Oruzogo gorilla family
Oruzogo gorilla family : Uganda is by far the best destination for gorilla trekking activities in Africa. Most tourists visiting the country always make it a point to trek one of the habituated gorilla groups in the country. Gorilla trekking in Uganda can be done from either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Currently, there are 18 habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi national park, with 15 available for tourists to track; while Mgahinga national park currently has two habituated gorilla groups, inclusive of the Hirwa gorilla group that just recently migrated from Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
Among the 15 habituated gorilla groups that visitors can track in Bwindi national park is the Oruzogo gorilla family. This gorilla group has been habituated successfully, and this group is among one of the many that are safe for visitors to trek. The gorillas in this group have been familiarized with human beings, thus making them friendlier to visitors.
The process of gorilla habituation is a long one that can take between 2-3 years. A group of researchers, gorilla behaviorists, and park guides get to spend an entire day with the gorillas in their natural habitat; studying the gorillas, their behaviors, and feeding habitats among others. The more time such teams spend with the gorillas, the more the gorillas get used to being around humans; and because of this, these gorillas do not see humans as a threat.
Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park is among one of the three places in the world where visitors can see mountain gorillas in the world. The national park, which is located in south-western Uganda, has an estimated population of mountain gorillas reaching about 400 individuals.
The Oruzogo gorilla family can be found in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. this habituated gorilla group was opened up for tourism in 2011 by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government parastatal that oversees the management of all 10 national parks in Uganda. Habituation of the Oruzogo group started in December 2009.
The Oruzogo gorilla family derives its name from a common plant locally known as ‘Oruzogoto,’ which is found in the Bwindi Forest. This specific gorilla family is among one of the most popular gorilla groups in Bwindi that is trekked by tourists. There are gorilla groups that live within the same vicinity of the Oruzogo group include; Bitukura and Kyaguriro, which are mostly used for research purposes.
The Oruzogo gorilla group is currently under the leadership of a dominant silverback called Bakwate, which means ‘he who learns very fast and is intelligent.’ Other members of this gorilla family include a young silverback called Busungu, which means ‘hot tampered,’ Mutesi (which means relaxed and calm), Kakobe (a female with a mole on her nose), Nyakiina (a female with a hole-like depression on her nose bridge), and a female called Birungi which means ‘pretty.’
This gorilla group also has youthful and energetic Blackbacks like Kaganga who happens to be the most plump Blackback, and has got a protruding crest. Other Blackbacks in the Oruzogo gorilla group include; Bwoba which means coward, and Otaka who is a relatively small but peaceful Blackback.
The Oruzogo gorilla group also has some juvenile gorillas like Karimi which means tongue because she is fond of sticking her tongue out while playing, Kashura who is known for having a protruding hairless eyebrow, and Kiromba. The group also has infants/babies who include; Kanywani which means friendly, Katoto which means little one, and Buchura which means the last born or rather ‘the youngest.’ In total, this gorilla group has 15 members consisting of 3 Silverbacks, 3 females, 3 Blackbacks, 3 Juveniles and 3 infants.
Tourists interested in tracking the Oruzogo gorilla group can do so either from the Ruhija area or the Buhoma area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is done in groups with a maximum of 8 members per gorilla group, and gorilla trekking is strictly limited to individuals who are 15 years and above.
Visitors who wish to trek this gorilla group that is located in Bwindi will have to pay a fee of USD 600 dollars per person for a gorilla trekking permit. Gorillas trekking permits can be in limited supply especially during the peak season (June to September and mid-December to February), hence visitors are advised to purchase their gorilla permits at least 6 months in advance.
Visitors trekking the Oruzogo gorilla group in Bwindi national park can get accommodation in lodging facilities such as; Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Ruhija Gorilla Friends Resort and Campsite, Cuckoo land Tented Camp, Ruhija Safari Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, and the Wag Tail Eco Safari Camp among others. These accommodation facilities offer their guest good quality services that are suitable for both budget and mid-range travelers.
Visitors who wish to track this gorilla group will have to travel to Bwindi Impenetrable national park which is located in the south-western province of Uganda, which is about a 9-10 hours’ drive from Kampala City, and 4-5 hours from Kigali City in Rwanda. Visitors can also fly from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips, and then drive for about 1½ hours to Buhoma where the park’s headquarters are situated.
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