Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ruhija is one of the four sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest situated in the Eastern part of the forest. Gorilla trekking is done and the sector is easily accessible from Buhoma and Kabale and notably the only sector with Elephants present. Ruhija is known for its beautiful scenery, including lush forests, waterfalls, and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Visitors to the Ruhija sector should be prepared for moderate to strenuous hiking conditions, as trekking to see the gorillas can involve navigating steep and muddy terrain.

Ruhija is also considered a birder’s haven with endemics like the green broadbill, common buzzard, red-throated alethe, helmeted guinea fowl, African pygmy kingfisher, Ross’s turaco, double-toothed barbet, African shrike flycatcher, dwarf honey guide, MacKinnon’s shrike, Kivu ground thrush and many more. With trails like Mubwindi swamp, bamboo trail, Ruhija hill and others, the sector provides many options for enjoying the diverse array of bird species in the sector.

Away from gorilla trekking, the sector offers bird watching, hiking, Batwa cultural tours and mountain biking. All these activities make for interesting experience as you get to enjoy the forest in different ways with mountain gorillas, birds, elephants, forest hogs, monkeys, baboons, plants and tree species at your disposal.

Ruhija sector has four habituated gorilla families that tourists can visit with a permit and under the guidance of park rangers. The number of families and their composition can change over time due to births, deaths, and other factors affecting the gorilla population. Some of the gorilla families that have been known to inhabit the Ruhija sector include:

Bitukura family

The group originally had 24individuals a number that reduced to 14 with 4 silverbacks and habituated in 2007 and opened for tourism in 2008. Ndahura is the current head after he assumed leadership after the demise of Karamusizi at 40years. Habituation of this group was among the shorted as it happened within 15months rather than the recommended 2years. The group was named after the River Bitukura where the group was first seen.

Oruzogo family

With Bakwate as the leader, the group has 17 individuals and is one of the larger groups in the forest. It’s very popular with tourists as it has playful juveniles and toddlers a thing that keeps tourists entertained. This family is named after the Oruzogo Ridge, a prominent geographical feature in the park fondly foraged by the group. This family is named after the Oruzogo Ridge, a prominent geographical feature in the park fondly foraged by the group.

Kyaguliro family

Habituated in 1995, the group was headed by Zeus who was later overthrown by Rukina leaving Zeus to go to exile until he died. Unfortunately Rukina also died later in 2015 after he was hit by lightning and Rukara become the new dominant head. The group is only utilized for research purposes and no tourists have seen it. It typically consists of several adult females, juveniles, and infants.

Mukiza family

Newly habituated in 2016, Mukiza is a group that separated from the Kyaguliro family. This happened after Mukiza and Rukara failed to agree and Mukiza decided to leave the group with 10 of its members. However due to births, the group has increased from 10-15 individuals as of 2020. This family is named after one of its silverbacks, Mukiza, who was a dominant leader within the group.

However, the composition of any group can change over time due to births, deaths, and social dynamics within the group.

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