Baby gorilla in Rushaga sector
Baby gorilla in Rushaga sector: Rushaga sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has welcomed a baby gorilla born to the sector’s Mishaya Gorilla family. The Baby gorilla is reported to be doing well and so is its mother Biretwa and the entire family is excited to have the latest addition.
Rushaga sector is one of the four mountain gorilla trekking regions in Bwindi National Park, and this sector is located in the southern part of the park with Nkuringo Sector in Kisoro district. This makes the sectors the furthest sectors to reach in Bwindi National Park especially if you are traveling to the park from Kampala. The sector like any other sectors in Bwindi National Park is home to a number of habituated mountain gorillas that are trekked all through the year.
Rushaga sector is the sector in Bwindi National Park with the highest number of mountain gorillas that are distributed into five families which are: – Mishaya, Nshongi, Busingye, Bweza and Kahungye.
This sector though has the highest number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park, it’s the hardest sector to trek because of its hilly landscape that makes the climb up the gorillas tiring and challenging. The sector’s hilly landscape has also led to gorilla families in the sector subdividing and going on to live on different hills within the sector.
Though the sector is hilly, trekkers love trekking this sector because on top of seeing the endangered mountain gorillas, the trek up the sector also has very nice views of the Virunga massif, the virunga region and Lake Mutanda.
A mountain gorilla trekking experience in this sector costs 700 USD if you are only trekking and 1500 USD, if you are participating in the mountain gorilla habituation process. The fees are paid about 3 months in advance to Uganda Wildlife Authority, where you acquire a permit that gives you access to the mountain gorillas.
It’s important to note that habituation is only done in this sector and only four people are admitted per a habituation process, so if you are interested in mountain gorilla habituation you really need to book your habituation permit way in advance.
Mountain gorilla habituation is the process of helping mountain gorillas get used to human presence and this process takes about 4 hours well as mountain gorilla trekking is spending time interacting with already habituated gorillas and this experience takes one hour.
On every mountain gorilla trekking experience, the guidelines are communicated to you before the start of the trek and the mountain gorilla trekking rangers normally lead you in the forest for the experience so they help you keep the guidelines.
Mountain gorilla families trekked in Rushaga sector include:-
This used to be the largest gorilla family in the park with 36 members but number of members has since reduced due to a split the led to the creation of another mountain gorilla family called Mweza. Nshongi family is led by a dominant silverback Nshongi that leads other sub silverbacks, blackbacks, females, juveniles and infants. This mountain gorilla family was established in 2009.
This family was formerly with Nshongi at the point of habituation but spilt from the group in 2012 because of quarrels between Nshongi and Mishaya. At the time of the spilt the Silverback Mishaya went with about 7 females and along the way gathered more individuals making the family to grow up about 13 individuals however due to Mishaya the silverback’s continuous fights with other families the numbers of the family kept reducing. The good news is the new baby gorilla has boosted the family’s numbers bringing total number to 12 individuals
This group was habituated for trekking in 2011 with 27 members and a dominant silverback called Rumansi, however, in 2012 the group split losing members and forming another group called Busingye. The group currently has 13 members with one dominant silverback.
This group is a breakaway from Kahungye and it has one silverback and 8 other members. Though the silverback is called Busingye which is translated peace, this silverback is the most merciless among the silverbacks in the park. This silverback is always fighting and grabbing females from other families.
This is group split from Nshongi and it currently has 7 members including the silverback. Though it has few members, it’s known to be the most exciting group in the park and people visiting this group always have a filled day.
To get to Rushaga sector you can either go through Rwanda by road which is the shortest route or go through Kampala by road or by air. Rwanda specifically Kigali city is 3 to 4 hours away from the sector by road and Kampala is 8 to 10 hours away from the sector by road.
The other alternative to get to the park is to fly to the sector using one of the domestic flights in the country, the flights take 1hour to land in Kisoro airstrip and you drive one hour to the sector.