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Home » Blog » New Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Opened For Tracking 2024

New Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Opened For Tracking 2024

New Gorilla Families 2024

New gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park opened for tracking on January 17, 2024. The Uganda Wildlife Authority announced the release of new habituated mountain gorilla groups in Uganda for tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, during Uganda gorilla trekking safaris.

A team of trackers and researchers has been dedicating four years to the process of habituating these mountain gorilla families. These new families are located in the Buhoma sector, the Rushaga sector, and the Nkuringo sector.

  • Buhoma Sector now also has the Bunyindo and Muyambi gorilla families.
  • Rushaga sector has the Rwigi Gorilla Family and the Tindatine Gorilla Family.
  • The Nkuringo sector has the Posho Gorilla Family.

This makes a total of 5 new gorilla families introduced at Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

With the introduction of these new gorilla families in the above sectors of Bwindi, travelers should expect to experience more tracking opportunities, bringing them closer and faster to one of the groups.

Additionally, the introduction of these new families means that UWA now releases 194 daily gorilla tracking permits for tracking the 24 gorilla families, an increase from the 19 families in the country ready for Uganda safari enthusiasts, particularly Uganda gorilla safaris & tours.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority also notified the public and tour operators that they will no longer release extra permits regardless of whether it is a peak season or a low season. It is therefore best to book the gorilla permits early enough to plan accordingly for the trip.

As an experienced and trustworthy tour company, let us help in organizing your trip to visit these new mountain gorilla families as you contribute to their continuous conservation.

New Gorilla Families in the Rushaga Sector

There are two new mountain gorilla families introduced in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. These are the Rwigi Gorilla Family and the Tindatine Gorilla Family.

Below, we look at these two mountain gorilla families.

Rwigi Gorilla Family

The Rwigi Gorilla Family is new in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

The family split from the Kahugye Gorilla family and was named after their silverback leader, Rwigi. There are about 6 members in the Rwigi Gorilla family group.

By booking a Uganda Gorilla Permit, you can visit the Rwigi Gorilla Family firsthand in the forest.

Tindatine Gorilla Family

The Tindatine Gorilla Family broke off from the Shongi Gorilla Family.

New Gorilla Families in the Buhoma Sector

The new gorilla families in the Buhoma sector include:

  • Muyambi Gorilla Family

The Muyambi Gorilla Family consists of about 8 members, and Muyambi is their leader. Muyambi was a member of the Mubare Gorilla Group, which split from the group in 2019.

  • Bunyindo Gorilla Family

A silverback named Bunyindo is in charge of the new gorilla family.

New Gorilla Families in the Nkuringo Sector

There was one mountain gorilla family in the Nkuringo sector that was introduced for tracking, and that is the Posho gorilla family.

  • Posho Gorilla Family

Magara, a silverback who leads the Posho Gorilla Family, is one of its 14 members, which also includes blackbacks, adult females, juveniles, and infants.

Other Mountain Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Much as new gorilla families have been introduced in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the old gorilla families are also available for tracking the different sectors of the park, i.e., Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga, and the Ruhija sectors.

Below, we look at these old gorilla families in their different sectors.

  • Gorilla Families in the Ruhija Sector

There are no new gorilla families in the Ruhija sector, found in the east of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. However, the old Gorilla families in the sector include the

  1. Bitukura Gorilla Family: It has around 13 members, including 4 silverbacks, including Ngahura, who is the Alpha in the group.
  2. Kyaguliro Gorilla Troop: This family has around with the Silverback Rukara being the leader of the group.
  3. Oruzugo Group: This troop has about 19 members, including the 2 silverbacks.
  4. Mukiza Gorilla Family: The Silverback Mukiza, who also founded it, is the family’s leader, and there are about 12 members in total.

Other Gorilla Families in the Rushaga Sector

Rushaga Sector previously had a total of 9 gorilla groups, but with the introduction of 2 newer gorilla families, it now has a total of 11 mountain gorilla families.

