Gorilla Families In Buhoma Sector : Buhoma sector is among the four gorilla trekking sectors found in the northern part of Bwindi impenetrable national park in kanungu district. Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda and it’s a home to half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. Gorilla trekking in Bwindi impenetrable national park is as well done in Rushaga sector in the south, Ruhija sector in the east and nkuringo sector in the south.
Buhoma sector is a home to five habituated mountain gorilla families namely Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Muyambi and Katwe gorilla families which are available for trekking on a daily basis. These include;
MUBARE GORILLA FAMILY
This is the oldest gorilla family within Buhoma sector and it was the first gorilla family to be trekked by tourists in 1993. At that time of habituation mubare family had 12 members and led by Ruhondeza silverback who later died in June 2012 due to old age leaving the family under the leadership of the alpha male Kanyonyi. Kanyonyi later fell down from the tree and sustained injuries which made him weak and could not fight for his family hence losing it to Malaya silverback. The mubare gorilla family is now comprised of 9 members including Malaya the dominant silverback, 4 females namely Nyampazi, Karungi, Twesiime, Buzinza and 4 babies.
RUSHEGURA GORILLA FAMILY
The rushegura family separated from habinyanja gorilla family in 2002 and the separation was led by Mwirima who loved staying at a close range with his family members. He broke away with 7 members including 5 females and others joined making them 12 members. And in 2010 the family increased to 19 members including 2 silverbacks, 3 blackbacks, 6 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 3 juveniles and 4 infants
MUYAMBI GORILLA FAMILY
This is the newest gorilla group within Buhoma sector and it was open for trekking in 2019 with 6 members. Muyambi was once a member of Mubare family which was the first gorilla family in Buhoma sector and separated from the family to form its own group. The family got a new baby infant who arrived in May 2020.
HABINYANJA GORILLA FAMILY
The habinyanja gorilla family was habituated in 1996 and it got its name from the rukiga word Nyanja which means a place of water. The gorilla family comprises of 25 members by the time of habituation and dominated by Mugurusi silverback who passed on due to old age. Mugurusi’s death brought succession disputes as the silverback’s Rwansigazi, Mwirima and Makara were fighting for leadership. Rwansigazi and Mwrima shared power and led the family until 2002 when they separated and 12 members including 2 silverbacks, 2 blackbucks, 3 adults, 3 sub-adults and 2 juveniles followed rwansigazi and maintained the name Habinyanja and others followed Mwirima and were named Rushegura gorilla family.
KATWE GORILLA FAMILY
Katwe gorilla family is the fourth group to be habituated in buhoma sector. Katwe comprises of 9 members which includes 1 silver back, 4 adult females, 2 blackbacks and 2 infants. These only feed on foliage a meal they get after a search across the jungle. The infants are breastfed by the mothers before being taught how to pick and feed.
Gorilla trekking in Buhoma sector starts early in the morning with a briefing about the rules and regulations to follow while on the trekking. After the briefing, you will be subdivided into groups of 8 people where each will be allocated a habituated gorilla family to trek. The trekking in Buhoma sector takes 30 minutes to 7 hours depending on the location of the mountain gorillas since they move from one place to another in search of food. Once the gorillas are located, you will spend an hour with them as you learn more about their behaviors as well watch them carryout their daily activities as you take pictures and record breathtaking moments. A gorilla trekking permit within the buhoma sector costs 700 USD per foreign nonresident, 600 USD per person for foreign residents and 250,000 UGX per person for East African citizens.