Buhoma is one of the gorilla tracking areas of Bwindi Forest National Park. It is also the main administrative center of Bwindi Forest with head Quarters of Uganda Wildlife Authority.
It is also situated in the Northern part of Bwindi Forest and has some of the oldest gorilla families to be habituated for tourist viewing.
It is one of the gorilla tracking historical areas that Uganda is proud of since the beginning of the conservation plan in early 1990s.
Buhoma gorilla tracking area is home to gorilla families like Mubare Gorilla family, Rushegura gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla trekking Family and Katwe Gorilla tracking family.
Early in the morning, when you overnight in Buhoma area it is quite easier for one to walk to the headquarters for briefing and start the trek to find the mountain gorillas.
As the policy of Uganda Wildlife Authority for acquiring gorilla tracking permits is on first come first served basis, when you buy a gorilla permit you are given an area randomly.
One has a chance to state reasons why he or she wishes to trek gorillas in Buhoma area. This is possible in case there is still availability of gorilla permits of Buhoma sector as only 8 gorilla permits per family are released for booking each day.
At Arch Safaris and Tours, we try our best to check for any opening in case gorilla permits are opened for booking. When you advise us early about your preferred area to trek gorillas in Buhoma we put your taste as number one priority as we search availability.
How To Get To Buhoma Gorilla Tracking area of Bwindi Forest
Road Trip To Bwindi Forest National park Buhoma gorilla tracking area
The initial access way to Buhoma gorilla tracking area was by road but this takes about 8 to 9 hours on the scenic road. You drive from Kampala or Entebbe to Masaka, Kabale and Kanungu then Buhoma gorilla tracking area.
In case you are to cross from Rwanda to Buhoma gorilla tracking area, the drive may take about 5 to 6 hours on the road in addition to boarder clearance.
Domestic flights are operated each day from Entebbe Airport or Kajjansi Air Strip to Kihihi Air strip. These take about one hour but you need to book prior so that you donot miss a seat. Flights operate morning and afternoon.
Since this is not the final destination to Buhoma gorilla tracking area, you need a transfer vehicle. At Arch safaris and tours, we can make arrangements for you so that you are picked in time and you donot over stay at the air strip.
Which accommodation To Book During Gorilla Tracking in Buhoma Area of Bwindi Forest
Buhoma gorilla tracking area is endowed with several classes of accommodations ranging from the exclusive Luxury Lodges, Midrange accommodations and Budget gorilla tracking accommodations.
Some of these accommodations include Gorilla Forest Camp, Mahogany springs, Engage Lodge, Silverback Lodge, Buhoma Community Bandas and so much more. Choice of where to spend the night in most cases contributes a lot to the type of tour you book.
It is best to book accommodation within or closer to the area where your gorilla permit has been booked. This assists you to get to the briefing point in time so that you do not miss out on anything.
Brief Details on the Gorilla Tracking Families that Buhoma Gorilla Tracking area Hosts
Rushegura Gorilla Tracking Family in Bwindi Forest
This is a habiyanja gorilla family break away that Silverback Mwirima started. He loved this family and fought tooth and nail to defend its glory.
Before the breakaway, his father Silverback Mugurusi was the leader of Habinyanja Gorilla family but after his death, Rwansinguzi kept fighting with his brother Mwirima who never wanted to meander in the forest.
Silverback Mwirima together with 7 members deserted the original Habinyanja family and formed the current Rushegura family. The moment Mwirima died he was succeeded by a black back who has held it together increasing the number to about 19 members now.
Habinyanja Gorilla Tracking Family Bwindi Forest
The founding father of Habinyanja Gorilla tracking family was Silverback Mugurusi who kept it together from the time it was habituated for tourist viewing In the year 1999
When Mugurusi passed, his sons Mwirima and Rwansiguzi started power struggle as Rwansinguzi constantly wanted the family to move while Mwirima never agreed to this.
Mwirima later broke away from the family with 7 members to form the current Rushegura gorilla family
Katwe gorilla tracking Family in Bwindi Forest
In 2018, Katwe gorilla tracking family was opened for tourist viewing after about 3 years of habituation. It is composed of a number of known 1 silverback, 4 females and infants.
The number of family members in it is not stable as gorillas keep moving in and out of it. As this number is very unstable, bringing out the actual number is still a challenge.
Mubare Gorilla Tracking Family in Bwindi Forest
The history of gorilla tracking habituation and tourists viewing in Uganda begun with Mubare Gorilla tracking family 1993.
By the time of habituation, Ruhondeza was the commander in chief for this family of the then 12 members.
He raided and conquered other families but as he grow weak, aged and later died at the age of about 50 years, the family split and reduced to 5 members.
The successor Silverback Kanyonyi has hard to work tirelessly to rejuvenate the family to now about 9 members.
What is the best time to track gorillas in Buhoma Gorilla Tracking Area?
Gorilla tracking in Buhoma area is open throughout the year but in most cases the demand for its gorillas permits is high as accommodations closer to it provide enormous chances to choose from. This provides enough chance to get where to overnight.
During the peak seasons of each year, the gorilla permits of this area sell off so fast at least by 3 months to the start of holiday season, most people secure fully there permits.
High holiday seasons normally start June to September of each year, December through January. February to May is normally low with fewer bookings of gorilla permits.