Ruhija sector is located in the Eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National park, Uganda’s 331 squire kilometers tourist hot spot that houses and protect over half of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park also boasts of a rocky landscape of steep hills and valleys abutting the Congolese border south of Ishasha and north of Kisoro. Rolling eastward from the Albertine Rift Escarpment, the tangled forested slopes of Bwindi provide shelter to one of Africa’s most diverse mammalian faunas including 50% of the global mountain gorilla population, 600 mountain gorillas are residents in Uganda, 204 in Rwanda and 200 mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Gorilla tracking at Ruhija sector is once in a lifetime encounter, there are three habituated Gorilla families namely Kyaguliro gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family and Oruzogo gorilla family. In this article we are going to emphasize on Oruzogo gorilla family.
The Bitukura Gorilla Family with 14 individuals including four silverbacks was habituated in 2007; there are four silverbacks, four adult females, two juveniles, three infants and one baby. Initially this group consisted of 24 individuals but due to disputes and fights in the group some individuals decided to move to other areas.
The Oruzogo Gorilla Group consists of 17 individuals with one silverback and has become a favoured site for tourists simply because of the joyful and playful individuals that entertain the visitors. The Oruzogo Gorilla Group was opened for tourism in 2011.
Oruzogo gorilla family members include Bakwate “old silverback”, Kaganga (silverback), Kasumali (silverback), six adult females whose names include Nyangaro, Katoto, Ruchura, Mutesi, Nyakina and Mukwano, one black back Bwengye, three sub adult males Nyakashunja, Musenene, Nyabirano, and Muhumuza, two infant males Mufuruki and Paska, one infant female Musana.
After the UWA officials briefing you about the gorilla trek, your driver guide drives you north to the starting point of your gorilla trek. You must be physically fit to track mountain gorillas at the Ruhija sector, expect to climb rough and high terrains of bwindi in search for mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.
The Kyaguliro Gorilla Group consists of 20 individuals; this group is not usually visited due to the fact that it was reserved for research. The group later split into two groups after a sudden death of a mature silverback that was struck by lightning. After its death the family was left with a young silverback which was later attacked by a mature silverback from the Bitukura group, thus forcing the group to split into two groups commonly as Kyaguliro A headed by Rukara with 10 family members composed of 1 silverback, 2 blackbacks, 3 adult females, 2 juveniles and 2 infants and Kyaguliro B headed by Mukiza composed of 1 silverback, 4 adults females 1 adult and 4 infants.
Ruhija can be accessed from several angels. If you are coming from Kampala/Entebbe, it’s better to go through Kabale town and then proceed to Ruhija. Coming from Kampala, you may branch off at Ntungamo to Rukungiri, Kihihi or Butogota then drive another two hours to Ruhija.
All these routes requires a four wheel drive car as some sections of the road is rough, bumpy, dusty and during rainy seasons, they tend to get muddy.
By Air transport Kihihi Airstrip also known as Savannah Airstrip is the nearest Airstrip to Ruhija sector, located in Kanungu District southwestern Uganda – expect 3 hours drive from Kihihi Airstrip to Ruhija mountain gorilla sector.
See suggested Uganda gorilla tours that suite your travel style.