The Bwindi gorilla region has 4 major Bwindi Forest Gorilla Families where gorillas have been accustomed and are accessible for tracking; these intimate groups live in the regions of
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First, is the Buhoma area and its explained below in detail.
The Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park was opened to tourists for gorilla tracking in 1991 making it the first region to have habituated gorillas in the park. This region has the most recent eco-friendly facilities and amenities like lodges, hospitals and also the best tourism activities like mountain biking, the Batwa people experience and the famous village walks in the village of Buhoma.
This family was the first to be habituated in 1998. It started with 12 members until later on their leader, a silverback named Ruhondeza passed on making the family split leaving only 5 members in the family. New members were added in through birth, invasions, and fights with other family groups just like the human race.
Today, the group has 11 family members with silverback Kanyonyi heading the ground, 6 adult females, 1 teenage gorilla, and 3 toddler gorillas. Male adults are few in the family because silverback Ruhondeza who formed the group used to silently kill other male gorillas due to fear of rebellion as he wanted to be dominant of the family. Fortunately, Kanyonyi survived murder and no one knows how that came to be. Tracking this family group takes 5 hours and it’s normally done early in the morning.
This group was opened up for tracking as early as 1996. The name Habinyanja was adopted after the gorillas in this family were discovered near a swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable national park in the Buhoma region. “Nyanja” is water in the local Buhoma village language hence the name Habinyanja to mean those who dwell by the waters. This group has 7 members and Makara as their head; he leads 1 black-back male, 5 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 3 juvenile gorillas and 6 infant gorillas. Tracking this group normally takes 5 – 7 hours because they are harder to be found which requires more energy and time.
This family group is made of 16 members; this makes it the largest of all families. The family resides at the Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park headquarters; this makes it the easiest to track. To track these gorillas, one needs 3–5 hours starting early in the morning. A silverback called Kabukojo heads this family group and it leads 4 black-back males, 4 adult females, 3 juveniles and 2 toddlers.
This area is still in the growth process; it has limited choices of accommodation with no luxury facilities at the moment but its growth is promising. For Uganda gorilla safari travelers visiting this area, 3 habituated gorilla family groups are found in this region and they include;
This was opened to trekkers and trackers in 2011. The group has 17 family members making it the largest family group in the Ruhija region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. The playful infants and the energy exhibited by the juveniles make the group famous because the tourists are impressed and entertained to their maximum.
Stamina and endurance are needed when tracking this group, the gorilla trekking on this group is a little tiresome but more rewarding when one finally reaches the Oruzogo family group. This is so because they will be fully entertained. A silverback called Bakwate heads the family and he leads 1 silverback, 2 black backs, 5 adult females, 2 sub-adults, 1 juvenile, and 5 toddlers.
Initially, this group had 24 family members but due to deaths and splits in the family, today it has 14 members including a newly born infant. The Bitukura gorilla family group took 15 months to be habituated than the usually 24 months it takes to habituate mountain gorillas.
this makes them the cleverest than other gorilla family groups in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The group is the most harmonious as there are no fights amongst family members. A silverback called Ndahura heads the Bitukura group and it leads 4 adult females, 4 silverbacks, 2 juvenile gorillas, 3 infant gorillas, and 1 newly born baby gorilla.
Accommodation is best in Ruhija region for easy access to the gorilla family, travelers residing in the Buhoma sector need to transfer early in the morning to the Ruhija sector to catch up with the briefing on gorilla tracking sessions.
The Kyagurilo Gorilla family was habituated at the beginning of the year 1995. This family group has a historical background of splits among the members. This group was basically habituated for research as no tourists visited it and neither was it put up for tourism marketing. The German Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology used this family group for their research and educational discoveries.
The April 7th, 2015 tragedy which saw the death of Rukina the then head of the family group struck by lightning, greatly affected the group as the silverback – Mukiza who took over leadership was inexperienced as couldn’t lead the group effectively. A migrating silverback from the Bitukura group.
Rukara overthrew Mukiza’s leadership which led to the split of the Kyagurilo family group into Kyagurilo A led by Rukara and Kyagurilo B led by Mukiza. The newly created families stay side by side and word has it that with time there is the hope of reunion. The families stay deep in the dense forest which makes both trekking and tracking difficult.
Thirdly, we have the Rushaga Area with its different groups as explained below.
The best area for mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park so far recorded. The rushaga region can easily be accessed through Kigali Rwanda. This region has 5 gorilla family groups to include;
The group was formed way back. The Nshongi group derives its name from the river Nshongi since they were discovered near the river. The group had many members but later it split to form the Mweza group with 18 family members and the original Nshongi group remaining with only 7 family members. Bweza a silverback heads the family and he leads 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult gorilla, 1 juvenile gorilla, and 1 toddler gorilla.
The Mishaya gorilla group broke up from the Nshongi family group. The group derives its name from Mishaya the lead silverback heading the family. It is made of 12 family members. He managed to convince female gorillas from the Nshongi group to join him. He has remained the dominant silverback among the male, he fights other groups to snatch females and make them join his group. This has branded him a fighter.
The Kahungye gorilla family group is a fairly large group with 18 members. The number was even larger than these before, until recently when some gorillas split from the group forming another gorilla family called Busingye. This gorilla family was habituated in 2010 and in 2011; it was opened for tracking to Uganda safari travelers. A lead silverback – Kamazi heads the Kahungye gorilla group and he leads 3 silverbacks, 3 black backs, 3 adult female gorillas, 3 juvenile gorillas, and 2 toddler gorillas.
This group was founded in 2012 after a group of gorillas split themselves away from the Kahungye gorilla group. The group is comprised of 9 members with mostly teenage gorillas. The group is habituated and also open to tourists on a Uganda gorilla safari.
The Bwera gorilla family group was formed in 2013 after a group of vibrant and exciting teenage gorillas found themselves out of the Nshongi gorilla family group. It’s comprised of 12 family members. Kakono a silverback heads this group and leads other 2 silverbacks, 4 black backs, 3 adult female gorillas, 1 teenage gorilla, and 2 infant gorillas. This group is exciting and versatile for a Uganda gorilla safari, as trekkers enjoy to their best of a Uganda safari excursion.
Thirdly, we have the Nkuringo area which also one of the Bwindi Forest Gorilla Families.
The Nkuringo gorilla family group is the most challenging when trekking because trekkers are faced with rough and tough terrains from the start to the end of the trekking safari. The trekking requires much energy and stamina though; visitors rarely complain of getting exhausted while trekking this region rather they become exhilarated after the gorilla trekking experience. A silverback – Rafiki heads the Nkuringo group which is comprised of 12 mountain gorillas including; 2 silverbacks, 1 black back, 2 adult female gorillas, 2 sub-adult gorillas, 3 juvenile gorillas, and 2 infant gorillas.
In summary, the above information describes all the Bwindi Forest Gorilla Families and we help you choose the best.