Ruhija Sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Ruhija Sector is a region located in the eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in southwestern Uganda. Bwindi is renowned for its lush tropical rainforest and is particularly famous for being home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas. The forest is one of the most important conservation areas in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tourism in the Ruhija Sector primarily revolves around gorilla tracking. Visitors come from all over the world to experience the incredible opportunity of seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. The sector is home to several habituated gorilla families, which means that they have become accustomed to the presence of humans and can be observed at a safe distance during guided treks. Tracking gorillas require permits and are led by experienced guides and trackers who help visitors locate the gorillas.

In addition to gorilla tracking, the Ruhija Sector offers opportunities for birdwatching, as the forest is rich in avian biodiversity, including numerous endemics and rare species. The lush vegetation and diverse ecosystems also make it a haven for other wildlife species.

Ruhija Sector provides a unique and immersive experience for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers, offering a chance to engage with the incredible biodiversity and natural beauty of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest while contributing to conservation efforts to protect the mountain gorillas and their habitat.

Village Walk in Ruhija Sector

Village Walk in Bwindi Forest

Gorilla Tracking in the Ruhija Sector

Gorilla tracking in the Ruhija Sector offers a thrilling and memorable experience for those who want to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Gorilla tracking in the Ruhija Sector is an extraordinary adventure that allows you to connect with these magnificent creatures while contributing to their conservation. It’s an experience that many people describe as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it’s certainly worth the effort and preparation.

Gorilla Permit

To go gorilla tracking in the Ruhija Sector, you will need to obtain a gorilla tracking permit. These permits are limited in number and are typically issued by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). It’s essential to book your permit well in advance because they are in high demand, and availability can be limited during peak seasons.


Gorilla tracking usually takes place in the mornings. You’ll need to arrive at the park’s headquarters in Ruhija early for a briefing before the trek begins. The briefing covers safety guidelines and provides information about the gorilla families you may encounter.

Hiking Difficulty

The terrain in the Ruhija Sector can be quite challenging, with steep slopes and thick vegetation. The difficulty of the trek can vary depending on which gorilla family you’re visiting and their location on that particular day. Some treks can be more strenuous than others, so it’s important to be physically fit and prepared for a moderate to challenging hike.

Guides and Trackers

You’ll be accompanied by experienced guides and trackers who are skilled at locating the gorilla families. They have extensive knowledge of the gorillas’ behaviour and the forest, making the trek safer and more informative.

Interaction Rules

When you encounter the gorilla family, you’ll have a limited amount of time to observe them, typically around one hour. During this time, you should maintain a safe distance, follow the guide’s instructions, and avoid making loud noises or sudden movements to ensure the gorillas are not disturbed.

What to Bring

Be sure to wear comfortable, sturdy hiking boots, and dress in layers, as the weather in the forest can change rapidly. You should also bring rain gear, insect repellent, a hat, sunscreen, and a small backpack to carry essentials like water and snacks. Cameras are allowed, but the use of a flash is prohibited.

Physical Fitness

Gorilla tracking can be physically demanding, and participants should be in good health. If you have any medical conditions or concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a doctor before embarking on the trek.

Conservation and Respect

It’s crucial to respect the gorillas and their habitat during the trek. Following conservation guidelines helps protect these endangered animals and their fragile ecosystem.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Best Time to Visit the Ruhija Sector

The best time to visit the Ruhija Sector for gorilla tracking and wildlife viewing largely depends on your weather preferences and other factors. Uganda has a tropical climate, but the weather can vary throughout the year. Here are some considerations for each season:

Dry Season (June to August and December to February):

  • This is generally considered the best time to visit the Ruhija Sector.
  • The weather is relatively dry, making tracking conditions more comfortable.
  • The forest trails are less muddy and less slippery during this period.
  • Visibility is better for photography and wildlife spotting because the vegetation is less dense.
  • Gorilla trekking permits can be in higher demand during this peak tourist season, so it’s advisable to book well in advance.

Wet Season (March to May and September to November):

  • This is the rainy season in Uganda, and you can expect regular rainfall.
  • While tracking during the wet season can be more challenging due to muddy trails, it’s still possible to go gorilla trekking.
  • The forest is lush and green during this time, which can be a beautiful sight.
  • Fewer tourists visit during the wet season, so you may have a more intimate experience with the gorillas.
  • The lower demand for permits might make it easier to secure them.

Shoulder Seasons (April and October):

  • These months mark the transition between the wet and dry seasons.
  • Weather conditions can be unpredictable, with a mix of rain and sunshine.
  • This can be a good compromise if you prefer to avoid the crowds of the peak season but want better weather than the wet season.
  • Permits may be more readily available during these months compared to the peak season.

Ultimately, the best time to visit the Ruhija Sector depends on your personal preferences. If you prioritize good weather and don’t mind sharing the experience with more tourists, the dry season is ideal. However, if you prefer a more intimate and potentially more affordable experience, consider visiting during the wet or shoulder seasons. Regardless of when you visit, gorilla tracking in the Ruhija Sector is a remarkable experience that allows you to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat.