Trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group in bwindi national park
Trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group in Bwindi national park is definitely a must for any visitor in the park. Gorilla trekking activities in Uganda are best done in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The national park is located in the Southwestern part of Uganda and covers an area of 321 square kilometers. It was gazetted as a national park in 1991 and later named a World Heritage Site in 1994 by UNESCO.
Gorilla trekking is one of the top tourism activities done by visitors in Uganda. There are 18 habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi National park, with 15 available for tourists to track.
The Kyaguriro gorilla group is one of the 15 habituated gorilla groups that visitors in Bwindi can trek. This gorilla group is also one of the four gorilla families living within the Ruhija sector of the national park.
The Kyaguriro gorilla group is among the first gorilla groups to be habituated in Bwindi national park. Habituation of this gorilla group started in 1995, although tourists were not allowed to track the groups at that time. The group was first used for researches purposes by the German Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology, which was based in the national park.
Visitors interested in trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group can find this group in the eastern part of Bwindi national park. This group was first led by a dominant silverback named ‘Rukina,’ who died after being struck by lightning on 7th April 2015.
Following the death of Rukina in 2015, a silverback called Mukiza took over leadership of the group. However in that same year, Mukiza faced a number of challenges with the biggest challenge coming from a Silverback from the Bitukura family/group.
The Kyaguriro gorilla group in Bwindi later split in 2016 forming two groups; Kyaguriro A which was led by Rukara from the Bitukura group and Kyaguriro B led by Mukiza. The group has a total of 20 members with 10 members in Kyaguriro A and 10 members in Kyaguriro B. however, the number of individuals in a gorilla group keep fluctuating for a number of reasons such as; joining of new members into the groups, exit of members from a group, new births, and death of members among others.
Visitors trekking this gorilla group need to first purchase a gorilla trekking permit at a fee of USD 600 or USD 700 dollars per person. You can either purchase your gorilla permit directly from the Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted tour operator like Explore Rwanda Tours.
Trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group in Bwindi can take between 2-7 hours inclusive of one hour that is spent with gorillas once they have been located. Visitors interested in trekking this gorilla group MUST be aged 15 years and above.
Trekking this specific gorilla group can at times be very tedious depending on how far/deep into the forest the gorillas have moved as they search for food. It is for this specific reason that visitors are advised to be in perfect health conditions, both physically and mentally. Visitors with conical health conditions are recommended to first get clearance from a qualified medical personnel.
Visitors trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group are required to report at the park by 7am for a briefing by the head ranger at Bwindi national park. Actual trekking begins at 8am after visitors have been placed into their specific gorilla trekking groups. These trekking groups consist of a maximum of 8 members per gorilla group.
Trekking the Kyaguriro group is best done in the months from June- September and December-February when it is the dry season. During this time of the year, it is much easier for visitors to trek through the forest while locating the gorilla groups.
Visitors can also opt to do the gorilla habituation experience at a fee of USD 1500. This activity gives visitors an opportunity to take part in gorilla habituation projects in the park; where along with a team of highly trained and experience park staff, visitors can help in integrating the gorillas with humans. This activity also involves observing the gorillas in their natural habitat, monitoring their behaviors and way of feeding as well.
The gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi national parks allows visitors to spend up to 4 hours with the gorillas. Gorilla habituation experience is done in the Rushaga sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and starts at 7:30am in the morning.
As far as accommodation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is concerned, visitors trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group can stay in the following accommodation facilities; Ruhija Gorilla Safari Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Mist Camp, Cuckoo land Tented Camp, Gorilla Forest Camp, and the Ruhija Gorilla Resort to mention but a few.
Visitors trekking the Kyaguriro gorilla group can also take part in other activities which are offered by the national park such as; birding, guided nature walks, the Batwa trail experience and community cultural visits among others.
Do get in touch in case your have any inquiries about the Kyaguriro gorilla group in Bwindi national park or simply book a gorilla trekking tour with us and stand a chance to trek this specific gorilla group.