Rubuguri Village walk in Bwindi Forest Park: This village is located in Bwindi Impenetrable in the lower lands and also found in between the two sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National park that is Rushaga sector and Nkuringo sector therefore Rubuguri is in the southern part of the park. Rubuguri Village is a human settlement to a good number of people and is surrounded by the rolling hills and for one to reach or access the village is by Road. Rubuguri is found in Kisoro district in Kirundo sub county and has neighboring cities like Kihihi, Rubanda, Kabale, Kanungu, Kambuga, Cyahafi, Rubale.
Bwindi Impenetrable National park is a UNESCO world Heritage found in the South Western part of Uganda in Kanungu District situated along the Democratic Republic of Congo border and along the edge of the Rift Albertine. Bwindi is on 321square km of both Afromontane and lowland forests. This park is a natural habitant to the over 400 mountain gorillas and they are the major attraction in the park therefore Bwindi is the among the best destinations for gorilla trekking, 11 primate species, 360 bird species, 200 butterfly species, over 300 tree species, 120 mammals.
Rubuguri Village walk in Bwindi Forest Park is another activity in Bwindi that can be carried out along side gorilla trekking. During Rubuguri village walk will take you past through the lush swamps, rolling and steep hills sides leading you to the traditional homesteads of the locals thus encountering the local community residents. Rubuguri village walk is under the authority of Nkuringo Cultural Center(NCC). Since Rubuguri village walk involves encountering homesteads the visitors will therefore take part in the day to day activities like farming, feeding and rearing animals, visiting gardens and plantations and house chores like cooking and preparing food and sometimes the tourists might dine with the locals.
While on the Rubuguri village walk visitors will meet with the warm welcoming locals who are friendly thus creating a humble environment for the tourists. Therefore this will create grounds for interaction helping tourists to know more and explore the lifestyles (present and past) of the locals. The time spent together will help tourists to know more about the behaviors and habits of the locals.
On the Rubuguri village walk visitors get a chance of being entertained by the locals as a way of welcoming them with the traditional songs and dances. Stories, riddles and legends I’ll be told depicting the ancient lifestyles of the locals. This is done during the one on one interaction between the natives and the tourists.
The Batwa culture I’ll be encountered during the Rubuguri village walk. Batwa are the first people who used to stay in the forest and late resettled outside the park. On the village walk tourist will meet the Batwa people who I’ll tell and narrate stories depicting the life in the forest. Performances including the traditional dances and songs will be made, other activities like showcasing hunting skills, gathering fruits, crafts making skills harvesting honey skills, meeting up with the black smith, meeting up the herbalists who treat with local herbs therefore tourist will have so much to learn since they get to participate while they are being taught. Thus exploring and learning about the lifestyles, tradition cultures and norms of the Batwa people.
One thing not to be missed out on a Rubuguri village walk is visiting the local schools within the village. This involves visiting the schools like St Peters primary school where the visitors get a great time with the pupils and school teachers who greatly welcome them with some entertainment. This is through the songs and traditional dances of the Bakiga (Kikiga dance which involves jumping high and stomping down the ground.
Rubuguri Village walk in Bwindi Forest Park will take tourists to visit some of the projects done in the area like the arts and hand crafts projects which involves making different pieces like basket weaving, bags, huts, mats. Visitors will get an opportunity of participating in the making since they will be taught how to make them. Besides that visitors will buy the crafts the locals will be earning income.
Rubuguri village walk will give you beautiful scenic views of the rolling terraced hills, lush swamps and the African traditional homesteads.
As it has always been noted Rubuguri village walk can be done any time of the day and year. But there is that favorable time for doing it and this involves months of December, January, February, June, July, August and September which are regarded as the dry months or season meaning during these months the park doesn’t receive rainfall and if it does since it’s a rainforest its very little rainfall. And during this time the roads and pathways are dry, clear convenient and passable and vegetation is short therefore easy passage. However thou one can choose to do Rubuguri village walk during the months of March, May, October, November which heavy rains are being received. Warning is that during this season the roads and passages in the park are in a bad condition wet, slippery, slick and muddy making hiking a challenge.
One should be mentally okay and physically fit. This is so because it involves hiking a distance on foot .
