Gorilla Groups in Bwindi Forest National Park – Location, How to Track and Trekking Guide
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is situated in Kanungu, Kabale district Southwestern Uganda. It was established in 1991 primarily to offer refuge to mountain gorillas and in 1994, it was designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Today, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is comprised of about 20 habituated gorilla groups where visitors on Uganda gorilla tour can trek. They are distributed in the four of its sectors; Ruhija, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Buhoma. Each gorilla group has something unique for trekkers to explore and they include;
Gorilla groups in Rushaga region
Nshongi gorilla group
Nshongi gorilla family is a habituated gorilla family within the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with approximately 25 individuals. It opened for tourism purposes in September 2009. This group falls under the leadership of two silverbacks and it derives its name from River Nshongi where the word Nshongi denotes honey. The astonishing part about trekking through the Nshongi gorilla group is that trekkers have the opportunity to also sight more other primate species including baboons, the black and white colobus monkeys; avifaunal species, butterflies and many more.
Mishaya gorilla groups are comprised of about 12 individuals and it is popular for its silverback who was used to fight and interact with many other gorilla groups. However, he passed on 2014 and the group is headed by Mwine silverback. It split from the Nshongi gorilla group and at the time of breaking off, it composed of 10 members.
Kahungye gorilla family is comprised of 13 individuals and 3 silverbacks. It was opened for gorilla trekking in 2011 under the leadership of Rumansi silverback. Currently, it is led by Gwigi silverback.
Busingye gorilla group is found in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the South and derives its name from the word Busingye which denotes peace. This gorilla group broke off from Kahungye group in 2012 with about 7 individuals. The group leader is famous for his habit of snatching female gorillas from other gorilla groups. Today, the group is comprised of 9 individuals.
Bwindi gorilla family is found within the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and it is composed of about 9 members which include one silverback-Bweza. This group broke off from the Nshongi gorilla group. Exploring the Bweza gorilla family is so rewarding and it should be a must-visit while on Uganda gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bikingi gorilla family is named after its area where it was first sighted. At the time the group was habituated, its members were frequently visited by the vet doctors who were monitoring the gorillas to save their lives. Initially, Bikingi was set for gorilla habituation experience and currently, it is open for gorilla trekking.
For any plans to visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for gorilla habituation experience, Kutu gorilla family is that one group you need to explore. This gorilla family is found in Rushaga region of Bwindi and it is composed of eight individuals that are under the leadership of one silverback.
Rwingi gorilla group is a newly founded gorilla family within the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in South. This gorilla group is headed by Rwigi silverback and it split from Kahungye gorilla family. It is composed of 6 individuals and exploring this group on Uganda gorilla safari rewards trekkers with fresh gorilla experiences.
Mucunguzi gorilla family is within the Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It derives its name from the word Mucunguzi which denotes savior. This gorilla group broke away from the Bweza gorilla group and it is comprised of eight individuals.
Gorilla groups in Buhoma region
Katwe gorilla family is a newly habituated family within the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Its habituation has increased the number of habituated groups in the Buhoma sector to 4 from the previous 3. It took about three years for it to officially open to visitors to trek. Katwe gorilla family is comprised of 10 members with one silverback, three black back gorillas and about 4 adult females plus two baby gorillas.
Also, popular as the H Group, Habinyanja gorilla family is found within the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This gorilla group was habituated in 1997 and this makes it one of the oldest gorilla families to open for gorilla trekking in Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Habinyanja gorilla family derived its name from Nyanja which means a place with water. It is composed of 18 individuals with Makara being the leader. Trekking through this gorilla family can cover about 5 hours and this means you require some level of physical fitness.
Mubare gorilla group began to undergo habituation in October 1991 and it officially opened to trekkers on Uganda gorilla safari in 1993 making it the first-ever to open for gorilla trekking. It was under the leadership of Ruhondeza but unfortunately, he passed on and visitors can still pay a visit to its graveyard while on trekking with mountain gorillas within Mubare gorilla family. This group is currently composed of 9 members which includes one silverback.
Rushegura gorilla family is within the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the North. Previously, this group used to move around the Congo border and its name denotes a tree where it was first spotted from. Today, the Rushegura gorilla family is comprised of 19 individuals and led by one silverback gorilla.
Gorilla groups in Nkuringo region
Nkuringo gorilla group
This gorilla group derives its name from the word Nkuringo which denotes round hill where it initially spotted under the leadership of Nkuringo who had 2 sons-Rafiki and Safari. He passed on around 2008 and Safari succeeded his leadership. Visitors who are interested in challenging gorilla experiences, it should be a must-visit gorilla family. Today, Nkuringo group consists of 19 individuals and has had twins though one passed on due to illness.
Christmas group is a newly founded gorilla family within the Nkuringo area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is comprised of 9 individuals and one silverback. When trekking through this gorilla family, higher chances are that you will spot out only six members.
Bushaho group is a new addition after this group was opened for trekking. Initially, Bushaho was under the gorilla habituation experience. It is headed by Bahati silverback and it is comprised of 9 individuals. For new experiences, consider visiting Bushaho a must-do and you won’t regret in life.
Gorilla groups in Ruhija region
Mukiza gorilla family broke away from Kyaguriro gorilla family after Rukina silverback passed on. It led by Mukiza silverback and habituation exercise begin around 1995 and currently comprised of about 13 individuals.
Bitukura gorilla family is found within the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the east. Unlike other gorilla families, Bitukura underwent habituation within one year and a half year then it was opened for trekking. It comprises of 14 individuals and headed by Ndahura silverback, the three other silverbacks joined other groups.
This gorilla family is located in Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is mostly open for research however; it can also be trekked depending on the demand. Habituation exercise in this gorilla family started in 1999 under the leadership of Zeus silverback before he was replaced by Rukina silverback. Unfortunately, Rukina also died and replaced by Rukara.
Oruzogo gorilla family was habituated in 2009 within the Ruhija area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is composed of 22 members that include Tibirikwata silverback and several other individuals, playful juveniles plus toddlers.