The Habinyanja gorilla group is one of the oldest habituated Gorilla groups in the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Bwindi Impenetrable is just a few degrees south of the equator and is one of the most pronounced Mountain gorilla parks in the world.
This Bwindi Impenetrable is found in the Kanungu District in the southwestern parts of Uganda, Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga National Park are the only two parks in Uganda that are homes to Mountain gorillas, the Bwindi Impenetrable forests have an estimated number of about 340 gorillas followed by the hiMganga National Park with few gorillas (only one habituated group). Other countries with Mountain Gorillas population include the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and the Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The numbers in various Gorilla families keep changing due to various reasons as time goes by, the figures in this article may be accurate or change after some time. Habyinyanja is found in the Buhoma sector in the southern parts of the Bwindi forests, this sector is the most highly marketed area in the park because of its proximity to the roads heading to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Rwenzori Mountain National Park as well as the easiest gateway to Kampala from the Bwindi Impenetrable.
The Gorilla tracking experience is not about the numbers of family members you’ve seen in a particular group but what matters is the amazing experience you earn from trekking the beautiful apes of Africa. Below we take a close look into the Habinyanja gorilla group.
Habinyanja Gorilla Group (Group H)
This is one of the oldest habituated gorilla family in the Buhoma sector of the Bwindi Impenetrable forests and it registered a huge influx of guests trekking this group ever since 1997. It was officially opened up for tourists in 1999 and the family was founded by Silverback Mugurusi (Meaning an old man). The group was first seen around the swamp and it where it derives its name ‘Nyanja’ meaning water (or a pool of water). Unfortunately Silverback Mugurusi died leaving the throne of the family’s leadership to his sons “Rwansigazi and Mwirima” which all didn’t go well in 2002 when Mwirima broke away from his brother to create yet another family known the ‘Rushegura group.’
Rwansigazi was adventurous in nature while Mwirima always wanted to be stationed in one place (this is one of the factors that led to separation of the two brothers), Rwansigazi had to release his power to his son “Makara.” Currently, Makara is the incumbent group leader with 18 family members, Maraya the blackback, Mizayo (Was brutally killed by poacher’s traps and spears), Binyonko, Nyabuche, Nyamuhango, Rukundo, Kisho, and Rugyendo the adult females, Kavuyo the sub adult male and Ruyombo the sub adult female, Malaika, Hamusini, Elisa are juveniles. This group moves daily in the forests and covers a wider area within Buhoma region.
It takes five hour or more to track the Habinyanja group or even a full day sometimes is spent with this particular group in the jungles because it doesn’t always steak to one place.
Booking permits for this particular gorilla group can either be done online through the website of the Uganda Wildlife Authority or reach their headquarters in Kamwokya and also in the park headquarters in the Buhoma area. The permits in the peak seasons tend to sale out very fast, and each gorilla permit for an individual goes for $600USD each.