Primate Holidays

Gorilla families in Rushaga sector

Gorilla families in Rushaga sector :  Mountain gorillas, an endangered species, can be found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s Rushaga sector, which is one of the park’s inaccessible regions. Rushaga sector of Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, which is home to the country’s highest concentration of mountain gorillas, may be found in the park’s southern region. The world-famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park can be found in the country’s southwestern region. This park is renowned for being home to the greatest number of mountain gorillas. Rushaga region of Volcanoes National Park is a home to eight families of habituated mountain gorillas, all of which may be visited on daily gorilla treks. In addition, Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is the only sector that provides a gorilla habituation experience. Through this experience, mountain gorillas are accustomed to the presence of humans in preparation for gorilla trekking. Buhoma sector, located in the north of the park, Nkuringo sector, located in the south, and Ruhija sector, located in the east are three other gorilla trekking sectors in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Gorilla families in Rushaga sector. 

Nshongi gorilla family. 

The gorilla family known as the Nshongi is found in the Rushaga area. It got its name from the Nshongi River, which is where it was discovered for the first time. Because the water in this river appears to be honey-colored, the locals gave it the name Nshongi, which, translated from their language, means “Omushongi Gwoboki.” The Nshongi gorilla family was habituated in 2007, and beginning in September of 2009, they welcomed visitors on hiking excursions. Mishaya, a silverback, and ten other members of the Nshongi group split off to start their own family in 2010, leaving the original group with only 26 members. Bweza group went their separate way from the Nshongi gorilla family in 2013, and there are now only seven members of the Nshongi gorilla family. 

Mishaya gorilla family.

One of the gorilla families that can be visited during a safari can be found in the Rushaga sector. This family is known as Mishaya. Tinfayo, the dominant silverback of the gorilla family, serves as the family’s leader. After a struggle between the Mishaya silverback and the dominant silverback in the Nshongi group, Mishaya gorilla family separated from the Nshongi family and formed their own family group. The gorilla group first appeared in 2010 with a total of ten individuals, one of which was the silverback known as Mishaya. This individual passed away on February 3, 2014 due to an obstruction in the intestinal system. As a result of the death of the Mishaya silverback, some members of the gorilla family moved in with other families, such as the Bweza and the Bikingi, because there was no longer an adult male to head the group. Officials from the park made the discovery in May 2018 that the Mishaya gorilla family was led by a dominant silverback named Tinfayo, who had previously been a member of the Shongi gorilla family but had separated from them in 2012 along with an adult female named Shida and a baby named rotary. At the moment, there are eight members that make up the Mishaya gorilla family. There is one silverback, five adult females, one juvenile, and one infant.

Kahungye gorilla family.

Kahungye gorilla family lives in the Rushaga region of the park. They got their name from Kahungye hill, which is where they were originally spotted. 2009 marked the beginning of the Kahungye gorilla family’s habituation process, and the family became accessible to tourists in 2011. The gorilla family consisted of 27 individuals before the habituation process began. The Ruhemuka silverback served as the alpha male up until March 2013, when he suffered a brain injury after falling from a tree. The fall caused significant bleeding in his brain, which ultimately led to his death, which was discovered by park authorities later. After some time, the gorilla group known as Kahungye divided in two. One half became known as Busingye, while the remaining members of Kahungye numbered 17. There are presently 13 members in the gorilla family, with Gwigi, the dominant silverback, and Rumanzi, the submissive, being the only exceptions.

Busingye gorilla family.

Another gorilla family that can be found in Rushaga sector is the Busingye family. The gorilla family became independent from the Kahungye gorilla family in 2012 and was given the name Busingye, after the dominant silverback in the family. The gorilla family is composed of nine members, including one silverback, one blackback, three adult females, two juniors, and three newborns. The gorilla family is well-known for foraging within the more interior sections of the park.

Bweza gorilla family.

Another gorilla family that can be found in the Rushaga district is Bweza family. The gorilla family was given the name Bweza after the dominant silverback who, in 2012, split out from the Nshongi gorilla family to start his own family of gorillas. The gorilla family known as the Bweza has a total of 12 members right now, including two silverbacks, three adult females, one subadult female, four black backs, and two newborns.

