Rushaga sector is found in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only home to half of the remaining mountain gorillas in Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was divided into 4 sectors, the Rushaga sector being of them. Rushaga is mostly visited by visitors arriving from Rwanda Kigali through the Cyanika border in Kisoro district close to Volcanoes national park of Rwanda. This is due to the double increment of Rwanda Gorilla Permits hence making Rushaga one of the popular sectors for gorilla trekking.
Rushaga sector is as well strategically located with closer and clear sights of some of the Virunga Volcanoes like the Virungas in Congo, Mount Gahinga and Muhabura on the Uganda side and on a clear night. The visitors from a distance can view the active volcano commonly known as the Nyiragongo volcano.
Aside, gorilla trekking, Rushaga is one sector that offers visitors other experiences around the park including community tours, Batwa community tour, Lake Mutanda exploration, and the area is generally hilly giving good scenic views.
Rushaga sector is best known for accommodating the highest number of habituated gorilla families available for trekking. Rushaga has 5 habituated gorilla families including Nshongi, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, and Bushingye families and each gorilla family is headed by a silverback gorilla who is the head of the family and all movements and daily activities of the family are determined by the Silverback Gorilla.
Gorilla families vary in size however interaction with other members of the gorilla family is interesting and fascinating to experience. On a daily basis, there are 40 gorilla trekking permits available for visitors to see. Each group is allocated 8 people to visit daily and as long as you acquire a gorilla permit, you are guaranteed to see the gorillas on a 99% scale. Rushaga gorilla permits cost $600 per person and visitors are advised to book their gorilla permits at least 5 months before arrival date.
For visitors interested in Gorilla Habituation experience, the Rushaga sector is the only sector to go. Gorilla Habituation is the process where wild gorillas are trained to get familiar to human beings before they are declared free for trekking and apparently its only Rushaga sector where interested visitors learn and see how rangers train the gorillas. There are currently 2 gorilla habituation families undergoing habituation experience and available for visitors including; Bikyingi and Bushaho families. Unlike Gorilla trekking where it takes 8 people to visit a gorilla group, Gorilla Habituation only takes 4 people per day for the experience to interact with the gorillas for about 4 hours in their presence. Visitors are expected to hold a permit that costs $1,500 per person for an allowance of 4 hours of training with the gorillas.
Being one of the best sectors, Rushaga has a variety of accommodations visitors can choose from staying depending on their budget and interests. The lodges vary from Up-market, Luxury, Mid-range, budget to campsites with good food and sleeping facilities. The lodges hire professional and knowledgeable staff with the best skills to serve as required. Some of the lodges in Rushaga sector include; Chameleon Hill Lodge, Lake Mutanda Resort, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Valley lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Havens lodge to mention a few. These lodges also offer other tourist activities like the community tours, forests walk, nature walks, making a gorilla safari complete.
Rushaga sector can be accessed by both road and air transport. The easiest route to access the sector is either via Katuna or Cyanika border from Rwanda. It takes 4 to 6 hours to drive from Kigali Rwanda to the Rushaga sector, so for visitors who want minimum time connecting to Rushaga, arriving from Kigali airport will suit you best. From Entebbe/Kampala City, it takes 8 to 9 hours driving however, the route is adventurous with a lot to offer as visitors drive through scenic Uganda. Areas of interest include the Uganda Equator and other cultural sites. Rushaga sector can also be accessed by Air using Aerolink Uganda Limited which operates daily flights to Kisoro district from Entebbe airport. For visitors interested in spending only 2 hours traveling to this sector, a flight is our best recommendation. Flights land on Kisoro airstrip and then meet your safari guide to driving for some hours or less to your lodge depending on where you will be staying. Charter flights are also available.