Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Groups ; Are you interested in Knowing about all the gorilla groups – families in Uganda? This is one of the most asked questions by travelers planning to visit Bwindi Gorilla Groups. At moment, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ranks with a total number of 22 habituated gorilla families each group composed of 10 to 40 members headed by a silverback gorilla ‘’ an adult male gorilla’’ in group. More to that, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to 22 habituated gorilla groups which are divided into four gorilla families; Buhoma, Rushanga, Ruhija, and Nkuringo gorilla sectors where gorilla trekking takes place.  But two of the gorilla group were separated for gorilla habituation experience. There is a limited number of 8 gorilla permits are available easy day for the visited gorilla group.  The gorilla families are given names depending on their formation history, family location, and the name of the dominant silverback.

Amazingly, Uganda is blessed with two gorilla safari destinations- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park both located in the southwestern region of Uganda, approximately an 8 to 9-hour drive from Kampala to the main visited destination. Alternatively, you can visit us on a domestic flight ‘’Bar Aviation or Aerolink Uganda from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip to fly you to Kihihi or Kisoro Airstrip which lands within 1:30 hours.

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is also home to great mountain gorillas though is comprised of one gorilla family –the Nyakagezi group.  Despite having one gorilla family has led to few visitors visiting the park. However, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the best place to go for Gorilla Habituation Experience.

Below is detailed information for each of Uganda’s mountain gorilla groups as high lightened –briefly;

Bwindi Gorilla Group in their classified gorilla trekking regions;

Mubare Gorilla Family – Buhoma

Rushegura Gorilla Family –Buhoma

Bitukura Gorilla Family –Ruhija

Oruzogo Gorilla Family -Ruhija

Nkuringo Gorilla Family-Nkuringo

Nshongi Gorilla Family –Rushaga

Mishaya Gorilla Family – Rushaga

Kahungye Gorilla Family

Bweza Gorilla Family –Rushaga

Busingye Gorilla Family -Rushaga

Kyaguliro Gorilla Family –Ruhija

Nyakagezi Gorilla Family –Mgahinga –Mentioned but few

Bwindi Gorilla Families /Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Mubare Gorilla Family;

The Mubare Gorilla Family is one of the gorilla families found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which has the easiest location to track gorillas. However, the name Mubare was got from the first gorilla trackers in the area. Currently, the gorilla group contains 8 members led by Kanyonyi. More so, the group is the oldest gorilla group in Uganda and opened back in 1993. At first, the group was under the leadership of Ruhondeza, the group has decreased in number over the years from 18 members when first sighted.  But the number decreased due to infighting in the group, death, and member migration to other groups leaving about 5 in number by 2012. Since Ruhondeza was the leader and lived for over 50 years and that period continued to be monitored by researchers till his death. His grave is marked and can be reached by a guide.

Habinyanja Gorilla Family – Buhoma

This gorilla group is among the first gorilla families to be opened for tourism in Bwindi Forest National Park. It contains 17 members and is led by Makara who replaced Habinyanja. This group was habituated in 1997 and was then led by a silverback named Mugurisi ‘’old man’’. The group is called ‘’Habinyanja’’ place with water –in Rukiga because they were first sighted close to a swamp in Bwindi. After passing away due to old age, Mugurisi was replaced by his two brothers Rwansigazi and Mwirima who had different compassionate traits.

Mwirima loved staying within a specific range while Rwansigazi liked moving around different sections of the forest. In 2002, the two brothers moved apart calmly. Then Rwansigazi Left with part of the group and retained the ‘’Habinyanja’’ name while the Mirimas group was named the Rushegura family.

Rushegura Gorilla Family – Buhoma

The Rushegura group comprises 19 members hosting one silverback. This is a group that was formed when Rwansigazi and Mwirima moved apart from the larger Habinyanja group in 2002.

Well, the word Rushegura is derived from ‘’Ebishegura’’, a tree species common within the family’s territory. Mwirima’s ability to establish a stable and calm family is amazing as the number of the individual increased from 12 to 19 by April 2010. At the age of 25 years, Mwirima is strong and dominant, never shying away from confronting wild groups charging his authority.  Because of the group’s calmness, they are not shy around people and can be seen around lodge gardens, Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Groups

Bitukura Gorilla Family

This is a gorilla family found in the Ruhija gorilla region and boosts 14 individuals but at first, it had 24 gorilla species. The Bitukura Gorilla Family is led by Ndahura who took over from the retired Karamuzi. It also has three other silverbacks named after a river near their territory.

