How To Get To Buhoma Gorilla Trekking Area Bwindi

Buhoma gorilla trekking area lies in the Northern Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where the headquarters of this forest are.

This is part of the four other Bwindi Impenetrable National park areas that is Rushaga gorilla trekking area, Nkuringo gorilla trekking area and Ruhija gorilla trekking area.

Bwindi Impenetrable National park was divided into four gorilla trekking areas for easy administrative reasons because of its vast size. Bwindi Forest park has covers about 32,092 hectares of land which is  327 square kilometers of land.

 Mountain gorillas meander through the forest because of its rich vegetation cover that is tangled and drapes over a deep fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and plateaus. This park is located at the periphery of Kigezi highlands that supports a range of unique tree species amounting to about 200 species.

Bwindi forest is a pristine forest that is believed to have survived over 25000 years that is why it culminates a long list of species like over 350 bird species including Albertine endemics have so far been recorded, 88 months, 51 reptiles, 120 mammals and others. It is one of the survivors of the arid conditions of the ice age period that is believed to have happened between 12000 to 18000 years ago.

The park has an altitude range of 1447 meters above sea level forming a habitat range from lowland forest at 1160 meters to Afromontane vegetation above 2600 meters above sea level.


How To Get To Buhoma Area Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Kampala-Kabale-Kanungu Buhoma route

You drive 414 km from Kampala up to Kabale for about 5 hour to 6 hours then continue to Kanungu for about 120 km. voyage  passes through Kanyantorogo. This extension from Kabale to Kanungu and Kanyantorogo may last 4 hours to 5 hours drive.

You must bring a 4×4 wheel driver because the road gets slippery at times especially when it rains heavily.


Amongst all routes to Buhoma area, this is the most direct from Entebbe Airport or Kampala. Kampala or Entebbe to Rukungiri is about 390 km then follow 82 km on murram road to Buhoma.

Queen Elizabeth National Park-KIhihi-Buhoma

From Mweya Peninsular the main administrative part of Queen Elizabeth National Park to Buhoma area, the drive is about 160 km. then from Ishasha sector of Queen Elizabeth National Park, you may take about 64 km to Buhoma area. You may have chance to spot the tree climbing lions resting in the huge fig tree branches.


Driving from Kampala or Entebbe Airport to Kabale is about 414 km then continue to Ruhija and Buhoma for about 95 kilometers. This route is in poor condition so you need a 4×4 wheel drive. This sector takes about 3 hours to four hours from Kabale to Buhoma.

By air From Entebbe or Kajjansi to Kihihi Air Strip

Daily flights depart Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip to Kihihi airstrip but you need to reserve a seat in advance because they get sold out early. Expect to fly with some locals who board these scheduled flights too. The flights take about 1 hour and half on a clear day.

Charter flight arrangements can be made at Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airstrip. You need to make advance booking to enjoy this.

Which Gorilla Trekking Families are In Buhoma Area Of Bwindi

Note that the family members of each of these groups keep changing because infants are born that join the family and deaths too happen. It is quite possible to find another number of gorilla family members in a short time. Especially the low season when many infants are received in the family.

Rushegura Gorilla Family In Buhoma

Rushegura family is a breakaway from Habiyanja gorilla trekking family all in Buhoma area. Its habituation started in the years 2000 and was opened for tourism in 2002. By the time of habituation, Rusgegura family was under dominant silverback Mwirima who met death in 2015. He was succeeded by blackback Kabukonjo

Kabukonjo is currently a dominant silverback with about 16 family members. Some of them include Kibande, Nyamumwa all blackbacks, Karungyi an adult female, kafuruka, Ktabazi, Kanywanyi  all juvinilles and others.

Mubare Gorilla trekking family in Buhoma

Mubare gorilla family acquired its name from Mubare hills where it was first spotted. The gorilla family started its habituation in 1991 and opened for tourism in 1993 under the leadership of Ruhondeza silverback. His autonomy was attested by blackback Kanyonyi who fought him to death in 2013.

Kanyonyi is currently a dominant silverback who has led the group accumulating about 9 members from 5 members by the time he took over Mubare Gorilla Family. Of these family members, 6 are adult females, 1 juvinille and 2 infants.

 The history of Ruhondeza the fallen silverback was that he was jealousy of any upcoming blackbacks that he often fought and threw out of the family. This is one of the reasons why blackback fought him but unfortunately died during the battle.

Habinyanja Gorilla family in Buhoma area of Bwindi

As one of the oldest gorilla families to be habituated in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Habinyanja gorilla family started habituation in 1997 and opened for tourism in 1999. Its name is derived from the word Nyanja which locally means pool of water.

During habituation, Mubare family was under Mugurisi which locally means old man but his age gave away and he died leaving two sons Mwirima and Rwasingazi

The adventurous nature of Rwasingazi who loved meandering didtant areas pushed Mwirima to break away from him forming Rushegura gorilla family in 2000.