Gorilla families in Rushaga sector
Bweza gorilla family

Bikingi gorilla family.

Another gorilla family that can be found in the Rushaga district is the Bikingi gorilla family. The gorilla group known as Bikingi began their habituation process in the year 2012. The name comes from the Bikingi silverback, who was the most powerful leader of the group at one point in time. After a confrontation with a solitary guy, Biking silverback lost his life, and after his pass, the remaining members of the group scattered, with some of them joining other groups such as Kahungye. There are a total of 12 individuals in the Bikingi gorilla family, including two silverbacks, five adult females, one juvenile, and four newborns.

Rwigi gorilla family.

One of the new gorilla families found in the Rushaga area is called Rwigi. A misunderstanding between a dominant silverback in the Kahunge group and a member of the Rwigi gorilla family led to the breakup of the Kahunge gorilla family’s gorilla group. The Rwigi gorilla family has a total of ten individuals, including one silverback, five females, two juveniles, and two infants. The gorilla family was given its name after the dominant Rwigi silverback.

Mucunguzi gorilla family.

Another gorilla family can be found in the Rushaga region, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. They are called the Mucunguzi. The word “Mucunguzi” is a local word that means “saviour,” and it is believed that the gorilla family got its name from a silverback gorilla named Mucunguzi. The gorilla family became estranged from the Bweza family, and at the time of habituation, the gorilla group was led by Mucunguzi, who had been the youngest member of the Bweza family but had been chased away following a dispute. There are twelve members that make up the Mucunguzi gorilla family.

Gorilla trekking safari experience in Rushaga sector.

Gorilla trekking safari in the Rushaga sector begins very early in the morning, and it is followed by a briefing at the park headquarters regarding the rules and regulations that must be followed. After the briefing, you will be separated into groups of eight people, and each group will be paired with an experienced park guide who is familiar with gorilla trekking trails. You will then hike with the gorilla family that has been accustomed to human interaction. Mountain gorillas are nomadic creatures that look for food, therefore trekking them in the Rushaga sector can take anywhere from thirty minutes to seven hours. This is due to the fact that gorillas tend to wander around quite a bit from one location to another. After the mountain gorillas have been located, you will be given the opportunity to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat. During this time, you will be able to observe their routines and behaviors, learn about their habits and routines, watch them carry out their daily activities such as feeding, grooming young ones, breastfeeding, and playing, and take pictures and videos to show people back at your home.

Best time to go gorilla trekking in Rushaga sector.

The best time to go gorilla trekking safari in Rushaga sector is during the dry or peak season in the months of June, July, August, September, December, and January and February. This is because during this period there is less or little rainfall in the park, so vegetation will be short, which allows tourists to have clear views of the mountain gorillas. Access roads and gorilla trekking trails will also be dry and passable, which makes trekking easier. Gorilla trekking safari can be done all year round in the Rushaga sector.

Cost of a gorilla trekking permit in Rushaga sector.

A gorilla trekking permit in Rushaga sector Bwindi impenetrable national park costs 800 USD per person for foreign non-residents, 700 USD per person for foreign residents and 300,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.

How to get to Rushaga sector for gorilla trekking safari.

Rushaga sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park may be reached by tourists travelling by road from Kampala to Masaka, Mbarara, Kabale, and finally Rushaga sector. The journey from Kampala to Rushaga sector in a four-wheel-drive safari vehicle takes approximately nine to ten hours.

There is also the option of travelling by air to reach the Rushaga sector. Travellers can book scheduled or charter domestic flights with Aerolink Uganda or Bar Aviation from Entebbe international airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kisoro airstrip, and from there they can go by road to reach the park headquarters.

You can also visit Rushaga sector via Kigali, Rwanda. Travellers will fly into Kigali international airport, and then they will cross to Rushaga sector via Cyanika border in Kisoro or Katuna border in Kabale, which will take approximately four to five hours of driving time.

You can arrange an economical gorilla safari package with Primate Holidays by visiting our website or contacting Primate Holidays for more information about the gorilla families that live in the Rushaga area.

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