When you travel with Uganda’s Umoja Motherland Tours you will encounter unique Gorilla families in their own worlds in Bwindi National Park. Each group as it’s story.
Buhoma Region(North) Mubare Group
This group is exactly what you dream of when you think of gorilla safaris. It comprises of 12 members inclusive of 6 Adult Females, 1 juvenile and 3 Infants. It comprises of very friendly members, this explains why it was the first Ugandan group to be opened for tourism, in 1993. Then, the group was still led by Ruhondeza, a fierce fighter who had zero tolerance for anyone who was a threat to his Kingship.This character prompted him to kill over three blackbacks that were aspiring to takeover the group’s leadership.
In the long term, Ruhondeza’s dictatorial nature didn’t work in his favour. Afraid for the worst, several of his members began deserting the group as he aged towards 50 years. This background facilitated the rise of Kanyonyi (21)as the new group leader in 2011.
He is deeply cherished by many tourists for having restored the lost glory of Mubare group. Well knowing there is strength in unity, he successfully persuaded over 5 members from the Katendegyere gorilla family to leave Congo and join Mubare in 1998. He couldn’t have done it without the help of his brother and sister, .
Alas! Kanyonyi’s reign was brought to an end in December 2017. Barely a week after he had sustained fatal injuries on one of his forelegs having fallen off a tree, he was attacked by a rival silverback, Malaya. This solitary alpha male took advantaged of Kanyonyi’s injured state to fight him to death. It was impossible for his victim to win the fight as gorillas are more dependent on their forelegs than hind when it comes to fighting. During the same fight, one of Mubare’s infants was also ripped apart, dying instantly.
Habinyanja Group of Gorillas
This 17 member group is led by Makara, a very protective silverback that never hesitates to fight off anyone who threatens to physically harm his family. Though this has often left him with injuries and broken bones, it hasn’t weakened his spirit as nothing makes him happier than seeing his loved ones safe and happy. In an effort to save Makara from infections that could arise from the injuries, veterinary doctors of Uganda Wildlife Authority monitor and treat him throughout the year. Habinyanja comprises of 1 black-back, 5 adult females, 6 infants, 1 sub-adult and 3 juveniles. If you plan to see gorillas in Uganda as opposed to Rwanda, this is one of the groups to look out for.
Rushegura Group of Gorillas
Led by Kabukojo silverback, this group has 16 members inclusive of 4 blackbacks, 4 babies, 4 adult females and 3 juveniles.
No matter the time of the year you chose to visit this family, you have a 95% chance of meeting them. This follows their permanent settlement in Buhoma, unlike several gorilla groups in Virunga National Park–that keep migrating. Their preference for Buhoma is thanks to its diversity of vegetation with relatively high protein content and low fiber content.
That aside, Buhoma is surrounded by farms with lots of edible plants such as corn/maize, bananas, sweet potatoes. These act as a substitute meal for Rushegura family whenever they are bored by the park’s routine offerings. This is one of the groups that has made gorilla tracking in Bwindi popular worldwide.
Katwe Group of Gorillas in Bwindi National Park
Katwe is one of the new groups that were opened for tourism last year. It s made of a dominant silverback, 2 babies and 4 adult females who live in the Northern part of Bwindi, Buhoma. Like all the other families in Uganda, the permits to see them cost $600 to foreign tourists-$450 for foreign residents and 250000 UGX. The group is named after one of the oldest salt mines in Queen Elizabeth National Park. If you wish to visit it during your Uganda mountain gorilla tours, we are delighted to add it to your list as the park is on the way to Bwindi.