Baby Gorilla in Buhoma Sector : This month started on a happy note for the Rushegura Gorilla Family in Bwindi National Park’s Buhoma sector. The family’s adult female Nyabukye gave birth to a baby gorilla making the baby the 13th member of this growing family. The mother, baby and all the other family members are well and excited at this addition. The new addition to the family, the sector and the park at large is a great boost to the several mountain gorilla conservation strategies that are being implemented in the park by UWA.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is continually advocating and implementing strategies to conserve the endangered gorillas in Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Park; and have a baby gorilla at time means, the authority’s efforts are working. Given the mother was able to carry the child full term and give birth to a healthy baby in a healthy environment. One of the conservation strategies UWA implements is mountain gorilla trekking which allows people to spend an hour with the mountain gorillas as they support UWA’s work through their payments for mountain gorilla trekking.
Mountain gorilla trekking is done daily in the entire Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga Naional Park. The most trekked place though is Buhoma sector in Bwindi National Park.
Buhoma sector is located in the north of Bwindi National Park. The sector is the largest and most popular of the four sectors in the park. Most people who visit Bwindi National Park will most probably visit this sector, because of its popularity, its nearest to the local town, its easy trails and most of all its huge number of gorillas; trekkers are assured to see gorillas on their trek.
The other sectors in Bwindi National Park are Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo. Though not as popular as Buhoma, the sectors also offer great mountain gorilla trekking experiences to its trekkers and visitors.
What makes Buhoma sector popular is that it was the first mountain gorilla trekking sector to be established in Bwindi National Park 2 years after the park was opened. Also most of the other park activities like community tours, mountain climbing, biking, nature walks etc are done in Buhoma sector.
Because it is the largest sector, Buhoma sector also has the largest number of mountain gorilla families and gorillas in the entire park. As of 2020, the sector was said to have about 100 individual gorillas distributed in about 10 families or more.
Mountain gorilla trekking in this sector starts early in the morning at 7am with a briefing at the park’s headquarters and then you go to the forest in groups of 8 led by a mountain gorilla trekking guide/ranger. Depending on how far the family you viewing is from the trailhead you will have to trek into the forest for about 4 to 6 hours.
When you get to the mountain gorilla family you will spend an hour observing and enjoying the gorillas ‘company. After this you will trek back to the trailhead, which takes about 3 to 4 hours. Hence, mountain gorilla trekking being a whole day activity.
After the trekking experience you will get a trekking certificate that shows you successfully completed a day’s mountain gorilla trek in Bwindi National Park.
Since the whole gorilla trekking experience ends in the late afternoon, trekkers usually just head back to their accommodations to rest and refresh from the trek. Other trekkers however, use the afternoon and evening to engage in some other activities in the sector. Whatever your choice, Buhoma sector remains a great place for a mountain gorilla trekking experience in Bwindi National Park.