While the habituation process for mountain gorillas takes 2 or 5 years under training and after notifying they are used to eye contact. It was officially opened in October 2008 but the group had frequent encounters with park rangers whenever they mixed with the already habituated Kyaguliro family.

Oruzogo Gorilla Family

The Oruzogo gorilla family is one of the gorilla families found in Ruhija, which comprises 25 members making it a large gorilla group by usual standards.  This is the second family in the region, comprised of the silverback. This group first opened to visitors in 2011 and lead by Tibirikwata. The group has increased in number and it’s the reason why is much loved by visitors. Still, it has a playful youngster that results from several births from the females Ntamurangi ‘’June 2011’’, Musi ‘’October 2011’’ and Kakoba ‘’March 2012’’.

Nkuringo Gorilla Family Nkuringo

This gorilla family is comprised of 19 individuals led by Nkuringo –Silverback. Unfortunately, he died in 2008 and left two silverbacks Rafia and Safari. But safari’s son took over from him. The group was first sighted near around hill thus the name ‘’Nkuringo’’ in Rukiga. This is because the group lived near the villages outside the park, they could eat crops hence creating conflicts. The group was officially open for tourism in 2008.

Nshongi Gorilla Family

The Nshongi Gorilla Family is found in the Rushaga region and the group was open to visitors and tourists in 2009, comprising 37 individuals marking it a family with the largest ever habituated gorillas.

Currently, it has 26 individuals and 4 silverbacks. This gorilla family was first seen near a river thus the name Nshongi ‘’refers to the deep honey–like color of the river.  More then, the gorilla family opened for tourism in September 2009 and by that, the family was amazing due to its large size. Before setting part in 2010, the family lived in peace despite the many silverbacks.

Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Groups
Nshongi Gorilla Family

The group is under the leadership of the dominant silverback Nshongi remained with 26 individuals while silverback Mishaya separated away with 10 individuals.

Mishaya Gorilla Family

Mishaya Gorilla Family is found in Rushaga and was under the leadership of Mishaya. But later Mishaya left Nshongi in 2010, he created a reputation fight with other gorilla families not only to protect his own but also to steal females from neighbors.  He succeeded in gathering a few females but was wounded in one of the fights with a wild gorilla family ‘’not habituated’’. Fortunately, he was treated by a gorilla conservation doctor nearby. Recently the group has over 12 individual species with Mishaya the only dominant silverback.

Kahungye Gorilla Family

The Kahungye gorilla family is found in the Rushaga gorilla sector one of the four gorilla regions. This gorilla family contains 13 members including ;3 silverbacks led by Rumansi. Ruhamuka and Rwigi are also part of old males.

It was officially opened for tourism in 2011. Before, the group had 27 members when habituated but separated after creating another group Busingye. The Kahungye group is led by ‘’Gwigi’’.

Bweza Gorilla Family

The Bweza gorilla family was officially opened for tourism in 2012. This group separated from the Nshongi gorilla family which was the largest family ever habituated in the park. Due to splitting Bweza moved with six members.

The gorilla group contains 9 individuals still led by Bweza.

Busingye Gorilla Family

This gorilla group was in the founding Rushaga region and was opened to visitors in 2013. Busingye leads this group with 9 members after moving apart from the Kahungye family in 2012.  The name Busingye means peace and is known for frequent fights and stealing females from neighboring gorilla groups. He is very dominant and uses every chance to show his power, Bwindi Gorilla Trekking Groups.

Kyaguro Gorilla Family –Ruhija

This group comprises 15 members led by Rukina who grabbed power from the old Zeus.  Although, this group is set apart for research purposes by conservationists and limited access is given to visitors. Meanwhile, researchers have benefited from this group.

Gorilla Families in Mgahinga National park

Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has only one habituated gorilla group but is unpredictable and often migrates to Rwanda and Congo . The Nyakagezi gorilla family is led by Mark the dominant Silverback. Besides Mark, there are 2 other silverbacks in a group of 10 members.   They are currently settled in Uganda though you need to contact the park authorities through your tour operator to know their exact location.

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