Gorilla Groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Gorilla Groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park: There are 19 gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and 15 groups are available to tourists for trekking. The national park is home to the endangered species of Mountain gorillas which can be trekked by tourists at any time of the year.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda in Kanungu district and can easily be accessed from Kampala and Rwanda as well. The park shelters about 459 individuals making it the park with the highest number of mountain gorillas in the world. Mountain gorillas in Uganda can also be found in Mgahinga national park; while in Rwanda, they are found in Volcanoes national park and Virunga national park in Congo.
Bwindi Impenetrable national park in Uganda was established in 1991 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The park is the best destination for gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda and in the world at large.
Gorilla Groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable forest are found in four sectors namely Rushaga sector in the southern part, Nkuringo sector in the South, Buhoma sector in the North and Ruhija sector in the Eastern part of the national park.
Gorilla families in Rushaga sector
Rushaga sector is located in the southern part of the national park and harbors the highest number of habituated gorilla families in the park. There are 8 habituated Gorilla groups in Rushaga sector and they include;
Nshongi family, Nshongi family was named after river Nshongi in Rushaga sector and was the largest family with about 35 members to be habituation in 2006 and derives its name from a river close to where it was first sighted. Nshongi family is comprised of 18 members with 1 silverback.
Mishaya family, Mishaya family split from Nshongi family in 2010 because of disagreements between Mishaya silverback which led Mishaya to split with some females in the group and create his own family. Mishaya family is comprised of 7 members with 1 silverback Mwine who leads the family and was named after Mishaya silverback which died at the age of 28 years in 2014.
Kahungye family, Kahungye family derives its name from Kahungye hill where the gorillas were first sighted. The family was habituated in 2011 and had 27 members; the family later split and formed another family called Busingye. Kahungye family is currently comprised of 17 members with 3 silverbacks where Rumanzi is the dominant silverback followed by Gwigi and Ruhamuka.
Busingye family, Busingye family split from Kahungye family in 2012 and derives its name from a local word which implies peace. The group was named after the dominant silverback Busingye which is found of fighting other wild gorillas so as to take the females to add in his group. Busingye family is now comprised of 9 members with one dominant silverback Busingye.
Bweza family, Bweza is also a family that split from Nshongi family due to the disputes. Bweza family was habituated in 2012 and is comprised of 12 members with 2 silverbacks under the dominancy of Kakono silverback.
Bikyingi family, Bikyingi family is a new habituated group in Rushaga sector which is composed of 15 members with one dominant silverback Bikyingi.
Rwigi family, Rwigi is also a new habituated gorilla family that split from Kahungye family. Rwigi family is currently comprised of 6 members with 1 dominant silverback Rwigi.
Mucunguzi family, the name Mucunguzi means savior and the group split from Bweza family. The group was named after the dominant silverback Mucunguzi who was the youngest and third in command silverback in Bweza family. The family is currently comprised of 8 members with 1 dominant silverback.
Gorilla families in Buhoma sector
Buhoma sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in the northern part of the park and is the most visited sector in the national park. This is largely due to the fact that this section of the park is easy accessible by tourists. It harbors 4 habituated gorilla families namely;
Mubare family, Mubare family was the first group to be habituated in Bwindi forest hence the oldest. It was habituated in 1993 and it derives its name from Mubare hill where the group was first sighted. Mubare group had 12 members after habituation and under Ruhondeza the dominant silverback which died at the age of 50 years and now the family is comprised of 10 members with a new baby and one dominant silverback
Habinyanja family, the group derives its name from Nyanja swamp where it was first sighted and was open for trekking in 1999. The group is comprised of 17 members and is dominated by Makara silverback a local name which means charcoal.
Rushegura family, Rushegura family split from Habinyanja family and was opened for trekking in 2000. Rushegura family is the most easily accessible group in Buhoma in that it lives near the park headquarters and is known for welcoming and being friendly to the visitors. Rushegura family is comprised of 21 members and is dominated by Mwirima silverback who is a peaceful and calm leader.
Katwe family, Katwe is a new gorilla family in Buhoma sector and was habituated together with Christmas family in Nkuringo sector. Katwe family is believed to have 9 members with one dominant silverback Katwe though the exact number of members is not yet clear.
Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector
Nkuringo sector is located in the southern part of Bwindi national park and has three habituated gorilla groups namely;
Nkuringo family, Nkuringo family was habituated in 1997 and open for trekking in 2004, it was the first gorilla group to be habituated in Nkuringo sector and is known as the first group to give birth to a set of twins in 2004 which later died after one year. Nkuringo family is comprised of 12 members and dominated by Rafiki silverback a Swahili word which means friend.
Bushaho family, Bushaho is one of the toughest groups to trek in the national park comprising of 8 members and is dominated by Bahati silverback. Bahati and other members of the group were once in Nkuringo family while others were unhabituated from the wild.
Christmas family, this is the latest and third group to be habituated in Nkuringo sector. The group was named after the dominant silverback Christmas that was born on Christmas day and is comprised of 9 members though only 6 individuals are seen during gorilla trekking.
Gorilla families in Ruhija sector
Ruhija sector is located in eastern part of the park and shelters four habituated gorilla groups which include;
Oruzogo family, Oruzogo is the only family in Ruhija sector with the highest number of members. The group was open for gorilla trekking activity in 2011 and after habituation it comprised of 25 members with 2 silverbacks but currently it’s comprised of 17 members with one silverback Tibikwata as the dominant of the group. Oruzogo family is a famous gorilla group in the park because it’s the most playful and joyful family and also had a set of twins by Kankonda female.
Bitukura family, Bitukura family derives its name from a river where it was first habituated and was open for trekking in 2008 and comprised of 24 members after habituation but later some members split to form another group. Bitukura family is currently comprised of 14 members and is dominated by Ndahura the second youngest silverback in the group.
Kyaguriro family, Kyaguriro family was habituated in 1999 and was the first group to be habituated in Ruhija sector with 20 members and was dominated by a silverback called Rukina who was struck by lightning in 2015. The group later split into two that is Kyaguriro A which is comprised of 10 members and led by Rukara silverback.
Mukiza family, this family is also known as Kyaguriro B because it split from Kyaguriro family and is comprised of 10 members with a dominant silverback Mukiza.