Uganda Gorilla families.

August 26, 2023 | Bujo Safaris

Bwindi Impenetrable national park is divided into specifically four sectors, each with distinct mountain gorilla families. These gorilla families are habituated to human presence through processes of careful monitoring and tracking gradually, allowing tourists to visit them for limited periods under the supervision of park rangers and at times researchers. Here is an overview of the gorilla families in each sector.

Buhoma Sector. 

Buhoma gorilla sector is one of the first regions that were established in Bwindi impenetrable national park, actually it’s the exact place where gorilla tourism activities began. It is located in the northern part of the park and is a comfortable home to several gorilla families, which include the Mubare family, which was the first habituated group before the rest. Other families in this sector are Katwe, Habinyanja and Rushegura.

 Each of these families comprises multiple members and is led by a dominant silverback, with second in command females, juveniles, and infants forming part of the group. What’s more; each of the families have an interesting story and origin of the names as narrated below;

 Mubare Family - this was the first gorilla family to be habituated for tourism in Bwindi. It was named after the Mubare hills in the surroundings. The family is relatively small with a few members.

 Habinyanja Family - this family is larger and more challenging to track due to their day to day roaming habits. They were named after the Habinyanja mountain range.

Rushegura Family - this family is renowned for being more relaxed with humans in the vicinity, this family was named after the Rushegura mountain range.

 Katwe Family - this family is smaller and was named after the Katwe river found north of the park.

Ruhija Sector. 

The exhilarating Ruhija sector is located in the eastern side of Bwindi and is known for its lush vegetation cover and stunning scenery. Gorilla families that can be encountered in this adventurous area include the Bitukura family, which was habituated for tourism purposes and has since its formation been a popular group to visit. This sector is also home to other entertaining gorilla families like Oruzogo, Kyaguliro and the amazing Mukiza.

Each of the families has fascinating information about it;

Bitukura Family - led by a silverback, a gentle giant named Ndahura. The group is relatively large, with numerous members, including adult females, black backs, juveniles, and infants.

Oruzogo family - this family is known for being active and playful at most times when on trek, providing tourists with unusual entertainment and social interactions during their visits.

 Kyaguliro Family - this wonderful family was named after the Kyaguliro river in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The group is relatively smaller compared to other families, but they are still an interesting group to track.

Mukiza Family - The Mukiza family is known for its calm demeanor, making it an easier family to track. Mukiza, a silverback, was a strong leader, ensuring the safety and well-being of his family members and that's where the family's name originates from.

Rushaga Sector. 

Adventurous Rushaga region is located in the southern part of Bwindi and is renowned for being home to the highest number of mountain gorilla families. Some of the families found in this sector include Nshongi, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Bikingi, Bweeza, Rwigi and Mucunguzi. This region's diverse offerings have made it a preferred region for visitors interested in observing various gorilla families and behaviors.

These families have interesting information about them too which cannot miss mention therefore;

Nshongi Family - was named after the roaring river Nshongi, where the group was first discovered by wanderers. At some point, it was one of the largest gorilla families, with over 25 members, including silverbacks, adult females, and juveniles. As time went by, the group split due to the growth of numerous silverbacks that never wanted to share authority and be ruled, and now there are two separate families of Nshongi and Mishaya. 

Mishaya Family - This family is another subset of the original Nshongi family. It was named after its dominant silverback, Mishaya. He split from the major Nshongi group and created his own family with his followers, Mishaya was known for being a bold and adventurous silverback.

Bweza family - named after a gorge in Rushaga area. It is a relatively small family with a dominant silverback, but they are awesome to observe during gorilla trekking.

Kahungye family - This family was named after the Kahungye hill in the park where the gorillas were first encountered. The group is well-known for its vast size and multiple silverbacks and therefore one of the most powerful and highlighted families in Rushaga region.

Busingye Family - The awe-inspiring Busingye family was named after its dominant silverback, Busingye, implying "peace" in the local Rukiga language. Busingye was once a member of the Kahungye family but broke away to form his own family. The family has grown steadily over the years. 

Rwigi family - This family was also named after a place in Rushaga sector. It is a new and smaller family compared to others, but their unique dynamics and demeanor makes them an interesting group to track.

Nkuringo Sector.

Being located in the southern region of Bwindi park, the Nkuringo sector is famous for its exciting picturesque views and challenging terrain that visitors find worthwhile. Gorilla families like Nkuringo and Christmas - named after Christmas day are known to reside in this stunning area.

Nkuringo is a Rukiga word that means rolling hills which was used to imitate the serene hills in the surroundings of Bwindi impenetrable forest. Furthermore, Nkuringo was a dominant silverback that led a good number of gorillas and that's why this family was named after him Nkuringo as a gorilla family, in particular, has been well-received by visitors, and its members are sometimes seen in the vicinity of the Nkuringo Gorilla Lodge.

It is key to remember that gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are from time to time monitored by rangers and researchers, and their behavior and dynamics may change over time. Furthermore, conservation efforts are ongoing to protect these wonderful endangered species and their natural habitat, guidelines for gorilla trekking are strictly enforced to minimize human impact and maintain the welfare of the gorilla families.

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