Gorilla Trekking in Buhoma Sector | Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla Trekking in Buhoma Sector is the act of going to find gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest and in the Buhoma sector particularly. Gorilla Trekking in Buhoma Sector is such a fascinating activity carried out in the Northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park within Kanungu district in the southwestern part of Uganda. Buhoma sector is one of the best sectors amongst all the four sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable national park a home to more than half of the population of mountain gorillas in the entire world. As of now, the Buhoma sector is one of the best sectors that offer the best gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda thus attracting several gorilla trekkers all year round.
Reasons why you should opt for Gorilla Trekking in the Buhoma sector.
There are several reasons as to why you should opt for gorilla trekking in the Buhoma sector which include but not limited to the accessibility, the history of the Buhoma sector, the location of the Buhoma sector, availability of accommodation facilities among others as elaborated in this article.
History of the Buhoma sector: The history of the Buhoma sector is yet one of the reasons as to why several travelers on a gorilla trekking safari in Uganda prefer to trek within Bwindi Impenetrable national park and specifically in Buhoma sector. History has it that the Buhoma sector is the major trailhead for gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park and in Uganda at large with the first gorilla family known as Mubare gorilla family that was first trekked in 1993. Thus several travelers from different parts of the world visit Bwindi Impenetrable national park specifically to take part in gorilla trekking with in Buhoma sector the major gorilla trekking trailhead.
Availability of volunteering opportunities: Travelers who prefer taking part in volunteering activities in Uganda alongside gorilla trekking should opt for gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector to enable them connect the trek with volunteering activities.
Availability of accommodation facilities in the Buhoma sector: Buhoma sector boats in accommodation facilities both Budget, midrange, and luxury accommodation facilities that are always available and open to travelers on a gorilla trekking safari in Buhoma sector. In fact, Buhoma sector has the best accommodations with good amenities thus attracting several travelers for gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector. These accommodations in Buhoma sector include; Mahogany springs, Engagi lodge, Buhoma haven lodge, Buhoma lodge, Buhoma community camp, Mahogany Springs, Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Lake Kitandara Bwindi Camp, Haven Lodge Buhoma Community, Bwindi Forest Lodge, Bwindi View Bandas, Bwindi Guesthouse, Gorilla Forest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Silverback Lodge and many more.
The altitude of Buhoma sector: Buhoma sector is the best sector to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable national park due to the fact that Buhoma sector is a bit on a lower altitude and easier to trek its mountain gorillas as compared to the remaining three sectors in Bwindi. The terrains in the Buhoma sector are easily passible thus making gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector one of the most enjoyable adventures in Uganda. In fact, Buhoma sector is the best sector that favors all trekkers including those that prefer shorter treks and those interested in longer treks.
Easy connectivity to other nearby National Parks: Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector still remains unbeatably awesome due to the fact that it is very easy to connect from other national parks especially to Queen Elizabeth National park which is about 2-3 hours’ drive via Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth national park a home to a good population of Tree climbing lions. Imagine a tour to visit the tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth after encountering the mighty gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest in the Buhoma sector. Imagine a 2-3hours’ drive in Queen Elizabeth national park while sighting out different wildlife species along the way. Combine your Queen and Bwindi trip now to enjoy the benefits of cruising on the Kazinga channel within mweya peninsula, game drive in kasenyi plain, tree climbing lions in ishasha sector and finally enjoy a gorilla trekking adventure in Buhoma sector. This can be done in just a 5 days Uganda safari.
Buhoma sector is also easily connected to Rwenzori mountains national park for mountain climbing and other activities and Kibale forest national park a home to 13 primate species.
Accessibility from Kampala / Entebbe: Buhoma sector is easily accessed either by road or by flight: these ease in accessibility is an added advantage for the trekkers who really love to trek in this sector. The drive from Kampala takes about 8-9 hours to reach the northern part of the park and the flight takes about one hour and a half from either Entebbe international airport or from Kajjansi Airfield.
Availability of four habituated gorilla families in Buhoma sector: Mountain gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector still remains the topmost activity done in Bwindi impenetrable national park due to the fact that as of now, Buhoma sector has four habituated gorilla families and the fifth is still under gorilla habituation. These four habituated mountain gorilla families include; Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe available for trekking all year round allowing eight permits per gorilla family thus the Uganda Wildlife Authority issues out 32 gorilla trekking permits on a daily basis allowing 32 trekkers in a group of eight persons per gorilla family.
