Habituated Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the popular Uganda gorilla trekking safari park and where many would love to go for their gorilla trekking safari with the habituated gorilla families in Bwindi forest. There are 4 national parks in the world with mountain gorillas and Bwindi Forest is known to host the highest population of Mountain Gorillas with several habituated gorilla families that can be trekked. Bwindi Forest National Park is the largest single gorilla habitat and therefore divided into 4 gorilla trekking sectors of which each has several gorilla families. Here are the details of each gorilla family in the different sectors;
Buhoma Gorilla sector
The Buhoma gorilla trekking sector is home to 4 gorilla families and these are Rushegura, Habinyaja, Mubare and Katwe Gorilla groups.
- Mubare gorilla family is actually the first gorilla family to be habituated in Bwindi forest in 1993. The group is named after the stunning Mubare Hills in which this group was discovered. The group has more than 8 members from an initial number of 18 members. Other members were lost to other groups and deaths.
- Habinyanja gorilla family was habituated in 1997 and started receiving visitors in 1999. This was a big family though it later on had a split that formed the Rushegura group. The family has about 17 family members. The group is named after a Rukiga word “Nyanja” which means water since the group was first seen near a swamp in Bwindi forest.
- Rushegura gorilla family broke off from Habinyanja family though the two families crisscross and live peacefully. Led by silverback Mwirima, the group is known to be one of the calmest gorilla families and keep wandering within the Buhoma village and can even reach to the Buhoma Gorilla Forest Camp and they don’t shy away.
- Katwe gorilla family is the newest gorilla family in the Buhoma region with 7 members with one dominant silverback.
Ruhija Gorilla trekking sector
Ruhija gorilla trekking sector has 4 habituated gorilla families which are Bitukura, Kyaguliro, Mukiza and Oruzogo Gorilla groups
- Bitukura gorilla group roams in the verdant forest within the Ruhija area. The family has about 14 individuals including 4 silverbacks. The group was named after a river that bears the same name since its the location where it was first sighted. This was one of the easily habituated families with the process lasting only about 15 months rather than the normal 2 years.
- Kyaguliro gorilla family is one of the gorilla families in the Ruhija sector with about 15 family members including 2 silverbacks. This group is kept a side for research and has helped conservationists learn a lot about the Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi and marking out the differences they have with those in the Virunga massif.
- Mukiza gorilla family formerly known as Kyaguliro B is led by dominant silverback Mukiza. The group is composed of 13 individuals including 1 silverback, 6 adult females, 2 sub-adults, 1 juvenile and 3 infants. The group is dedicated for research.
- Oruzogo gorilla group has about 23 individuals with 2 silverbacks. This is the second habituated gorilla family living in the Ruhija area. This group has twins born to mother Kakoba.
Nkuringo gorilla trekking sector
The Nkuringo gorilla trail head has 1 habituated gorilla group for gorilla safaris in Uganda and this is Nkuringo gorilla group.
- Nkuringo gorilla group with about 19 individuals are named after Nkuringo which means “round hill” in the Rukiga language. The group was mainly seen in the communities feeding on bananas and sweet potatoes which was a problem to the community. The group was habituated such that the community could benefit and the gorillas protected at the same time.
Rushaga Gorilla Family
Rushaga gorilla family has almost the highest number of gorilla families and these are Nshonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahunjye, Businjye, Rwiji, Muchunguzi and Bikyinji Gorilla groups.
- Nshonji gorilla family is currently the biggest habituated gorilla family with 25 members. The group was named after the river at which it was first seen. This family was unique due to its large size which consisted of about 36 members at the start.
- Mishaya gorilla family is led by silverback Mishaya and is the group that split from the Nshonji group. The silverback is known to be a fighter who often starts interactions with other gorilla families.
- Kahungye gorilla family has about 13 individuals with three silverbacks opened to trekking in 2011. The group is led by dominant silverback Gwigi which means door in thee local language.
- In less than a year the Kahungye group split and that’s how the Busingye gorilla family was formed.The group has about 9 individuals including 1 silverback.
- Bweza gorilla family has 9 members and also a split from the Nshonji gorilla group. The group is led by silverback Bweza who split 2 years after Mishaya had split off.
Uganda/Rwanda gorilla safari packages
To help you better plan your gorilla trekking safari, here is a list of top gorilla packages in Uganda and Rwanda that you can choose from;