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Gorilla Groups in Uganda – Location, Numbers, How to trek and more Guide

For any plans to catch a glimpse at the rare mountain gorillas this year count Uganda-the pearl of Africa a must to visit and you will have the best of primate experience. About 15 habituated families are readily available for this thrilling adventure and for those of you who may wish to spend more time with these creatures while in their natural habitat, gorilla habituation experience should be your bucket list experience.

Gorilla Groups in UgandaThere are 2 groups set for this particular primate adventure. Gorilla safaris in Uganda are only conducted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga National Park. In Bwindi, you choose any of the habituated families in the 4 trailheads of Buhoma, Ruhija, Nkuringo or Rushaga and then for those of you who have plans to pay a visit to Mgahinga National Park, there is only 1 group set for gorilla trekking.

Below is a list of gorilla families in Uganda

Buhoma sector

This trailhead features as the first area to officially open for gorilla tourism. Today, it is one of the most explored sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park by most trekkers on gorilla safari in Uganda. Gorilla habituation in this sector kick started between 1991 and 1993 and the first group to be habituated here was Mubare that presently features as the oldest group in Uganda. Mubare group consists of 11 members with 1 silverback-Kanyonyi who took over leadership after his father ‘Ruhondeza’ died in 2012. The ease to trek through this family differs and it may last you about five hours. The word Mubare denotes the original place where the group was found.


This equally features among the first groups to be habituated in Buhoma sector of Bwindi National Park and for many years, thousands of trekkers have paid a visit to explore its members. Usually, treks in this group lasts trekkers about the entire day or 5 hours and more as its members tend to move from one place to another. However, it comprises of 17 members under the leadership of Makara silverback. It was habituated in 1997 and it was first discovered around swamp in Bwindi. The name Habinyanja denotes body of water. Like other groups, a visit to this group rewards travel endeavors with its amazing history that is worth sharing.


Rushegura family is composed of 16 members making one of the larger groups in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. It is currently led by Kabukojo silverback plus 4 black backs, 4 females, 3 juveniles and others. This group has calm members they derived their name from a tree species which thrives in their home area.


If you are interested in fresh and authentic gorilla experiences then consider exploring Katwe group a must while on Uganda safari in Bwindi National Park. This is a newly introduced habituated family set for tourism purposes. Before it was officially opened for tourism, it took about 3 years for it to be ready for visitors to track. Today, Buhoma sector boasts with 4 habituated groups and this group comprises of 2 babies and 4 adult females.

Ruhija region

Ruhija sector comprises of 3 habituated families and they include;


This features about 17 members and it is led by Bakwate silverback that has been a dominant leader since 2008. This group for foraging on vegetation that is dominated by Alchornea hitela plant where they derived their name. It is famous for its larger size as well as the playful juveniles and toddlers that never leave visitors bored.


Bitukura group is composed of 14 individuals and unlike other groups, this family took 1 and half years to get ready for visitors to track. Originally, it comprised of 24 members but due to other factors for instance feuds others left the group. This group derived its name from Bitukura River.

 Kyaguliro gorilla family

This group is largely set for research purposes but when demand increases, it can be assigned to visitors to track. This family’s habituation started in 1995 after the sudden death of Rukina who succumbed to an electric shock as a result of lightening in 2015. This group then remained under control of Mukiza who later was ambushed by an immigrating adult silverback-Rukara from Bitukura group. This led to spilt of group to make up two families that are at times regarded as Kyaguliro A (Rukara) and Kyaguliro B (Mukiza). This took place around 2016 but the break off isn’t yet assured as the 2 still forage closely something that indicates some bit of re-union. This group features 10 members with 1 silverback and others.

Nkuringo sector

In Nkuringo, the groups for you to track include;

Nkuringo gorilla family which comprises of 12 members and 2 silverbacks. It is first family to be habituated in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi National Park. Originally, about 17 members made up this group but later reduced to 12. Remarkably, this gorilla group registered a set of twin around December 2004 making it a few unique groups for you to explore. It is led by Rafiki silverback and in most cases, this group is known for its behavior of foraging outside the park.

Besides Nkuringo, you can also track Christmas group which was officially opened for tourism making it second group for visitors to track in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Christmas and Katwe are the two gorilla families that added the list of habituated families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This group in particular is composed of 9 members and led by Christmas silverback.

Rushaga sector

This features among the best sectors to explore while on gorilla safari in Uganda. The gorilla groups to track in this region include;


This group is composed of seven members and it is one of the larger families. It is splitter group of Mweza group. Originally, it comprised of 18 members and it derived its name from Nshongi River. Besides tracking gorillas, this group also allows you to catch a glimpse at varied wildlife species including various primate species, butterflies, birds among others.


This group broke off from Kahungye family and made up of 9 members. This group broke off around 2012 and features 4 infants, 1 juvenile, and 1 silverbacks-Busingye.


Previously, this group comprised of 29 members with 3 adult males. However, due to rivalries, it broke off to form Kahungye group and today, it is made of 17 members. It is led by Rumanzi silverback.


This gorilla group broke off from Nshongi around 2010. It comprised of 10 members but after sometime, the number increased to 12 with one silverback.


This is headed by Kakono silverback and comprised of 12 members. It broke off towards the end of 2013 and its creation meant increase in opportunities for visitors to have the best of gorilla experience in Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Nyakagezi group

In case you have plans to pay a visit to Mgahinga National Park, Nyakagezi is the only habituated group set for visitors to track. It comprises of 10 members and previously, it used to move across border area to DR Congo but today it has stabilized and can be tracked within Mgahinga National Park. This group is led by Mark silverback who took over from Bigingo.

For those of you who may wish to spend more time with gorillas while on safari in Uganda, gorilla habituation experience should be a must to include in your bucket list. Two gorilla groups have been set for this adventure and they include Bushaho and Bikingi. Bushaho is composed of 8 members and it is one of gorilla families within Nkuringo sector. Bikingi is made of 15 members with 1 silverback. It is found within Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

In conclusion, for any plans to track gorillas in Uganda, consider the above groups a must to explore. Note, each gorilla family has its own unique story to share with the world travelers.

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