Three Mountain Gorilla groups have been habituated for tourism in the eastern part of Bwindi and are trekked from Bwindi's Ruhija gate, near ITFC: they are; 'Kyagurilo,' Biitukura and 'Oruzogo groups'. For permits to visit these groups, contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority, +256 414 355000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ITFC cannot make reservations for gorilla trekking.
Tourists with a permit for the Kyagurilo, Bitukura or Oruzogo gorilla group, should spend the night in Ruhija or Mubarameizi rather than Buhoma if they want to avoid a rocky road journey from Buhoma to Ruhija of at least 2 hours before gorilla trekking. Ruhija is just outside the park boundary and no entrance fee is required to stay in the village. A gorilla permit and/or accommodation and transport can be arranged through one of the Uganda tour operators to save you the time and hassle.
Other activities from Ruhija include:
- A guided walk to the Mubwindi swamp (inside the park, requiring payment of entrance fee and a ranger guide)
- Birding walks with trained bird guides.
- Community walks with spectacular views from the rugged landscape surrounding Ruhija, sometimes as far as Lake Edward and beyond. The walks include waterfalls, swamps on the edge of the forest, and an old mine.
- Visiting local artisans like the blacksmith, local healer, basket weavers, honey collectors etc
- Enjoying a performance by the dance and song group of local children.
Ruhija has several options for an overnight stay and ITFC's facilities are no longer the only place to stay at.
Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and Campsite
3 fullly furnished self contained cottages with twin/ double beds @ 50 USD pp per night (B&B) and @ 70 USD pp per night full board. 2 spacious self contained safari tents on platform @ 50 USD pp per night (B&B) and @ 70 USD pp per night full board. 2 non self contained and spacious canvas tents on platforms, with twin beds (30 U$D pp B& B and 50 USD full board). Spectacular views overlooking valley towards the forest. Also 3 budget rooms available (25 USD pp B & B) and camping (10 USD pp with own tent and 15 USD for tent hire) possible.
Contact:+256786613313, +256751198193, +256 751619725, +256 772956537, +256 774656518.