The Rushaga sector is located in the southern side of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Rushaga lies at an altitude of 1880m. The sector boasts of the highest number of gorilla families habituated for tourism. If gorilla trekking is your dream adventure and you are wondering which sector has many habituated groups in Bwindi National Park then Rushaga Sector is the place to visit.
Rushaga region is just within the southern side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, southwestern Uganda, 8-10 hours’ drive from Entebbe or Kampala and 3-4 hours by road from Kigali. Compared to the rest of 3 gorilla regions, Rushaga has the largest number of habituated families. About 9 gorilla families are available for trekking in this region alone and they include Bikingi, Bweza, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye, Nshongi, Rwingi, Kutu, Mucunguzi. They translate to about 72 gorilla permits which are available for booking in this region alone and each gorilla permit costs $600 although this price is due to change by 1st July, 2020 to $700. It is also an exceptional region the fact that Kutu gorilla family is where gorilla habituation is conducted.
Where is the Sector?
It lies between Kabale and Nkuringo coming from either Ruhija or Kampala.
Gorilla Families in Rushaga
These include; Mishaya, Nshongi, Kahungye, and Busingye.
Rushaga is that one region in Bwindi that is composed of many habituated families. It is situated suitably within the southern side of Bwindi National Park-Kisoro district just close to Nkuringo sector. The sector boasts of its diverse families that include Mishaya, Nshongi, Busingye, Bweza and Bikingi which is set for gorilla habituation experience.
Rushaga region features many habituated groups and it is found between Kabale and Nkuringo in case you are traveling from Ruhija or Kampala. This area features many high hills and a trek through the habituated families in this sector rewards travel endeavors with magical views over its surrounding areas including the Virunga Volcanoes of Gahinga, Muhabura, Karisimbi, Sabyinyo and Bisoke. Besides, there is Lake Mutanda that is one of the 2 (two) Lava damned lakes in Uganda.
This sector is mainly ideal for gorilla trekking and only area where you can embark on gorilla habituation experience. For gorilla trekking, you can choose to track groups like Nshongi gorilla group-that formerly comprised of 36 individuals and currently boasts of about 25 individuals. This family formed due to many fanfare and celebrities from far and came in 2009. Around 2010, the group split off with about 26 members then others joined other groups like Mishaya group. Mishaya family is a splitter group from Nshongi and this occurred in 2010. Mishaya left with some females and currently, it has about 7 members with 1 silverback. Mishaya silverback is a renowned fighter and indeed he has managed to gather as many females as possible and about 12 gorillas make up this group. Kahungye group-a gorilla family that is composed of 13 individuals and 3 silverbacks plus a dominant silverback called Rumansi that is followed by other 2 male gorillas-Rwigi and Ruhamuka. Tracking this group equally rewards travel endeavors with unique experiences. Busingye family on the other hand is comprised of 9 members and includes 1 silverback, 3 infants, 2 adults and several young ones. This group is a splitter family from Kahungye group. The word Busingye means peace and its leader enjoys demonstrating his power each time he encounters another group. Bweza family is another incredible group with about 7 individuals.
Getting to Rushaga sector of Bwindi national park
Visitors traveling from Kigali can connect to this sector via Cyanika border area in Katuna then to Rushaga sector of Bwindi National Park. Or take a flight from Entebbe airport/Kajjansi airstrip and land into Kisoro airfield where you will easily connect to Bwindi National Park.
Besides gorilla trekking in this sector, you can as well embark on activities like nature walks or hiking via Kapata trail, cultural encounters where you will have enjoyable moments especially the incredible traditional performances and demonstrations. The thrilling cultural experiences not to miss while you are on safari in this sector include meeting with the unique Batwa pygmies in their community.
Where to Stay
The accommodation choices in and around Rushaga area include Rushaga Gorilla Havens Lodge, Nshongi Gorilla Camp, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Bwindi Jungle Lodge, Mutanda Lodge and others.