Today we transferred to Ruhija sector from Nkuringo sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park. The main interest of clients on this tour is birding which is spiced up with primate trekking and beautiful landscape. It was a more relaxed journey with a focus on transfer and birding along the way. The entire trip would normally take 2 hours from Nkuringo to Ruhija but because of several stops and birding it took us about 5 hours in total including the stops.
We left Nkuringo about 8.30 am for Ruhija, our first major stops was birding right after entering the park where the clients saw the rare Dohertys Bushrike, it was the highlight of the day. There were lots of Black&White Colobus monkeys and the terrrestrial L’hoest monkeys. Ruhija is well known for birding in addition to it being home to four habituated gorilla families available for trekking. Just like all the other locations, a gorilla permit needs to be obtained in advance from Uganda wildlife authority before embarking on this activity. The earlier you purchase the permit the higher the chances of choosing the location you prefer between – Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Mgahinga.
The plan was to bird all the way and arrive at the lodge in the afternoon because after all we had carried packed lunch. We arrived at our lodge in time for lunch and after enjoying our meal we checked into the lodge for a some rest. I remember when I prepared the itinerary the clients made it clear that they did not need any free time as they intended to use every moment birding and photographing but the tiredness started setting in and so the rest was needed after all.
In the afternoon, we took on birding the community trails before the gorilla briefing areas. Ruhija is one of the best places to bird especially for Albertine rift endemics in the Bwindi impenetrable forest. We were joined by a local site guide who knows the location of most of the birds and is excellent in bird calls. The day ended towards 7.00 pm back to the lodge – Ruhija can be cold but the fire places and hot water bottles make it bearable.