Rushaga sector is one of the 4 sectors of mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, also called trail heads. Rushaga sector is one of the sectors with the highest number of gorilla families. Rushaga sector is a home for about 4 mountain gorilla families, and it is regarded as the best gorilla trekking area in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The mountain gorilla families in the rushaga sector include Bweza, Busingye, Nshingi, Kahungye, and mishaya. The fame of the Rushaga sector is attributed to the fact that the sector has 2 mountain gorilla families that are under habituation including Bikyingi and Bushaho which are still under habituation.
Rushaga is one of the sectors in Bwindi impenetrable national park where you can go for mountain gorilla habituation experience. You can also enjoy the cultural encounter in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park. Rushaga trailhead, just like, buhoma, can also lead to the batwa communities that live near bwindi impenetrable national park.
How to get to Rushaga sector
Rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable national park is located within the southern sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest. Rushaga sector is found in the Kisoro district, and so is the Nkuringo sector. Rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable national park is near to volcanoes national park; if you are coming from Rwanda gorilla trekking rushaga sector is advisable since you can easily connect to it via Cyanika border. Rushaga is actually the shortest to connect to from Volcanoes national park in Rwanda; it is just a three hours’ drive from Kigali in Rwanda.
Alternatively when from kampala, you can reach Rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable national park via the Mbarara highway, through kabala and then to rushaga in southwestern Uganda. The drive from Kampala the capital city of Uganda to the Rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable national park only takes about 8 to 9 hours. Another option to reach the Rushaga sector is to use air transport from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airstrip. You can book for a chartered aircraft from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi to the Kihihi airfield in kisoro. From kihihi, you can proceed with road transport to rushaga of bwindi impenetrable national park.
What to expect in rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable national park
When you travel to Rushaga of bwindi impenetrable national park, there is a lot to see and many activities to engage in. Before even doing anything, the scenic view in the sector is very fascinating are the cool breezes in very relaxing when you reach. From rushaga, you can see the three volcanoes from a distance including Virunga National Park, muhavura and gahinga peaks of mountain mgahinga. Supplemented with the verdant forest and the jungle sounds of the tweeting birds and the playing monkeys, the physical feature in bwindi impenetrable forest makes Rushaga very epic and tranquil enough.
Along the way, before reaching rushaga, you can see the beautiful undulating hills of kisoro and kabala districts in the south western region of Uganda. You have a chance to view lake bunyonyi the deepest crater lake in Uganda and the second deepest of all crater lakes in Africa. The succession of the vegetation cover according to the change in the altitude is awesome and this is the beauty of Kisoro and Kabale districts.
Mountain gorilla trekking is one of the famous activities in the sector. To visit Rushaga, you have to be assigned to one of the mountain gorilla families in this region. Rushaga sector has over five mountain gorilla families ready to be trekked; these include Busingye, nshongi, kungy, bweza and mishaya. A number of about 40 gorilla trekking permits are sold to visitors who want to trek mountain gorillas in this sector of rushaga. A maximum of 8 people are allowed to visit a particular family; this done to prevent behavioral change in the mountain gorillas due to human interference.
You can also enjoy mountain gorilla habituation experience in this sector. The sector has, currently, two mountain gorilla families under habituation including Bikyingi and Bushaho. Mountain gorilla habituation, unlike gorilla trekking, the permits are given to only 4 people who are allowed to join the researchers who train the mountain gorilla in order to be habituated. The habituation process of the mountain gorilla takes about 2 to 3 years. The mountain gorilla habituation experience is mainly carried out in the low season when the park is free of people. Also, the mountain gorilla habituation experience is charged differently from mountain gorilla trekking; you are charged USD1500 for the mountain gorilla habituation experience and only USD700 for mountain gorilla trekking.
Rushaga sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park is also a good place for the cultural encounter. You can visit the batwa community of bwindi impenetrable national park who live in kisoro areas of the park. The batwa culture is one of the authentic ones remaining in Africa. The batwa women will sing for you many folk songs, and perform many cultural dances. You can also visit one of the coffee shops of the batwa and have a cup of coffee with your colleagues or have a taste of the sweet juice and gin made by the women of the batwa people.
Bird watching is another activity you can enjoy in this sector of bwindi impenetrable national park. You can spot a lot of birds in the forest during the forest walks even when trekking for the mountain gorillas. You can also make bird watching a full activity where you can walk with a birders’ guide who helps to explain for you the different bird species you can encounter in bwindi impenetrable national park. The good scenic view of the forest like the waterfalls and the surrounding topography of south western Uganda supplements bird watching to give you a spectacular experience.
The forest nature walks are fascinating in the sector and can take you around many phenomenal features of the forest like the big old trees of the forest, you can also get a chance to see the mountain gorillas roaming in the forest. The nature walks in bwindi impenetrable national park offer you a chance to spot all the creatures of the forest like the red colubus monkeys, a few chimpanzees, baboons, black and white monkeys, squirrels, butterflies, and many reptiles among others.
Where to find accommodation
Rushaga sector is well supplied with a variety of accommodations that you can stay in for your mountain gorilla trekking in Uganda. But, you should make sure that the gorilla family you have booked for is near to the lodge or accommodation you booked for. Some of the accommodation facilities found in the sector include, kisoro town travelers inn, nkuringo gorilla camp, nkuringo safari lodge, clouds gorilla lodge is also near rushaga sector of bwindi impenetrable national park.