In Uganda, there are currently 8 habituated gorilla groups that are tracked by tourists. Though, it must be stressed that the eighth gorilla group in Uganda, the Nyakagezi Group based in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, is currently not bookable at Uganda Wildlife Authorities as the family have a very large range. They spend their time crossing over into Rwanda and back into Uganda. These permits are normally sold the day before tracking at the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Headquarters. Therefore, we do not recommend this family for reliable sightings.
During 2009, however, the Uganda Wildlife Authority started to habituate 2 additional gorilla groups in Bwindi: the Kahunje (Kahungye) Group (Nkuringo & Rushaga) and the Oruzogo Group (west of Ruhija). It is hoped that these 2 gorilla groups will increase the number of available gorilla permits.
Uganda’s 8 Habituated Gorilla Groups that are tracked by tourists:
Mubare Group Family
Family size: 6 members with 1 Silverback.
Habinyanja Group Family
Family size: 20 members with 2 Silverbacks.
Rushegura Group Family
Family size: 20 members with 1 Silverback.
Bitukura Group Family
Family size: 13 members with 4 Silverbacks.
Nkuringo Group Family
Family size: 18 members with 2 Silverbacks.
Nshongi Group Family
Family size: 25 members with 2 Silverbacks.
Mishaya Group Family
Family size: 12 members with 1 Silverback.
From the main headquarters in Rushaga, clients will often set off on foot or take a 30min drive to the trailhead. The Silverback Mishaya left the Nshongi Group with 9 others in July 2010 to establish the Mishaya Group.
Oruzogo Gorilla Family
Family size: 16 members including 1 silverback
Location: Buhoma – Ruhija
The Oruzogo group is one of the newest gorilla families that opened up for tourism in Bwindi National Park. This family is situated between Buhoma and Ruhija and is lead by the dominant Silverback Tibirikwata. The group consists of 16 individuals including two babies that were recently born.
Family size: 9 members (incl. 3 Silverbacks)
Location: Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
There are 36 different gorilla groups in the Virunga Volcanoes Massif. Of the 480 Virunga Volcanoes Massif gorillas 352 (73%) are habituated (349 in groups; 3 solitary males), while 128 are un-habituated (117 in groups; 11 solitary males). With the addition of the 2 newly habituated Bwindi gorilla groups approximately 50% of the Bwindi gorillas will be habituated throughout the 28 Bwindi gorilla families.