They altogether include,

  1. Nshongi Troop: The group has about 25 members, and its members include silverbacks, blackbacks, juveniles, female adults, and infants. Nshongi, a silverback gorilla, is in charge of the group.
  2. Mishaya Gorilla Group: This group was once part of the Nshongi Gorilla group, but it broke off due to conflicts between Nshongi and Mishaya, another silverback gorilla. Mishaya consequently split up to form his group.
  3. Bweza Gorilla Family: This gorilla group has about 12 members, counting 3 silverbacks, around 4 blackbacks, and 3 adult females. It was also part of the Mishaya Gorilla Group, but it broke off.
  4. Bikyingi Gorilla Group: A silverback called Bikyiyingi leads this group, which has about 15 members.
  5. Kahunge Gorilla Group: This gorilla group has about 14 members, including 2 silverback gorillas and Rumansi. A silverback leads it.
  6. Busingye Gorilla Family: Busingye, a silverback gorilla, is in charge of the group, which has about 14 members and split off from the Kayunge Gorilla family.
  7. Mucunguzi Gorilla Family: It was part of the Bweza Gorilla group, and it has about 8 members.
  8. Kutu Gorilla Group: It is also among the recent families to be habituated in the region, with one silverback and 8 other members.
  9. Rwigi Gorilla Family: One of the newest gorilla families officially introduced for tracking in 2024. A silverback called Rwigi leads it, and it has about 6 members.
  10. Tindatine Gorilla Group: This group broke off from the Shongi Gorilla Group.

Other Gorilla Families in the Buhoma Sector

The other mountain gorilla families in the Buhoma sector are the Mubare, Rushegura, Muyambi, Habinyanja, and Katwe gorilla families. The addition of the Bunyindo Gorilla Family and the Buyambi Gorilla Family adds a total of 7 habituated gorilla families in the Buhoma sector.

Therefore, the list and simple facts of the Mountain Gorilla families in the Buhoma sector include,

  1. Mubare Family: The Silverback Kanyonyi is the head of this group of about 9 habituated gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
  2. Habinyanja Gorilla Troop: This gorilla group was first habituated in 1997, led by the silverback Mukurusi, and it has about 18 members.
  3. Katwe Gorilla Family: This gorilla group has around 7 members, and it was officially opened for trekking in 2018.
  4. Rushegura Family: First habituated in 2000 and tracked in 2002, the Rushegura Gorilla family has about 21 members.
  5. Muyambi Gorilla Family: The Muyambi Gorilla family protects 7 gorilla families, and it is led by the silverback Alpha, Muyambi.
  6. Bunyindo Gorilla Family: An amazing Gorilla family led by the patriarch Bunyindo.
  7. Muyambi Gorilla Troop: The silverback Muyambi, who was a member of the Mubare Gorilla Group before breaking off in 2019, is the leader of this troop.

Other Gorilla Families in the Nkuringo Sector

The Nkuringo sector in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has no

  1. Nkuringo Gorilla Family: This group is led by the silverback Rwamutwe and has about 12 members,
  2. Bushaho Gorilla Family: Bushaho, a silverback, is the leader of the outstanding Bushaho Gorilla Group. It has about 8 members, and it was opened for tracking in 2016.
  3. Christmas Gorilla Troop: The alpha Christmas, who was born on Christmas Day, is the leader of this group with about 9 members.
  4. The 14 members of the Posho Gorilla Family are all under the command of Magara, a silverback.

History of the Formation of the Habituated Mountain Gorilla Families in Uganda

The need to do gorilla habituation around the world began around the 1980s with Dian Fossey’s report about the endangered status of mountain gorillas, which were estimated to have 250 remaining in the world.

This was going to help in collecting money to keep them safe through conservation efforts. Nonetheless, gorilla conservation was not taken seriously in Uganda in the late 1980s due to the effects of war in the country.

However, gorilla habituation in Uganda began in 1991 with the Katendegyere Gorilla Family and the Mubare Gorilla Family, which were both found in the Buhoma sector, and they were both opened for tourism in 1993.

Katendegyere Family had about 11 members by its time of habituation, but by 1998, it remained with only 3 members, who moved away to the Sarambwe Game Reserve found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Mubare Gorilla Group, which remained, had 13 members but now has around 10 members. Ruhondeza, a silverback who passed away in 2012, led it at the time of its habituation.

