Gorilla Families and Gorilla Groups In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,

Gorilla Families and Gorilla Groups In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

March 26, 2022
News Journeys Uganda

Gorilla Families and Gorilla Groups In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, located in southwestern Uganda, is renowned for its population of endangered mountain gorillas. Within the park, these gorillas form family groups, also known as troops or clans. Here are some of the prominent gorilla families and groups that inhabit Bwindi


Located in the Buhoma north east of the park, Mubare family is the oldest habituated Gorilla family opened to visitors in 1993.  The family is named after the magnificent hills in which the family was first spotted. Mubare comprises of 8 member led by 1 silver back Kanyonyi who took over from Ruhondeza the original founder and head of this family who unfortunately died on 27th June 2012. The family was originally made of 18 members but was pulled down to five by another Gorilla family that took away most of its members.


This group was first noted near a swamp in Bwindi Forest National park and was then named Habinyanja derived from a Rukiga word “Nyanja” meaning a place with water. The group was opened to visitors in 1997 but first visited in 1999 and is also located in the Buhoma sector of the park.

Mugurusi was the original leader of the group but later passed on of old age and the group was taken over by the two brothers Rwasingazi and Mwirima. However they also later split up peacefully due to their difference in nature. Rwasingazi remained the silver back of the group until he gave it up to Makara who now leads a family of 18 members with 2 silverbacks.


This group was born from Habinyanja, when the two brothers Mwirima and Mwirima peacefully acknowledged their differences. Rwasingazi is the original leader and founder of this group. It was named after the place where the groups split from in 2002.

The family of 19 with one silverback is by far the calmest Gorilla family and loves to travel.


This family was named after River Bitukura where it was first seen in 2007 June, and is found on the Ruhija sector of Bwindi impenetrable forest National Park. The Bitukura family consists of 14 individuals of whom 4 are silverbacks but was originally made of 24 members when it was first opened to visitors in 2008. Many of the original members fell out of the group.

Ndahura the second youngest of the group is the lead silver back taking over from Karamiuzi who retired after 40 Years.


Made of 23 individuals, led by Tebirikwata the dominant silver back Oruzogo is the second habituated gorilla group of the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Forest National Park.


Nkuringo was named after the hill where this Gorilla Group was first seen. It means round hill in the local Rukiga language. The group was originally led by the older silver back Nkuringo who died in April 2008 and was replaced by his son Safari. Nkuringo has 19 members, 2 of which are silverbacks

This family often meandered out of the park and fed on the crops and plants of the local people posing a great danger to both themselves and the villagers. It was then decided to habituate them for tourism purposes as a way of protecting them and for the community to benefit. For that matter in 2004 the group was officially opened up to tourists.


In September 2009 a new gorilla group was opened to tourism in the Rushaga sector of the park. It was named after the river close to where it was first seen

Nshongi had an overwhelming number of 36 members which made it stand out. Better yet with four silverbacks and seven black backs living together happily with Nshongi (who is not among the eldest) as the leader. Unfortunately In 2010 the group split up living Nshongi with 26 individuals.


Formed from the breaking up of the Nshongi family, Mishaya consists of 12 members with 1 silverback. The Mishaya family is very chaotic and is known for starting up fights with other groups. It is located in the Rushaga sector of the park


Kahungye is one of the newest gorilla group with 13 members of whom 3 are silverbacks led by Gwigi which means Door. The family was opened up for tourism in October 2011. The family has however split in a short time giving birth to the Busingye family.


Born from the Mishaya family Bweza was first opened up to visitors in December 2012 with 9 members 1 being the silverback. The group is found in the Rushaga sector of the park


Made of 9 members with one silver back Busingye split from Kahungye in June 2012.  Busingye which means peace leads the group but is not anything like his name. He is known for picking fights with other groups and showing power.


Another research group consisting of 15 members two of whom are the silverbacks. The group was formerly led by old Zeus who died and is found in Ruhija in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park