GORILLA FAMILIES IN BWINDI IMPENETRABLE N PARK.
Bwindi Impenetrable is one of the African national parks that harbour endangered mountain gorillas in their natural environment. It is on record that it shelters almost half of the world population of gorillas in 19 habituated gorilla families. Each family comprise a different number of individuals, ranging from 6 or even 4 to 23 and more.
Trekking these mountain gorillas you need to book a gorilla permit in advance for early preparation. However, you can only choose a gorilla region but cannot choose the gorilla family you want to trek. Bwindi national park has 4 sectors where you can track these families; including Rushaga, Nkuringo, Ruhija and Buhoma sectors / regions.
These families are habituated in the above sectors, headed by a silverback which is the alpha male identified by the grey silver hair on its back.
GORILLA FAMILIES IN BUHOMA SECTOR.
Habinyanja gorilla family; located in Buhoma with 18 members, this group was habituated in 1997. Habinyanja means the body of water. This group had 2 silverbacks, with one of the biggest number of members but when misunderstandings came, the group had to split into two forming the Rushegura gorilla family.
Rushegura gorilla family. This group split from the Habinyanja gorilla family in 2004, under leadership of the head silverback, Mwirima. This group consists of 19 members but sadly in 2014, Mwirima, the lead silverback died leaving the family under the leadership of Kabukojo.
Mubare Gorilla Family. Mubare is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda that was formed in 1991. The group had 12 members but now has 9 members and one lead silverback. It gets its name from the Mubare hill in the forest where it was first spotted.
Katwe gorilla family. This is one of the newest gorilla families in Bwindi, which is situated in the Buhoma sector. In 2018, it was officially open to tourists for visitation. The group has 1 dominant silverback, comprising of 7 members with 4 adult females.
GORILLA FAMILIES IN NKURINGO SECTOR.
Nkuringo gorilla family; this group have 19 members and it was first headed by a dominant silverback, Nkuringo. It got its name from a Rukiga word Nkuringo meaning round hills, because of the many volcanic hills that occupy this place. The group was open for trekking in 2004. Nkuringo died in 2008 leaving the family under the leadership of 2 younger silverbacks.
Bushaho gorilla family. The group broke off from Nkuringo led by 1 silverback called Bahati and it is presently made up of 8 members with one silverback.
Christmas gorilla family; comprised of 9 members, it is the newest gorilla family in Nkuringo sector. It got its name from the dominant silverback which was born on Christmas day.
GORILLA FAMILIES IN RUHIJA SECTOR.
Bitukura gorilla family; comprises 14 members with 4 silverbacks. This was the simplest gorilla to be habituated in the shortest time, only 15 months. The name was got from the river Bitukula where the group was first spotted.
Oruzogo gorilla family; the group was open for trekking in 2011 and now it comprises 23 members with 1 dominant silverback. The group is interesting with exciting members like Kaganga (the giant), Bwoba (coward), and Busungu (short-tempered) among other members.
Kyanguriro gorilla family; this group comprises of 20 members and it was habituated in 1995 but till now it’s not open for trekking but only for research purposes. The head (Zeus) of this group died in exile recently after being suppressed by his rival Rukina.
Mukiza gorilla family; this family broke off from the Kyaguriro gorilla family after getting some misunderstandings with the dominant silverback Rukina. This family now comprises 10 members.
GORILLA FAMILIES IN RUSHAGA SECTOR.
Nshongi gorilla family. Nshongi group was officially opened for trekking in 2009 and it has 18 members. In the past years, the group had 36 members but they split to form other new families. It was first sighted on River Nshongi and this is where the name originates.
Mishaya gorilla family. The group comprises of 12 members and it split from Nshongi family group following misunderstandings between Nshongi and Mishaya silverbacks.
Kahungye gorilla family. This family has 17 members with a dominant silverback Rumansi. The group at first ha 27 members and later on split to form the Busingye gorilla family.
Busingye gorilla family. It broke away from the Kahungye group in 2012, with 9 members and one silverback.
Other groups in this sector include Bweza with 11 members, Bikyingi with 21 members, and Rwigi with 6 members and Mucunguzi with 8 members headed by silverback Mucunguzi.
The number of these mountain gorillas in a family keeps changing due to change in family births and deaths. Therefore, for a great encounter of one or two gorilla families, book with us a safari to Bwindi National park.