Tracking The Oruzogo Gorilla Family Within Ruhija Sector Of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Oruzogo is one of the four gorilla families found within Ruhija sector, in the eastern side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The other two families are Bitukura, Bikingi and Kyaguriro (the group dedicated solely for research purposes).
Due to the accessibility of the family to Buhoma, Oruzogo gorilla family can be tracked from both Ruhija and Buhoma sectors thus a trekker will need to drive for one to two hours from the latter to reach the starting point of the activity. There are over 16 members within the group including one dominant silverback (known as Tibirikwata) as well as three infants that were born to two wonderful adult females known as Mutesi and Birungi.
Oruzogo was opened for tracking in 2012 and other members of the family include Kanywani (meaning friendly), Busungu (short-tempered), Kiromba, Nyakiina, Kashundwe, Kakobe (looks like a monkey), Bwoba (coward), Katooto (the tinny one), Karimi (meaning tongue), Otaka, Buchura (was the last born or youngest in the family before the twins were born) and Kaganga (giant). There was immense joy in the family in 2012 when one of the adult females-Kakobe gave birth to twins and have ever since excited and entertained tourists due to their playful nature.
If you wish to track the interesting Oruzogo Gorilla family, it is recommended to plan a night before within Ruhija, Buhoma (The Park Headquarters of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park) or within Kabale Town and is lasts about 2 hours’ drive from Buhoma or Kabale and because gorilla trekking usually starts at 7:30am by reporting for pre-tracking briefing, you should depart the mentioned places at 5:00am or latest 5:30am. However, you may end up waking up late thus the reason you would rather spend overnights within Ruhija where the gorilla family is actually found. All in all, you have to arrive for briefing by 7am before getting to the jungles to spot these interesting primates. Tracking the family is not extremely tiring but also requires endurance and the trekker to be physically fit.
After sighting the family, you will be required to spend only one hour with them to learn about their behavior and activities such as grooming, feeding and playing but also take photographs of these giant Apes.
Just like tracking other gorilla families, tourists tracking Oruzogo family are advised to carry your gorilla permit, adequate drinking water, a rain jacket, packed lunch or snacks, a back pack with your camera, binoculars, walking stick and wear long sleeved shirt, long trousers, strong waterproof hiking boots, long socks, gardening gloves and a hat among others. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a home to over 400 mountain gorillas (almost half of the World’s population of these giant Apes) and these endangered species share over 98.2% of their DNA with humankind thus making them interesting to explore and learn about their behavior.
Access to Ruhija sector
This sector is situated at approximately 456 kilometers from Kampala City, about 52 kilometers from Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and around 52 kilometers from Kabale Town. When you are coming from Kabale Town, you will branch off at Kisoro road by a signpost of UWA after 26 kilometers. Due to the poor state of roads, 4WD Vehicles are recommended.
If you intend to use public transport means, take Kampala Coach or Jaguar to Kabale but they are always unreliable and sometimes breakdown along the way. Then from Kibale to Ruhija, you can hire a boda-boda (motorcycle) or a private taxi. Back packers have a change to hire 4×4 car in Kabale with or without driver to the mountain gorillas and back at very cheap price from as low as $50.
Places to stay within Ruhija
Some of the accommodation options to choose from when tracking the Ruhija sector include Cuckooland Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla safari Lodge, Gorilla Mist Camp, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and Campsite among others.