Rushaga gorilla trekking takes place in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, southwest of Uganda. Rushaga is one of the only four sectors of Bwindi where tourists can trek mountain gorillas from. Mountain gorillas are endemic to the Virunga region and Bwindi impenetrable forest in Uganda.
Mountain gorillas almost got extinct in the 19th century. However, the mountain gorilla conservation efforts of Dian Fossey made the extinction impossible. She attracted human attention towards this species of apes. She dedicated her life studying and conserving mountain gorillas until she was murdered by gorilla poachers in 1985 at her research facility, Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda. You can also look at Buhoma gorilla trekking, Ruhija gorilla trekking, and Nkuringo gorilla trekking. See some of the gorilla groups you are likely to meet while on your Rushaga gorilla trekking experience.
Gorilla Groups available for trekking in Rushaga
Busingye gorilla family
Busingye gorilla family is a splinter group that separated in 2012. The family is composed of 9 members, with 5 black backs, 3 infants and 1 silverback. The name Busingye is derived from a local word to mean “peace”. The group is led by a peaceful but aggressive silverback called Busingye. Despite referring to them as a peaceful family, the dominating silverback is fond of fighting other habituated and wild gorilla groups to acquire more females to his family.
Nshongi gorilla family
Nshongi gorilla family is found in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi. The group derives its name from the word “Omushongi Gwoboki”, a river with a dim color similar to honey where the group was first sighted. This family was opened up for trekking in 2009. Nshongi gorilla family was made up of 36 members dominated by Nshongi at the time of habituation. He was not the oldest in the group and dominated the group before his father Mishaya died. The group broke up and other silverbacks formed their own families.
Kahungye gorilla family
Kahungye gorilla family is one of the gorilla families in the Rushaga. The group derives its name from a hill in Rushaga, where the family was first sighted. This family was opened up for trekking in 2011 with 27 individuals but later split to form Busingye gorilla family, leaving Kahungye with 17 members. The group is dominated by Rumanzi, the silverback with other two silverbacks Rwigi and Ruhamuka.
Bweza gorilla family
Bweza gorilla family is dominated by Bweza. Bweza split from Mishaya gorilla family, taking with him 6 members. Surprisingly, this happened when Mishaya had just split from Nshongi gorilla family, taking away 10 members in 2010. The family was opened up for trekking in 2012. It is now composed of 9 members and is still being led by Bweza.
Mishaya gorilla family
Mishaya gorilla family split from Nshongi gorilla family. Mishaya took away some members to form his own gorilla family. The Mishaya gorilla family now consists of 7 members, with 1 silverback called Mishaya dominating the group. Is one of the fun families to trek in Rushaga, Bwindi.
Where to stay
There are various accommodation options found at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Accommodation options depend on the tourists budget and their area of trekking. If you opt to trek in Rushaga, some of the lodges you can sleep in include; Ichumbi Gorilla Lodge, Rushaga Gorilla Camp, Bwindi Gorilla Lodge, and Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge among the rest.
Best time to visit
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be visited all year round but visiting between June to September and December to February when the weather is convenient is highly recommended. Rushaga can be reached within 4 hours from Kigali and 9-10 hours from Kampala. Tourists can also opt to fly from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro Airstrip or Kihihi Airstrip in 1-2 hours.