Lodges in Rushaga Gorilla Sector : Rushaga Gorilla Sector is located at an altitude of 1,900m near the southern tip of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Rushaga became Uganda’s newest gorilla tracking site in October 2009, following an unusually high-profile launch wherein a brat pack of American film stars were flown in to make positive statements about the experience. Although Rushaga is less well known and quieter than Buhoma and Ruhija, and accommodation facilities are generally good to all travelers who visit the sector.
There are seven habituated gorilla families in the Rushaga Gorilla Sector, that totals up to 56 gorilla tracking permits available daily, the sector is the only place in Bwindi and the whole world where you can habituate mountain gorilla – there are two families (Bushaho and Bukingyi) who are being habituated in the Rushaga sector – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, and a total of 4 people daily can habituate wild mountain gorilla and that adds up to a total of 8 permits available for habituation daily – the cost of each gorilla habituation permit is US$ 1,500 per person. Scenically unlike some gorilla sectors in Bwindi, where you can’t view across the deep jungle-clad valley as well as a glimpse of the Virunga Volcanoes, and there’s plenty to attract birders including Rwenzori turaco and Shelley’s Crimsonwing. There are some good lodges near; about 10 minutes walk from the Rushaga Gorilla Tracking trailhead.
The main accommodation collection serving Rushaga are in the village about 1 to 5km from the tracking trailhead – lodges in the Rushaga gorilla sector include
This gem of a lodge stands on a hillside facing the forest only 1 kilometer from the Rushaga trailhead. The 18 bedroomed en-suite cottages are attractively and colorfully decorated in ethnic style and spread across a pretty garden site surrounded by scattered local homesteads. Good, but is also a touch overpriced.
This very agreeable and reasonably priced lodge is set on sloping grounds with a view 10 minutes walk from the tracking trailhead. It offers the choice of small but comfortable budget double rooms with large standalone luxury cottages with king-size beds with walk-in-nets, all rooms are en-suite with a private balcony.
This latest offering from nature lodge has an isolated position on the park boundary about 2km east of the tracking trailhead as the crow flies, but more like 5km by road, sprawling across a hillside, the comfortable en-suite cottages all offer views towards nearby forest canopy. The lodge consists of 12 en-suite rooms; all rooms have a private balcony overlooking Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
This well-run camp 1km from the tracking trailhead is under the same management as the ever-popular Bunyonyi Overland Resort. It offers the choice of 12 luxurious rooms with canvas sides, glass fronts, stone bathroom and wooden deck with seating and forest views, a log cabin-like row of smaller en-suite budget rooms with a balcony overlooking a eucalyptus plantation.
Rushaga is the best sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for mountain gorilla tracking, and it is also the only sector where tourists may participate in the Gorilla Habituation Experience.
After the recent separation from the Mweza group, this is one of the largest habituated gorilla families in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This group used to have 36 gorillas, but it now has over 25 mountain gorillas, including a dominant silverback, two sub silverbacks, three blackbacks, six adult females, six youngsters, and three new-borns. This is one of the few gorilla groups with more than four silverbacks, and it is still commanded by Nshongi, the group’s youngest silverback. Surprisingly, all three silverbacks and seven silverbacks coexisted amicably, with no power struggles.
The Nshongi gorilla group was founded with much excitement, and celebrities from all over the world visited in 2009. In 2010, the Nshongi group split up, leaving just 26 mountain gorillas, while others formed their groups, such as the Mishaya gorilla family. In 2013, the group separated again, reducing the number of gorillas to 18 and forming the current Bweza with ten gorillas. As the largest gorilla troop, visitors have a better opportunity of seeing other apes, forest birds, and butterflies.
Due to disagreements with silverback Mishaya, this group broke from the Nshongi group in 2010. The silverback disappeared along with the other females, and the population now numbers over seven mountain gorillas and one silverback. Mishaya Silverback is a terrific warrior, and he managed to gather a large number of females, bringing the total to twelve, including three newborns. Mishaya is the only adult mountain gorilla known for fighting, and she frequently interacts with other mountain gorilla groups. However, owing to ongoing fights, this group was reduced to only seven members by 2015.
This group consists of 9 mountain gorillas, including one silverback, three newborns, two adults, and several young ones. In 2012, the Busingye gorilla group split from the Kahungye gorilla group. Busingye silverback was the one who chose to split away and start his group. Busingye means “peace,” which is surprising given his ambitious silverback’s legendary battles with other gorilla families. He likes displaying his strength, and anytime he comes across a wild bunch, he viciously steals a female gorilla to add to his own.
This group consists of 13 mountain gorillas and three silverbacks, with Rumansi as the dominant silverback, followed by the other two male mountain gorillas, Rwigi and Ruhamuka. This group was ready for gorilla monitoring in 2011, however, after just a year, the group split up, resulting in the formation of a new family known as the Busingye gorilla group. Before their breakup, the organization had 27 members, including three silverbacks.
There are just seven mountain gorillas in this group, including one silverback and two newborns. The Bweza gorilla group is a splinter group of the Nshongi gorilla family, and it is the most varied and fascinating gorilla group to see on a safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Those interested in gorilla habituation can visit the Bikingi and Bushaho gorilla families and spend four hours examining the everyday habits of these magnificent animals.