Oldest gorilla family in Bwindi gets newborn gorilla

Mubare, the oldest gorilla group in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has received a newborn gorilla, born to Businza, one of the female gorillas in the group.

Mr. Peter Mbwebwe, a warden for Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) who broke the good news of this new infant in the family says that both the newborn and the mother are in good condition.

“We celebrate a newborn in Mubare group. Mother Businza and baby in good shape,” said Mr. Mbwebwe.

The historical Mubare gorilla family was the first habituated gorilla group in Bwindi when the park first opened for gorilla safaris in 1993 following its successful habituation process of 2 years. The group was named after the beautiful Mubare Hills where it was discovered and currently the area is part of the Buhoma sector where the group can be trekked by visitors.

Female gorilla Businza with her newborn baby

Great news for gorilla conservation in Uganda

The addition of this latest baby gorilla means that the gorilla conservation success story is just getting better thanks to the efforts from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and other conservation partners and wildlife stakeholders.

According to the latest gorilla census, there are about 1004 mountain gorillas in both the two locations where their population is found, which is in Bwindi and in the Virunga Mountains of DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. However, most amazingly, more than half of this population is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) last year removed mountain gorillas from its Red List of the critically endangered species following the steady increase in their population in the previous decades.

What are the other gorilla families in Bwindi?

Currently (2019), there are 19 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that are available for travelers to trek. The gorilla families are divided in the park’s four sectors of Rushaga, Buhoma, Ruhija,and Nkuringo and they are as follows;

Rushaga Sector: Nsonji, Mishaya, Bweza, Kahunjye, Businjye, Rwiji, Muchunguzi, and Bikyinji gorilla family.

Buhoma Sector: Mubare, Rushegura, Habinyaja, and Katwe gorilla family

Ruhija Sector: Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Mukizo, and Orugozo gorilla family

Nkuringo Sector: Bishasho, Nkuringo and Christmas gorilla family

What does it take to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi?

Currently Bwindi Impenetrable National Park boasts as the best gorilla trekking destination both in terms of cost and gorilla variety. In addition to being a home to the highest number of mountain gorillas and gorilla families, the cost of trekking these incredible primates is less than half cheaper than that of Rwanda.

A gorilla trekking permit that allows to see mountain gorillas in Bwindi is sold at $600 compared to $1,5000 of Rwanda’s trekking permit. DR Congo would have the cheapest gorilla permit at about $450 but the security concerns in the region around Virunga National Park where Congo’s mountain gorillas are found makes it risky for travelers to go there leaving Bwindi as the most ideal gorilla trekking destination for all categories of travelers.

How to trek mountain gorillas in Bwindi

After securing your gorilla trekking permit at $600 per person, trekkers assemble at the headquarters of their trekking sector early in the morning for briefing where they are told about a few dos and don’ts of gorilla trekking and also allocated a gorilla group to visit.

Reaching your allocated gorilla group may take between 2-6 hours depending on where the animals are. Trekkers are allowed to spend one hour in the presence of these elusive gorillas while they are free to take pictures and video of these animals without interrupting their freedom. Avoiding noise and getting so close to the animals are among the most emphasized dos and don’ts in the process of trekking.

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