There are four sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park, namely Buhoma sector, Nkuringo sector, Rushaga sector, and Ruhija sector, each one of them uniquely positioned and gifted distinctively. However Ruhija sector gifted with many bird species, offers an unforgettable bird watching experience in which one sees rare species flying calmly, peacefully, and in an untroubled manner.
Whereas Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park is home to 330 bird species, one of the best places to watch them is the Ruhija sector, with 25 restricted species and 23 of them of these endemic to the Albertine Rift , while others are migratory or forest species.
Ruhija sector is found in the eastern part of Uganda’s most visited national park, Bwindi impenetrable forest. Ruhija sector is the quietest sector because of the few gorilla trekkers, but the best place for bird watching because of its impressive hills from which endemic bird species, arise. The sector is accessible through Buhoma, Kabale and at 2,500m above sea level, the sector’s evergreen gently rolling hills straight out of stories books come alive, far beyond the borders of Uganda into the Virunga Mountains of Congo. At the highest point, Rwamunyonyi (2,607m), ones trek ends in the “hills of many birds,” as it is popularly known.
The birds of Ruhija Sector.
Rwamunyonyi is a place of reflectiveness, upon how beautiful Bwindi was created, and while at it, some of the most brilliantly coloured birds immerge from the unwinding hills in the forefront. Other bird watching spots include, Mubwindi swamp, bamboo trail, Ruhija hill among others. From the magnificent view, and through the exciting forest trail, one is able to spot, with the help of an experienced park guide, different bird species like, the blue spotted dove, Tamburine dove, African pygmy Kingfisher, double toothed barbet, African Shrike Flycatcher,red chested fufftail, cinnamon bee-eater, dwarf honey guide, carruthers cisticola, African broadbill, common buzzard. Grey throated barbet, blue headed sunbird Helmeted guinea fowl, sooty falcon, African wood owl, Ross’s Turaco, Rwenzori Betis , just to mention but a few.
The best time to visit Ruhija sector.
Whereas Ruhija is open for visitors throughout the year, it is ideal to visit Ruhija sector during the wet season from March to May and from October to November because fruits that attract birds and other foods are plentiful. One will be able to see colorful and migratory species. However, the dry season from June to August and December to February is equally good due to the low precipitation, the trails are dry and one is unlikely to slide along the dangerously steep slopes.
How to get to Ruhija Sector.
You can catch one of the daily flights from Entebbe to Kisoro or Kihihi and from Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro from where one connects to Kihihi , leading to Bwindi for one of the most natural experiences of natural diversity and over whelming beauty. Flights are scheduled in the morning with departure at 0700 and arrival by 0810 hours. However, flights are subject to prevailing weather conditions.
In order to reach Ruhija sector by road, one takes the southern route from Kampala via Mbarara, to Kabale and then to the Ndego gate. Alternatively, one can travel from Kampala via Mbarara, Ntungamo, Rukungiri, kihihi, to Butogota. Wherefrom, Ruhija is a two hour drive.
Overall, bird watching in the Ruhija sector is one rewarding natural experience of the best birding spot on the African continent.