sector is also less congested compared to other 3 gorilla trekking sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
How to access Ruhija sector
Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national park can be accessed from several routes. From Kampala/Entebbe airport, its best accessed through Masaka – Mbarara road to Kabale town and then proceed to Ruhija. Alternatively, when you reach Mbarara, use the Ntungamo – Rukungiri – Kihihi – Butogota route from where you drive for extra 2 hours to reach Ruhija sector. You must use a 4X4 wheel drive vehicle as some parts of the roads are rough, bumpy, and dusty especially during rainy seasons, the roads tend to get muddy as well.
By Air, there are no direct flights to Ruhija sector. The only available flights land in Kihihi airstrip from there, you take a drive of 2 hours to reach Ruhija sector. Aerolink Uganda Limited has two daily flights schedules from Entebbe international airport to Kihihi airstrip so you can plan your stay accordingly. You can as well land in Kabale airstrip using charter flight and then drive to Ruhija although a charter flight is quite so experience.
Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija Sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park
After you have purchased your gorilla permit months before your gorilla trekking date, prepare for your experience with the right gorilla trekking gears. On the day of gorilla trekking, drive to the park quite early by at least 6:00 am depending on where you will be staying closer to the park headquarters. Be at the park headquarters by 7:00 am when the briefing about the experience is done by the park officials and you will as well be allocated which gorilla family to visit. If you have any disabilities, it is then that you inform that officials for example if you cannot take long walks so that you are allocated a closer group to visit or if you want a further group, you can also ask for it. At 8:00 am is when you arrive at the starting point of trekking. Each gorilla group is allocated only 8 people for protection. This search of the gorilla group can take 2 to 8 hours depending in the location of the gorilla group. On finding the allocated group, you will be allowed to spend at least an hour in their presence as you watch them do their activities like playing, and feeding. Ensure you carried your camera and binoculars because this is would be the best time to use them. After an hour, you will be lead back to the end point where your vehicle will be waiting for you and at the end also you will be awarded a certificate that proves to the whole world that you visited the endangered wild mountain gorillas.
Other activities to do in Ruhija sector of Bwindi
A part from Gorilla trekking in Ruhija sector, visitors can also do bird watching and nature walk activities as an added activity besides gorilla trekking. The park carries out primate walks where one is given a chance to enjoy spotting out some of the other primates that do exist like the white and black colobus monkeys that play all over the tree branches. Since a gorilla permit goes for $700 per person, visitors can opt to do a primates walk or a bird watching experience which are cheaper to do while in Ruhija sector. This sector is also located a few meters away from the deepest lake in East Africa called Lake of Bunyonyi, a beautiful area to relax after Gorilla trekking in Uganda, you can do a canoe ride on Lake Bunyonyi to see more fascinating hills and islands, a perfect environment with local Batwa cultures.
Where to stay while in Ruhija sector of Bwindi national park
Ruhija sector is not well developed in terms of accommodation facilities. However, every year new accommodation facilities are constructed around Ruhija sector that suit most travellers’ budget. Accommodations in Ruhija sector range from luxury/high end facilities, mid-range facilities, then budget facilities. Some of the accommodation facilities in the sector include; Ruhija Gorilla Safari lodge as a luxury accommodation, Gorilla Mist Camp, Trekkers Traven lodge and Bakiga lodge among other lodges as mid-range accommodations and Ruhija Friends Resort and campsites among others as budget accommodations. (New Born baby gorilla in Ruhija sector)