Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are the different groups in which gorillas live as a family and grow as the produce and take care of each other. Bwindi National Park is situated in South-Western Uganda on the edge of the Great Rift Valley sitting on an area of 321 square kilometers neighboring the Democratic Republic of Congo border next to the Virunga National Park. There are a number of gorilla families in Uganda in the two parks that inhabit these gentle creatures, which is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.
A gorilla family is a group of mountain gorillas that come together and live as a family. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has the highest number of mountain gorilla families as compared to the other parks like Mgahinga, Virunga, and Volcanoes National Parks.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park is the world’s primary mountain gorilla trekking destination inhabiting more than half of the total mountain gorilla population. This impenetrable forest has over 36 gorilla families that are both habituated and not.
Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
There are 19 habituates gorilla families that are open to gorilla trekking. These habituated gorilla families are located in four different sectors that include Ruhija, Buhoma, Nkuringo, and Rushaga sectors. Lost on which gorilla family to choose to track, find below the habituated mountain gorilla families in Bwindi that might help you decide;
- Mubare gorilla family: Mubare gorilla family is in the Buhoma sector which is located in the northern part of Bwindi. This gorilla family is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda that started with 12 members but currently has only 9 members including 1 silverback as head of the group. The family was fully habituated in 1991.
- Habinyanja gorilla family: Habinyanja gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 18 members including 2 silverbacks and was fully habituated in 1997. There were power struggles in this group that led to the separation and forming of another family called Rushegura.
- Rushegura gorilla family: Rushegura gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 19 members including 1 silverback. Rushegura Gorilla Family was formed in 2002 with Mwirima silverback after it broke off the Habinyanja gorilla family. Mwirima, however, died in 2014 leaving the group to be led by Kabukojo.
- Katwe gorilla family: Katwe gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the newest family in the Buhoma region on the northern side of Bwindi. The family has one dominant silverback, 2 blackbacks, 4 adult females and 2 infants. The family was opened to tracking in 2018.
- Nkuringo gorilla family: Nkuringo Gorilla group is located in the Nkuringo area with 19 members including 2 silverbacks. The group was at first led by one Silverback Nkuringo who died in April 2008, leaving behind 2 Silverbacks. This family was blessed with twins Muhoozi and Katungi but Katungi, unfortunately, passed on before the age of two.
- Bushaho gorilla family: Bushaho gorilla family is located in the southern sector of the Nkuringo area with 8 members including 1 silverback known as Bahati who broke away from the Nkuringo group.
- Christmas gorilla family: Christmas Gorilla group is the newest family in the Nkuringo sector with 9 members and one dominant silverback known as Christmas who was actually born on Christmas day.
- Bitukura gorilla family: Bitukura Gorilla Family, in Ruhija sector, has 14 members with 4 silverbacks. This was the fastest habituated gorilla group which took only 15 months to be done with and it was introduced to trekking soon after.
- Oruzogo gorilla family: The Oruzogo gorilla group is located in Ruhija Sector with 23 members including 1 silverback. The family was availed for trekking in 2011 and also has very playful juveniles.
- Kyaguriro gorilla family: This gorilla group is located in Ruhija with 20 individuals. The group was habituated in 1995 for research purposes. Rukina is the current leader of the family after Mukiza who left to make his own family.
- Mukiza gorilla family: Mukiza gorilla family is found in the Ruhija sector. The family was formed after one of the silverbacks in Kyaguriro broke off to make his own family. The family has 10 members.
- Nshongi gorilla family: This gorilla family is in Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with 18 members and it was officially launched for trekking on 26th September 2009. The group was the largest with 36 members. The group however split thereby forming new groups.
- Mishaya gorilla family: This gorilla group was formed after a split in the Nshongi gorilla family in 2010. The group started with 7 members but with Mishaya’s aggressiveness, however, the group is now at 12 members.
- Bweza gorilla group: This gorilla group was also formed after a break away from Nshongi. Bweza the lead silverback broke away with 6 members but now has 11 in total.
- Kahungye gorilla family: Kahungye Gorilla group has 17 members with 3 silverbacks including the dominant Silverback called Rumansi, 6 females,3 juveniles, 3 blackbacks, and 2 infants. The group was opened for travelers to track in 2011 and at that time had 27 members who after barely a year split into two to make Busingye gorilla family.
- Busingye gorilla family: Busingye Gorilla Family is located in Rushaga with 9 members including 1 silverback and is the newest group to break away from the Kahungye family in June 2012.
- Bikyingi gorilla family: Bikyingi gorilla group is also in Rushaga with 21 individuals. The family came into existence after some members from Mishaya came together with other wild gorillas to form their own family. The group was then put up for habituation. Bikyingi, the lead silverback, is very friendly to all his young ones.
- Rwigi gorilla family: This is yet another newly habituated gorilla family in Rushaga with 6 members. It is led by Rwigi the silverback gorilla. The group broke away from the Kahungye group.
- Mucunguzi gorilla family: Mucunguzi gorilla family is also located in the Rushaga sector with 8 members and the family is dominantly female. This group split from the Bweza gorilla family after a serious fight. Mucunguzi, which means savior, is the head of this family.
Bwindi National Park has many more Mountain gorillas and the number keeps on increasing. The above are the only habituated gorilla groups that inhabit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Get yourself a gorilla trekking permit at only $700 and be captivated with one or more gorilla family.