Gorilla families in Rushaga : In the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is Rushaga sector. It is situated near Nkuringo Region in Kisoro District. Nshongi, Mishaya, Busingye, Kahungye, and Bweza are just a few of the gorilla families that live there.

You’ll always remember that incredible wilderness safari that took you far into the backcountry of Africa. Time spent at Rushaga is a footstep into a route less travelled and in harmony with local customs and Nature at a glance for those seeking the greatest Mountain Gorilla encounters. You can reserve a small mountain gorilla settlement that hangs on the southern edge of the Bwindi forest by embarking on an adventurous safari into this inaccessible highland of Uganda’s mountain gorillas.

 Rushaga, the Gorilla hub, is a village with a fusion of the Batwa and Bakiga people, creating a vibrant cultural tapestry. When lumbering was a prominent business, the name Rushaga, which dates back many centuries, was formed from the presence of more “zanphophylum gilletti” hard wood trees, which were particularly common in this mountainous area of the Bwindi forest. The name “Rushaga” for the village was derived from the indigenous tree names “Omushaga” for a single tree and “Emishaga” for a group of trees.

When the forest was being used by the community in the 1970s, this settlement was a major export hub for the majority of the best-value wood to the neighboring nations of Kenya and Rwanda. Mr. Kanyamunyu, a well-known businessman, controlled both lumber warehouses and mining sites in the area. He had taken timber and gold from the Bwindi Forest and stored it here while waiting to be transferred to his large trade establishments in Kabale and Kampala. As a successful businessman of the day, he helped the people build a short, passable route from the main road to Rushaga and on to the Mpororo Gold mines through the interior of the jungle.

One of the many nature trails one can take to experience the impenetrable forest’s interior is right now this road. By 1990, when the tropical rain forest received a gazettement status and conservation rules went into force, lumbering and mining in the area had ended. To point out that before the Government of the Republic of Uganda enacted Bwindi conservation, lumbering, hunting, collecting, and gold mine were the lucrative industries benefiting the nearby Bakiga communities. The people were not happy when such operations were made illegal in 1990, paving the door for the conservation of great apes. As a result of these conservation laws, the Batwa people were forced to leave the tropical rain forest. Keep in mind that they were forest dwellers who relied on the forest for all of their needs. The Batwa people were relocated from the forest interior to join the locals outside of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, paving the way for conservation. The families of Rushaga were severely struck by starvation as a result of the loss of their forest privileges due to this forest gazette and the eviction of the Batwa.

The local Bakiiga people turned to subsistence farming to survive outside of the forest. They grew crops like Irish potatoes, sweat potatoes, bananas, maize, beans, peas and sorghum for food and sold some of the produce to buy other household necessities like a bar of soap, a packet of salt and books and pens for the few school-age children. Although, as indigenous people, the Batwa were unable to adapt to traditional Bakiga modes of life, more was obviously needed for their welfare. The lost joy was regained when mountain gorilla tourists arrived in this area of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park around the year 2000. When the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) began to establish another Mountain Gorilla group in Rushaga after the Nkuringo Gorilla group, it came as a surprise that the hamlet now enjoys a rich tourism industry. The inhabitants, who already understood the value chain they used to have with the mother tropical rain forest, greeted the news with great excitement. The Nshongi mountain gorilla troop was habituated as an addition to Uganda’s gorilla tourism, and by 2009, it was formally opened for travel.

In the realm of gorilla conservation, Rushaga Village has once more become well-known. There is currently a tourism visitor centre at the park gate, which is connected by a road through the village to the rangers briefing Banda and serves as a tourism information centre. The only isolated areas of Uganda currently served by hydroelectric electricity are in Rushaga village, and the local rangers and guides have drawn additional investment in rental properties. More facilities, including hotels and lodges, are now available for mountain gorilla tourism in Rushaga gorilla valleys. Up to 100 people are employed by the Rushaga gorilla camp, Gorilla valley lodge, Four gorilla’s safari lodge and Gorilla safari lodge. In honor of the conservation efforts of a number of locals who were formerly poachers and have since transformed into support staff-porters and Gorilla Guardians, the daily tourist footfall has become a tradition over the past ten years. In Rushaga, you will see linear settlement patterns that are dominated by stores of all kinds and artefact curios that are all vying for the attention of tourists.

Your next stop for the best mountain gorilla safaris encounters in Uganda’s Bwindi south is this secluded village in western Uganda, which shares the Albertine rift valley with the closest relatives of the gorillas that do make this portion of the Bwindi forest their home. Rushaga serves as a good natural habitat for Albertine and Mountain indigenous bird life. It is divided in half by the Virunga Mountain and Great East African Rift valley. Rushaga is the only area in the Bwindi Forest where mountain gorillas claim to coexist peacefully with African forest elephants, humans, and chimpanzees. Rushaga is home to a sizable and healthy population of forest elephants. Although crop raiding is an issue for locals in both cases, this has been a significant community conservation challenge for decades. Due to their propensity for crushing vegetation, forest elephants create a lot of food for mountain gorillas. Yes, both of them are vegetarians, however Mountain Gorillas only consume second growth forest. The persistence of African elephants in this region of the southern Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has had a good impact on the population of Mountain Gorillas there.

