Uganda Gorilla Groups

Bwindi rainforest is a habitat for half of the world’s mountain gorillas about 400 individuals. It was designated a UNESCO world heritage in 199. Bwindi is managed by Uganda wildlife authority which has habituated up to 14 gorilla families. These can be visited everyday by tourists through gorilla tracking and gorilla habituation experience. Gorilla tracking allows visitors to spend 1 hour with a gorilla family while habituation experience gives you 4 hours with gorillas. Bwindi is a large forest covering 331 sq km and is divided into four sectors, namely Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga and Nkuringo each with a visitor center and gorilla families include the following.

Mubare
Location: Buhoma Headquarters of Bwindi
Individuals: 12 gorillas

Mubare currently has 12 gorilla members led by one silverback. This gorilla family was the first to be habituated in 1993 in Bwindi rainforest. Mubare is the most visited and as a result it is social gorilla families. Its home range is found in Mubare slopes near Buhoma visitor center. Buhoma is at low altitudes 1,100 meters; treks are less strenuous in this region especially with gorillas.

Habinyanja Habinyanja is another gorilla family found in Buhoma sector. It has 16 gorillas led by one silverback along with 2 black backs. The family feeds in a wide home range on top hills near submerged swamp like lake. There are also forest elephants in this area as evidenced by their fresh dung. Treks in search of this family tend to be strenuous due to steep slopes and when the elephants pass through trails to locate gorillas will be lost or confused. Hiking begins the edge of the forest about 5km from the gorilla center.

Rushegura
Location: Buhoma
Individuals: 17 gorillas

Rushegura is the largest gorilla family in Buhoma sector with 17 gorillas. Its home range includes the forest around the visitor center and most times the gorillas feed nearby during the rainy season.

Kahungye
Location: Rushaga
Individuals:  24
Kahungye is the largest gorilla family in Bwindi with 24 individuals including 3 silverbacks.  It was fully habituated in 2011. This group is usually found in Nyabarema hill about 6 km from the Rushaga visitor center. The area where Kahungye lives is characterized by steep ridges and thick vegetation. Visitors of more than 65 years are not recommended to track this group hence best suited for physically fit trekkers.

Nshongi
Location: Rushaga
Individuals: 7 gorillas
Nshongi gorilla family has 7 individuals. Trekking this gorilla family sometimes you walk along the river Nshongi which it was named after. Trekkers often see a lot monkeys, birds, butterflies.

Nshongi is the smallest family but was once large with 36 members that broke away in other two different families of Bweza and Mishaya.

Bweza
Location: Rushaga
Individuals: 12 gorillas
Bweza family has 12 individual gorillas led by Bweza the silverback which broke away from Nshongi gorilla family.

Busingye
Location: Rushaga
Individuals: 10 gorillas
Busingye gorilla family has 10 individuals led by the silverback called Busingye which means peace. Busingye is a calm family allowing visitors enjoying taking its photos.

Mishaya
Location: Rushaga
Individuals: 12 gorillas
Mishaya gorilla family is located in Rushaga and has 12 individuals. It is led by the silverback called Mwine who took over control after the death of Mishaya the silverback that broke away from Nshongi family and formed this group in 2010.

Bikingi
Location: Rushaga sector
Individuals: 16 gorillas

Bikingi is a new gorilla family of 16 individuals which are still under habituation in Rushaga sector. This gorilla family is open for the habituation experience where visitors spend 4 hours with gorillas.

Bushaho
Location Rushaga
Members: 9 gorillas

Bushaho gorilla family has 9 members and is also under habituation. Visitors can track this family and spend 4 hours with it during a gorilla habituation experience.

This group came to be known by the Uganda wildlife Authority trackers after several members from Nkuringo family formed their own.

Nkuringo
Location: Nkuringo sector

Nkuringo sector has only 1 gorilla family called Nkuringo

Bitukura
Location: Ruhija
Members: 12 gorillas
Bitukura family has 12 individuals and was named after River Bitukura, a muddy river that flows through its habitat range. It was amongst the gorilla families that quickly got accustomed to humans within just 11/2 years of habituation. Karamuzi the silverback which had retired is leading its family again following the sudden of the young silverback Ndahura at the age of 28 who fell of a tree branch on 18th December 2016.

Oruzogo
Location: Ruhija
Members: 17 gorillas
Oruzogo family has 17 members including twins that were born in 2013. There are also infants which were born December of 2017. Trekkers should expect strenuous hiking due to steep slopes though when you’re lucky the family can be found along the road.

Kyaguriro
Location: Ruhija
Members: 11 gorillas
Kyaguriro has 11 individuals. This family lives in between steep hills and valleys in Ruhijs sector.