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- On April 7, 2020
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Located in Ruhija sector, east of Ruhija of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Bitukura is one of the 17 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Forest National Park. For those who have visited it before, Bitukura gorilla family is undeniably one of the most peaceful and calm gorilla families in Bwindi. Unlike other gorilla families which undergo a 2 years’ habituation experience, Bitukura was habituated for one year (2007) and opened for trekking in 2008. Its therefore a simple to visit gorilla group, a not miss on your Uganda gorilla tour to Bwindi Forest. Bitukura gorilla family is led by Ndahura dominant silverback gorilla. Also, the family has more other 3 silverbacks who live peacefully under the leadership of Ndahura. The other silverbacks in Bitukura gorilla group include Karamuzi the 2nd silverback, Rukumu as the 3rd silverback and Rukara as the 4th silverback gorilla. The name Bitukura was derived from the river where this gorilla family was first seen.
Family members of Bitukura Gorilla Family
Altogether, Bitukura gorilla family comprises of 13 members each of which plays a different role for the betterment of the family. Members of Bitukura gorilla family include:
• Ndahura (Dominant Silverback)
• Karamuzi (Silverback)
• Rukumu (Silverback)
• Rukara (Silverback)
• Kadogo (Infant)
• Mubwindi (Infant)
• Mugisha (juvenile)
• Obia (blackbuck)
• Twakire (black back)
• Betina (Adult female)
• Muhara (Adult female)
• Kamuga (Adult female)
• Kabandize (Juvenile who migrated from Kyaguliro gorilla family)
Each of these family members play a different role in the family, silverbacks guard and protect the family from external attacks, adult females nurse and feed the babies while black backs and juveniles play tirelessly in the family keeping it active and lively.
Gorilla Permits for Bitukura Gorilla Family
Every day, Bitukura gorilla family has 8 gorilla permits available giving chance to 8 lucky travelers to visit and trek this peaceful family. Due to the high demand for gorilla emits in Ruhija, gorilla permit booking is advised at least 6 months before the trekking date. Permit booking can be done directly with Uganda Wildlife Authority or through Africa Adventure Safaris, the number one travel agent in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Other Gorilla Families in Ruhija Sector
Besides Bitukura gorilla family, Ruhija is home to other gorilla families habituated for trekking. The other gorilla groups in Ruhija sector include Oruzongo family and Kyaguliro gorilla group. Each family has 8 gorilla permits available each day. Altogether, Ruhija sector has 24 gorilla permits available every day.
Best time to trek Bitukura Gorilla Family
Dry season between the months of June, July, August, September, December, and January are the best time to trek and visit Bitukura gorilla family. During this time, there are no or fewer rains that make it easy to walk through the jungle forest. However, Bitukura gorilla family can be visited all year round. Despite the difficulty in trekking during low season, travelers during this time enjoy lots of discounted services in lodges, hotels and travel companies.
Rules and regulations of trekking Bitukura gorilla family
At the start of the trekking day, travelers gather Ruhija park headquarters for briefing and registration. While there, travelers are introduced to the rules and regulations of trekking to ensure the safety of the endangered gorillas and travelers. The dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking apply across all gorilla families in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. These include:
1. Keep a distance of seven meters away from gorillas
2. Avoid direct eye contact with gorillas
3. Do not use flashlight cameras
4. Do not trek when sick
5. Do not litter in the park
6. Do not run when gorillas charge at you
7. Do not touch the gorillas
8. Keep your voices low
9. Keep within your group
10. Turn back your face when sneezing/coughing
More so, travelers are advised to pack the appropriate essentials to ensure a less challenging and peaceful gorilla trekking experience.
The packing list for trekking Bitukura gorilla family include:
• Long-sleeved shirts/blouses
• Long pants
• Hiking boots/shoes
• Gardening gloves
• Sun glasses
• Rain jackets
• Energy giving snacks
• Drinking water
• First aid kit
A Bwindi gorilla tour to visit Bitukura gorilla family is an exceptional experience you ought to enjoy. Contact Africa Adventure Safaris today, reserve your permit and enjoy a magical encounter with the humble Bitukura gorilla family.