These habituated mountain gorilla families in Buhoma sector include,
Mubare Gorilla Family in Buhoma sector: This is the first and oldest Mountain gorilla family to be habituated in 1991 in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and it was first opened for trekking in 1993. Mubare gorilla family obtained its name from the location where it was first traced with its 18 other family members before habituation process started and this is none other than near Mubare Hill . Several travelers on a Uganda gorilla trekking safari in Buhoma always ask for Mubare gorilla family but the challenge is that its permits tend to be sold out in advance and remember a maximum number of people to trek a particular gorilla family has be 8 people. Interested in trekking Mubare gorilla family in Buhoma sector, then you need to really book your permit in time and specify the family interested in trekking. Habinyanja gorilla family in Buhoma sector: Habinyanja Gorilla Family is yet another habituated gorilla family in Buhoma sector within Bwindi impenetrable national park under the leadership of makara silverback and was first opened up for trekking in 1999 after being habituated for 2 years from 1997. Habinyanja gorilla family obtained its name from the local word Nyanja where it was first spotted next to a swamp in Bwindi impenetrable national park. Trekkers in Buhoma sector have a chance of trekking this gorilla family with the largest number of group members.
Rushegura gorilla family in Buhoma sector: Rushegura Gorilla family is yet another interesting gorilla family available for trekking in Buhoma sector. Rushegura gorilla family split from Habinyanja gorilla family both in Buhoma sector with 16 family members as of now. For trekkers who need something mores tiring and fascinating should indeed request for Rushegura gorilla family trekking as this family is known of roaming within Bwindi impenetrable forest thus trekking it requires a particular level of fitness. Katwe Gorilla family: Katwe gorilla family is the newly habituated mountain gorilla family in Buhoma sector available for trekking in Buhoma sector within Bwindi impenetrable national park. Habituated Katwe gorilla family in Buhoma sector took about three good years to completely get used to human presence for gorilla trekking experience. Binyindo gorilla family: This gorilla family is also found in Buhoma sector with 6 family members dominated by one silverback. However, Binyindo gorilla family is still under habituated and not yet open for trekking. Once its habituation process is done, it will be open for trekkers.
Connecting to other sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National park: Bwindi impenetrable forest national park has four gorilla trekking sectors including Buhoma sector, Rushaga sector, Nkuringo sector, and Ruhija sector. Amongst all the four sectors, Buhoma sector is the easiest to connect to other sectors in the shortest time possible. For instance, Buhoma to Ruhija is a 2 hours’ drive.
Other things to see and do in Buhoma Sector
Buhoma sector has a lot of things to do and see alongside mountain gorilla trekking since Bwindi Impenetrable national park has a wide variety of fauna and flora species that are eyes catching attracting different travelers to explore the beauty that lies beneath the impenetrable forest and take part in different park activities. Buhoma sector has gotten a lot of other things to do and see alongside mountain gorillas. These other activities done in Buhoma sector include Birding, guided nature walks, Buhoma Batwa and local community encounters among others.
- Birding in Buhoma sector: Buhoma sector is not only a home to primates but also a birders’ haven due to existence of some unique bird species. Some of the best birding spots in Bwindi include Mubwindi swamp where birders spot lots of water birds and papyrus bird species, then in the forest a home top forest birds, among others. Different bird species seen in Buhoma sector within Bwindi impenetrable national park include; blue-headed sunbird, strange weaverbird, Crimsonwings, Short tailed warbler, bar-tailed trogon, yellow-whiskered Greenbuls, barred long-tailed cuckoos, yellow eyed fly catcher, collared Apalis, kivu ground thrush, Rwenzori batis among others. All you need is a pair of binoculars and off to the jungle to watch different bird species.
- Guided Nature Walks in Buhoma sector: Guided Nature walks in Buhoma sector enables travelers to really sight lots of wildlife in the jungle. This is normally done in the evening after trekking mountain gorillas. There are several trails in Buhoma that take travelers to different destinations sighting out primates, mammals, waterfalls, birds, plant species, among others.
- Community encounter and Batwa experience in Buhoma Sector: An evening community encounter along Bwindi impenetrable national park especially in Buhoma sector enables travelers to come in close vicinity with the local community members including; the ancient forest dwellers, Batwa, and the local Bakiga. An encounter with the locals is a rewarding experience allowing travelers to interact with and even learn different cultural practices concluding with breathtaking traditional dance and drama.
Getting to Buhoma Sector
There are different ways to get to the Buhoma sector including by road through driving and by flight.
- By air: Aero link offers both charter and domestic flights from either. Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi airstrip and then connect to the park headquarters. A flight to kihihi is a one and a half hours flight from Entebbe International airport or Kajjansi airfield..
- By road:
- From Kampala to Buhoma sector: Getting to Buhoma sector from kampala is about 465km which is roughly 8-9 hours’ drive via Masaka – Mbarara – Ntungamo- kabale – Kisoro road which is the most common route used by different travelers from Entebbe/kampala on a direct drive to Buhoma sector.
- From Kampala via Queen Elizabeth National park: There is yet another route from kampala to Buhoma via Mbarara to Kasese, then fortportal and then passes via the southern sector of queen Elizabeth national park and have a view of tree climbing lions before connecting to Northern part of Queen Elizabeth national park where Buhoma sector is situated. There is another connection to Buhoma sector from Kibale forest national park and from Rwenzori Mountains.
Conclusion: Mountain Gorilla Trekking in Buhoma sector is a one in a lifetime experience that a traveler especially primate lover should engage to have a maximum expedition in the jungle with the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.