Rwasingazi later also passed his power to Makara his son and now the dominant silverback of the family. A few of the Habinyanja gorilla family members include Binyonko, Rukundo, Kisho all silverbacks, Ruyombo Juvinilles femal, Malaika, Elisa infants and others

When Is the Best Time For Gorilla Trekking In Buhoma Area Of Bwindi

Gorilla trekking is open all year round no matter which area your gorilla permit is booked because mountain gorillas are visible in the forest any time of the year wet or dry.

Most tourists prefer the drier months that is June to September and December to January. This is because the trails are less slippery, vegetation not so wet and most forest dwellers are active too.

This time calls for high demand for mountain gorillas and other services like vehicle hire, driver guides are competed for with other activities like chimpanzee trekking, game drives and others.

The low season also attracts less tourists that is March to May and November but chance for those who want to do exclusive gorilla trekking without spending much are possible. At times you may go on an unplanned alone trek in case you are the only one booked on that day.

Discounted gorilla trekking services like accommodation, vehicle hire may be available during the low season because demand for them even from other safaris is less.

No obstruction from other trekkers may be experienced during the low season when you do gorilla trekking. This is because everyone has enough space to take photos and no one stands in the way for another to obstruct them.

Chances of meeting a gorilla family with infants are high during the low season because there is more food available and some privacy for the mountain gorillas.

The temperatures of Buhoma area range between 15 degree centigrade and 27 degrees centigrade but can drop to as low as 7 degrees centigrade. These temperatures also moderate the mountain of humidity in the forest. This is also responsible for the level of vegetation in this area.


How Safe Is Gorilla Trekking In Buhoma Gorilla Trekking area Of Bwindi

Buhoma area is safe for gorilla trekking because rangers are on the watch all the time with the help of other Uganda Security organs and even those from neighboring countries.

You have to also pay attention to personal security while trekking in Buhoma area like

Avoid counting a lot of money in public during your gorilla trekking safari.

Carrying huge luggage that you cannot monitor may not be safe for you. Pack relevantly for gorilla trekking but light.

Keep close with your gorilla trekking group so that you are not lost in the forest. The range follows the pace of the slowest trekker but do not deviate from the entire trekking group.

Never enter the forest without an escorting guide even when taking a nature walk. You may be attacked by other forest dwellers who are not habituated for human presence.

Wear the safest tracking gears so that you are not hurt during gorilla trekking. Carry safari books, a hat with a large brim, insect repellant and others

Eating street food is not advisable to avoid food poisoning. In case you wish to taste local cuisines, ask the driver guide to direct you to more comfortable locations.

Wearing or carrying precious jewels that you cannot protect well is unsafe because you do not know who can sneak on you

Let children be in your look in case you travel with them for gorilla trekking. The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years but in Uganda adult age is 18 years and above.

Swallow some anti-malarial because gorilla trekking is in a tropical country where mosquitos may bite you. Apple mosquito repellants  and sleep under a mosquito net to protect yourself from the risk of contracting malaria.

How Difficult Is Gorilla Trekking In Buhoma Area

Buhoma area in Bwindi has topography that is covered with volcanic remnants. Its dotted with plateaus, ridges, deep valleys and hills. The dense trees that have survived years are covered with ferns and algea. The over the tangled vegetation that drapes off the tree branches crisscrosses and to get through sometimes the ranger has to use a machete to clear the way.

Get ready to sometimes slope into a valley in order to get to the starting point of your gorilla trek or walk through tea plantations.

Are Mountain Gorillas In Buhoma Area Aggressive

All mountain gorillas are serene in nature despite there scaring out look of dark far coat covering allover the body, dark brown sunken eyes, fierce look and others. This brings miss conception about there way of life.

Even the films that portray these animals majority show them as hostile and destructive primates which is not the case.

When you follow the rules of gorilla trekking, you get no trouble with these creatures. Just do not provoke them, use no flash photography, stare at them and so much that is in these dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking.

When they are agitated, they normally pull grass, thump there chests, hoot, to a large extent.

What To Pack For Gorilla Trekking In Buhoma Area

Safari boots that are comfortable enough to hike slippery slopes in case there are severe rains that fall.

A raincoat or poncho to wear during gorilla trekking because it rains without warning.

Safari attire that is long trousers and long sleeved shirt in colors that are wilderness friendly like tan.

Snacks to munch on the way to locate the mountain gorillas because breakfast is taken so early to last you the time in the wilderness till lunch break.

Insect repellant to keep away insects that would bite you while in the wilderness.

Garden gloves to protect your palms from thorny surfaces that would hurt you when you slide while in the wilderness.

Water proof backpack to carry with your belongings and in case you fall they are nit scattered in the forest.

A camera to take photos and store your memories with the mountain gorillas.

Stockings to wear and tack in your clothes so that insects cannot penetrate them to hurt you.

Some warm wear to protect you from getting cold because this area is extremely cold in the early morning and late afternoon.

Toiletries in case your lodge doesn’t provide.

A pair of binoculars to clearly see fur ranging objects in  the wilderness during gorilla trekking.

A mask to wear when you approach the mountain gorillas.

Safari foldable hat to cover your head from water that falls off the tree leaves.