Gorilla Family and their Sections
Approximately half the population of mountain gorillas live Uganda, including six habituation families. The gorilla groups are found in different locations of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park: The UWA website guide states there are 4 main ones; we bring you accurate and updated information about these endangered and magnificent creatures. Below is a list of mountain gorilla families in Uganda for which gorilla pass/tickets are issued.
Mubare Gorilla Family
It has a Family size of 5 members including 1 silverback and its Located in the Buhoma Section of Bwindi NP. Mubare group is the oldest habituated gorilla group in Uganda. It was found in the Mubare hills, deep in the Bwindi forest, and was fully habituated in 1993. The group started with 12 family members, led by the dominant silverback Ruhondeza. In a few years, the group grew to 18 individuals. Unfortunately, due to fights with wild gorilla groups and loss of members, Mubare has lessened to a family of 5 individuals.
Habinyanja Gorilla Family
It has a Family size of 15 members including 2 silverbacks and its also located in the Buhoma section of Bwindi NP. The Habinyanja group was first visited by tourists in 1999. The name comes from “Nyanja” which is the local word for ‘body of water’. It refers to the swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where the group was first sighted. Habinyanja is a fascinating family with a lot of drama and commotion. This is caused by the power struggles between the dominant silverbacks and fights for the family leadership. The adult females are led by the shrewd alpha female called Kisho.
Rushegura Gorilla Family
It has a family size of 19 members including 1 silverback and Located in the Buhoma section of Bwindi NP. The Rushegura gorilla family was brought together in 2002 after one of the Silverbacks from the Habinyanja group decided to break away. They started with 12 individuals including 5 females. This “Habinyanya 2 group” quickly received a new name, that derives from “Ebishegura” – a tree species that was abundant in the home area of the new family. The Rushegura group is a calm family. In the past, they used to cross the border to neighbouring DRC every now and then but always returned to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. They are usually not far from Buhoma Village and sometimes even wander through the gardens of the lodges
Bitukura Gorilla Family
It has a family size of 12 members including 4 silverbacks and located in the Ruhija Section of Bwindi NP. The Bitukura group was named after a river where the family members were first sighted. The habituation that started in July 2007 was a relatively easy process as the gorillas were already frequently encountered by the UWA rangers. Although the habituation process normally takes a minimum of two years, this group could already be visited by tourists within 15 months after the start. Bitukura is a peaceful family including 4 silverbacks and some playful juveniles. They share a close bond and often have ‘group meetings’ or get-togethers.
Oruzogo Gorilla Family
It has a family size of 16 members including 1 silverback and location in the Buhoma – Ruhija section of Bwindi NP. The Oruzogo group is the newest gorilla family that opened up for tourism in Bwindi National Park. This family is situated between Buhoma and Ruhija and is lead by the dominant Silverback Tibirikwata. The group consists of 16 individuals including two babies that were recently born.
Nkuringo Gorilla Family
It has a family size of 19 members including 2 silverbacks and located in the Nkuringo section of Bwindi NP. The Nkuringo group was named after the Rukiga word for “round hill” and was launched in 2004. One of the most important reasons for their habituation was the problems they created for the local communities by destroying crops and other products. By opening up the gorilla family for visitors, the community could directly benefit from tourism and it formed a protection for the gorillas as well. The family was led by the silverback Nkuringo who died in 2008, leaving behind 2 silverbacks in the group. In November 2008, the Nkuringo family expanded thanks to the special birth of a twin – Katungi and Muhozi – though Katungi, unfortunately, died at the age of 1.5 years.
Nshongi Gorilla Family
It has a family size of 25 members including 4 silverbacks and Located in the Nshongi Section of Bwindi NP. Nshongi was the largest group ever habituated and was officially launched in September 2009. It was named after the river Nshongi, close to the place where the gorilla family was first seen. Although most gorilla families usually consist of 25 members with one or two Silverbacks, this family was a rare exception. Another remarkable fact is that the group is led by Nshongi, who is not even the oldest silverback in the family. In July 2010 however, the group was split into two.
Mishaya Gorilla Family
It has a family size of 12 members including 1 silverback and located in Nshongi Section of Bwindi NP. In July 2010, silverback Mishaya decided to leave the Nshongi group with some females and start his own family. He was able to gather more females from other groups in the area, reaching a total group size of 12 gorillas, including three infants. Mishaya is the only adult in the group and is known for being a fighter who often starts interactions with other gorilla families.
Kyaguliro Gorilla Family Kyaguliro found near Rubuguli town in Nkuringo section of Bwindi
Gorilla Group in Mgahinga: – Nyakagezi found in Mgahinga near Kisoro town
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