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Know Mountain gorillas and their family life

About gorilla families, Some primatologists believe that the two mountain gorilla populations; one in Virunga Mountains and another in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park are separate species but no explanation has been given yet. In the way of life, they both live in families. As of 2022, there are more than 1000 members in different families. The world conservation union (IUCN) categorize them as the endangered species.


Gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park

Gorilla tracking in Uganda, note that Habituated gorillas in Bwindi Uganda are in four sectors and live in 21 families for tourists and available families for habituation experience. Each family is headed by a Silverback as undisputable leader.

Bitukura Gorilla family; with 14 members available for gorilla tracking, it was previously a family of 24. Ndahura who took over from Karamuzi, the family was habituated and opened in 2008. It’s found in Ruhija sector.

Bweza Gorilla Family; Found in Rushaga area, this family separated from Nshongi family led by Mishaya. The family grew from 6 to currently 9 members.

Busingye Gorilla Family; Headed by Silverback Busingye with 13 members, it is found in Rushaga and was found in 2013, departed from Nshongi family. Known for his fighting behaviors, Busingye is known for stealing females from other Kanyonyo. This is why he parted away from Kahungye and grew from 9 to 13 members presently.

Habinyanja Gorilla family; Found in Buhoma area, there are 17 members. It is the first family to be opened for tourists in 1997. This family name is due to the location near water (Habiyanja means at the waterside).

Kahungye Gorilla family; Found in Rushaga sector has 13 members with 3 silverbacks and is headed by Rumansi. This family was opened for visitors I 2011. Busingye separated from this group led by Bwiji.

Kyaguriro Gorilla family; Found in Ruhija with 15 members is led by Rukina who took over power from Zeus due to his old age. This family is set apart for research. Many interesting findings are coming from different researchers especially about the difference between gorillas in Bwindi and those in Virunga Mountains.

Mishaya Gorilla family; Found in Rushaga, has 12 members. The family is named after Mishaya who is the family head (silverback). Departed from Nshongi in 2010, Mishaya is known for fighting with other families and has been wounded in different fights. He is known to be a successful fighter especially in protecting his family members.

Mabare Gorilla family; Found in Buhoma sector with 8 members, it’s led by Bunyonyi. This is the easiest family to track due to its location. There is no much efforts needed to reach this family.

Nkuringo Gorilla family; Located in Nkuringo sector with 19 family members, it was habituated in 2008. It is named after Nkuringo who died in 2008 and his son took over. The family is named after Nkuringo hill where it was first sighted just near the park. They later had encounter with humans and we’re habituated in 2008 when they were opened for tourists.

Nshongi Gorilla Family; Located in Rushaga, it has 26 members. It is the largest family ever to be habituated. It was opened for tourists in 2009 with 37 members and splint in 2010. The family is named after River Nshongi where this family was first spotted. Mishaya separated from this group in 2010 and now the family has 4 Silverbacks.

Aruzogo Gorilla Family; In Ruhija sector, it has 25 members with 2 Silverbacks is the second largest group. It is headed by Tibirikwata and is known as the most playful family.

Rushegura Gorilla family; Located in Buhoma sector with 19 members. The family is named after Ebishegura tree species which is common in the family territory. Mwirima is the family head and he is known to have separated from his brother Rwansigazi in 2002.

Note that, gorilla trekking experience, gorilla family allows 8 visitors a day.

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