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Buhoma mountain gorillas in Buoma sector, this sector is located in the northern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Buhoma sector was the first sector to be habituated in 1993 just after the park was declared a UNESCO Heritage. Buhoma is the most famous and most visited part of the park, with the oldest Gorilla family Mubare and three other families of Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe Gorilla families.
Details about the Buhoma mountain gorillas in Buhoma sector of Bwindi
Mubare Gorilla Family
This is the oldest gorilla group in Bwindi and was habituated in 1993 when tourism had just been introduced to Bwindi. The name Mubare was derived from the famous Mubare Hills where the team of trackers first sited the group. After the habituation, the group was made up of 12 members, headed by Ruhondeza and over the years with raids and misfortune, the group was reduced to only 5 members. After the death of Ruhondeza who died at over 50 years and with now new leadership from another silverback Kanyonyi, the group has managed to regrow and currently has 9 members.
Habinyanja Gorilla Family
The group was habituated in 1997 and started tracking in 1999. The group is also found in Buhoma sector. The name habinyanja was derived from a Rukiga word “Nyanja” which means a water place. This was because the group as first sighted nearby a swamp pond in Bwindi by then the head of the group was Mugurusi and after his head was succeeded by two brothers Mwirima and Rwansigazi. Rwansigazi loved to travel while Mwirima loved to stay in one place. Later Rwasigazi formed the group Rushegura. The head of this family is the Silverback Makara and is comprised of now 17 members with 9 Adults, 5 infants and 3 juveniles. This group is one of the easiest to track and to reach it is a 45 minutes drive from the starting point, and you head out to the trail at Nyamishaba village.
Rushegura Gorilla Family.
This group split away from Habinyanja gorilla family and was opened up for tracking in 2002. This breakaway was led by Mwirima who was a strong silverback and wanted to form his group after many years of power struggle with his brother Rwansigazi, by the time Mwirima left he took with him, 7 members. Later he died, and now the group is under the leadership of a black back. The group has managed to increase its member to 19 members from the original 8 members. This group keeps moving between Uganda and DR Congo as it lives on the border edge and keeps crossing over many times. This is another easy group to track with tourists starting there trek from the park headquarters and walk just 15 munites to get to the trail in Mukono.
Katwe Gorilla Group.
This is the newest group in Buhoma sector, and this group took up to 3 years to be fully habituated and ready for visitor tracking. The group has one dominate silverback, four females and two babies. It’s not exactly know how many members this group has as other members keep moving in and out of the group. This group was founded in 2018, and this was done in a bid to increase the number of Gorilla permits available per day hence increase the revenue of the country as well.
What to wear and take during gorilla trekking in Buhoma
Whichever family group you visit, you may have to walk a long distance in steep, muddy conditions, possibly with rain overhead, before you encounter any gorillas. Put on your sturdiest shoes. Ideally, wear thick trousers ad long sleeved top as to protect against vicious stinging nettles. It’s often cold when you set out, so start out with a sweatshirt or jerseys [which also help protect against nettles].
The gorillas are thoroughly used to people, so it makes little difference whether you wear bright or muted colours. Whatever clothes you wear to go tracking are likely to get very dirty you slip and slither in the mud, so if you have pre- muddied clothes you might as well wear them. When you are grabbing for handholds in thorny vegetation, a pair of old gardening gloves are helpful.
Carry as little as possible, ideally in a waterproof daypack of some sort. During the rainy season, a poncho or raincoat might be a worthy addition to you daypack, while sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a good idea at any time of year. You may well feel like a snack during a long hike, and should certainly carry enough drinking water – at least two litres. Bottled water is sold in locally at the accommodation facilities. Especially during the rainy season, make sure your camera gear is well protected – is your bag isn’t waterproof, seal your camera and films in a plastic bag.
Binoculars are not necessary to see the gorillas. In the theory, bird watchers might like to carry binoculars, though in practice only the most dedicated are likely to make use of them – the trek up to the gorillas is normally much directed, and walking up the steep slopes and the thick vegetation tends to occupy one’s eye and mind.
Best time to trek Buhoma mountain gorillas of Buhoma region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Buhoma is located in Bwindi impenetrable forest is open for trekking all year round but it is also important to note that the forest is a tropical rain forest and can receive rain at any time. The best months to track gorillas include; June to August and December to February since they receive the lowest rainfall and the forest is less slippery. On the other hand, when you happen to travel during March to May and November there are chances of higher rainfall, you will be able to get discounts from some lodges for your accommodation.
Why plan and book gorilla trekking in Buhoma region of Bwindi with Eco Adventure Safaris.
Eco Adventure Safaris is experienced in organizing amazing gorilla trekking safari experiences to Uganda and Rwanda. We are also highly rated and reviewed on trip Advisor. We combine gorilla trekking safaris with eco-friendly and unforgettable high-end adventure and wildlife safaris that help preserve biodiversity, conserve wildlife and uplift local communities, these include chimpanzee trekking, Big 5 safaris and game viewing, Mountain Hiking, Boat cruises excursions and Cultural encounters to give you a memorable and best African Safari experience including popular and great African safari destinations Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana and Namibia. Feel free to contact us for more information about Buhoma mountain gorillas.