Gorilla Family Groups Bwindi forest Uganda

Uganda is blessed with over 400 mountain gorillas living in the beautiful Bwindi Impenetrable forests and is home to more than half of the world 's total population of mountain gorillas . The other number of Mountain Gorillas lives on the lower slopes of the volcanoes in Mgahinga National Park . At the moment , Uganda has about eleven habituated gorilla families for visiting and one group obtainable for research . They include Mubare , Habinyanja , Bitukura , Oruzogo , Nkuringo , Nshongi , Mishaya , Kahungye , Bweza , Busingye , Nyakagezi and the research group Kyaguriro . Below are a few details about our Gorilla Family groups .

Gorilla family

Mubare Gorilla Family

Site : Buhoma

Group size : 8 individuals with 1 silverback

As the Mubare gorilla group is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda the name was derived from the Mubare Hill ; found deep in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest . This is where the gorillas were first sighted by trackers . The group consisted of 18 individuals before and was led by the dominant Silverback Ruhondeza . But over the years the family lost many members until there were only 5 left in 2012 . This was due to moving to other groups , life losses during fights and the death of a baby Gorilla . During your Gorilla tracking , you get to ask all the stories about these beautiful creatures . At the moment , the Silverback is Kanyonyi who has managed to expand the family again and increased it to eight members including a baby named Kashundwe .

Habinyanja Gorilla Family

Site : Buhoma ( ranging from Kahororo to Rubona )

Group size : 17 individuals with 2 silverbacks

Habinyanja family was habituated in 1997 and had their first visitors in 1999 . The name " Habinyanja " comes from the Rukiga word " Nyanja " meaning " a place with water " . This name came about because the group was first seen near a swamp in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and everything just came to place . Before and after the habituation , the group was lead by the dominant Silverback Mugurisi ; which means " Old man " . Who later passed away due to old age ; his two brothers Rwansigazi and Mwirima shared power who were too different to continue .

Rwansigazi was an adventurous gorilla and liked travelling , while Mwirima preferred to stay at a small range . It was therefore inevitable that in 2002 the two silverbacks decided to separate , without any fights . The group that followed Rwansigazi maintained the name Habinyanja and the members who stayed with Mwirima came to be known as the Rushegura family . Sometimes , both groups still come across each other but co - exist rather peacefully .

Rushegura Gorilla Family

Site : Buhoma

Group size : 19 individuals with 1 silverback

Rushegura is the name of a place where this group separated from the larger family of Habinyanja in February 2002 . This new family led by Mwirima , took with him 12 members including 5 females . The family had increased up to 19 family members by April 201 . Mwirima is without question the most dominant silverback in his group and does not back away from a fight with wild Gorilla groups . His family is one of the few that used to cross to neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo but came back and now enjoy the peaceful environments of Bwindi National Park . This is also one of the most calm family so do not be surprised when you see them wandering around the lodge gardens or visit the souvenir shop of Gorilla Forest Camp as they are very curious as well .

Bitukura Gorilla Family

Site : Ruhija

Group size : 14 individuals with 4 silverbacks

Located in the Ruhija side of Bwindi Forest National Park is the Bitukura Family . Named after a river that bears the same name , where they were first sighted . The Bitukura family was habituated in July 2007 and the group was opened for tourism in October 2008 and it was easy to because of the bond they shared with the Kyaguriro family . Bitukura group had originally 24 members but has reduced to only 14 individuals during the last years . It is a peaceable family with four silverback , where the second youngest silverback Ndahura is the leader . He took the role from former Silverback Karamuzi who stayed over 40 years and is now retired . In April 2013 the adult female Ruhara gave birth to a baby gorilla , who is closely guarded by his proud father Ndahura .

Oruzogo Gorilla Family

Site: Ruhija

Group size : 25 individuals with 2 silverbacks

The Oruzogo group is the second habituated gorilla family living in the Ruhija area and consists of 23 individuals led by Silverback Tibirikwata . The family opened for tourism in 2011 and since then has expanded the family . Ntamurungi ( Female Adult ) gave birth to a baby gorilla in June 2011 and Musi gave birth in October 2011 . More joy came when a set of twins was born in March 2012 to mother known as Kakoba . Other individuals in the group include Busungu ( meaning " short tempered " ) , Kaganga ( " the giant one " ) and Bwoba ( " the coward " ) .

