Rushaga region and Rushaga Gorilla Groups are found in the southern sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, the park known as a home of the endangered species of animals the Mountain Gorillas. It is one of the four sectors of Bwindi for Gorilla tracking. The National Park is a heritage to the popular Mountain Gorillas left in the wild, these wild apes inhabiting this park and Rushaga sector is one of the regions with the biggest number of habituated Rushsga Gorilla groups ready for tracking. Book now.
The region protects the Nshongi, Busingye, Kuhungye, Bweza, Mishaya, Bikingi, Rwigi and Mukyunguzi are Rushaga Gorilla groups. With this number of Rushaga Gorilla groups you have an advantage to learn more about Rushaga sector and why you must trek Rushaga Gorilla groups in this sector compared to other sectors of Bwindi National Park.
When travelling to Rushaga area you have an opportunity to view the Volcano Mountains at a far distance but with the best views including the Virungas, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhavura its beautiful scenery to view and with a chance to view Lake Bunyonyi the deepest crate lake in Africa.
While driving to this region you will be thrilled with an amazing experience of the topography made, the hills, valleys will amaze you, besides you will get to enjoy the beauty of Kisoro district best known as the Switzerland of Uganda.
Mishaya Gorilla Family
Family size: 10 members
This group is found in the Mishaya area of the forested National Park, the family is composed of 10 members with 1 Silverback called Mishaya who’s the leader of the family. The Mishaya family seceded away from the Nshongi family, initially the group was composed of seven members but the group kept on expanding up to currently 10 members. Mishaya is a great fighter and through Gorilla battles, he has been able to acquire more members from other families.
Nshongi Gorilla Family
Family size: 8 Members
Nshongi family was once a united family with Bweza family but because of the wrangles in the group between the adult males, it was split up with Silverback Kakono parting away with some of the family members to form Bweza family. The group was composed of 18 family members but due to the break away, it only remained with 7 members and later it got a baby and became 8 members. This family is named after Nshongi River in the National Park where it was first sighted. The group was officially opened up for tourists in 2009 and it’s trekked by visitors on a daily basis.
Bweza Gorilla Family
Family size: 11 Members
Bweza Gorilla family is also found in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi National Park. This family broke away from the Nshongi family with Silverback Kakono the leader of the family. Kakono challenged the leadership of Bweza Silverback in Nshongi family and at the end of 2013 he had formed a new family. The group is composed of 11 family members with 2 Silverbacks, 3 blackbucks, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult and 2 infant.
Kahungye Gorilla Family
Family size: 12 Members
Kahungye Gorilla family is one of the best families to track in Rushaga sector. This family was opened up for tourists in 2011 after habituation process of two years. This family attained their name from the hill called Kahungye where the family members were first seen. This family is composed of 12 family members and led by Silverback Rumanzi. Due to increased conflicts, the family foresaw some of its family members breaking away to the Busingye group, this happened around 2012.
Busingye Gorilla Family
Family size: 10 Members
Busingye Gorilla family was once part of the Kahungye Gorilla family but Silverback Rwigi conflicted with Silverback Rumanzi thus seceding away to make up his own family. Busingye family led by a dominant silverback called Rumanzi gets its name from a hill which is a home to this Gorilla family. Before the separation from Kahungye, the group had 27 members and after the break up, the family remained with 9 family members and later got a newly family baby to make it 10 members.
The members of this group are very active and very playful which has attracted attention from all and some forums have come up examining the group whether there may be a possible re-emergence with the Kahungye group, this may seem impossible because of the increased hostility among both Gorilla families.
Bikingi Gorilla family
Family size: 18 Members
The habituation of Bikingi Gorilla family commenced in early 2012 as a follow-up exercise of the dispersing members of the disintegrated Mishaya family and several members of the former Mishaya family were located in the family alongside other non-habituated members and later-on declared for habituation to keep close monitoring of the formerly habituated members. Bikingi family is found in Rushaga tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Unfortunately this family’s leadership is not yet confirmed because it’s still undergoing habituation. Bikingi family is composed of 18 individuals including; 1 silverback, 5 adult females, 2 sub-adults, 3 juveniles and 7 infants.
Rwigi Gorilla Family
Family size: 10 Members
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park of recent officially announced and opened a new Gorilla family for trekking. Rwigi is a newly habituated Gorilla family in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This new Gorilla family is a break away from Kahungye Gorilla family also found in Rushaga sector of Bwindi National Park. Travelers who visit Bwindi forest can now track the new Gorilla family for fresh and memorable Mountain Gorilla tracking experience. Rwigi, formerly one of the three dominant silverbacks in Kahungye Gorilla family is now the leader of Rwigi Gorilla family.
Rwigi Gorilla family is a breakaway from Kahungye Gorilla family. Rwigi the now dominant silverback who after misunderstandings with other silverbacks in Kahungye family decided to make his own family Rwigi silverback fought hard and took a way some adult females and juveniles to make a new family now Rwigi Gorilla Family.
Mucunguzi Gorilla family
Family size: 10 Members
Mucunguzi Gorilla family is another Mountain Gorilla group located in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Mucunguzi means “Savior” was the third and youngest silverback in Bweza Gorilla family. After leaving Bweza Gorilla group, it formed and led the now Mucunguzi Gorilla family in Rushaga sector.
Rushaga Gorilla trail head indicates that Mucunguzi Gorilla family was formed by a solitary silverback called Mucunguzi from which the name Mucunguzi Gorilla family was derived. This was after a serious fight in one of the habituated Mountain Gorilla family called, Bweza where Mucunguzi was the third in command of the leadership in the group. Mucunguzi was chased out of this Bweza Gorilla family and started living a lonely life. With time, Mucunguzi attacked Bikingi Gorilla family fighting the dominant silverback and taking away some of the members mainly females to form a new Gorilla family which was then named Mucunguzi Gorilla family. At the moment, Mucunguzi Gorilla group is composed of 10 members dominantly females and can be trekked from Rushaga sector south of Bwindi National Park. Gorilla permits to trek Mucunguzi Gorilla family can be booked at Uganda Wildlife Authority head office through Great Adventures Uganda.
Rushaga region has different lodges and all the lodges are owned by the local community members in this region unlike other regions the lodges are owned by foreign investors. When you trek in Rushaga and spend a night in one of the lodges including Rushaga Gorilla camp, Gorilla safari lodge, Rushaga gorilla havens lodge, Nshongi Gorilla camp among others.
This will give you a chance to be part of the developing sector and community in this region. This sector boosts a number of activities compared to other sector including the Gorilla habituation where the Tourists are able to spend 4 hours in the wild training the Gorillas to live close to humans.book with us and have unforgettable experience with the mountain Gorillas in this region.
Note: These figures in the families keep on changing as a result of new born babies are being welcomed, divorce, conflicts in the group, deaths of a family member, immigrating to another group and many other factors which may attribute to a change in the numbers of the family. Currently the gorilla tracking permits for the Busingye gorilla group is being handled at the local of offices of Uganda Wildlife Authority in the Rushaga sector at this time but hopefully it’ll change in the nearby future.