Where to Trek Gorillas in Uganda

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February 1, 2016
Where to Trek Gorillas in Uganda

Gorillas in Uganda can be watched in Bwindi impenetrable national park and it takes one long day of driving to reach from Entebbe. Alternatively to cut the distance, one can opt to track the bwindi gorillas from Rwanda crossing to Kisoro via the Cyanika border only 1 – 2 hours drive. From Kigali one can track mountain gorillas in Bwindi for 2 days – 1 night and drive back to Kigali.

In comparison to the attractions in the two countries, Uganda is a larger country to explore than Rwanda. Once at Bwindi via Entebbe, we would recommend two nights before continuing your Uganda safari to explore the rest of the attraction on your itinerary. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. More famously, this “impenetrable forest” also protects an estimated 320 mountain gorillas – roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked.

Uganda Gorilla groups

There are 11 habituated gorilla groups in Uganda (10 for tourism and 1 for research) and none tend to be found near to the park entrance. These include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura, Bitukura, Oruzogo, Nkuringo, Nshongi, Mishaya, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Nyakagezi and the research group Kyaguriro. With approximately 400 mountain gorillas living in the impenetrable forests, Uganda is home to more than half of the world’s total population of mountain gorillas. The majority is found in different areas of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourism destinations in Africa. A small number lives on the lower slopes of the volcanoes in Mgahinga National Park.

Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest is a perfect destination for gorilla tours though be aware of the terrain in Bwindi that involves trekking at the top of the hills, descending on foot into the valley to see the gorillas, and then climbing up the slopes at the end of the day, which can be more arduous.

The following are the habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi;

Buhoma section of the park – northern part of Bwindi national park
Mubare Group
Smallest family situated in Buhoma sector and it comprises of 6 members with 1 Dominant Silverback.

Rushegura Group
Located in Buhoma sector, Rushegura has 21 members with one head Silverback gorilla.

Habinyanja Group
This family has 20 member gorillas and 1 Dominant Silverback located in Buhoma region

Ruhija Section of the park
Bitukura Group
Recently habituated gorilla group in Ruhija part of the park. One of the best groups to go for in this region comprising of four silverbacks with Ndahura the second youngest silverback as the leader. Notwithstanding the dominant male, the silverbacks move together alongside 2 blackbacks of this same group. The silverbacks, Rukara and Rukumu associating the 2 blackbacks, Obia and Mugisha are a big spectacle when there is a fight among them.

Bitukura Group
With 13 members, Bitukura is located in Ruhija area and has a Dominant Silverback, 3 sub-Silverbacks, 2 Black-backs, 3 Adult Females, 1 Juveniles, 3 Infants.

Oruzogo Group
Visit this group in Ruhija area and have a chance to interact with 23 gorilla members including a Dominant Silverback, 1 sub-Silverback, 5 Black-backs, 7 Adult Females, 4 Juveniles and 5 Infants.

Southern Section of Bwindi national park
Nkuringo Group Located in Nkuringo
Located in the southern part of Bwindi, Nkuringo has a Dominant Silverback, 3 sub-Silverbacks, 3 Black-backs, 3 Adult Females, 3 Juveniles and 4 Infants. It has 17 members in total.

Nshongi Group located in Nshongi/Rushaga
With 21 members, Nshongi has a Dominant Silverback, 2 sub-Silverback, 3 Black-backs, 6 Adult Females, 6 Juveniles and 3Infants and it can be tracked in the southern sector of Bwindi.

Mishaya Group located in Nshongi/Rushaga
Interact with 7 members of Mishaya group including a Dominant Silverback, 2 Adult Females, 1 sub-Adult and 3 Infants

Kahungye Group
It has 24 members including Dominant Silverback, 2 sub-Silverbacks, 3 Black-backs, 4 Adult Females, 3 sub-Adults, 7 Juveniles and 4 Infants. It is located in Kisoro area of Bwindi.
Before embarking on your Gorilla Safari we invite you to learn more about these incredible creatures and read interesting facts about the various gorilla families. However, keep in mind that the mountain gorillas are wild animals and details such as the group size, location in the forest and leading silverback might change without notice.