Positioned to the East of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Uganda gorilla safari region of Ruhija features three (3) habituated gorilla families that are explored daily by any visitor with valid gorilla permit and meets the required health and age standards.
Initially, Ruhija sector had two Gorilla groups that were available for tracking and these included; Oruzogo and Bitukura. The third group though it was habituated, was dedicated for research before it was also introduced for tracking putting the total of gorilla permits per day at twenty four (24). This is because only eight (8) travellers on gorilla safari in Uganda can be allowed to track each Mountain Gorilla group.
Unlike Buhoma, Ruhija came later in the gorilla trekking phenomenon but due to its good location, it is gaining an incredible momentum as regards the very activity. Positioned between Buhoma region to the north of Bwindi and the Kabale town to the south, Ruhija is easily accessed from both the northern and southern routes. The Uganda Safari tour undertakers connecting from Queen Elizabeth National Park cover only 218km to reach Ruhija allowing them ample time to do an en route game drive in Ishasha sector in search of tree climbing lions. From Kampala, the guests are able to drive smooth tarmac up to Kabale and then branch off a few kilometres past the town to cover a short rough murram to Ndego gate.
Due to its less presence on the limelight, there is no much competition for Ruhija’s gorilla permits. And as a result, it is not surprising to secure a gorilla permit in Ruhija at the last minute though they can as well be sold off completely especially during the peak season. This also makes it one of the regions where travelers on Mountain gorilla tracking safaris in Uganda can enjoy a less congested trek.
Besides Trekking Gorillas, Ruhija sector is an ideal birding destination in the whole of Bwindi and it is the only area where the African Green Broadbill can be explored making it a must visit place by birders on Uganda birding safaris. The region is also 52km to Lake Bunyonyi – the fascinating lake of a thousand Islands thus offering a perfect recreation and relaxation environment with a canoe paddle and local Batwa cultural tour after a long day trek in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi.
Accommodation in Ruhija is not so developed but has Broadbill Forest Camp which is a good budget camp and Gorilla Mist Camp for the mid market travelers. The affluent travelers can stay in the luxury lodges of Buhoma like Gorilla Forest Camp and Buhoma Lodge and transfer early in the morning to catch up with Gorilla Trekking in Ruhija starting at 8am.