This year has been a good one for all those that are interested in gorilla trekking as we do have new gorilla families in Bwindi forest in Uganda. There has been very many dynamics in the original gorilla families where we had some old gorilla families separating to form new gorilla groups while others have habituated, tested and are ready for gorilla trekking.
List of the new gorilla families in Bwindi; the latest habituated gorilla family is Bushaho which is located in Nkuringo side of Bwindi impenetrable national park. The group together with Bikingi in Rushaga was reserved for gorilla habituation adventure but the news from the ground show that the habituation of Bushaho gorilla family has been completed and it’s now open to tourists interested in gorilla trekking safaris within the impenetrable forest. This therefore means that Nkuringo side of Bwindi Park has got two gorilla families that can be trekked on this side of the forest. This implies that with the emergence of new gorilla families in Bwindi, gorilla habituation experience will be conducted only in Rushaga by visiting Bikingi Gorilla family.
The new gorilla families in Ruhija; the other new gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable national park include Rukara and Mukinga gorilla families located in Rushija side of the forest. Ruhija is situated in the eastern side of Bwindi. The breakup of Kyanguriro has resulted into the above named gorilla familes and Kyaguriro is no more. Kyaguriro gorilla group used to be for research purposes but later on was opened for gorilla tracking. Wrangles between family members later resulted in the separating into two groups of Rukara and Mukinga that can now be trekked by the tourists. This means that Nshongi and Kyaguriro are no more and should be written off in the history of mountain gorilla groups.
The creation of the new gorilla families in the park means increasing the number of gorilla permits sold by Uganda Wildlife Authority hence making Uganda one of the best countries to track the rare mountain gorillas in the world.
Rukara group is found in Ruhija tourism sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park and is led by the silverback Rukara. The Rukara group is dedicated for gorilla research by Manx Planc institute for the evolutionary anthropology. The MPI researchers mainly on the group’s behavioural ecology and conducts daily monitoring visits to the group. Rukara’s habituation started in 1995 and in 2015 sudden death occurred to the group head Rukina. Rukina submitted to an electric shock due to lightening. After Rukina’s demise, the group was left under the leadership of an experienced young silverback who was later ambushed by an immigrating adult silverback Rukara from the Bitukura group, this fuelled a split of the group into two – Kyaguliro A- Rukara and the Kyanguliro B – Mukiza in May 2016. Rukara group is also known for spending almost all the time in the inner forest and very rarely gets close to the forest’s peripherals. This group is currently composed of 9 individuals including 2 silverbacks , 1 black back , I adult back, 1 adult female, 1 sub adult female, 2 sub adult males, 1 juvenile and 1 infant.