Mountain gorillas in Bwindi

Most of these mountain gorillas do reside in the South Western Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This Park consists of almost half of the number of Mountain Gorillas that is believed to be remaining in the whole world.

It’s also believed that the remaining Chimps in the entire world Co-exist in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. For any interested person willing to visit Ugandan gorillas, you must pay for a gorilla trekking permit that goes for USD 700.00 per trek per person.

Gorilla Trekking Information

Gorilla Trekking Information – Mountain Gorillas In Uganda

Most of these mountain gorillas do reside in the South Western Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This Park consists of almost half of the number of Mountain Gorillas that is believed to be remaining in the whole world.

It’s also believed that the remaining Chimps in the entire world Co-exist in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. For any interested person willing to visit Ugandan gorillas, you must pay for a gorilla trekking permit that goes for USD 700.00 per trek per person.

Mgahinga National Park; this park is found in Virunga ranges shared between Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. This Park is also another place that is known for being a home of Ugandan gorillas.

Gorilla trekking experience: for a person to have a wonderful, memorable, and unforgettable adventure you will have to endure with all the efforts needed to reach Bwindi and trek through this wonderful natural forest. There are thirteen habituated gorilla groups for tourists to trek. And all these groups are found in different sectors such as Buhoma,  Nkuringo, and others are habituated in Ruhija and Rushaga regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Gorilla habituation experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

Each habituated Gorilla family is visited by a maximum number of four people. The habituation gorilla trekking permit goes for a cost of USD 1500.00 and Katland Safaris ltd is your number one handler of all gorilla habituation experience.


This reserve was gazette in 1942, and was later upgraded to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 1992. Later in 1994 it was recognized as a World Heritage site. In Rukiga local language BWINDI means Impenetrable. 327km of Bwindi is tangled vegetation draped over a deeply fissured landscape of steep, slippery valleys and high draughty ridges.

Bwindi impenetrable forest is African’s most ancient rain forest and for this, it’s a favorable home of the endangered Mountain Gorillas hence ranking it as the world’s premier Wild Life harbors.

Bwindi in most times it’s always cold mostly during morning hours and also during the night, the annual average temperatures of Bwindi ranges 70C-200C. June and July are the coldest seasons of this area. This always calls for warm clothes and cold weather gears since Bwindi has up to 2390mm of rain every year. This is experienced between too wet seasons that are to say Short Rains in March-May and Heavy Rains in September- November. Instead of short tropical deluges, rain in the areas of Bwindi often falls as long hours of soft drizzle.

A person planning to do gorilla trekking in Uganda, you will need to follow the guidelines issued by Uganda Wildlife Authority (Rules and regulations of gorillas) as seen bellow;


  • In Uganda a maximum of 8 tourists may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This is done to ensure minimal behavior disturbance to the gorillas and the risk of their exposure to human borne diseases.
  • Make sure you wash your hands before your trekking exercise.


  • Please always keep your voices low. This will enable you observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
  • DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be taken back with you.
  • You will be taken to where the guide last seen the gorillas a day before. From there you will fallow the trails to find them. Look out for the gorillas nesting sites along the way.
  • When approaching the gorillas the guide will tell you to get ready.


  • 21 feet i.e. 7metres distance should be revised to observe at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
  • You might stay in a group when you are near the gorillas
  • Keep always down your voices all the time. However, it’s ok to as the guide questions.
  • Do not smoke, drink, or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food /drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of disease transmission.
  • A time the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look at the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  • Flash photography is not permitted, when taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
  • Do not touch the gorillas, they are wild animals.
  • You must spend one hour with the gorillas. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
  • After the visit keep your voice down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.


The fact is that mountain gorillas are so sensitive to human diseases. The following guidelines should be followed to minimize the risk your visit might cause to them.

  • Honor the limits put up on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risk of disease transmission and stress to the group.
  • If you feeling somehow ill/ sick, or having any contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternative visit will be arranged for you or even your money will be refunded.
  • If you can’t hold sneezing or coughing, when you’re near the gorillas, please Endeavour to turn your head away from the gorillas and even cover your nose and mouth to reduce the spread of bacteria or viruses.
  • Always stay 21 feet/ 7metres away from the gorillas. This helps in prevention of human borne diseases.
  • Endeavour not to leave rubbish behind or even food wrappers in the park. These can be harbor diseases or other contaminants.
  • In case you need to go to the toilet while in between your trekking, ask the guide to dig you a hole with his panga. But make sure the hole is 30cm deep and fill it with soil when done.


