Uganda’s Gorilla Groups & Places For Gorilla Tracking
Unlike Rwanda and DRC, Uganda offers an edge to gorilla trekking with two National Parks subdivided into four sectors for easy administration. With 20 fully habituated gorilla groups and two reserved for research and the gorilla habituation experience, Uganda offers more varied gorilla tourism with excellent wildlife safari extensions.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, the smallest gorilla sanctuary, houses one trekking point at Naykagezi Visitor Center and has only two habituated gorilla families available for tourism.
- Nyakagezi Gorilla Group (9 members, 4 silverback)
- Hirwa Gorilla Group (13 members, 1 silverback)
On the other hand, Bwindi Impenetrable has 20 habituated gorilla groups distributed in four visitor centers at Nkuringo Sector, Rushaga Sector, Ruhija Sector, and Buhoma Sector. Your gorilla permit will reflect which trekking center, and that’s where you should book your accommodation.
However, there is no telling which gorilla group you will be assigned because you’ll be assigned a gorilla group on the trekking day. Although, your safari planning specialist will advise you and also have a slight influence in booking for you a suitable trekking center for your choice of gorilla group.
Gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Gorilla Groups in Rushaga Sector
In Rushaga, 8 gorilla groups and one dedicated to research and the habituation experience are available for tourism. It’s worth noting that the Gorilla Habituation Experience can only be found in the Rushaga Sector, situated in the southern part of Bwindi.
- Nshongi Gorilla Group (8 members, 1 silverback)
- Mishaya Gorilla Group (10 members, 1 silverback)
- Busingye Gorilla Group (12 members, 1 silverback)
- Bweeza Gorilla Group (11 members, 3 silverbacks)
- Kahungye Gorilla Group (13 members, 1 silverback)
- Bikingi Gorilla Group – for habituation experience (10 members, 1 silverback)
- Mucunguzi Gorilla Group (12 members, 1 silverback)
- Rwiigi Gorilla Group (10 members, 1 silverback)
Gorilla Groups in Nkuringo Sector
At the Nkuringo sector, south of Bwindi, you can find three gorilla groups that have been habituated and are ready for trekking. Another gorilla group is currently undergoing the habituation process, which will soon be available exclusively for the Habituation Experience, as authorized by the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
- Nkuringo Gorilla Group (12 members, 2 silverbacks)
- Bushaho Gorilla Group (12 members, 2 silverbacks)
- Christmas Gorilla Group (8 members, 1 silverback)
- Posho Gorilla Group – under habituation (14 members, 1 silverback)
Gorilla Groups in Ruhija Sector
Located in the northeastern Bwindi boundary, the Ruhija sector offers 4 Gorilla groups for trekking.
- Kyagurilo (9 members, 2 silverbacks)
- Bitukura (11 members, 2 silverbacks)
- Mukiza (12 members, 1 silverback)
- Oruzogo (19 members, 4 silverbacks)
Gorilla Groups in Buhoma Sector
Buhoma is where the park headquarters are located. It is the most preferred entrance to the park for most tourists because of its excellent access to the main safari circuit in the north of Bwindi. Nonetheless, it has only 4 gorilla groups, which means permits are for crumbling to get.
- Mubare (6 members, 1 silverback)
- Habimanya (18 members, 1 silverback)
- Rushegura (15 members, 1 silverback)
- Katwe (8 members, 1 silverback)
What is the average cost of a gorilla trekking tour?
What is the best place for gorilla trekking in Uganda?
Nyakagezi of Mgahinga is a rare choice because of its non-existent lodging options near the center. Most will visit Mgahinga as an extension to track the golden monkeys after the gorilla experience in Bwindi. There is about a 50-km 2-3 hour drive between Bwindi and Mgahinga.
Buhoma is the tourists’ favorite for its lower altitude, access to the safari circuit, and a good selection of budget to luxury lodging options at the entrance. Rushaga is where habituation happens, but accommodation is a bit scanty and spread far from the visitor center, just as in Ruhija Sector.
Your best option for gorilla trekking in the southern sectors is Nkuringo, where accommodation is right at the entrance. However, Nkuringo’s terrain is quite challenging, with steep inclines to reach the gorillas.
The best place for gorilla trekking in Uganda is in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s four sectors. All factors considered, you can enjoy gorilla trekking in any of the five places in Uganda because gorillas a wild and have unpredictable movements and behavior. Not even the rangers can accurately tell where they’ll be on the day you visit, but it’s out of luck that trackers locate them easily. As long as you find suitable accommodation and make it to the trekking center before 7:30 am, any trekking center will give you a memorable gorilla safari experience.