Mishaya Gorilla Family In Bwindi National Park : Bwindi impenetrable national park is found in the southwestern part of Uganda in kanungu district with an area cover of 321 square kilometers. The national park was gazette in 1991 and listed among the world heritage sites by UNESCO in 1994. The park is a home to half of the words population of the mountain gorillas. Besides the gorillas it’s a home to other wildlife species such as mammals, reptiles, butterfly species and bird species.
Mountain gorillas are endangered species and one of the largest ape in the primates group. These gorillas share 98% DNA with human beings after the baboons and chimpanzees and thus the name human cousins.
Mishaya gorilla group is among the 10 habituated gorilla families in bwindi impenetrable national park. The gorilla family is found in rushaga sector of bwindi. The group is one of the 5 habituated groups that are found within the Rushaga sector on the map since the region has an increasing number of the gorilla families. The mishaya gorilla group was once a member of the Nshongi gorilla family where the leady Mishaya broke away with some members and decided to form his own family.
The family has seven members but the number keeps changing according to the number of gorillas joining the family, living, new births and death occurrence. It’s the same change which occurs as that of human families. Since the number of members keeps increasing and this has been noticed in the current years due to continued births. The leader of the Mishaya is called Mishaya the silverback who is a fighter and was seen in a battle with another wild gorilla group which is not habituated where some of the members were treated for the injuries they go during the fight.
His known as a fighter who starts interactions with other gorilla families and his fights enable him to get females from other groups living next to his family. The family has been trained to be close to humans and there’s no need to worry about any attack from the mountain gorillas. Unfortunately on 3rd Feb 2014, Mishaya was found dead by the park rangers and a group of trekkers in bwindi. The cause of his death is still unknown till date, since he had no reported illness nor injuries. Mishaya died at the age of 28 years and was buried within the national park.
Presently Mishaya family in bwindi is being led by a dominant silverback called Mwine. Other members include Bakunzi, Mwiza, Rutaro and Mize. The group has only 4 infants.
Therefore visitors who come to trek the group pay a fee of 700 USD per person and a group of 8 members are allowed to trek the gorilla family daily. Gorilla trekking within Bwindi impenetrable national park starts at 7am with registration at the headquarters in Buhoma and thus followed by a briefing and then placed in your trekking groups depending on the family gorilla to trek. The trekking takes 4 to 8 hours plus the one hour that is allocated to spend with the gorillas once they are located. Trekkers go with their packed lunch and enough drinking water for the day.
Therefore the best time to trek the Mishaya gorilla family in bwindi is between the months of June to august and December to mid-February. These are the dry months within the park which makes it easy for the trekkers to hike through the forest and head trails aren’t steep, muddy and slippery at this time of the year.