Nkuringo Gorilla Family

Location : Nkuringo

Group size : 19 individuals including 2 silverbacks

Nkuringo gorilla group was completely habituated in 2004 as the name Nkuringo means " round hill " in Rukiga , as that is where the group was first spotted . Due to their behavior to feed on bananas , sweet potatoes and other crops , they used to create problems for the local communities 0. Initially , the group was led by the elderly Silverback Nkuringo who died in April 2008 , leaving behind two silverbacks , Safari and Rafiki . Safari ( His Son ) took over the guidance of the family ; However , Seven months later the Nkuringo family welcomed a set of twin gorillas from mother Kwitonda , named Katungi and Muhozi . Regrettably , Katungi died at the age of 1 . 5 years due to ill health .

Nshongi Gorilla Family

Site : Rushaga

Group size : 26 individuals with 4 silverbacks

Named after the river close where the family was first seen , Nshongi group was formed , The family was opened for tourism in September 2009 due to its large size with 36 individuals . It is was without doubt the largest Gorillas group ever habituated . This group had three silverbacks and seven blackbucks lived in harmony with each other who didn 't make an attempt for leadership . It is important to note that the dominant silverback Nshongi was not even the oldest silverback in the family . This on the other hand did not stop the group from splitting in July 2010 ; the newly formed family was led by the silverback Mishaya who left with 10 members .

Mishaya Gorilla Family

Site : Rushaga

Group size : 12 individuals with 1 silverback

Mishaya was part of the Nshongi group who decided to split in July 2010 to establish its own family . Known as a fighter . Mishaya often started interfaces with other gorilla families . He managed to gather females from other groups in the area and expanded his group . In April 2011 he clashed again with a non - habituated gorilla family , resulting in serious injuries for himself and a 2 - year old infant but was treated by veterinarians from the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project .

Kahungye Gorilla Family

Site : Rushaga

Group size : 13 individuals with 3 silverbacks

Kahungye is one of the most recent habituated gorilla family group in Bwindi National Park and was open for tourism in October 2011 . However , in less than a year the group split creating a new family that is called Busingye . Initially the family consisted of 27 individuals including 3 silverbacks , the dominant silverback is called Gwigi meaning " door " in the local language .

Bweza Gorilla Family

Site : Rushaga

Group size : 9 individuals with 1 silverback

Bweza is another Gorilla Family that broke off from Nshongi family which was the largest gorillas group ever habituated . Two years later Bweza , another silverback preferred to separate himself from the rest of the group . Initially , the UWA rangers suspected that they would get back together again , but when it appeared that the split was infinitive , this " new " group opened for tourism in December 2012 .

Busingye Gorilla Family

Site : Rushaga

Group size : 9 individuals with 1 silverback

Silverback Busingye decided to split from the Kahungye group in June 2012 and create his own family . His name means " peace " which is quite surprising since this ambitious silverback is known for his legendary fights with other gorillas groups . Busingye likes showing his power and whenever encountering a wild family he mercilessly grabs a female to add to his own family .

Nyakagezi Gorilla Family

Site : Mgahinga National Park

Group size : 10 individuals with 3 silverbacks

Nyakagezi Group is the only one family found in Mgahinga National Park and led by Mark , the dominant silverback . Mark is the kind of silverback that likes travelling and keeps on crossing borders from Uganda to Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo . Lately they have been back in Mgahinga National Park since November 2012 and may are likely to stay for a while . In May 2013 , the family was blessed with a new baby who increased the group number to 10 members . Because of the unpredictable behavior of this family , permits are only booked at the park headquarters of Uganda Wildlife Authority when sure that the family is within Uganda .

Kyaguriro Gorilla Family

Site : Ruhija

Group size : 15 individuals with 2 silverbacks

Kyaguriro family is the one group that was habituated but is put aside for research only . Through closely keeping contact with this group , environmentalists have learnt a lot about the mountain gorillas of Bwindi . This includes some remarkable differences with the mountain gorillas that live in the Virunga Volcanoes . Initially the family was led by an aging silverback Zeus who was banished and replaced by his rival Rukina . Zeus is said to have died alone in exile as he was cursed out of the family group .