Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi's Buhoma Sector, Gorilla Safaris in Uganda
Bwindi impenetrable National park has got many sectors where gorilla trekking takes place and one of them is Buhoma Area situated in Kanungu district. The sector is popular with tourists as it was the first place in Uganda where gorilla tracking started from.
The first group of travellers to view the gorillas did it in Buhoma region of Bwindi National park and this was in 1993. This means that Buhoma region has got the oldest habituated gorilla family in the whole of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and this family is called Mubera group.
This family has got 9 members a factor highly attributed to the Late Ruhondeza. Ruhondeza grew older and could not effectively defend the group which led to a break away that later weakened the family.
When Ruhondeza died, the family had only 4 members but after his death, the new silverback embarked on an aggressive campaign that has seen the group capture some individuals from other families to the tune of nine members.
It’s believed that with the ambition of the new silverback, the family is likely to increase in numbers. The rest of gorilla families that can be trekked from Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable National park include; Rushegura family with 16 members and Habinyanja group that has got 19 members.
Reasons why people like trekking Buhoma sector
Easy to access from Kampala city; Buhoma sector is easy to access from Kampala compared to other regions of bwindi forest and its approximately 550km from Kampala and 8-9 hours’ drive from Kampala to Buhoma.
The sector is close to other national parks; the sector is closer to Queen Elizabeth National Park more especially the southern sector famously known as Ishasha. From Gorillas, one can take 2 hours to Queen Elizabeth national park to get an opportunity of seeing wildlife which might include the popular tree climbing lions or drive to Mweya section of Queen Elizabeth national park for the famous boat cruise on Kazinga channel that has been acclaimed for having the highest concentration of hippos in the whole world, over 600 species of birds and the best place to view many other wildlife as the come to drink water at the channel.
Ideally Buhoma region remains the closest to parks like Queen Elizabeth National Park, Rwenzori National Park and Kibale National Park for chimpanzee trekking. The sector has got many accommodation choices; Buhoma region has got many accommodation compared to other sections of Bwindi impenetrable National park.
For the upmarket lodges, you can use Gorilla Forest Camp, Bwindi Volcano Lodge, Buhoma Lodge or Mahogany springs. The Mid range lodges include; Engagi Lodge, silverback lodge, Gorilla Resort while for the Budget lodges, there is Buhoma Community Rest Camp.
It’s easy to connect with other regions; Just from Buhoma section of Bwindi impenetrable park, one can connect to Ruhijja which is in the East of Bwindi. This therefore means one can sleep in Buhoma and then trek Gorila groups in Ruhija.
Its approximately 2 hours’ drive from Buhoma to Ruhija making Buhoma a very favourite region to the tourists. You can as well as access the southern side of bwindi from Buhoma by taking a walk through the middle of the forest. The trail is called the Nkuringo safari walk and takes up to three hours.
There are so many projects for the volunteers and conservation; since it’s the first Area where gorilla trekking started from, Buhoma has attracted many projects that one can engage into support gorilla conservation efforts.
As a conservationist or a volunteer, you can work with conservation through public health, Human, Gorilla Conflict Organization, Schools, Bwindi hospitals and get to spend some time with the Batwa who used to stay in the forest before it was gazzetted as a National Park.
You get to enjoy other activities apart from gorilla trekking. Apart from gorilla trekking, Buhoma is the best region to enjoy a forest / Nature walk as certain trails have been carefully developed that can take you into the forest to visit the different water falls, identify many butterfly species, birds, trees and other primates among others.
These nature walks are guided and worth trying in case you save sometime after gorilla trekking. You can have another alternative of the popular Buhoma Village walk.