Most travelers who wish to do gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park opt for the Buhoma sector just because it is the most popular sector. This is the region where gorilla tracking was first conducted in Uganda. Before gorilla tourism was opened to tourists in 1993, gorilla habituation as first conducted by scientists and researchers in this area. Today there are five habituated gorilla families in the Buhoma Sector. The sector is found in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and it lies in the Kanungu district. Though still Bwindi has three other sectors (Nkuringo sector, Rushaga sector and Ruhija sector), Buhoma remains the busiest and the most demanded of all the 4 regions. Here are the reasons why;
Pioneer Sector for Gorilla Trekking
Gorilla trekking was first introduced in Uganda in 1993 in Buhoma sector after Bwindi impenetrable national park was gazetted into a park. In simple terms, gorilla safaris were first conducted from Buhoma sector. Currently this sector has five habituated gorilla families, which include Mubare Group, Habinyanja, Rushegura Gorilla family and Katwe that was recently added on the list. So one of the reasons why most travelers want trek gorillas in Buhoma is because it was the pioneer sector where gorilla tourism in Uganda was first conducted.
Lots of Safari Lodges
Given that Buhoma sector is the pioneer of gorilla tourism, there are lots of options in terms of accommodation available for travelers. Today there is a high number of high end safari lodges within the Buhoma Sector if compared to other sectors! Given that accommodation is always an important factor considered by trekkers when planning for the lifetime gorilla treks in a particular area, Buhoma comes as the first option for travelers looking to luxury safaris. There also several accommodation facilities in the northern sector that range from budget to mid-range safari lodges.
It is very easy to access other national parks from Buhoma sector, especially Queen Elizabeth National Park via the Ishasha sector. It takes only 3 hours to drive from Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest to Ishasha sector the home of the tree climbing lions and 4 hours journey to Mweya, the headquarters of Queen Elizabeth National Park and the starting point for game drives and boat cruise on Kazinga channel. The Mweya Peninsular is also an iconic location for sighting various schools of hippo and other wildlife.
The Buhoma sector is easy to access than any other sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The journey from Kampala to Buhoma region is 550km and a number of routes can be used to reach this region. And it is possible to access the region with air transport as well.
Given that Bwindi is a large forest covering over 300sq km, there is different terrain in every sector. The terrain of Buhoma region is not very hilly like that of Rushaga and Nkuringo sectors which are marked by the Kigezi highlands. Therefore, gorilla treks in the Buhoma region are not strenuous if compared with other regions. The region has the lowest altitude of up to 1350 meters above sea level and this makes it the best opton for those looking to moderate and easier hikes. Therefore given that gorilla trekking in Buhoma is not as demanding as other sectors, this is the prime location for the aged and elderly travelers!
Buhoma sector gives travelers a chance to track gorillas and also do some volunteering work like participating in some of the conservation projects within Bwindi impenetrable forest and since the gorilla tourism began in this region, a number of conservation and volunteer projects were started to encourage gorilla conservation efforts. Therefore Buhoma sector gives travelers a chance to combine your gorilla safari with volunteering holidays in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Travelers that visit Buhoma Sector can never run out of interesting activities to participate in, for example the region has up to 6 nature trails that lead guests through the jungle of this park and enables them to sight the incredible waterfalls, tree and plant species, primates, exceptional bird species and many others.
It is unquestionable that Buhoma region of Bwindi impenetrable forest is the most visited sector in the park compared to others because it was the 1st region to be opened for gorilla trekking in Uganda. It is also easily accessed compared to others sector from Kampala and from other nearby destinations, the region has a number of luxurious accommodation facilities, and is relatively less mountainous compared to the southern region. Due to all these factors, Buhoma sector stands out as the best as far as gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is concerned.