Mukiza Gorilla Family

Mukiza Gorilla Family

The Mukiza gorilla family is a captivating group that holidaymakers should not miss when trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) in southwestern Uganda. This newly habituated gorilla group, officially opened for tourism in the Ruhija area of BINP, originated from the Kyaguriro family, which is dedicated to both research and tourism purposes in the park.

Established in May 2016, the Mukiza family’s creation increased the number of habituated gorilla groups in the Ruhija sector from three to four, adding to the existing Oruzongo, Bitukura, and Kyaguriro groups. This development also raised the number of available gorilla trekking permits in the region to 32.

The Mukiza family currently comprises 15 members. The group formed after an invasion by Rukara, prompting Mukiza to leave the Kyaguriro family with 10 gorillas. Such splits are common among mountain gorillas due to various factors, resulting in fluctuating group compositions over time.

Also known as the Kyaguriro B group, the Mukiza family is led by the silverback Mukiza. This exceptional gorilla group is typically found within the park boundaries, rarely venturing outside. The Mukiza gorilla family offers a unique and memorable experience for those trekking in Bwindi, showcasing the dynamic social structures and behaviors of these magnificent primates.

The Kyaguriro B, also known as the Mukiza gorilla group, celebrated the arrival of a newborn baby gorilla in October 2020, born to the mother gorilla Mwijukye. This joyous addition brought the group’s composition to 15 members. Presently, holidaymakers have the opportunity to partake in an unforgettable mountain gorilla trekking experience with the Mukiza gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

This group, led by the silverback Mukiza, offers a unique glimpse into the social dynamics and nurturing behaviors of mountain gorillas. The Mukiza family is primarily found within the park boundaries, providing a reliable and enriching trekking experience. Visitors can observe the close-knit interactions and witness the care given to the newest member of the family, making each trek a memorable encounter with these magnificent creatures.

Getting Gorilla Permits

To trek the Mukiza group in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a valid gorilla permit is required. The cost for a permit is the same across all habituated gorilla groups in Ruhija and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, as well as Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. For foreign non-residents, the permit is priced at US $800, for foreign residents it is US $600, and for East African Community citizens, it costs UGX 300,000.

Permits can be booked our tram at Kenlink Tours (recommended) or directly by contacting the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).

When to Visit the Mukiza Gorilla Family

The Mukiza gorilla group is open to visitors throughout the year. However, the best time to visit is during the dry months, which occur in two main phases: from June to September and from December to February. These periods offer more favorable trekking conditions with less mud and easier trails.

Where to Stay

Visitors can choose from a variety of lodging options in and around the Ruhija sector, located on the eastern side of Bwindi National Park. Accommodations include:

  • Gift of Nature Lodge
  • Ruhija Gorilla Lodge
  • Bakiga Lodge
  • Agandi Uganda Lodges
  • Trekkers Tavern Lodge
  • Gorilla Mist Camp

These lodges offer comfort and convenience, ensuring a restful stay before and after your gorilla trekking experience.

Getting There

The Ruhija sector, home to the Mukiza gorilla family, is accessible by both road and air.

By Road: The journey from Kampala or Entebbe to Ruhija takes approximately 9 hours. Alternatively, the drive from Kigali, Rwanda, to Ruhija takes about 3-5 hours.

By Air: Flights can be arranged from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airfield to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrips, both located near Bwindi National Park. From the airstrips, a short drive will bring you to the Ruhija sector.

What to Pack

Essential items to pack for trekking the Mukiza gorilla family include:

  • Valid Gorilla Permit
  • Snacks and Bottled Water
  • Passport and Visa
  • Clothing: Long-sleeved shirts, trousers, a rain jacket, and a sweater.
  • Medical Kit/First Aid Kit
  • Camera: Ensure it has no flashlight to avoid disturbing the gorillas.
  • Daypack (Waterproof)
  • Hiking Boots
  • Sunglasses and Insect Repellents

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