Rushegura gorilla group family in Bwindi gorilla Forest
Rushegura gorilla group family in Bwindi gorilla Forest as mentioned earlier originated from the Habinyanja group in 2002 when the brother silverback took over power from elder brother Mugurusi disagreed and decided to break away from each other with each now belonging to the different group. Rushegura gorilla group family started with 12 members. Rushegura family in the northern part of the park in the Buhoma sector can be traced 15 minutes following the trail head in Mukono.
This group originally known as Habinyanja group 2 was named Rushegura originating from tree species in the forest called “Ebishegura” which was in plenty where this group migrated to after separation. Due to lack of stability, this group kept on migrating from Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo but they later on settled in Buhoma sectors and sometimes they can be seen wandering in the compound of Buhooma lodge.
This separation was spearheaded by the Mwirima who went away with 12 individuals including five females. His courage to generate a peace full and stable family was measured when the family individuals increased to 19 by April 2010. The fact that the family had already been habituated when it was still a Haminyanja group, it was immediately opened for tourism in 2002. This is a good enough group to trek as you learn the history, composition and feeding habits.
Despite his young age, Mwirima was so brave silverback who would stand for his family against any external aggression by engaging in different fights using different tools including his canine teeth, using of tree branches, chest-pounding and hitting his palms on the ground as the sign of victory over his family enemies.
Mwirima, the late used to map the movements of the group especially to where they would be enough food as well as influential in mitigating the conflicting areas/groups which were avoided and in case of a surprise attack he couldn’t dare to fight. Sadly, Mwirima died in 2014 and the group is currently led by a strong blackbuck.
The newly habituated Katwe gorilla family
Initially, Buhoma sector located in the northern part of the park had only three gorilla families that were fully habituated but because of the demand, Katwe gorilla family has been lately habituated and added to the three families which make Buhoma sector with four fully habituated gorilla families that are trekked by the tourists. This increased tally of gorilla families has increased the accessibility of gorillas by tourists in the Buhoma sector.
The opening of Katwe gorilla group in Buhoma by Uganda Wildlife Authority has increased the number of gorilla permits from twenty-four permits that were available to the other three groups to namely Habinyanja, Rushegura, and Mubare to a total of 32 gorilla permits per day. This indicated that our travelers can book gorilla permits in advance available to this sector bearing in mind that each group is assigned to 8 permits per day as highlighted.
Particularly Katwe gorilla family habituation process began in 2015 which lasted for 3 years and in 2018, the group was opened for tourism in 2018 after the announcement was passed to all tour operators in Uganda to start booking permits for travelers to visit this group. Habituation remembers is done to make sure that the gorillas are aware of the human beings such that even the travelers are safe when encountering these gorilla species. The group was named “Katwe” meaning the top most part of the hill, especially where this group was sighted by researchers/trackers.
Katwe group is located in the northern part of the park with a dominant silver back, 2 infants and about four females however it is important to note that the exact number of individuals in Katwe family are not yet clear but African Adventure Vacations is always ahead as a leading tour operator in East Africa will be able to let you know promptly the exact number of gorilla family in this group as long as they are well established by the relevant authorities. The habituation of this gorilla group was done concurrently with the Christmas gorilla group in Nkuringo which was born on Christmas day.