Mountain gorillas are found in southwestern Uganda in the Mgahinga and Bwindi national parks, northwest Rwanda in volcanoes and Virunga national park and eastern D.R Congo .
Bwindi Impenetrable national park in Uganda harbors a half of the total population of mountain gorillas in the whole world. The park contains over 400 of these endangered species In 4 sectors within the park.
Sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable national park.
Buhoma sector which is situated in the north and it’s the most popular region for gorilla trekking. The gorilla groups are highly friendly and used to humans and they include the Mubare, Habinyanja, Nkuringo and the Rushegura gorilla families.
Nkuringo sector harbor the Nkuringo with 12 members, Bikingi with 15 members and the Bushaho group with 8 members.
Ruhija sector in the east with the Bitukura group, Oruzogo group and Kyakuriro group of gorillas.
And lastly Rushaga sector harboring The Nshongi family, Mishaya family, Kahungye family and Bweza family.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is also well known for gorilla trekking. It harbors 39 mammals including the mountain gorillas
Where do Uganda’s mountain Gorillas live? How do you describe the Gorillas’ habitat?
Mountain gorillas live in the dense tropical rain forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park both situated in south western Uganda. These are the two prime destinations for gorilla trekking in Uganda. Gorilla trekking has become one of the most thought after activity to many travelers who visit Uganda national parks. A close encounter with this huge Apes in their natural habitat, is such an amazing and life changing experience that you ought not to miss during any of your safaris in Uganda.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is Uganda’s most visited national park for gorilla trekking experience, Bwindi is a home to over half of the worlds remaining mountain gorillas and it’s the most popular park with the highest tourist concentration for gorilla trekking experience. Bwindi national park, was named – UNESCO world heritage site and its one of the oldest rain forests in east Africa. The park sits in an area of between 1,160 and 2,607 meters above sea level.
Bwindi impenetrable forest national park comprises of four sectors for gorilla trekking with all different gorilla habituated families. Bwindi national park has about 17 gorilla habituated families, 16 of which are situated in Bwindi forest and are open for gorilla trekking and one gorilla family is trekked in Mgahinga national park. The four sectors of Bwindi include; Nkuringo, Rushaga, Ruhija and Buhoma situated on the northern side of the forest, Buhoma is the first site where the first gorilla family was habituated and become the first place for gorilla trekking, followed by other sectors.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, rests in 34 square kilometer and it’s one of the smallest national parks in Uganda. The park is a home to one of the gorilla habituated family (Nyakagezi) which is also open for gorilla trekking. These has opened up many options for clients to choose from where he/ she would like to track the gorillas from. Mgahinga is situated in the boarder to Rwanda and Congo and its part of the great Virunga conservation area covering an area of 434km2 of volcano mountains in Rwanda linking both the three East African countries.
How many gorilla families are available for tracking in Uganda?
With over half of the words population of mountain gorillas habituated in Bwindi, there is only a small number of habituated gorillas open for tracking. Habituation therefore means a process whereby the researchers, scientists and rangers pay visit to the gorillas regularly until when they are fully used to the sight to humans and therefore is open for tracking.
Bwindi impenetrable forest, has got many gorilla habituated families which has increased the number of permits issued per day for gorilla trekking .a minimum number of 8 people are allowed to visit each gorilla family per day meaning the Uganda wildlife authority, issues 180 gorilla permits each day, this is a government body managing wildlife conservation in Uganda.
The gorilla families include;
Buhoma; there are three habituated gorilla families. That is the Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura gorilla families. Situated in the dense tropical forest of Bwindi along the northern sector of the park. Gorilla trekking can last for about 30 mins to half hours of the day depending on the current location of the gorillas on that particular day. Buhoma sector is a pioneer of the gorilla trekking activity in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Uganda as a whole, the sector was the first place to host the first group of gorilla trekkers when Mubare gorilla family was opened for tracking in 1993.
Ruhija harbors the following gorilla habituated families; Oruzogo and Bitukura gorilla families. they are situated in the southern sector of Bwindi national park.
Nkuringo sector, we have the Nkuringo family just within the sector. Nshongi, Kahunje, Mishaya and Businge families are trekked from the Rushaga sector.
Nyakagezi gorilla family, roams around Mgahinga national park, also opened for tracking. these gorillas have been resident in Uganda for the last four years therefore you can book the permits and track them in Uganda. This gorilla family is one of the simplest to track since they roam within the small forest of Mgahinga and the park is covered by green vegetation and shrubs throughout the year. shrubs are small plants in which gorillas feed on so these has limited their movement in search for food since the food is within their premise. Nyakagezi gorilla family is on of the most entertaining gorilla group to track, the group has got a high number of silver backs.