In the whole world, gorilla trekking is done in only three countries that is Rwanda in Volcanoes National Park found in the northwestern part of the country, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Virunga National Park found in the eastern part of the country, and Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in the southwestern part of Uganda.
After the 2011 gorilla population census which was conducted in Uganda and Rwanda, it was recorded that over 820 mountain gorillas are living in the Virunga Volcanoes region. However, Uganda harbors almost half of the whole population amongst the three countries. Trekking mountain gorillas is such a tiresome activity due to the fact that it needs to walk on steep trails and volcanic scars along the way. You may also need to walk a long distance for something like 1 – 5 hours in steep, sloppy conditions possibly with rain overhead before you find any gorillas. But the experience you will get after meeting these amazing animals is a memorable and interesting one and it will make you forget all the hard experiences you passed in when searching for them.
Gorilla groups in Uganda
The mountain gorillas are very social animals and live in generally steady and firm families held together by long-term bonds between males and females. A gorilla family/group is headed by a dominant male silverback. The silverback gets a grayish silver lining in the back as he matures and he is responsible for defending his family and even looking for new feeding grounds for the whole group. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park so far has ten gorilla families/groups but these are found in two parts of the park, for example; the northern sector of the park comprised of the Buhoma sector this is further divided into more gorilla groups like; Habinyanja, Rushagura and Mubare gorilla Families other gorilla families that can be accessed from Buhoma are the Ruhija gorilla groups of Oruzogo and Bitukura.
In the southern sector of the park is the Nkuringo gorilla group and the Rushaga area is made out of Mishaya, Nshogi, Kahungye Bweza, and Bushingye gorilla groups. The last two families are still under the watchful look of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) however can gorilla trekking permits are available on spot.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is another mountain gorilla habitat in Uganda and its home to the Nyakagezi gorilla group however gorilla permit availability for this group is confirmed only when this gorilla group is available in the park because sometimes they cross to neighboring Volcanes National Park in Rwanda.
In Rwanda gorilla trekking take place in Volcanoes National Park and it has gorilla groups like; Susa gorilla group, Amahoro Gorilla Family, Sabyinyo Gorilla Family, Hirwa Gorilla Family, Kwitonda Gorilla Family, and Group 13 Gorilla Family.