Located in South Western Uganda at the western side of the Rift Valley is Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park.
It is the habitat to over half of the remaining mountain gorillas in the world. The park is covered with a tropical rain forest that has more than 324 tree species.
Among these, ten of them are only found in this area. This area receives heavy rainfall between the months within the rainy season and short rains within the sunny season.
This National park covers an area of about 331 square kilometers and has an altitude of about 1160m at Ishasha gorge and 2607m at Rwamunyonyi peak.
The Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park as its name suggests is made up of an impenetrable forest that has been a gorilla tracking tourist destination since 1963.
The park has a number of gorilla groups and visitors are allocated to a group. Among these are;
Mubare gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda with 9 members including 1 silverback as head of the group, and was fully habituated in 1991.
Habinyanja gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 18 members including 2 silverbacks and was fully habituated in 1997.
Rushegura gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector with 19 members including 1 silverback. Rushegura Gorilla Family was formed in 2002 with Mwirima silverback.
Katwe gorilla family is located in the Buhoma sector and is the newest family in the Buhoma region in the northern side of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park with 7 members in the family with one dominant silverback.
Nkuringo Gorilla group is located in the Nkuringo area with 19 members including 2 silverbacks. The group is led by one Silverback Nkuringo who died in April 2008, leaving behind 2 Silverbacks.
Bushaho gorilla family is located in the southern sector in the Nkuringo area with 8 members including 1 silverback known as Bahati.
Bitukura Gorilla Family is located in Ruhija area with 14 members including 4 silverbacks and the habituation process started in 2007 thou it took over 15 months which was fully habituated.
Mishaya Gorilla Family is located in the Rushaga area with 7 members including 1 Silverback with one silverback (Mishaya) which is the only adult in the group.
Oruzogo gorilla group is located in Ruhija Sector with 23 members including 1 silverback and was habituated for trekking in 2011.
Nshongi Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park with 18 members and it was officially launched for trekking on 26th September 2009.
Kahungye Gorilla group located in Rushaga area with 13 members with 3 silverbacks which are the only ones named. The dominant Silverback is called Rumansi and the group was opened for travelers in gorilla tracking in 2011.
Bweza Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga sector with 9 individuals including 1 silverback known as Bweza. Bweza split out from the Nshongi family where it started its own group.
Busingye Gorilla Family is located in Rushaga with 9 members including 1 silverback and is the newest group to break away from the Kahungye family in June 2012.
Kyaguriro Gorilla group is located in Ruhija with 20 individuals who feature a fascinating history which is an attraction of itself, and it’s known as Kyaguriro group A and B, this explains that the group’s habituated in 1995,
Bikyingi Gorilla group is located in the Rushaga area in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest with 21 individuals including 1 silverback. The only silverback and leader of the group was named the same as his group, Bikyingi and he is very friendly to all his young ones.
Christmas Gorilla group is the newest family in the Nkuringo region makes up three gorilla families in the Nkuringo sector, with 9 members and one dominant silverback known as Christmas.
Mukiza gorilla family is located in the Ruhija sector and it was one of the silverbacks in Kyaguriro which splits out. The family has 10 members
Kutu gorilla family is located in the Rushaga region of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with 8 members and one dominant silverback as the head of the family.
Mucunguzi gorilla family is located in the Rushaga sector with 8 members dominantly female; it splits from Bweza after a serious fight Mucunguzi is the head of the family
There are only eight permits issued daily for each group and you also have to book your safari months before you visit.
Permits can be booked at Uganda Wildlife Authority and your tour operator can help you acquire one.
Since the park is covered by rain forest, it is advised to carry boots and rain jackets when going for a safari to this park.
This park is also a bird watchers haven. About 360 bird species and over 200 types of butterflies have been recorded in the area.
Some of the birds found in Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park include Yellow-eyed black fly-catcher, dusky crimson wing, Wilcock’s hone-guide, bar-tailed trogon, short-tailed warbler and many more.
With the help of a trained tour guide, this is also a good place to learn and understand more about the primates as you watch and see the different birds and tree species.
Apart from birds, this park is also home to about 120 mammals including seven primates and about thirty elephants.
The primates include the chimpanzee, blue monkeys, black and white Columbus, grey-cheeked mangabey and L’Hoest’s monkey.
In conclusion, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has many Mountain Gorillas and the number keeps on increasing based on the great conservation success in Uganda.
However, above are the only habituated gorillas groups that inhabit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.