Bwindi gorilla trekking families as an epicenter of Uganda tourism :  Gorilla family is a Group of Gorillas living together, it is comprised of Alpha male or Silver back, Black backs, females and young ones of different ages. Tracking these mountain gorillas, one must posses a gorilla tracking permit which must be purchased in advance. Each gorilla family live and feed together like human beings.

Atypical Gorilla family contains about 10 members, the dominant Silverback, several adult females and then immature offspring of different ages. However there can be variations in family size which may range between 2 and 30  or more individuals. A group may sometimes contain more than 1 or more silver back. In multi groups, the silverbacks are usually related as brothers, half brothers, or father and son. When gorillas reach maturity, they typically but not always , leave the group in which they were born. Females will shift to another group directly when they are 6-10 years old. Males follow one of two strategies, to become the leader of the group; either remain in the group and attempt a takeover  or emigrate to become solitary male and eventually form a new family group. All male gorillas become silverbacks at about 14 years of age but not all males become group leaders. The Silverback is responsible for the security of entire family.

Bwindi gorilla trekking families as an epicenter of Uganda tourism
Bwindi Forest Gorillas

Mountain gorillas live in the Virunga massif which is comprised of  Mghinga gorilla national park, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and the Virunga national park in DR-Congo. The other population live in the Jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Those are the only places where this specie of Gorilla can be found in the whole world. The mountain gorilla family members are all responsible for the youngsters or juveniles.

You may ask yourself why it is possible to see gorillas so well if they are wild! Naturally, gorillas are afraid of human beings and will typically flee and sometimes aggressively charge if people continue getting close to them. Gorillas that are trekked and visited by people have undergone what is know as Gorilla Habituation. Habituation refers to the process where the Wild Gorillas, through daily peaceful contact with humans have slowly lost their fear of human presence and have learned to see them as neutral beings in their environment. Habituating a gorilla family usually takes approximately 2 years. The guidelines and gorilla trekking rules established for tourists visits have been put in place to respect the special relationship that exists through the habituation period. The Gorillas briefly letting people into their world.

In the south-west of Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable national park has formed the stronghold for the country’s gorilla safaris since 1993 and today it boasts of a minimum of 400 mountain gorillas. Located in the southwestern part of Uganda, the park holds close to a half of their entire world population estimated at 880 individuals. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park features over fourteen habituated gorilla families (though two are still under habituation) which is the highest number of habituated groups in the individual parks among the three African countries where mountain gorillas are known to thrive.

Bwindi comprises of four semi-autonomous sectors where world travelers on Uganda gorilla safaris take up the gorilla trekking activity from. These include; Buhoma to the north, Ruhija to the east, Rushaga to the south and Nkuringo to the south-west. The region to track is determined at the time of gorilla permit booking.

There 14 habituated gorilla families are spread into the for gorilla trekking sectors including; Mubare – the pioneer group habituated in Uganda, Habinyaja and Rushegura in Buhoma region; Orozogo, Bitukura and Kyagurilo and Kyagurilo in Ruhija region; Mushaya, Nshongi which is the largest gorilla group ever been habituated in Uganda, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Bushaho and Bikingi in Rushaga region; and Nkuringo in Nkuringo region.

Besides gorilla trekking in Uganda, which provides for one hour with the mountain gorillas, the two gorilla groups that are still undergoing habituation in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are open to gorilla habituation experience – providing for an extended four-hour encounter with these critically endangered apes.

Bwindi gorilla trekking families as an epicenter of Uganda tourism
Bwindi gorilla trekking families as an epicenter of Uganda tourism

The fame of Bwindi forest is not hinged on the mountain gorillas alone, but also its remarkable terrain marked with rugged hills, narrow valleys and dense, forested landscapes that always make the trek through it beyond the ordinary! The great numbers of birds (350 bird species), including the 23 Albertine Rift endemics, like the African green broadbill, are some of the complimentary sights you can enjoy while on gorilla trekking in Uganda.

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