Ruhija, a town nestled in the eastern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, stands as a gateway to an exceptional wildlife experience: gorilla tracking. This region not only offers the awe-inspiring encounter with these magnificent creatures but also holds the distinction of being one of the prime birding areas within the park. Here, avid birdwatchers can rejoice in the opportunity to document more than 10 species of Albertine Rift endemics, adding an extra layer of natural wonder to their journey.
The Bitukura family finds its dwelling in the Ruhija sector of the Bwindi Forest National Park. It draws its name from the Bitukura River, the very waterway where it was initially spotted. The journey of habituating this mountain gorilla family commenced in July 2007, culminating in its availability for tourist visits in October 2008. Comprising 9 individuals and 2 commanding silverbacks, the Bitukura family stands as a testament to the intricate social structures of these remarkable creatures.
While the Kyaguriro family has undergone habituation, its doors have yet to open for tourist encounters, as it remains exclusively reserved for research purposes. By maintaining close interactions with this gorilla group, conservationists have gleaned invaluable insights into the behavior and dynamics of Bwindi’s mountain gorillas. This family, distinguished by its differences from the mountain gorillas of the Virunga Volcanoes, was initially led by the venerable silverback Zeus. Tragically, Zeus met his end in exile, banished by his rival Rukina.
Presently, the Kyaguriro family comprises 9 individuals and a dominant silverback.
The Oruzogo group, the second habituated gorilla family in the Ruhija vicinity, stands as a community of 23 individuals under the leadership of Silverback Tibirikwata. Since its introduction to tourism in the mid-2011, this family has experienced growth owing to several joyous births. With a total of 11 individuals and a formidable trio of silverbacks, the Oruzogo family embodies the vitality and unity of Bwindi’s gorilla clans.
Emerging from the separation of the Kyaguliro group, the Mukiza family marks one of the newer formations. With 9 individuals and 1 silverback, this family embarks on a journey of its own within the intricate tapestry of Bwindi’s gorilla community.
Within this realm of wonder, where four fully habituated gorilla families reside, a total of 32 gorilla permits are made available each day. This limited number ensures an intimate and sustainable encounter with these awe-inspiring creatures, minimizing the impact on their natural habitat.
For those eager to embark on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, securing a gorilla tracking permit in Ruhija is made possible through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or specialized Africa travel experts. Trek Africa Tours stands ready to assist you in securing these coveted permits well in advance, ensuring your seamless and unforgettable journey into the heart of gorilla territory.