Bwindi Forest National Park Uganda Gorillas

Bwindi forest national park Uganda gorillas

Bwindi forest national park Uganda gorillas

Bwindi forest national park Uganda gorillas : Bwindi Forest National Park is the most popular gorilla trekking destination in Uganda and the world as well, the park hosts 19 habituated gorilla families and over half of the world’s wild gorilla families.

Gorillas in Bwindi Forest National Park

Bwindi Forest National Park is divided in four regions/ gorilla trekking trailheads that are Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo. It is these sectors where mountain gorillas are found and each of the sectors has its specific gorilla family.

Gorilla families in Buhoma sector

Rushegura Gorilla Family

Rusheguara family was named after the location in which the two silverback brothers parted ways, the group is headed by dominant silverback Mwirima who is in his 20s. The members of this group separated from Habinyanja in 2002 and in 2010 to make up the 19 members of the group.

Habinyanja Gorilla Family

Habinyanga was one of the first families to be habituated in Buhoma Sector back in 1997, they were first visited by tourists in 1999. The name of the group comes from the local word “Nyanja” which means “a place with water” as they were spotted near a swamp. Originally, they were led by the silverback Mugurisi but he passed away from old age.

Mwirima and Rwansigazi briefly shared power but had many differences, Mwirima loved to stay close to home while Rwansigazi wanted to travel. This led to the family splitting up in 2002 and Silverback Makara took over and he is now the dominant silverback, in 2011 Mizano a friendly blackback was found dead and it is suspected he was killed by poachers as he tried to protect his family.

 Habinyanja Gorilla Family currently as 18 family members.

Mubare Gorilla Family

Mubare is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda habituated in 1991 and it received its first visitors 2 years later, the group is named after the Mubare hills were its members were first spotted.

Mubare gorilla family started with 18 members but currently only has 5 members.

Katwe Gorilla Family

Katwe Gorilla Family is the newest family in Buhoma sectors consisting of 1 silverback, 2 blackbacks, 4 adult females and 2 infants.

Gorilla Families in Rushaga Sector

Mishaya Gorilla Family

Mishaya family was originally part of the Nshongi family, however its leader broke away and was joined by 6 members. Mishaya is the dominant silverback and leader of the group is known for being a fighter and also has a tendency of collecting females from other groups.

Bikyingi Gorilla Family

Bikyingi gorilla family broke away from the Mishaya gorilla family with 6 other gorillas, the group is under a dominant silver Bikyingi from whom the group gets its name and his known for being very friendly.

Bikyingi gorilla group consists of 21 gorillas.

Kahugye Gorilla Family

Kahugye gorilla family was opened for trekking in 2011 under the leadership of a dominant silverback called Gwigi, this group was first spotted around a hill from which it gets its name Kahugye and 13 gorillas were spotted.

Busingye Gorilla Family
in 2912, silverback Busingye split from Kahugye. Rangers though the group might re-unite with Kahugye but there have been no signs of it yet. The group is named after silverback Busingye and it consists of 3 infants, 5 blackbacks and 1 silverback.

Gorilla families in Bwindi

Rwigi Gorilla Family

Rwigi gorilla family was formed after breaking from Kahugye after silverback Rwigi had disputes with other silverbacks in the family, so he decided to make his own family consisting of 6 gorillas.

Nshongi Gorilla Family

Nshongi gorilla family is the largest gorilla group that has ever been habituated in Bwindi forest national park, originally the group has 36 members but it has been reduced to 26 members after some members broke off due to disagreement.

The group was named after the River Nshongi which is the name given to the leader of the group.

Bweza Gorilla Family

Bweza gorilla group was formed after the silverback Bweza broke away from the Nshongi group with 10 members following many fights. Bweza gorilla family was opened to trekking in 2012.

Mucunguzi Gorilla Family

Mucunguzi gorilla family was formed after silverback Mucunguzi split from Bweza following a bad fight, the family is a dominantly female family and is named after the silverback.

Mucunguzi gorilla family consists of 8 gorillas

Gorilla Families in Ruhija Sector

Bitukura Gorilla Family

Bitukura Gorilla family’s habituation process started in 2007 and open to tourists in 2008, the habituation process of this group is among the shortest habituation periods taking only 15 months instead of the normal 2 years.

The first dominant silverback of the group was the youngest silverback Ndahura who died at 40 years, this group is named after Bitukura river were its members were first sighted.

Bitukura gorilla family consists of 14 gorillas and shares a close bond with Kyaguriro and they are known for being playful and peaceful.

Oruzogo Gorilla Family

Oruzogo gorilla family is a large group of 22 gorillas under the leadership of silverback Tibirikwata. In 2012, this group was blessed with a set of twins to a female Kakobe.

Oruzogo family is the second gorilla family to be habituated in Ruhija and its members are known for being playful and energetic

Kyaguriro Gorilla Family

Kyaguriro gorilla family was first habituated in 1995 and it consists of 15 gorillas, they faced a hard time when their leader – Rukina was struck by lighting.

A silverback named Mukiza took over until he approached by a  silverback from Bitukura, Kyaguriro is not visited by visitors as it is studied for research.

Mukiza Gorilla Family

Mukiza gorilla group was formed after a silverback called Kyaguriro broke off to make his own group which he formed together with 9 other gorillas.

Gorilla Families in Nkuringo Sector

Nkuringo Gorilla Family

Nkuringo gorilla family was named after the rolling hills where its members were first spotted, the dominant silverback of the group is also named Nkuringo. The members of this group were first habituated because they kept wandering into people’s farms and destroying their food.

Nkuringo passed away in 2008 and the leadership of the group was shared for a short period between two silverbacks, Rafiki and Safari. However Safari eventually became the alpha.

Nkuringo gorilla family is one of the very few families gifted with twins, Mahoozi and Katungi, sadly Katungi died before turning 2 due to illness. On 1st June of 2020, silverback Rafiki was murdered.

Nkuringo gorilla family consists of 18 gorillas.

Bushaho Gorilla Family

Bushaho gorilla family was formed after silverback Bahati broke away from Nkuringo group in 2012 and he is still the dominant silverback of the group.

Bushaho gorilla family consists of 9 gorillas

Christmas Gorilla Family

Christmas is the newest group in Nkuringo sector, the group is named after the dominant silverback who was born on Christmas day.

Bwindi Forest National Park is arguably the best place on earth to see the amazing mountain gorillas.

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