  • Comfortable hiking shoes should be put on. These are suitable for steep muddy slopes.
  • Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with jungle sounds
  • Packed lunch and enough drinking water should be carried.
  • Rain gadgets, sunscreen lotions, a hat for UN predictable weather and also insect repellent.
  • Cameras and fully charged batteries should not be forgotten. Flash lights are not permitted.
  • Endeavor to contact Katland Safaris LTD for any information



Simplest Gorilla family to trek in Uganda and Rwanda, Gorilla tracking tours, Gorilla trekking sectors, Gorilla permit-USD600

Different Tourists who come to Uganda for Gorilla trekking always ask which “Gorilla family is easy to trek?” Since the Gorilla permit prices were increased in Rwanda from USD750 to USD1500.00 and Uganda considering increasing its price sometime next year, some tourists want to enjoy their experience of Gorilla trekking by paying now and trying to look for the easiest Gorilla family to trek.

Easiest Gorilla family to trek versus Gorilla family allocation

The issue of the easiest Gorilla family to trek has been sorted by Uganda wildlife Authority. According to the new developments, Gorilla family’s allocation is now based on the interests, age and physical abilities of individuals.

Some clients have been misled to think that in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, there are some Gorilla groups that are hard to find while others are easier. Sometimes there are chances where tourist goes for a trek and within 15-30 minutes, they are with the Gorillas while others will spend three quarters of the day in the forest looking out for these creatures and by the time they find them, they are already exhausted. When they go back, they post different feedback messages on their face book pages or trip advisor telling people not to track this or that group of Gorillas. The truth of the fact is that uganda has aveariety of wildlife and Gorillas are wild animals and you will never tell their movements all the time. Their movements depend on several factors of food and water availability fear, and also especially when they fight with another group and they have to move away from that location. A mounatian gorilla family that was nearer yesterday might be far away the next day so Gorilla family is easier to trek depends on the day experience.

Rushegura Gorilla Family commonly known as R-Group has been accepted as an easier group due to the fact that the starting point is in Buhoma just at the National Park offices and its territory is in the same sector. In most cases, it is true that tourists have had to trek it easier than other Gorilla groups but, in some seasons, this group can move deep in the forest and becomes as hard as any other groups. Therefore, there is no guarantee that you will have an easier trek.

Other clients book Gorilla permit in different sectors and book accommodation in another sector. This then requires them to start very early to drive so that they reach at the starting point of trekking in time. In other words, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park has four sectors, which are, Buhoma the northern, Rushaga and Nkuringo both in the southern and Ruhija in the eastern.

Katland safaris ltd always advises our clients that when you book Gorilla permits for Gorilla families in Ruhija, please do book accommodation in the same sector. This will reduce on the drive time so that you don’t have to drive very early to reach the starting point.

The other question is why did my tour operator book me a hard Gorilla family to trek? It all comes back to some of the factors mentioned above but kindly note that Gorilla permits are sold at first come first serve basis and if by the time of booking your Gorilla permit, there was no alternative but to book you a group which was told to you that it was hard, then know that was the choice. To avoid this, make sure you acquire your Gorilla permit way in advance-5 months in advance to enable you make a choice.

In conclusion, Gorilla Trecking in Uganda can sometimes be strenuous and a certain level of fitness is always required. If you have this level of fitness and your prime goal is to trek the Mountain Gorillas, then the above complaints should not arise.

Gorilla families in Uganda

Uganda has several habituated gorilla families which are trekked. They include the following; Habinyanja, Bitukula, Rushegura, Mubare, MIshaya, Oruzogo, Nshongi, Kahunje.

Those families in Ruhija include Busingye, Bweza, Kyagurir. For a habituated gorilla family to be ready for trekking it takes 2-3 years under observation.

Gorilla families in Bwindi include the following.

These families are found in various sectors as seen below;

Ruhija sector

This sector has got 4 gorilla families, namely Kyagurilo group, Bitukula group, Mukiza group, and Ruzogo group.

Kyagurilo gorilla family, this is one of the least populated gorilla families in Ruhija sector. This gorilla family was habituated in 1995 following the sudden death of the famous family leader Rukina. After the death of Rukina the family was left under control of inexperienced male Silver Back called Mukiza who was later ambushed immigrating silver back called Rukara from the Bitukula gorilla family. Hence this led to the splitting of the family into 2 families that’s Kyagurilo A led by Rukara and Kyagurilo B led by Mukiza in May 2016. However, this splinting is not yet so munch considered basing on the fact that these two families are still residing in the same areas and a times the meet and Co- unite together. Kyagurilo family group is known for spending almost all its time in the inner forest and very rarely get close to the forest’ peripherals. Currently is has 9 members. The dominant Silver Back in this group is called Rukara. The following are the family members Rukara is the dominant Silver Back or leader of the family, Tindamanyure who is the adult female, Kabandize who is also a silver back, Happy a black back, Mazoora, Korubaro, Kengogwe, Munaba this is a juvenile female, Bjurizi.

