Habituation of Bikingi family began in early 2012 until mid-2016. Located in the extreme southern region of Rushaga in Bwindi impenetrable national park, habituation of Bikingi gorilla group commenced in early 2012 as a follow-up exercise of the scattered members of the Mishaya family.
And definitely, some of the former members belonging to Mishaya group were part of a non-habituated gorilla group that lived close to Mishaya. This prompted the habituation process to begin, so the group could be fully trained to get used to the presence of people. Silverback Bikingi is the leader of over 15 other individuals; including 5 adult females, 2 sub-adult males, 2 juveniles and 5 infants.
Trekking Bikingi gorilla family
Just like any other gorilla family in Uganda, only eight persons are allowed to trek Bikingi group on a daily basis. This is to limit the extent of mass gorilla tourism which is characterized with spread of infections and destruction of gorilla habitat.
Trekking Bikingi also requires securing a gorilla permit in advance. Gorilla permits are documents that allow a tourist to access a specific gorilla family on a particular day for a maximum of one hour. Just like other families in Uganda, a gorilla permit to trek Bikingi costs 600$ per person.
Due to high demand, gorilla permits to Bikingi family has to be booked early in advance from Uganda wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour agency.
How to get to Bikingi family in Rushaga region
Visitors looking for a gorilla trekking experience with Bikingi family have to drive to Rushaga park headquarters, from Kigali or Kampala / Entebbe depending on the point of arrival flight. From Kigali, you drive for a maximum of 3 hours and cross via Cyanika border in Kisoro or Katuna border in Kabale.
From Entebbe or Kampala, the journey is quite long taking about 8-9 hours’ through Masaka – Mbarara highway through Kabale town, driving straight to the south east after the new Rubanda district.
Other than gorilla trekking, Rushaga region is home to an array of amazing activities, including bird watching, nature walks, Batwa community walks, visiting waterfalls and more.