RUSHEGURA GORILLA FAMILY IN BUHOMA REGION
Three quarters of the total population of the endangered mountain gorillas comfortably dwells in Uganda’s Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park positioned in the Virunga massif shared by three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bwindi is the prime home for the mighty apes in Uganda and Africa as well. It has four gorilla trekking regions; Buhoma, Nkuringo, Rushaga and Ruhijja. These regions harbor different habituated gorilla families, and tourists trek gorilla families respective to their regions of dwelling.
Doubtlessly, Buhoma is the most desired gorilla region, probably because of its easy accessibility, a wide variety of lodging facilities, beautiful trails and the amazing gorilla families that dwell here. And out of the three gorilla families, Mubare is the most loved group here, perhaps because of its touching story when it nearly faded away and never gave up.
However, recently, also the Rushegura gorilla has gained favor in the trekkers, it is one of the groups that every traveler wants to trek. Habituated in 2000 and later opened to trekkers in 2012, Rushegura gorilla family is one of the largest groups in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park. It is a fragment away from Habinyanja group.
Sometimes referred to as the R- Group, Rushegura has 16 family members led by Silverback Kabukojo, with four active blackbacks and four infants that make the group very amazing to behold. Watching the blackbacks fighting each other, infants breastfeeding, all these are experiences not found in every gorilla family.
Rushegura gorilla family is one of the easiest groups to trek in Bwindi. Trekking the R- Group involves a light trek less than five hours in the lower slopes of the impenetrable forest. Actually this is the best recommended group for the elderly and the people with disabilities.
It is very easy to trek the Rushegura mighty apes of the jungle on a wheel chair. And this type of tracking directly benefits the local community as it is always them that offer that service, and still the ones who craft the Sedan wheel chairs.
Rushegura family was first let by the late Mwirima who passed on in 2015, Kabukojo an adult black back took on the leadership till ate. It is without doubt that this silverback has well managed and protected the group, they have not registered any attack yet, no deaths and the group is expanding.
The group resides in a broad territory, sometimes going to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) park offices, Batwa village, Buhoma camp as well as Bwindi waterfall. Having sights of all these on a hunt for the Rushegura family can all sum into an extremely amazing experience.
The group is made of Kyirinvi, Kibande, Buzinza, Nyamunwa, and Karungyi the adult females, Kalembezi sub adult male and Ruterana sub adult female, Nyampazi, Kafuruka, Kibande, karungyi, Kanywanyi, Bunziza, Kyirinvi, Nyamunwa, Kibande and Katabazi are juveniles, all led by Silverback Kabukojo.
Other gorilla families found in Buhoma other than Rushegura are Habinyanja and Mubare gorilla family. Habinyanja is one of the oldest habituated gorilla families in 1997 and it currently has 18 members.
Mubare family was the first group to be habituated and opened to the trekkers. It has a beautiful touching story, a group that nearly collapsed to four members, didn’t give up, and it still pushed on and rebuilt itself to the eight members of the family it now has. And perhaps it is still expanding, who knows.
There are other several gorilla families in the other regions of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, summing to 14 gorilla families. And whichever group you trek, a lifetime experience is guaranteed.