Rushegura gorilla family
Rushegura gorilla family: Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the top tourism activities that is carried out by majority of the tourists visiting the country. Gorilla trekking tours in Uganda take place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park located in Southwestern Uganda.
The Rushegura gorilla family/group is one of the 18 habituated gorilla groups that are found in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The national park is one of the 10 national parks that are found in Uganda, and it is managed by Uganda Wildlife Authority, a government parastatal which oversees the management of all the national parks in Uganda.
In 1991, Bwindi Impenetrable national park was established and later in 1994, it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The national park is part of the famous Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and spans over a radius of 321 square Kilometers, making it one of the smallest national parks in the country. The national park is a natural habitat for over 120 species of mammals, about 220 butterfly species, and over 348 bird species.
There are believed to be at least 400 mountain gorillas living within Bwindi national park alone, which is almost half of the total population of mountain gorillas believed to exist in the world. A recent population census that was carried out in 2018 to determine the current number of mountain gorillas that exist in the world, showed that there are about 1004 individuals in total. Mountain gorillas can only be found in three countries in the world and these include; Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, visitors can track mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks.
Visitors tracking the Rushegura gorilla group will be pleased to know that this group has a total of 16 habituated gorillas and is led by a dominate silverback called Makara. Makara took over the leadership of the group after the death of its former leader who was called Mwirima, a dominant Silverback who died in 2014.
The Rushegura gorilla group can be found in the Buhoma sector of Bwindi national park. The group was formed after its leader Mwirima split from the Habinyanja gorilla family. During the split, Mwirima took with him seven members, including 5 females and one male. Other lone gorillas joined the group thus increasing its number to 12 members. The number of the group later increased to 19 following the birth of infants.
However, due to a number of reasons such as the death of Mwirima, the group’s number later reduced to 16 members at the moment. This gorilla group was well known for its frequent migrations between Uganda and Congo, but has now permanently settled in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. This gorilla group is a favorite among trekkers in Bwindi, because gorillas in the group are very friendly, peaceful and do not fear humans.
The Rushegura gorilla group consists of members named Mwirima, as the dominant Silverback, and Kalembezi, an adult male. Other members of the group include infants like; Katabazi, Kibande, Nyamunwa, Buzinza, and Kyirinvi. This gorilla group also has juveniles such as Karungyi, Kibande, Kafuruka, and Nyampazi. There are also adult female gorillas in this group and these include; Ruterana, Karungyi, Nyamunwa, Busunza, and Kabande.
Visitors planning to trek the Rushegura gorilla group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, should acquire a gorilla trekking permit at USD 600 dollars. However, starting 1st of July 2020, a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda will cost USD 700 dollars per person. Visitors who wish to trek habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi will have to book their gorilla trekking permits at least 6 months in advance.
Gorilla trekking activities in Bwindi national park are conducted in groups of a maximum of 8 members per gorilla group. Gorilla trekking activities begin in Buhoma, which is where the park’s headquarters are situated. Trekking begins at 7am with a short briefing from one of the head rangers at the park, and later visitors are placed into their respective trekking groups.
For cases of accommodation, visitors who want to track the Rushegura gorilla group can sleep in the following lodging facilities; Buhoma Community Rest Camp, Buhoma Lodge, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, and Bwindi View Bandas among others. These lodging facilities offer visitors a wide range of options from Budget to mid-range and luxury accommodation.
Visitors who wish to trek this gorilla group will have to drive for about 9 to 10 hours from Kampala city to Buhoma in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. However, visitors can opt to fly from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi airfield, and then drive for about half an hour till you get to Buhoma. This travel option will take visitors a total journey time of 3 hours at most, and it is very convenient for travelers who are on a tight travel schedule or wish to skip the long road trip.
In conclusion; gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is such a thrilling, exciting and adventurous activity. Visitors can also choose to combine gorilla trekking with other activities such as a short city tour of Kampala, a game drive and boat cruise in Queen Elizabeth National Park, chimpanzee trekking in Kibale national park, and community cultural visit among others.
Get in touch with us and book a gorilla trekking tour in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.