The Kyaguliro group in the Ruhija sector was also habituated in the early 1900s but was mainly for research purposes. However, they faced poachers who killed about 4 members in 1995.

In the mid-1990s, the Habinyanja Gorilla Group was habituated and had about 25 members by 1995. Around 2002, the group was separated to form the Rushegura group.

Gorilla habituation also began in the Nkuringo region in the Nkuringo sector in 1997 due to the need to extend conservation efforts. However, the group was officially opened for tourism in 2004 due to the poor roads and infrastructure in the region.

In 2006, the Nshonji and the Bitukura Gorilla families were opened for habituation and officially for tracking in 2008.

Nshongi once had a total of about 30 members, but due to splits, the numbers reduced tremendously. In 2010, Mishaya separated from the group with 8 members, and in 2012, Bweza left the group with 9 members. Since Mishaya passed away in 2014, a new Silverback is in charge of the group.

Kahungye Group was one of the families that opened in 2010 after two years of habituation. However, it split in March 2012 to form the Oruzugo Gorilla Family.

The Katwe Gorilla family was also habituated and officially opened for tourism in 2018.

In January 2024, 5 newer gorilla families in Bwindi were officially opened for tracking: the Posho Gorilla Family, Tindatine Gorilla Group, Bunyindo Gorilla Family, Rwigi Gorilla Group, and Buyambi Gorilla Families.

How are mountain gorilla families formed?

Many mountain gorilla families are formed through the splits between two silverback gorillas. A silverback will then leave with some of the groups to form their own family.

If the Silverback and his new family join a troop that is not habituated, the whole family will be put under habituation.

Benefits of Having More Habituated Gorilla Families in Uganda

With more mountain gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,.

  1. It Helps to Conserve the Remaining Mountain Gorillas in the Forest

Having many mountain gorilla families in Uganda brings the gorillas closer to humanity than the wildlife, thus keeping them safer for conservation.

  1. Faster to Meet the Mountain Gorilla Families

More mountain gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park means that trackers have a chance of meeting the gorilla families faster than usual. It can now take less than 3 hours to find one of the gorilla families, and sometimes even within 30 minutes, due to the increased number of mountain gorilla families.

  1. More Gorilla Permits are Sold with the Presence of More Habituated Gorilla Families

The presence of more habituated mountain gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park provides more chances for trackers to have more gorilla permits bought in a day.

Only 8 members are allowed to visit one gorilla group, and so with the previous 19 gorilla families, there were 152 permits sold in a day.

But with the new habituated gorilla families, totaling 24 families, 194 mountain gorilla permits are now sold every day.

  1. High Chance of Finding the Gorilla Families

Having more mountain gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park provides visitors with a high chance of meeting the gorilla families. There is a 99% chance of meeting the gorilla families in their natural habitat.

How many gorillas are in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

There are 459 mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, according to the last gorilla census. This is out of the estimated 1063 remaining mountain gorillas surviving in the world, making Bwindi hold almost half of the total population of mountain gorillas.

Is it safe to track the new mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?

Yes, it is safe to track the new gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This is because the gorillas have been exposed to long years of the habituation process to get used to the presence of human beings.

Additionally, there are qualified and armed rangers escorting you on the Mountain Gorilla trekking adventure in the forest to keep you safe and help in case of any emergencies.

What is the best season to go gorilla trekking?

The dry season is the best time to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This is from June to September and December through February. The dry season has drier tracks that make tracking less challenging for tourists than in the wet season, when the tracks are muddy.

What to Carry and Wear for your Gorilla Trekking Uganda Safari in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

There are various things to carry and favorable clothes to wear for your gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Below is a list of the different things to pack and clothes to wear for your trip to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

1.     Camera

2. pair of binoculars

3.     Back bag

4.     Travel documents

5.     Travel Insurance

10. Long trousers

11. Long-sleeved shirts

12. Insect repellent

13. Sunglasses

14. Comfortable, sturdy shoes

In conclusion, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has been a great gorilla trekking destination in Africa for years. However, with the introduction of new habituated gorilla families, trackers are guaranteed a better experience with the introduction of the new mountain gorilla families in their natural habitat.

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