New Gorilla Family opened up for trekking by the Uganda Wildlife Authority
The Uganda Wildlife Authority on the 11th of April 2019 opened up a new gorilla family for Uganda gorilla trekking safaris known as Rwigi in the Rushaga gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Rwigi is a fully habituated gorilla family that split from the Kahungye gorilla family or group. The new Rwigi gorilla family is led by a silver back known as Rwigi leading to the naming of the group and the group has 5 other members giving it a total of 6 members.
Kahungye gorilla family derives its name from a hill with the same name which is in the home range of this gorilla family. This was a very big family which was made up of 27 members, after a few years of habituation, the family had to split creating yet another new family to be known the “Busingye group (meaning Peace). The group was left with 17 members; 3 Silverbacks with Silverback Rumanzi the leader of the group. Rwigi splitting off Kahungye gorilla family leaves the family with 11 members.
Other Gorilla families in Rushaga before the New gorilla family
Rushaga gorilla trekking sector has the highest number of mountain gorillas in Bwindi forest with previously six (6) habituated gorilla families and now seven (7) open for gorilla trekking and one for mountain gorilla habituation. Rushaga gorilla families for trekking include Nshongi family, Mishaya family, Kahungye family, Busingye family, Bweza family, and Bikingi family. The many gorilla families are attributed by some as a result of constant wrangles in the families yet others attribute it to the many hills in the area that habituate different groups. This guarantees a chance to glimpse at a gorilla on your Uganda gorilla trekking tour. The wrangles by silverbacks have now led to the creation of a new gorilla family known as Rwizi. This makes Rushaga gorilla trekking sector a great gorilla trekking sector.
Other Gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Buhoma Gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
This was the first sector to be opened for gorilla trekking in Bwindi Forest National Park and still the most popular sector. Established in 1993, Buhoma is still regarded as the best Uganda gorilla safari experience sector. There four (4) habituated gorilla families/groups, Mubare gorilla family was the first group to be opened for gorilla trekking in 1993 followed by Habinyanja (1997), Rushegura (2000) and Katwe gorilla family.
This is the most popular gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park probably because it got the popularity first. The other reason is that it is more accessible from Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park (for tourists connecting from these parks) and Kampala-Uganda’s capital.
Buhoma gorilla trekking sector offers fly in safari options of either morning or afternoon rather than the southern sector that has only morning fly in safaris because of the weather which also makes it a popular sector.
Nkuringo Gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
In the Southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Nkuringo gorilla trekking sector. Nkuringo sector was established in 2004 which makes it the second to be established gorilla trekking trailhead. It has three (3) gorilla families one for gorilla trekking known as Nkuringo gorilla family, Bikingi and Christmas gorilla family. Christmas gorilla group was recently introduced for gorilla trekking after completing the habituation process.
Nkuringo gorilla group live at about 600m above sea level below the trailhead on Nteko ridge. Trekking gorillas in this sector is challenging and requires one to be physically fit, it is tough but so much adventurous. If you need a challenging gorilla trekking tour in Uganda then this is the best group to trek.
Ruhija Gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Ruhija gorilla trekking sector is regarded as the most remote sector of all the four. It is situated in the Eastern side of Bwindi impenetrable national park. The sector has four (4) gorilla families which are Oruzogo, Bitukura, Mukiza and Kyaguriro. Though a gorilla trekking sector, this is also the best sector for a birding safari in Uganda as you trek the gorillas, Bwindi forest being named as the best birding destination in Africa by bird club. The sector is famous for abundant birdlife and a three-hour hike to Mubwindi swamp which is very rewarding for passionate birders alongside the gorilla trekking experience. It is the only place for sighting the African Green Broadbill in the whole of Bwindi Forest.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the popular Uganda gorilla trekking safari destination because of the many Mountain Gorillas within the park (about half of the world’s remaining). With the new split and family creation, the park now has a total of 18 habituated Mountain Gorilla families distributed into 4 gorilla trekking sectors making it more of an assurance to travelers that they will have a glimpse at the gentle giants.