The total number of 480 mountain gorillas were recorded in Uganda with 400 of them residing in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and 80 in Mgahinga national park.
These gorillas are divided into 36 groups of which only 14 groups are habituated to humans and 13 can be found in Bwindi while 01 reside in Mgahinga national park. These habituated gorilla families are each visited by a maximum of 8 groups per day who enjoy watching and studying these endangered species for one hour. A total of 112 gorilla trekking permits are available each day
The 22 remaining gorilla families are un habituated to humans and they are very aggressive or can flee away when they come across a human being. There movements are unpredictable since they roam a lot within the park.
Mountain gorillas can be trekked in four sections in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and one sector in Mgahinga gorilla national park. Each sector harbor different gorilla groups.
Gorilla Families in Bwindi impenetrable National Park
Buhoma sector in Bwindi.
This area is the commonest area in Bwindi and it was the first to be opened in 1991. The area is developed with infrastructure and it is where Bwindi headquarters is located. Buhoma sector harbors 3 groups of gorillas that include;
The Mubare group.
This group was the first to be habituated in 1991 with 12 members. They derived their ‘mubare’ name from the stunning Mabare Hills from where they were first discovered. The recent record states that the Mubare group now has 11 members.
The Rushegura gorilla family was formed in 2000 when they divided from the Habinyanja family. The group members are currently 15 and their name was got from the place from where the two leaders( brothers) separated to form their independent families. This family is one of the most friendly group in Bwindi and they highly welcome visitors.
Habinyanja family (H-group)
This family was habituated in 1997 for trekking and having 17 members led by Rwansigazi. This group is uneasy to get because they roam all over the park but mostly stay in the northern part of the park.
Ruhija sector of Bwindi.
Ruhija is not so much developed compared to Buhoma region but there are a number of upcoming lodges and infrastructure. The sector consists of 3 gorilla groups.
This family was reserved for research by the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in 1999. The highly treasured family in Bwindi has 20 members and they are now separated into two groups; Kyaguliro-Mukiza’s group and Kyaguliro Rukara’s group.
Named after the river where they were first sighted, the Bitukura family was habituated in July 2007 till October 2008. They are 15 in number and can be spotted along the Ruhija trailhead of Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
This group has 17 very playful and jolly members that fully entertain the visitors. The group started receiving visitors in 2011 and is loved by the tourists who watch them.
Rushaga sector in Bwindi.
Rushaga is the least developed sector with few accommodation but highly blessed with the mountain gorillas. There are 5 gorilla families in this section.
Do not worry of the accommodation in Ruhija since there are various developed lodges and camps around and near the sector.
It is led by the silverback kakono with 12 members. The group was part of the Nshongi group but broke up in 2013.
This is a 18 member group family named after the Nshongi river from where they were first discovered. They were one family with the Bweza but separated.
This group broke up from the Nshongi under the leadership of Mishaya who was a strong fighter but later died leaving the 12 current members under a silverback leader, Mwiine.
The family has 18 members after the Busingye group that left it. The family is led by Rumanzi. The group derived its name from a hill in Rushaga where the gorillas were first notice.
This family splitted from the Kahungye group in 2012 and has 9 members.
Nkuringo sector of Bwindi.
Nkuringo sector is very descent with some lodges. The best groups of gorillas are found in this sector with one for normal tourism while the other is for habituation.
This family consists of 12 members and they are difficult to trek due to the tough terrain in Nkuringo but you will not regret trekking them because they are so lovely and friendly. The group is under the leadership of Rafiki.
The family of 9 members is under the leadership of Bushaho and it is so good for habituation.
Mgahinga gorilla national park.
This park has one gorilla family which is the Nyakagezi group with 10 members including 5 silverbacks. This group has Rukumu, the oldest gorilla that is about 50 years of age. The group is under a leadership of Mark.