Keep yourself warm with hand gloves, long sleeved shirt / sweater, long trousers, good hiking boots which are light weight so that they won’t be heavy for while walking
Consider the time you visit. This involves determining the season with good conditions.
You should be having a water proof back pack having some essentials like enough food, snack, enough water, sun cream, insect repellent, hat and sunglasses, camera.
Incase you have a heavy luggage consider hiring a porter to help you carry the luggage.
Book or deal with the best tour operators like the journeys Uganda to help out with the details of the tour.
Gorilla trekking is the primary tourist activity carried out in the park. And Bwindi has 20 habituated gorilla families ready to be trekked and the four trekking sectors (Buhoma region in the Northern part of the park and has 5 gorilla families, Ruhija sector has 4gorilla groups in the Eastern part of the park, Rushaga sector has 8 gorilla families and Nkuringo sector has 3gorilla groups in the Southern part. And the following are the gorilla families available for trekking Mubare group, Habinyanja group, Rushegura group, Muyambi group, Katwe gorilla, Nkuringo group, Bushaho family, Christmas group, Bitukura group, Oruzogo group, Kyaguliro group, Mukiza group, Nshongi family, Bikingi group, Mishaya group, Kahungye group, Busingye family, Bweza group, Mucunguzi group, Rwigi group. Trekking these families requires a gorilla trekking permit which costs 700dollars to foreign non residents, 600dollars to the foreign residents and 250000shs to the East African citizens and trekking a particular gorilla family requires a group of 8 people per day and an hour is given to the tourists with the gorillas.
Gorilla habituation experience. Involves hiking to track gorilla which are under habituation and this activity is carried out in the Southern part of the park that is Nkuringo sector having the Posho gorilla group and in Rushaga sector with the Kutu gorilla family. There are 8 habituation permits available per day and only a group of 4 people is allowed to visit a particular gorilla family. The permit costs 1500dollar to(foreign non residents, 1000dollars foreign residents and 750000shs East African citizens and 4 hours are given to the tourist with the gorillas. Birdwatching. Bwindi is a destination for bird watching since it has more than 200 bird species and the following birds will be seen around waterfall areas, swampy and bamboo areas; African sooty flycatcher, African paradise flycatcher, African Goshawk, African pygmy kingfisher, black bee eater, dwarf honeyguide, African green broadbill, black billed turaco, Cassin’s grey flycatchers, African black ducks, great blue turaco, handsome francolin among others. This can be spotted following the birding trails, River Ivy trail, Kashasha river trail, waterfall trail.
Primate tracking. Bwindi has 11 primates which can be tracked apart from the star attraction (mountain gorillas) and these include the Chimpanzees, Baboons, Galago, blue monkeys, Red tailed monkey, white and black colobus monkeys among other.
Wildlife viewing and game viewing or drives: These could be night, day half drives involving exploring the park observing the different hidden attractions like the different vegetation zones, wildlife in the park like the gorillas, side striped jackals, clawless otter, Civet, wild pigs, Warthogs, giant forest hog, forest elephants, bush bucks, duikers, buffaloes. And the butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, trees and bird species.
Other activities are boat riding, mountain biking, forest nature walks, camping, cultural tours.
There are vast of places to stay in depending on the class and this ranges from up marker, midrange and budget. The budget range include Nshongi gorilla camp, Ruhija community Rest camp, Ruhija gorillas friends Resort, Mutanda Eco community center, Crested crane Bwindi, Engagi lodge, CPTH Gorilla conservation camp, Bwindi view Bandas, Bwindi guest house, Bwindi back packers lodge, Bwindi forest lodge, Buhoma community Banda, Broadbill forest camp. Midrange accommodation; Lake Kitandara Bwindi camp, Gorilla valley lodge, Lake Muhele gorilla lodge, Bwindi jungle lodge, Buhoma community haven lodge, Cuckoo land tented lodge, Eco marvels gorilla Resort, Gift of nature, Gorillas mist camp among others. Luxury range ; Buhoma lodge, Bwindi Clouds lodge, Chameleon hills lodge, Mahogany springs, Ichumbi lodge, Nkuringo Bwindi gorilla lodge, Rushaga gorilla Resort, Rushaga gorilla safari lodge, , Sanctuary gorilla forest camp, Silverback lodge, Trekkers Tavern cottages.