Bitukura gorilla family is one of the newly habituated gorilla families in the Ruhija – Buhoma region in the forests of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forests. The Bitukura family is found in the Ruhija area in the northern parts of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Ruhija is said to be the coldest area within Bwindi forests with a minimum of 7-20˚C to a maximum of 20-27˚C. During the rainy season, it can get extremely cold more so in the morning and at night. This happens around the peak of the rainy season in March to April and from September to November.
The altitude in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Varies from 1160m to 2607m (high) above sea level hence variations in the temperatures. The park literally experiences the dry season one of the reason being it are too close to the equator (0˚C). Any traveler who is intending to trek the Butukura gorilla family is advised to pack winter gadgets to help in protecting against the cold environment in the Ruhija area. The months of June and July and December to February are the drier months and this is the best time (peak season) to trek Bitukura family and another gorilla family in the Bwindi jungles.
The months of March to May and September to November are the wetter months (Low season) which experience heavy rain falls and sometimes hinders tracking because the tracks and trails become impassable. For the birders, there are migratory birds which fly to the forest during the rainy season. The Bitukura gorilla family is amongst the 12 habituated Gorilla groups in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Today, we want to take a close look at the Bitukura gorilla family.
This group was habituated in July/2007 and opened to tourists in October/2008, the habituation process for this group was too fast because normally gorilla families are habituated within a period of two years. The intention was to increase on the number of habituated gorilla families in the park as well as to maximize the number of permits sold to gorilla tourists.
The Bitukura gorilla family derives its name from River Bitukura where the group was first seen by the first group of tourists. Surprisingly, the Bitukura family has 4 silverbacks that’re fierce and fight for the pride of their family, Ndahura the second youngest silverback is the leader of the family. Ndahura took the throne from Karamuzi who retired from power at the age of 42 years.
Bitukura family is made up of 13 family members with Ndahura the dominant silverback, Karamuzi the 2nd, Rukumu the 3rd, Rukara the 4th with Bettina, Ruhara, Kamuga the adult females in the group, Obia and Mugisha are blackbacks and Kabandize the young juvenile who crossed over from the Kyaguliro group and Kadogo and Mubwindi both being the infants in the family.
To effectively catch up with the Bitukura gorilla family, one has to book for his or her accommodation within the Ruhija area and rather not Buhoma area. This saves a trekker from the burden of waking up early at around 6:00am to 6:30am. Ruhija area has got a variety of lodges that offer excellent services which range from budget, mid range and luxury facilities such as Trekkers tavern, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Mist Camp and many more.