Embark on an enchanting exploration of the top things to do and see in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi, nestled in the eastern side of Bwindi National Park. This captivating region boasts four habituated gorilla families—Bitukura, Kyaguliro (primarily for research but often trekked), Mukiza, and Oruzogo—each contributing to the allure of this pristine wilderness.
Ruhija stands as a haven for mountain gorilla enthusiasts, offering a home to four gorilla families: Kyaguliro, Oruzogo, Bitukura, and Mukiza. Each day, visitors have the opportunity to trek any of these families, with 24 gorilla permits available in Ruhija. Trekkers are advised to pack essentials such as hiking shoes, long pants, and rain jackets for a comfortable gorilla trekking experience. The unpredictable nature of forest exploration, the toughness of hikes, and the gorillas’ location determine the duration of the trek, emphasizing the need for preparedness. Gorilla permits are a prerequisite for this extraordinary adventure, and the assistance of porters is highly recommended to enhance the trekking experience.
A visit to the Batwa communities at the forest’s boundaries unveils a profound encounter with the indigenous dwellers of Bwindi. Evicted in 1991 when gorilla tourism emerged, the Batwa provide insights into their traditional forest life, norms, and cultures. Guided by Batwa elders, visitors witness demonstrations of ancient forest practices, including hunting, honey collection, and medicinal herb picking. The Batwa also showcase traditional songs and dances, offering a form of entertainment that enhances the immersive experience.
Engage in supporting community-based projects owned and operated by local residents while exploring Ruhija. Craft, basket weaving, and beekeeping projects have been established to bolster local livelihoods, serving as a key source of employment for the community, including former porters. Tourists participating in these activities become integral parts of the community, creating unforgettable experiences. These projects, fueled by tourism funding, play a pivotal role in striking a delicate balance between environmental conservation, wildlife protection, and sustainable development in Ruhija and across Bwindi.
For bird enthusiasts, Ruhija stands as a prime location for bird watching, home to nearly 23 endemic bird species. Notable sightings include the grey bush shrike, starred robin, yellow streaked greenbul, hornbills, turacos, dusky crimson wing, and yellow-eyed black fly-catcher. Recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA) for its global conservation significance, Ruhija promises a remarkable experience. Armed with binoculars, travelers can spot these feathered wonders, guided by experienced experts who unravel the unique features of each species.
Embark on a nature walk through the cool impenetrable forest of Ruhija, unveiling its hidden gems—waterfalls, caves, and rocks that add a thrilling dimension to the journey. The walk offers encounters with diverse wildlife and the melodic symphony of birds perched in the towering trees.
In essence, Ruhija sector in eastern Bwindi beckons with irresistible allure. Book a gorilla safari to Bwindi National Park, commune with the endangered gorillas in their natural habitat, and relish this once-in-a-lifetime experience.