Buhoma Sector in Bwindi NP

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park located in south western Uganda in Kisoro, Rubanda and Kanungu districts has four sectors. Buhoma sector is one of these sectors located in the Northern part of the park. Uganda is the third home to the endangered mountain gorillas and almost half of the gorilla population is located in Bwindi with a total of 21 habituated gorilla groups.

The other sectors where gorilla trekking is done are Rushaga in the south, Ruhija in the south east and Nkuringo in the south. Buhoma sector has five fully habituated gorilla families ready to be trekked and these include Mubare, Rushegura, Muyambi, Katwe and Habinyanja.

Gorilla Families in the Buhoma sector

Mubare Gorilla family

This is the oldest gorilla family in the Buhoma sector first trekked by tourists in 1993. By then it had 12 members and the group was led by a dominant silverback Ruhondeza who unfortunately died a natural death in 2012 at the age of 50 and Kanyonyi an alpha male took over the leadership position but later got injured after falling off from a tree, he became weak and could no longer protect the family hence forcing Malaya another dominant silverback to take over leadership. Malaya was once a lone Silverback who joined the Mubare family by force and during his attack also killed the weak Kanyonyi while other gorillas escaped his brutal ways.

The Mubare gorilla family currently has 9 members, 4 female adults Karungi, Twesiime, Buzinza and Nyampazi, 4 babies and Mubare the leader. 

The Mubare group was named after the Mubare highlands close to Buhoma where the researchers first sighted the family.

This family is one of the most visited gorilla groups because it stays close to the parks headquarters and it takes less than an hour to find them. This group is allocated to trekkers who would love the nearest gorilla groups. 

Rushegura gorilla family

This family was once part of the Habinyanja family before breaking away in 2002, Mwirima a strong silverback led the 7 members to depart from the Habinyanja family and by 2010 the group had increased to 19 members, 2 silverbacks, 3 blackbucks, 6 adult females, a sub adult, 4 babies and 3 adolescents. The group is now led by a blackbuck Kabukojo who took over after the death of Mwirima.

The name of the group Rushegura was inspired by the “Ebishegura” tree species that is commonly found in the Buhoma sector where the split from Habinyanja family took place.

It is another group located near the park’s headquarters and at times tourists at the lodging areas are frequently visited by this family.

Muyambi Gorilla family

The Muyambi family was recently opened for trekking in 2019 however, it was habituated from the Ruhija sector. It’s the newest addition in the Buhoma sector. Muyambi was once part of Mubare family the oldest family in Buhoma before breaking away from the group to form his own. The Muyambi gorilla group now has 6 members.

Katwe Gorilla family

This is another new addition it is the fourth group that was added in the Buhoma sector. The Katwe gorilla family started the habituation process in 2018 and the current silverback heading the family is Mahaane. Some females Malaika and Kashundwe from the Mubare family joined the Katwe group when their family was undergoing distress after the death of Kanyonyi in 2017. The females were already habituated but since they had joined a family that was unhabituated, they had to undergo a second habituation process.

Habinyanja Gorilla family

Habinyanja in the Rukiga means “near the swamps” this group was first sighted in the Bwindi swamps and that is why it was named Habinyanja. It was the second gorilla group to be introduced and opened up for trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, this happened in 1999.

During that time, the group had 30 individuals led by Mugurusi but it was split in to two by February 2002 to form the Rushegura family also located in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. The family currently has 17 members, the silverback Makara, 8 adults both male and female, 7 adolescents and a baby gorilla.

Trekking this family is a challenge because it’s always on the move looking for a new place to settle.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *