With the booming number of travelers to the famous mountain gorilla destinations (Uganda and Rwanda), one needs to know more about these gentle primate spices.
After a very long fight against the near-extinction of the mountain gorillas, these gentle giants have slowly been increasing in numbers.
This was after a census by the Uganda Wild Life Authority in 2019 to know the number of remaining gorillas in their National reserve.
It was significantly discovered that the gorilla numbers have increased and this immediately put them out of the critically endangered species category.
This resulted to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to update the Mountain gorilla’s status from “critically endangered to “endangered”
There are now over 1,000 of the mountain gorillas in the wild, up from an anticipated population of 680 a decade ago.
However, In the context of colliding inhabitants of wildlife around the world, this is an extraordinary conservation success,” said Tara Stoinski, President and chief scientist of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
The Atlanta-based non-profit is named for the primate researcher whose work helped draw international attention to mountain gorillas and whose memoir became the basis for the 1988 Weaver film “Gorillas in the Mist.
Mountain gorillas live in lush and misty forests along with a range of dormant volcanoes in East Africa. Their habitat falls inside national parks spanning parts of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
And stories about Diani Fossey, who died in 1985, had projected that the primates may be extinct by 2000.
Instead, their populations have been slowly increasing thanks to sustained and well-funded international conservation efforts that are Uganda Wildlife Authority, Rwanda Development Board, Virunga Conservation Program, international gorilla conservation program & other conservation bodies.
These Conservation bodies have greatly contributed and made progress in terms of Mountain gorillas’ protection.
This has provided an environment where mountain gorillas can continue to thrive and grow
There are now more than 5 mountain gorilla groups to trek in Uganda compared to the recent years as a result of conservation and these include
Mubare Gorilla Family
Mubare gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda with 9 members including 1 silverback as head of the group, and was fully habituated in 1991.
Habinyanja Gorilla Family
Habinyanja gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 18 members including 2 silverbacks and was fully habituated in 1997.
Rushegura Gorilla Family
Rushegura gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 19 members including 1 silverback. Rushegura Gorilla Family was formed in 2002 with Mwirima silverback.
Katwe gorilla family
Katwe gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the newest family in the Buhoma region on the northern side of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park with 7 members in the family with one dominant silverback.
Nkuringo Gorilla Family
Nkuringo Gorilla group is located in the Nkuringo area with 19 members including 2 silverbacks. The group is led by one Silverback Nkuringo who died in April 2008, leaving behind 2 Silverbacks.
Bushaho gorilla family
Bushaho gorilla family is located in the southern sector in the Nkuringo area with 8 members including 1 silverback known as Bahati.
Bitukura Gorilla Family
Bitukura Gorilla Family is located in Ruhija area with 14 members including 4 silverbacks and the habituation process started in 2007 thou it took over 15 months which was fully habituated.
Mishaya Gorilla Family
Mishaya Gorilla Family is located in the Rushaga area with 7 members including 1 Silverback with one silverback (Mishaya) which is the only adult in the group.
Oruzogo Gorilla Family
Oruzogo gorilla group is located in Ruhija Sector with 23 members including 1 silverback and was habituated for trekking in 2011.
Nshongi Gorilla Family
Nshongi Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with 18 members and it was officially launched for trekking on 26th September 2009.
Kahungye Gorilla Family
Kahungye Gorilla group located in Rushaga area with 13 members with 3 silverbacks which are the only ones named. The dominant Silverback is called Rumansi and the group was opened for travelers in gorilla tracking in 2011.
Bweza Gorilla Family
Bweza Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga sector with 9 individuals including 1 silverback known as Bweza. Bweza split out from Nshongi family where it started its own group.
Busingye Gorilla Family
Busingye Gorilla Family is located in Rushaga with 9 members including 1 silverback and is the newest group to break away from Kahungye family in June 2012.
Kyaguriro Gorilla family
Kyaguriro Gorilla group is located in Ruhija with 20 individuals who feature a fascinating history which is an attraction of itself, and it’s known as Kyaguriro group A and B, this explains that the group’s habituated in 1995,
Bikyingi Gorilla Family
Bikyingi Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga area in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with 21 individuals including 1 silverback. The only silverback and leader of the group was named the same as his group, Bikyingi and he is very friendly to all his young ones.
Christmas Gorilla family
Christmas Gorilla group is the newest family in the Nkuringo region makes up three gorilla families in the Nkuringo sector, with 9 members and one dominant silverback known as Christmas.
Mukiza gorilla family
Mukiza gorilla family is located in the Ruhija sector and it was one of the silverbacks in Kyaguriro which splits out. The family has 10 members
Kutu gorilla family
Kutu gorilla family is located in the Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with 8 members and one dominant silverback as the head of the family.
Mucunguzi gorilla family
Mucunguzi gorilla family is located in the Rushaga sector with 8 members dominantly female; it splits from Bweza after a serious fight Mucunguzi is the head of the family
Tourism has also helped very much in the conservation of these gorillas with gorilla permits at $1,500 in Rwanda and $ 700 in Uganda for just an hour.
However, visitors would have to trek for hours to find the gorillas.
Part of the payment you make will helps conserve the mountain gorillas.