Gorilla trekking is the most famous adventure activity in Uganda. All year riound thousands of travelers flock to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to visit the habituated gorilla families. Among the famous gorilla families that tourists visit is the Bitukura Family located the Eastern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. It is a dominant family in Ruhija section of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park. Most important, this is one of the latest gorilla family to be habituated by Uganda Wildlife Authority – that means, the number of Gorilla groups trekked are increasing- that means more foreign exchange earn by Uganda- the pearl of Africa.
Being new, the group is also expanding as new offspring are up coming as new birth has been registered. Ruhara gave birth to a baby much to the delight of the entire family of Bitukura and gorilla friends- moreso, Kyaguliro who joined the group last year has not yet returned.
This mountain gorilla family was named Bitukura after a river that bears the same name. As it happens the family was first sighted in near the river which also turned out to be part of its homing range. Habituation of this group begun in July 2007 and the group was opened for tourism in October 2008. This was a relatively easy group to habituate as it had often been encountered by UWA rangers and trackers in their encounters with the Kyaguriro group and this non-threatening human contact made it easier for the group to become accustomed to human company much faster than with other gorilla groups which often take a minimum of two years to fully habituate.
The Bitukura family is peaceable, with little in way of the politics and monkeyshines prone to gorilla families. Ndahura sees to that. The Bitukura and Kyaguriro families share a close bond and are known to have, what can be described in human terms as get-togethers about once each month. The biggest mystery surrounding this peaceable family is the migration of its eldest juvenile daughter to the Kyaguriro family. Whereas it is known that on reaching adulthood, female gorillas are prone to leave the family in favour of starting a family with an eligible solitary male, or simply joining another family – like Twigukye did – she was nonetheless rather young to make the move. But she did it and a study of the family members may help give a clue to this unusual occurrence. Friend them and find out.
Members of the Bitukura gorilla group include: Ndahura -the dominant silverback, Karamuzi the 2nd silverback- in other wards- the depute, Rukumu the 3rd silverback, Rukara the 4th silverback, Betina the adult female, Ruhara the adult female, Kamuga the adult female, Obia the blackback, Mugisha the blackback, Twakire ajuvenile, kabandize ajuvenile- who moved from Kyaguliro, Kadogo an infant, Mubwindi an infant.
Tales from the Bitukura Family
On another note however, Bitukura tourist guests were given a free display when the young Obia Black back decided to engage Ndahura in a slop sided duel. For some reason, composed Ndahura the silverback gorillas was quietly feeding from some vine plants away from the main pack. I guess he needed some privacy because he was not so keen to join his subordinates at the feeding arena. It seems though the young charitable Obia had other ideas for the day.
He was seen bent on disturbing the old man’s peace by constantly pulling away the vines the dominant SB was keen to feeding on. The visibly irritated Ndahura tried to keep his cool till his patience came to a near snap. He tried to signal his displeasure but the pleas landed on Obia’s deaf ears. In full view of the entire family surged forward in a fit of anger, he leapt and got hold of Obia, beat the living day lights out of him and sent him fleeing much to bewildered juniors. Obia was seen wimpering from the far side of the pack nursing the pseudo injuries sustained from the one minute beating.