This sector is a pioneer of the gorilla trekking activity in Bwindi forest and Uganda in general. The sector was the first to host the first group of gorilla trekkers when Mubare gorilla family was opened for tracking in 1993. Gorilla families habituated for tracking in this sector include; Rushegura, Mubare and Habinyanja.
It is in this sector where other walks have been developed including; the Munyaga River Trails in the valley of Buhoma, which is a short walk for viewing birds and primates along the forest edge. The waterfall trail which passes beneath tree ferns, epiphytic ferns as well as orchids to visit three dazzling waterfalls. The Rushura Hill Trail, Muzabajiro Loop Trail and the River Ivi Trail, of which the latter follows an old road through the forest, emerging near Nkuringo on the southern edge of the impenetrable forest. The Buhoma community walk and cultural performances which takes up to three hours visiting a typical homestead, the traditional healer and a banana beer brewery is organized by the local community. Of recent, the Batwa cultural experience has been developed in this section of the park.
It is very easy to trek gorillas in the Buhoma sector. The drive takes you through Ntungamo and Rukungiri before connecting to Butogota and eventually Buhoma.
The accommodation facilities range from the top notch Gorilla Forest Camp, the luxury Buhoma lodge; Mid-range Silverback lodge and the Budget Buhoma Community Rest Camp.
Habituated Gorilla Families in the Buhoma Sector
When it comes to tourism activities in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Buhoma is the leading sector. Buhoma sector is composed of the following habituated gorilla groups;
Mubare aka Mubale gorilla family: This group is also known as M-group, one of the ancient gorilla groups that were habituated in 1991. Mubare gorilla group was first tracked by visitors as early as 1993. This group got its name from the most magnificent Mubare hills. At first, there were only twelve family members in this group but when their leader Ruhondeza died, only five of them remained. In 2013, Mubare gorilla group was joined by more other mountain gorillas which today represent 9 family members including one silverback, black back, one adult female and two juveniles. This remarkable gorilla group is a bit simpler to track but this is not guaranteed as the trek varies. Previously, the mountain gorillas in this group used to live closer to the Buhoma park headquarters but currently, visitors can spend more than five hours tracking the family. Visitors to Mubare gorilla group are of higher advantage as they can track mountain gorillas within the Buhoma trail head of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
Habinyanja gorilla family: This is also known as H-group and it is one of the first habituated gorilla families in Buhoma trail-head. Habinyanja gorilla group was habituated in 1997 purposely for gorilla trekking and in 1999; it was successfully visited by tourists. For many years, this group has been visited by thousands of visitors all over the world. Tracking this group takes visitors the whole day or a total of about 5 hours and beyond. Habinyanja gorilla group is composed of 18 members with mainly 2 silverbacks although these figures keep altering due to newly born babies. This group was initially discovered around a swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and hence the name Habinyanja which means Nyanja. It is important to note that mountain gorillas behave just like human beings, with time they also split and this applies to almost all the gorilla groups.
Rushegura gorilla family: This amazing group is some times called R-group. Rushegura is one of the renowned larger gorilla families and it is composed of 21 members; including one silverback, blackback, five adult females, two sub adults, six juveniles and six infants. This group was first habituated in 2000 for gorilla tracking and in 2002; it received its first tourists. Tracking this group takes less time as its gorilla members tend to live near the park headquarters. However, mountain gorillas in this group also tend to move as far as outside Bwindi park boundary and this means, visitors can camp or stay around the area where they can chance to sight them in the following morning. For visitors who are interested in shorter treks, Rushegura gorilla group is preferably the perfect and huge group for you track for less than five hours. This is of no guarantee for visitors because these creatures tend to go beyond the park. just like other gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the Rushegura is another most splinter family that comes from the Habinyanja gorilla family.