Rushaga mountain gorilla region – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. It is 321km2 in size with an altitude of 1,160-2,607m. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 600 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 600 mountain gorillas – roughly more than half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.
This biologically diverse region also provides shelter to a further 120 mammals, including several primate species such as baboons and chimpanzees, as well as elephants and antelopes. There are around 350 species of birds hosted in this forest, including 23 Albertine Rift endemics.
In 1993 due to the existence of almost half of the world’s mountain gorillas; the parks management, the Uganda National Parks which later turned into Uganda Wildlife Authority bought a piece of land from the Batwa people-first keepers of Bwindi forest that stretched a further 4Km² and was incorporated to the park. In 1994, it was inscribed on the World Heritage List. The park’s management changed Uganda National Parks, since renamed Uganda Wildlife Authority, became responsible for the park. In 2003 a piece of land next to the park with an area of 4.2 square kilometres (1.6 sq. mi) was purchased and incorporated into the park.
Rushaga region is located in the southern section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is located in Kisoro District together with Nkuringo Region. It has several gorilla families which include Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye , Bweza. Kutu, Muchunguzi and Bikingi
The Rushaga mountain gorilla region boasts the highest number of gorilla families and lies between Kabale and Nkuringo coming from either Ruhija or Kampala.
The region is dominated by high hills and because of this, habituated gorilla families have kept on separating and subdividing to take up different hills in the region. Because of these hills, tourists who trek gorillas from Rushaga tend to enjoy great scenic views and at some points, you can as well see the Virunga ranges in Rwanda and Uganda that include Mgahinga, Muhavura, Sabinyo, Karusimbi, and Bisoke. There is Lake Mutanda which is one of the only two lava damned lakes in Uganda. You can enjoy a canoe ride on the lake before or after your gorilla trek.