The Buhoma sector is the most known of all the four sectors location given that it was the first to be developed for gorilla tourism.
Buhoma region is found in the northern side of Bwindi National Park. It is from Buhoma that gorilla trekking began in its first gorilla family (Mubare). Mubare gorilla family was opened in 1993 and today, it has 4 groups including Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe gorilla family.
It is also an incredible region for tourists to embark on nature walk since it consists of many trails including the waterfall trail that takes you through varied tree ferns, orchids to scenic waterfall; Munyaga River trail that gets you the best sight at variety of birds and primates. Others include Muzabajiro Loop trail, River Ivy trail and Rushura hill trail. Visitors on gorilla trekking in Buhoma region can spend a night in Silverback Lodge, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Gorilla Forest Camp and others.
Buhoma region reachable by road or by air. By road, your journey to Buhoma region can start from Entebbe or Kampala via Masaka-Mbarara to Kabale approximately 8-10 hours’ drive or from Kigali via Chanika or Katuna border to Kabale which is 3-4 hours’ drive. By air, fly from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi airstrip then land into Kihihi airstrip.
Gorilla Families in the Buhoma Sector
There are six gorilla Families that have been habituated for gorilla tourism within the Buhoma region of Niorthern Bwindi. The region is spectacular and there are lots of interesting things to see within the area. There are six gorilla families that have been habituated for tracking in the sector. There are;
- Rushegura Gorilla Family
- Mubare Gorilla Family
- Habinyanja Gorilla Family
- Katwe Gorilla Family
- Muyambi Gorilla Family
Mubare Group also called M Family
First habituated gorilla family in 1998. At the beginning the group comprised of 12 family member but when the head silverback Ruhondeza died, it left only 5 family members. In 2013 the Mubare gorilla family received four other members making it now nine family member.
The Habinyanja Gorilla Family – H Group
Habituated groups was first discovered near a swamp hence the name of water. Tracking this gorilla family can normally go for a whole day – from upto five hours or more to track the Habinyanja Gorilla Group. These gorillas move daily over a wide range in the forest. Nevertheless there are harder groups to track that take a bit more energy. This group is also large comprising of over 18 members which change from time to time as gorilla babies arrive, old members die or move to another group and other factors.
Rushegura Family – R Group
One of the larger groups comprising of 16 members and can be tracked from the Buhoma area of the park park headquarters. The Rushegura family offers a short trek since the daily is staying in the area of This group slit from Habinyanja group and is found in the Buhoma area split off some years back to form its own family. Today these two families and the Mubare Gorilla Families cross each others paths and the meetings are mostly peaceful in nature.
Explore the Sector
There are several trails developed within Buhoma and these include;
- the Munyanga River Trails – Walk in the forest and explore the valley of Buhoma. Are you interested in viewing birds and primates? You can easily see birds and primates along the tropical forest edges.
- The waterfall trail – Another amazing trail developed in Bwindi Impenetravble National Park. A guided trail passes you beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns as well as orchids to visit three dazzling waterfalls.
- The Rushura Hill Trail – This trail passes tourists through one forest shared by two countries. You can enjoy sightseeing on a clear day of Lakes Edward and George, the famed Rwenzori Mountains as well as the conical peaks of the Virunga Volcanoes.
- Muzabajiro Loop Trail – a wonderful trail of 6 kilometres around a hill, You can encounter primates and birds as well as get clear views of the Virungas.
- The River Ivi Trail – The trail follows an old road through the forest, emerging near Nkuringo on the southern edge of the impenetrable forest.
Other Things to Do
- The Buhoma community walk
- Cultural performances
- Visit a typical homestead, the traditional healer and a banana beer brewery
- Enjoy the Batwa cultural experience