Gorilla families in Rushaga
Gorilla families in Rushaga

To point out that the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s Rushaga region is home to more wild and habituated Mountain Gorillas than any other area.

An excursion to Bwindi will always have plenty of safari possibilities in addition to the chance to see any of the five habituated Mountain Gorilla families, according to CNN Travel’s current poll of the world’s greatest wildlife paths. As a result, there is a greater likelihood that visitors will stay longer and participate in more safari activities, such as hiking, forest walks, cultural excursions, etc., while spending less time in transfers.

Get immersed in the lush, natural surroundings of rural Uganda for the entire day while helping mountain gorillas become accustomed to human presence by taking part in the new tourist package known as “Mountain Gorilla Habituation Experience” (a.k.a. GEX). Early in the morning, tourists participating in this excursion embark on a route inside a tropical rain forest with the lead guide and the advance trekking team to spend the entire day taking in magnificent wild sights, such as the habituation of a mountain gorilla. Please be aware that by engaging in this safari activity, you are contributing to the team’s everyday efforts to promote tourism in the future. You can get a permit for 1,500 dollars that allows you to go on early morning walks with rangers, researchers, conservationists, rangers spend the entire day in the forest, and engage in habituation activities with mountain gorillas while also keeping tabs on their health.

Gorilla Families in the Rushaga Sector.

Rushaga sector, which is between Kabale and Nkuringo and is accessible from either Ruhija or Kampala, has the most gorilla families. High hills dominate the area, and because of this, habituated gorilla families have continued to split off and occupy numerous hills in the area. Due to these hills, gorilla trekkers from Rushaga frequently see beautiful scenery, and from some vantage points, you can also see the Virunga mountain ranges in Rwanda and Uganda, which include, among other peaks, Mgahinga, Muhavura, Sabinyo, Karusimbi, and Bisoke. One of just two lava-damaged lakes in Uganda is called Lake Mutanda. Before or after your gorilla hike, you can take a relaxing canoe ride on the lake.

Nshongi gorilla family:


After the recent break with Mweza group, where Mweza group was founded, this is one of the largest habituated gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 36 gorillas made constituted this group in the past, but it now numbers over 25 mountain gorillas, including a dominant silverback, two sub silverbacks, three black backs, six adult females, six youngsters, and three newborns. Nshongi, who is not the group’s eldest silverback, is one of the few gorillas with more than four silverbacks. Surprisingly, all three and seven silverbacks coexisted happily and never engaged in power struggles. In 2009, the Nshongi Gorilla Group was inaugurated amid much excitement, and celebrities from all over the world attended. Only 26 mountain gorillas remained when the Nshongi group split in 2010, as the others went on to start their own families, such as the Mishaya gorilla family. A new split in 2013 left the group with only 18 members, creating the current Bweza with ten gorillas. Visitors also have a greater possibility of spotting other primates, forest birds, and butterflies because this gorilla troop is the largest.

Mishaya gorilla family.

 Due to disagreements with the silverback Mishaya family, this group split from the Nshongi group in 2010. With the departure of other females, there are now over seven mountain gorillas and one silverback. Being a real fighter, Mishaya Silverback was able to assemble a large group of women, increasing the total to twelve, including three children. Only Mishaya, a famously combative adult mountain gorilla, interacts with other mountain gorilla groups frequently. Due to ongoing conflicts, this group had only seven members remained by 2015.

Kahungye gorilla family.

There are 13 mountain gorillas in this group, including three silverbacks. Rumansi, the dominating silverback, is followed by Rwigi and Ruhamuka, two male mountain gorillas. This family was prepared for gorilla monitoring in 2011, but sadly, it didn’t last more than a year before the group split up, giving rise to the Busingye gorilla group. The gang had 27 members before they split up, including three silverbacks.

Busingye gorilla family.

There are nine mountain gorillas in this family, including one silverback, three newborns, two adults, and numerous young ones. In 2012, the Kahungye gorilla group split off into the Busingye gorilla group. Busingye Silverback made the decision to split off and create his own group. Busingye’s ambitious silverback is well-known for his fabled battles with other gorilla families, so it’s a little surprising that the word means “peace” in this context. Every time he comes across a wild group, he ruthlessly captures a female gorilla to add to his own group since he enjoys showing off his might.

Bweza gorilla family.

There are just seven mountain gorillas in this group, including a silverback and two young. The most interesting and diverse gorilla group to see when on a safari to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is the Bweza gorilla group, which is a splinter group of the Nshongi gorilla family.

Gorilla habituation experiences can be had by visiting the Bikingi and Bushaho gorilla families, where visitors will spend four hours learning about the daily habits of these amazing primates.

Hiking Trails in and around Rushaga sector Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

 The best off-beat location for the less trafficked trails is Rushaga’s hidden gym; while visiting, plan on leaving your own trail. There are many different treks to choose from, such as the Kapata Trail, a simple 3-hour walk that combines nature, local history, and culture. The Kara Ridge Trail, which is somewhat challenging, offers panoramic views of the Virunga range as well as Rubuguri and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. You can participate in local customs and culture on all of the routes, including those of the original Forest People, the Batwa.

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