The Mukiza Gorilla Family

OVERVIEW

Mukiza gorilla family is one of the interesting gorilla groups to trek in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (Southwestern Uganda). Additionally, Mukiza is a newly habituated gorilla group to officially open for gorilla tourism in Ruhija area. It split from Kyaguriro family which is set for both research and trekking purposes in Bwindi National Park.

The creation of this gorilla family in May 2016 increased Ruhija sector’s total number of habituated gorilla groups to 4 from the original 3 that included Oruzogo, Bitukura and Kyaguriro. It didn’t only increase on the region’s number of habituated families but also on available gorilla permits to 32.

Family structure

Mukiza family consists of 15 family members. It split from Kyaguriro after Rukara (the silverback) invaded the group. This further forced Mukiza to vacate Kyaguriro with 10 gorillas. Interestingly, breaking away from another gorilla family is common among mountain gorillas due to various factors. Additionally, these separations lead to fluctuating composition of gorilla groups.

The leader for Mukiza group/Kyaguriro B group family is Mukiza silverback gorilla. Also, it is an exceptional gorilla group usually spotted spending most of its time within the park and rarely sighted outside the park boundaries.

Furthermore, Kyaguriro B/Mukiza gorilla group welcomed its new born baby gorilla in October 2020 thanks to Mwijukye mother gorilla. This brought the group composition to 15 members.

Securing gorilla permits.

It is a must to present a valid gorilla permit before Bwindi park authorities if you are to have a chance to trek Mukiza group of Ruhija sector. The prices of gorilla permits include;

-US $700 as a foreign non-resident

-Foreign residents US $600

-Citizens of East African Community Ugx. 250,000.

Regardless of the visitor category, booking Mukiza gorilla permits is easy especially through a ground tour operator( Pamoja Tours and Travel) or directly if you contact Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

When to visit Mukiza gorilla family

To begin with, trekking Mukiza gorilla group of Ruhija has no specific time. It is open throughout the year although dry months are considerably the best and they come in 2 phases; the one that always begins from June to September and that starting from December to February. However, trekking is better during the dry season.

Accommodation

Visitors interested in exploring and experiencing the best of this particular gorilla group can spend a night in any of the many lodging options in and around Ruhija sector in the eastern side of Bwindi National Park. For instance; Gift of Nature Lodge, Ruhija Gorilla Lodge, Bakiga Lodge, Agandi Uganda Lodges, Trekkers Tavern Lodge and Gorilla Mist Camp among others.

Access

This gorilla family is within Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This lies in the Eastern region of the park and getting here is possible by road or by air.

Firstly, by road, you will spend close to 9 hours to get to Ruhija area from Kampala/Entebbe or 3-5 hours from Kigali capital of Rwanda. Then by air, flights are possible from Entebbe airport or Kajjansi airfield to Kihihi/Kisoro airstrips that are adjacent to Bwindi National Park in Southwestern Uganda.

What to pack

The must-have for tourists with plans to trek this gorilla family include:

  • a valid gorilla permit
  • snacks
  • passport
  • visa
  • long-sleeved shirt
  • rain jacket
  • sweater
  • medical kit/first aid kit
  • trousers
  • camera with no flashlight
  • bottled water
  • waterproof backpack
  • hiking boots
  • sun glasses
  • insect repellents

 

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