Buhoma Sector –Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda
Buhoma Sector –Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda : Buhoma Sector ranks the finest rewards as being the top visited for gorilla trekking out of the four sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It is located in the northern side of the park. Above all, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park remarks the top visited destination in Africa because of inhabiting half remaining mountain gorillas in the world, located in the southwestern region of Uganda and popularly known as the best place to go for gorilla trekking on gorilla trekking safari. Buhoma sector is among the four sectors found within the park which harbor the habituated gorilla families .Other sectors are Ruhija sector ,Nkuringo and Rushanga sector.
Gorilla trekking in Buhoma Sector
Gorilla trekking is an attractive activity which starts early in the morning after briefing, then be accompanied by the park rangers into the dense tropical forests in search for habituated gorilla families and as you can be trekking there are other chances of spotting species like monkeys, bird species, plants, green vegetables among others. Once a gorilla family is found one hour is given to you in their natural habitat. Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector can be done in 4 habituated Gorilla groups namely;
Mubare gorilla family
This was the first visited habituated gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park in 1991 and it was officially opened 2 years after. Mubare gorilla group was named after Mubare hills and was first sighted by trekkers. At the time of habituation, the family had only 12 members including one dominant silverback Ruhondeza which later died after a threatening with a black back in 2013.The group is now composed of 9 members.
Habinyanja Gorilla Family
Habinyanja gorilla family got its name from a Rukiga word Nyanja which means a water pond, it was a forest and viewed in by the trekkers. This group was habituated in 1997 and officially opened for tourism in 1999.After habituation the gorilla group had 30 gorilla individuals including the dominant silverback Mugurusi. It later had leadership threatening after the death of Mugurusi when it was led by the two brothers Rwansigazi and Mwirima. But later they separated and Mwirima formed his own gorilla family called Rushegura. Rwansigazi joined with Habinyanja family and now is composed of 18 members with 2 silverbacks.
Rushegura gorilla family
This is a gorilla family which splinted from Habinyanja gorilla family in 2002 under the leadership of Mwirima who separated with 8 members. Rushegura gorilla group is now headed by Kabukojo silverback after the death of Mwirima in 2014 and the group is made up of 16 members.
Katwe gorilla family
This is among the newest habituated gorilla families in Buhoma sector for gorilla trekking. Katwe gorilla family is composed of 7 members such as 1 silverback ,4 adult females and 2 babies.
Gorilla trekking experience is grouped into 8 individuals then after be allocated to a gorilla group to trek. Note, each gorilla group is based on age, health and physical fitness, therefore visitors who are not physically fit in the body will be allocated to a gorilla family that is closer to trek. Gorilla trekking starts at 8:00am, you will go for trekking in the midst with a park guide who will be sharing with you right information about the mountain gorillas and also leading you to trekking trails to trek gorillas.
Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector can take about 2 to 6 hours hiking in the forest trail heads and once you locate the mountain gorillas spend one hour with them has you enjoy watching them has they carry out their daily routine activities such as feeding, learning, take photograph, recording the moments among others.
Buhoma sector is a home of 4 habituated gorilla groups meaning that there are about 32 gorilla trekking permits available on daily basis for tourists. Visitors much honored in trekking the endangered mountain gorillas in Buhoma sector should book their gorilla trekking permit earlier before six months of the trekking date because Buhoma is the most preserved gorilla trekking sector in Bwindi. Therefore, permits are sold out quickly.
Bwindi gorilla trekking permit costs USD700 for foreign nonresidents, USD600 for foreign residents and UGX 250,000 for East African Citizens. Booking a gorilla trekking permit in Buhoma sector can either be done directly through ‘’UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trust worthy tour operator with licensed tour company, if you don’t mind you can book with us Achieve global safaris.
Why should we trek gorillas in Buhoma sector?
Buhoma sector is so much interesting and home of four habituated gorilla group, of which gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park was first introduced in Buhoma sector in 1993.
Buhoma sector is the only gorilla trekking destination to harbor the first gorilla group ‘’Mubare gorilla family’’ and to be open for trekking. It was habituated in 1991 and after 2 years was opened for tourism.
Buhoma sector has comfortable terrain therefore trekking the gorillas is not strenuous compared to other sectors including Rushaga and Nkuringo where you hike in steep slopes in the midst of the forest and visitors don’t take a lot of time looking for this endangered mountain gorillas in their nature habitat.
Buhoma sector is best for gorilla trekking but also offers others activities which tourists can engage in during their visit on gorilla trekking tour;
On your visit to Bwindi visitors get opportunity to tour the local people who have been staying here for centuries for example the Batwa and the Bakiga whom you can interact with through storytelling, listening to their sweet traditional songs, dances, learn how to make crafts, weaving and bee-keeping.
This is an adventurous activity where tourists get a chance of exploring the park on foot something interesting as you enjoy beautiful scenery, breath fresh air as well as relaxation in the cool environment, rewardable views of the animals, birds and plant species among others.
Best Time to Visit Buhoma Sector for Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector can be carried out around the year though the best time is during the dry season which starts in June to September and December to February. To most of travelers prefer travelling in dry season because rain becomes less making road transport passible and trekking trails easily accessed. Then the rain season makes trails slippery thus making gorilla trekking experience difficult but the accommodation rates lows.
Accommodations in Buhoma Sector
Buhoma sector has got a wide range of upmarket, midrange and budget comfortable accommodation facilities for visitors such lodges where you can sleep overnight in Buhoma include; Silverback lodge, Buhoma Lodge, Volcanoes safari Bwindi Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, Lake Kitandara Gorilla Forest, Safari Bwindi Lodge, Gorilla Resort, Mahogany Springs Camp, Haven Lodge, Buhoma Rest Camp, Engagi Lodge, Volcanoes Safari Bwindi Lodge, Bwindi Guest House among others.
Accessibility to Buhoma Sector
Buhoma sector can either be reached by road or by air transport means
By road transport
Driving from Kampala via Mbarara –Kabale to Buhoma sector takes about 8 to 9 hours’ drive.
You can still reach out Buhoma sector from Queen Elizabeth national home rich in diversity of wildlife, where you drive from Mweya peninsular to Buhoma sector via Ishasha sector in Queen Elizabeth national park a rewardable site with great sights of tree climbing lions. From Queen Elizabeth national park takes about 3 to 4 hours’ drive.
By Air transport
Fly with domestic flight by Aero link Uganda which operates scheduled and chartered flight daily from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi airstrip.