GORILLA FAMILIES AVAILABLE FOR FILMING IN UGANDA
The mountain gorillas are an endangered species that is desired by several tourist and film makers. They can be found and filmed in Mgahinga national park and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park of Uganda. Bwindi in particular has 4 sectors known as rushange, Buhoma, ruhija and nkuringo with different families found in each. A gorilla family is usually led by one or more silver backs. The silverbacks are males that are oldest. The silver back comes as they grow older.
Kahungye family is one of the big families to look out for. The family has 25 members that include 5 silverbacks, 10 females, 2 black backs, 6 infants and 2 juveniles. This family is under the leadership of the dominant silverback Ruziika.
Bikingi family is headed by a silverback named Bikingi. This silver back was solitary until it killed the former leader that also had the same name at the time and eventually took over. Most of the family members are known to have come from the mishaya family. The family is made up of 12 members composed of 2 silverbacks, 5 females, 1 juvenile and 4 infants.
Busingye family is led by the silverback Busingye. The members of this family were initially part of the kahungye group but later on separated. The family has 1 silverback, 2 black backs, 3 adults, 2 juveniles and 3 infants.
Bweza family, the members of this family were originally part of the nshongi group. It is made up of 3 silver backs, 6 adults, 4 infants and 2 juveniiles making it a total of 15 members. The leading silverback of this group is known as kakono.
MIshaya family was also part of the nshongi group and apart of the members that left formed this family. At the time it was headed by Mishaya who later died and then Tinfayo took over. The group has 8 members in total with 1 silverback, 1 black back, 5 females, 1 juvenile and 1 infant
Nshongi family was known to be one of the largest families with about 36 members but later spilt into the mishaya and bweza groups. The separation led to a loss of many gorillas from the group and eventually left only 7 remaining members.
Rwigi family is under the leadership of Rwigi who was formerly part of the Kahungye family but separated to start his own family. Rwigi family has 6 family members.
Mucunguzi family is known to have 8 to 12 members that can be seen. The family is under the leadership of silverback mucunguzi that used to be solitary
Mubare family is the first ever habituated group in Buhoma and Bwindi at large. This family was opened for visitation in the year of 1993. At that time, this group was led by a powerful silverback known as Ruhondeza. He was a very friendly silverback who allowed visitors to be around his family. Unfortunately he died a solitary life. The group is now led by Kanyoyi, the son and heir of Ruhondeza. The group comprises of 11 members
Habinyanja family was habituated in the year of 1996 with about 25 members. But it later on split to form the Rushegura family. Habinyanja is currently led by the silver back Makara and Is made up of 12 members that include 2 silverbacks. 2 black backs, 5 females and 2 juveniles.
Katwe family has members that broke off from the Mubarre group in 2017. The group is led by silverback Mahaane .The group has 2 silver backs, 2 black backs, 5 females and 2 juveniles making it a total of 11 members though most times 9 of them are seen.
Rushegure family is the biggest family with 19 members recorded as of 2022. The family also broke off from Habinyanja family. It is made up of2 Silverback, 3 Black backs, and 6 Adult females, 1 Sub-adult, 3 Juveniles and 4 Infants.
Muyambi family was officially opened for visitors on 2019 with 6 numbers. The leaders of this family is Muyambi ho was initially apart of the Mubare family but separated to start his own.
Nkuringo family over the year has been one of the most popular gorilla families. Its first known leader is Nkuringo who then died and left the group to Rafiki, Christmas and safari. The family is popular because of its former leader the late Rafiki who was very friendly. It is also the only group that is led by a black back. When Rafiki died, he left several contenders to the throne but Rwamutwe (black back) beat all of them to the position. His second in command is also a black back known as Tabu. As of 2022 the group has 14 members.
Christmas family is the most recent family in Nkuringo. Christmas is the lead silverback of the group and just like his name, he was born on Christmas, this group was formed when Christmas broke off from the original Nkuringo group to create his own. The family is known to have 9 members but only 6 are usually seen.
The Bushaho family is the last family of Nkuringo. It is led by a silverback known as Bahati. Bahati also belonged to the Nkuringo group but had disappeared. It was later discovered that when he disappeared, he went with some members of the family and eventually became their leader. It is known to have 10 members with one silver back, one black back, 5 females and 3 infants.
The Bitukura family is known to have about 11 members comprising of 4 silverbacks, 4 adult females, and the rest juveniiles and infants. This group was habituated in 2007 majorly for research purposes. If you are a researcher, the group is available for filming, but if you are not a researcher, certain conditions have to be met to be allowed to film the group.
Kyaguriro family was once the largest group but split due to the death of one of the leading silverbacks of the group. It died after being struck by lightining. The group is now comprised of 9 members and is led by the silverback known as Rukara.
The Mukiza Group. Also known as Kyaguliro B is the family that split from the original kyaguliro family. The family was led by the silverback known as mukiza thus its name. The family is known to have at least 12 members.
Oruzogo family. This family has the highest number of members in the sector known to be 19. This family in particular is has very playful and entertaining individuals that draw the attention of visitors.
Mgahinga national park
Mgahinga national park is the smallest park in Uganda. It is located in kisoro district and borders Rwanda. The park is known for having the virunga chian mountains and being a habitant to the endangered mountain gorillas and golden monkeys. The mountain gorillas are desired by several tourist and film makers. Each gorilla family has an estimated number of 10 to 30 members with males, females and babies. The group is usually led by one or more silver backs. The silverbacks are males that are oldest. The silver back comes as they grow older. The gorillas in the virunga ranges usually move through the countries and some time will be found in other countries Mgahinga only has one family that is officially recorded for Uganda.
Nyakezi family is the only family available for filming in Mgahinga . The family’s leader is known as mark. Mark got the leadership after the former leader Bugingo. The members of this family are Mathew, Mafia, Rukundo, Mutagamba, Nshuti, Nyiramwiza and Nkanda. Bringing them to a total of 9 family members.
The above are the complete families that can be filmed in Uganda national park . Please note that you need permission from Uganda wildlife authority to film these gorillas. In addition to that, you will also need to pay the daily rate of Gorilla permits for every member on the crew. Each family can only be allowed 8 people to visit it per day. So if you are interested in filming Gorillas, you need to secure the permits ahead of time.
The current rate for the gorilla permit is at 700 USD for foreigners, then 600USD for foreign residents and 70usd for east Africans. In addition you will have to pay 40% of the total activity rate and 50% if your using a drone to Uganda wildlife authority for filming.