Rushaga sector lies in the Southern parts of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Rushaga Gorilla groups include Nshongi family, Mishaya family, Kahungye family, Busingye family, Bweza family and other two groups are still under habituation. Rushaga is part of the four sectors in the park where you can track mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, unlike other sectors in the park which have almost three gorilla families, Rushaga area boasts of very many gorilla families and it’s no wonder that Gorilla tracking permits in the Rushaga region sale out very fast.
If you intend to carry out a Gorilla trekking experience in the Rushaga region, you’re advised to book the permits in time to enjoy a memorable experience with the giant apes. Below are the five habituated Gorilla groups in the Rushaga region, southern area of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park;
Mishaya Gorilla Family
This group is found in the Mishaya region of the forested park, the family is composed of 12 members with 1 Silverback Mishaya who’s the leader of the family. The Mishaya family seceded away from the Nshongi group, initially the group was composed of seven members but the group kept on expanding up to currently 12 members. Mishaya is a great fighter and through gorilla battles, he has been able to acquire more members from other families.
Nshongi Gorilla Family
Nshongi was once a united family with Bweza family but because of the wrangles in the group, it was split up with Silverback Kakono parting away with some of the family members (12 members) to form Bweza family. The group was composed of 18 family members but due to the break away, it only remained with 7 members. This family is named after Nshongi River where it was first sighted. The group is led by Silverback Bweza (Only one Silverback), 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 1 juvenile and 1 infant. The group was officially opened up for tourists in 2009 and its trekked by visitors on a daily basis.
Bweza Gorilla Family
This group is also found in the Rushaga region in the southern parts of the park. This group broke away from the Nshongi family with Silverback Kakono the leader of the family, Kakono challenged the leadership of Bweza Silverback in Nshongi group and at the end of 2013 he had formed a new family. The group is composed of 12 family members with 2 Silverbacks, 4 blackbacks, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult and two infants.
Kahungye Gorilla Family
Kahungye gorilla group is also found in the Rushaga region. This group was opened up for tourists in 2011 (After habituation of a two years process), this group attained their name from the hill called Kahungye where the family members were first sighted. This group is composed of 17 family members and led by Silverback Rumanzi; it has 3 Silverbacks, 3 blackbacks, 3 adult females, 3 sub-adults, 3 juveniles and two infants. Due to increased conflicts, the group foresaw some of its family members breaking away to the Busingye group, this happened around 2012.
Busingye Gorilla Family
This group was once part of the Kahungye gorilla group but Silverback Rwigi conflicted with Silverback Rumanzi thus seceding away to make up his own family. This group was set for tracking around August/2012, Busingye gets its name from a hill which is a home to this gorilla family. Before the separation from Kahungye, the group had 27 members and after the break up, Silverback Rwigi (meaning a door) took with him 9 family members.
In 2014, the group was blessed with a new family members and group is made up of 10 family members 1 Silverback (Rwigi), 4 adult females, 1 sub adult, 2 juveniles and 2 infant males.
The members of this group are active and very playful which has attracted attention and more forums have come up examining the group whether there may be a possible re-emergence with the Kahungye group, this may seem impossible because of the increased hostility among st both Gorilla groups.
Note: These figures in the families keep on changing as a result of new born babies are being welcomed, divorce, conflicts in the group, deaths of a family member, immigrating to another group and many other factors which may attribute to a change in the numbers of the family. Currently the gorilla tracking permits for the Busingye gorilla group is being handled at the local of offices of Uganda Wildlife Authority in the Rushaga sector at this time but hopefully it’ll change in the nearby future.