Gorilla Families in Congo, Uganda and Rwanda
The exact number of mountain gorillas living in the jungle is difficult to estimate. As of 2016 it’s believed that there could now well be over 1000 mountain gorillas living in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable forest contains half of the world’s total mountain gorilla population. The others are found in Volcanoes national park Rwanda, Virunga national park in Congo and Mgahinga national park in Uganda.
Mountain Gorillas in Uganda are found in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga national park. It is estimated that there are over 500 mountain gorillas in Bwindi and about 80 in Mgahinga. There are more than 35 gorilla families living in Bwindi while the others are in Mgahinga. Most of the gorilla families remain wild and are not open to tourist.
The process of making gorillas acquainted to human peoples is referred to as Gorilla habituation. Gorilla habituation is a process that takes about two years and ends with the gorillas getting used to human presence as they go about with their daily activities in the wild. There are 12 habituated gorilla families in Uganda and only 8 people can track a particular family in a day.
Uganda is home to 12 habituated gorilla families. About 400 mountain gorillas inhabit Uganda’s forests in Bwindi and Mgahinga national parks. Bwindi has 11 habituated gorilla families while Mgahinga has one large family group. The gorilla family you choose usually determines the accommodation you book and vice-versa. Tracking a particular gorilla family is on each occasion different. The families are always on the move and rarely stay in one place for long. A trek that lasts two hours on one occasion could as well take six hours the next day. With the help of your tour operator, you can track any of the following groups in Uganda’s Bwindi and Mgahinga parks. Read More
Volcanoes national park Rwanda hosts approximately 380 habituated gorilla families distributed in 10 habituated gorilla families which are available daily for gorilla trekking. Also part of the 3 national park within the Virunga conservation region with Mgahinga and Viruga national park, Volcanoes national park location has the highest number of gorillas and gorilla families. Mountain gorillas leave in family groups led by a dominant silverback. As you start your trek, you will be assigned a particular group based on your place of accommodation and overall fitness levels – among others. Some of the families live deep in the forest and require longer tracking hours. Rwanda has 10 habituated gorilla groups. Gorilla families are divided into two in Rwanda – Those for research purposes and those open to tourists. The Shida and Beetsme group are research groups and are not open to tourists. The research groups have the highest number of individuals.
The Democratic republic of Congo is blessed with an abundance of untapped/virgin wild plant, bird and animal resources. Mountain gorillas in Congo are found in the Virunga National Park. The park has eight gorilla families as of 2016. In comparison to Rwanda and Uganda, there has been instability in the gorilla groups. The park has reopened after being closed in 2012 due to the activities related to armed groups and poachers.