Gorilla families in Uganda

Gorilla families in Uganda

Gorilla families in Uganda : Mountain gorilla trekking is a charming tourist activity in Africa. Many travelers from all over the world today travel to delight in this natural wonder of the world. It is important take note that Mountain gorilla trekking is done can only be done in three countries which are;- DRC, Rwanda and Uganda.

However Uganda offers  the best  Mountain gorilla trekking experience due to the fact that its hosts almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas population surviving in two national parks; Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park which is Uganda’s prime gorilla destination is home about 500 Mountain gorilla individuals which is half of the remaining mountain gorilla population. There are about 21 habituated Mountain gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park and only one habituated gorilla family Mgahinga Gorilla national park. 

It is paramount to note that gorillas live in families or call them groups and each family is headed by a mature silverback male gorilla. These  are dominated by mostly the female members plus juveniles  and baby gorillas. Almost all gorilla families in Uganda have been habituated and they are open gorilla tourism through out the years to all tourists.

In this article, we are delighted to present you the gorilla families in Uganda plus the fascinating facts about them;

Uganda Gorilla families in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park

Nyakagezi gorilla family

AS earlier mentioned, Nyakagezi gorilla family is the only habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga gorilla National Park. It has about 9 habituated gorilla members comprising of 2 infants, 2 adults females, 4 silver backs and one juvenile but dominated by silverback Mark who leads this group. He picked up leadership from his father Bugingo. Since it’s the only gorilla group in Mgahinga gorilla national park, Nyakagezi family offers long lasting unique memories to all travelers that come to trek in Mgahinga national park.

Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

Bwindi forest is a great prime gorilla destination in Africa, it hosts about 21 habituated gorilla families open for gorilla safaris in Uganda. Out of 1063 Mountain gorilla population in the World, there about 500 gorilla individuals in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park thus making it stand out as the best gorilla safari destination in the world.

Bwindi forest has been bisected into four sectors which include; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhiji sector. Each of these sectors features its own gorilla families as well accommodation options. Therefore, before you book your accommodation lodge, first confirm which sector you be trekking to avoid inconveniences of driving from one sector to another in the early mornings because there are located a bit far from each other.

Here are the Uganda gorilla trekking families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park;


This gorilla family is situated in Buhoma sector of Bwindi forest.. It comprises of 17 members as well one one silverback male gorilla. This gorilla family was habituated in 1997 and it was once led leader silverback Mugurusi. He was succeeded by Rwansigazi and Mwirima unfortunately these two silverback males divided the group into two. whilst Rwansigazi went with most of the members while Mwirima started up a new family which was named Rushegura gorilla family

uganda gorilla families

Mubare gorilla family

Mubare family was the first gorilla family in Bwindi to habituated and made available for gorilla tourism . Its habituation process began in October 1991. This group is also found in Buhoma sector of Bwindi forest. It acquired its name from near by hills known as Mubare. At the time of habituation, this family was headed by a mature silverback named Ruhondeza, on a sad note he unfortunately passed on. Tourists are given a chance to visit his grave when trekking in Bwindi forest in buhoma sector. Mubare family comprises of 6 members and one silverback.

Bitukura gorilla family

This gorilla family was named after a river where the members of the family were first spotted. It has 4 silverback male gorillas namely; Ndahura who is the chief silverback and others are Rukumu, Rukara and Karamuzi. Ndahura is the second eldest silverback in the group. Its gorilla family has of 3 female adults, 2 black backs, juveniles plus an infant.


Oruzogo gorilla family is situated between Buhoma and Ruhija sectors. It has been available for tourism since 2011. It features about 16 members with one male silverback gorilla.

Rushegura gorilla family

Some thing interesting about this gorilla family is that it was created after the break up of Habiyanja. There its name was derived from a place where the two gorillas separated from. It has about 20 members with one silverback male.

uganda gorilla families


Mukiza gorilla family was habituation in 1995 but it remained closed for gorilla trekking safaris since it was preserved by Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology for research on mountain gorillas. Originally, the group was called Kyaguliro. After the death of the leader silverback called Rukina, Mukiza succeeded him. However, he was too weak to get into a good fight with Rukara when he invaded the gorilla family to divide it. This resulted into Kyaguliro A and B. Kyaguriro A is headed by Mukiza and popularly known as Mukiza family.

Kyaguriro family

This one is also called Kyaguliro B, the one that split from Kyaguliro A following the death of Rukina. This group is the one popularly known as Kyaguliro. Rukare who is the current leader of the group started the family with members that he got from Mukiza family after a successful fight with Mukiza.

Nshogi gorilla family

This is the largest gorilla family in the Impenetrable forest of Bwindi with 25 members. Nshongi is found in Rushaga sector in the southern part of the park. It got its name from a stream in Bwindi called “Omushongi Gwoboki” and this is translated as a stream of honey.

Nshongi gorilla family was opened for trekking in July 2010 upto now its still open for gorilla trekking experience.

Kahungye gorilla family

The family’s name was derived from their location on Kahungye hill in Rushaga sector. It initially comprised of 27 gorillas but later on split up remaining with 13 members. The original Kahungye family was opened for trekking in October 2011.

Bweza gorilla family

During the reign of Mishaya in Nshongi gorilla family, the members of Bweza were still part of Nshongi. One of the silverback gorillas named Bweza split up from the group to form the current Bweza family where he is still the leader today. The group was opened for trekking in December 2012.

Busingye gorilla family

In 2012, Kahungye gorilla family split up and about 7 members went to start the so called Busingye family being led by a silverback called Busingye. Currently this gorilla family has 9 members.

Bukingi gorilla family

This one got its name from one of the ranger’s family that used to move with the vets. The team used to visit the gorillas everyday to monitor them so as to do away with any illnesses to save their lives. Bukingi gorilla family is found in Rushaga sector, south of the park.

Nkuringo gorilla family

Its name says it all in regards to the location; it is found in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi. The family got its name from the silverback leader that was called Nkuringo. The family has 18 members with 2 silverbacks.

Bushaho gorilla family

Bushaho can be seen in the southern part of Bwindi in Nkuringo. It was habituated together with Bukingi gorilla family. Bushaho gorilla family is led by a silverback called Bahati and the group has 9 members. It was habituated up to 2004 and thereafter opened for trekking.

Mishaya gorilla family

Mishaya is found in Nshongi in Rushaga sector. It has 12 members with 1 silverback. The family was named after the former lead silverback Mishaya who was later on succeeded by Mwine. It is important to note that Mwine still leads the group to date.

Kutu gorilla Family

Kutu is one of the most recently opened gorillas families after habituation. It is located in Rushaga sector and it has about 8 amazing members with a mature silver back.

Katwe gorilla Family

Katwe gorilla family is found in Buhoma sector of Bwindi. It was added to the list in 2018 after about 3 years of habituation. It comprises of 10 members with 1 silverback.

Mucunguzi  Family

The group got its name from the lead silverback- Mucunguzi. He wanted to start the group by splitting Bweza family but he failed and the end result was chasing him. He went and started his own group which now consists of 8 members. , the family is located in Rushaga sector. And is open fro trekking any tie of the year.


Binyindo gorilla family is found in Buhoma sector with 6 members. After about 3 years under habituation, the family is now open for trekking in the respective sector.

Christmas  Family

This family got its name from the leader silverback Christmas. Located in Nkuringo sector, the group can be trekked there any time of the year. Christmas gorilla group is made up of 9 members.

After understanding the behaviors of gorillas and the conservation activities of the gorilla parks, we see the number of gorilla families increasing. Meaning that they may keep changing anytime. For updates about the gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla National Park, feel free to browse our website.