Habituated Mountain Gorilla Families in Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Uganda is the an excellent alternative for those yearning for a spectacle of wildlife display. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the best place you can see gorillas in Uganda. This is an old rain forest so the trekking can be a little tougher than in Rwanda.

Bwindi rain forest is regarded as one of the world’s most biologically diverse tourist destination identified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has about 9 habituated mountain gorillas families. These gorillas live in a more thick tropical forest,  making tracking more challenging compared to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park on the slopes of Mount Gahinga one of the 8 mountains on the Virunga mountains in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda

Gorilla trekking can take longer hours hiking through steep hillsides. Tourists are usually divided into groups, usually each group is allocated about 8 people depending on where the gorilla families are residing that day.

Bitukara Gorilla Family

  • 14 members including 4 silverbacks
  • The family was named after the Bitukura River
  • Their habituation started in 2007 and tracking began in 2008
  • The family has four Silverbacks peacefully coexisting. The retired Karamuzi and two others (Rukumu and Mugisha) who are all submissive to Ndahura

Busingye Gorilla Family

  • 9 individuals including 1 silverback
  • Located in Rushaga area of Bwindi National Park
  • Busingye Gorilla Group is another splitter gorilla family having broken away from Kahungye Family back in June 2012.
  • It was Silverback Busingye who decided to split and create his own family.

Mubare Gorilla Family

  • 11 members including 1 silverback
  • Habituated between 1991 and 1993 the family were named after the Mubare Hills, where they were first spotted
  • Mubare is the oldest habituated group in Uganda
  • Kanyonyi is current group leader. Took over following the death of his father, Ruhondeza, in June 2012

Rushegura Gorilla Family

  • 15 members with 1 silverback
  • Kabukojo is current leader following the death of predecess or Mwirima in March 2014
  • Their name is taken from a tree species that grows in their home area, Ebishegura
  • They are a calm group and often visit the Bwindi Lodge gardens
  • Kabukojo has a younger brother – Kalembezi – who helps him co-lead the family

Habinyanja Gorilla Family

  • 17 members
  • Meaning ‘body of water’, this family was habituated in 1997
  • Makara is the sole dominant leader of the group.
  • The family has a stubborn prodigal member, Maraya, who left family in August 2011 but often comes to cause chaos in the family then moves back to solitary life.

Nyakagezi Gorilla Family

  • 10 members, including 5 silverbacks – the highest number in a single group
  • The group is very nomadic, crossing the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC
  • Mark is the dominant silverback. He took over form Bigingo, who is still alive but the oldest family member

Kahungye Gorilla Family

  • 18 members including 3 silverbacks
  • The group was named after the Kahungye Hills and are newly habituated
  • The family has three silverbacks but two, Rwigyi (the oldest) and Ruzika (the youngest) are loyal to the dominant one (Rumanzi)
  • Rumanzi has been dominant since habituation

Bweza Gorilla Family

  • 12 members
  • Kakano is the silverback of the group
  • The group was formed after a dispute in the Nshongi family, at which point they split off and became a separate family

Oruzogo Gorilla Family

  • 17 members including 2 silverbacks.
  • The group was named after the local name of a common plant in the home range of this family
  • Bakwate has been the dominant silverback since habituation in 2008
  • Kagaanga – a young silverback is second in command

Nkuringo Gorilla Family

  • 12 members with 2 silverbacks
  • Named after the Nkuringo Hill where the group was first spotted
  • Originally habituated in 2004 after destroying the crops of local farmers. Now farmers benefit from the tourism they provide
  • Rafiki has been the dominant silverback for almost a decade.

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