Bitukula Gorilla Family, this family is found in the Ruhija sector and it is the latest habituated gorilla group in this sector. Currently Bitukula gorilla family has 11 members. The following are the current family members in the family;

  • Mugisha (dominant silver back)
  • Rukumu (silver back)
  • Betina (adult female)
  • Ruhara (adult female)
  • Kamuga (adult female)
  • Thursday (adult female)
  • Kadogo (black back)
  • Rungo (sub-adult male)
  • Kakuto (juvenile female)
  • Nyiguru (infant male)
  • Kirabo (infant male.

Mukiza family group;this was formally called KYAGULIRO B and it is found in the Ruhija sector of Bwindi impenetrable National Park. It was launched for habituation in May 2016 after the splint of Kyaguliro The group has a dominant Silver Back called Mukiza and he was born on 29/11/1990 by A mother called Mugwere.

Mukiza group is known for spending almost all its time in the inner forest and very rarely gets close to the forest peripherals. Currently the group has 12 members as seen bellow;

  • Mukiza(dominant silver back)
  • Mugwere (adult female)
  • Twijukye (adult female)
  • Korugyezi (adult female)
  • Mugenyi (adult female)
  • Bwebisha (adult female)
  • Mubwindi (adult female)
  • Kanywani (sub adult male)
  • Kanoel (juvenile female)
  • Tonvi (juvenile female)
  • Gorodi (infant female)
  • Nyakabara (infant female)

Oruzogo family group;this is the most dominant gorilla family is found in Ruhija sector. Oruzogo gorilla family was unveiled for trekking and habituation in 2012. Its first Dominant silver back was called Tibirikwata. This gorilla family currently is one of the most populated gorilla families with a new family leader called Bakwate who is now the Dominant Silver Back. This family can be trekked both in Buhoma and ruhija sectors. The following are the family members of Oruzogo gorilla family.

  • Bakwate (dominant silver back)
  • Kaganga (silver back)
  • Kasumali(silver back)
  • Kakobe (adult female)
  • Nyangaro (adult female)
  • Mutesi (adult female)
  • Nyakina (adult female)
  • Mukwano (silver back)
  • Bwengye (black back)
  • Rukeija
  • Katoto (adult female)
  • Bachura (adult female)
  • Nyakashunju (sub adult male)
  • Masenene (sub adult male)
  • Nyabirano (sub adult male)
  • Muhumuza (infant female)
  • Mufuruki (infant male)
  • Musana (infant female)
  • Paska (infant male)


There are number of gorilla families in Buhoma as seen below.

Mubare Gorilla Family; this is one of the fascinating gorilla groups in Bwindi Impenetrable national park. It’s found in the Buhoma sector and Mubare is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda. This family is termed as group M.

Mubare was the first gorilla group that to undergo the first habituation process in Uganda by the Uganda Wildlife Authority in 1991. The family experienced its first trekking after 2years and that means that in 1993 that’s when it experienced its first this means that this gorilla group is very familiar to human life basing on the experience they have had with people’s frequent visits. The name Mubare came after the place where these gorillas stayed and it was called Mubare hills. Mubare’s first dominant silver back was called Ruhondeza

This family had 18 members whom it has generated through a number of factors such as winning fights over other gorilla families. After the death of Ruhondeza in 2013 and was caused due to a serious battle he had with on black back that left serious injuries on him, Ruhondeza was given a decent burial by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority officials in Buhoma sector and his grave is there in Buhoma endeavor to ask our guide to take you there. Some of the gorillas moved to other groups, the group also lost a baby in 2009 and this also impacted on their number that reduced to 5 members.  And by 2009 the group has remained with the following members;

  • Kanyonyi (black back)
  • Kashundwe(adult male)
  • Muyambi ( sub adult male)
  • Malaika (sub adult female)
  • Kashundwe baby(infant)

Currently this family has a dominant silver back called Mugisha, and it has managed to bring back the lost glory of Mubare family group through expanding his family throughout his years as the leader of the group. Currently they have 11 family members.

Habinyanja gorilla family; this family was also amongst those families to be habituated in Uganda, and it was habituated in 1997. After 2 years it received its first trekking and that was in 1999. To reach the starting point, a person needs to drive for 45 minutes towards the neck or even 30 minutes to reach the trail head at Nyamishaba village in Buhoma sector. The name Habinyanja comes from a local language called Nyanja which means a place with water these gorillas were first seen in a swampy area in Buhoma sector. And due to this, the family was named Habinyanja

Mugarusi was the dominant silver back and this name meant an Old man’s’ Teeth. Mugarusi later died due to old age and as soon as he passed on, the 2 brothers Mwirima and Rwansigazi decided to take over and share the old man’s power. This did not last long because of their differences they failed. Rwansigazi was a leader who loved travelling and Mwirima preferred to always staying with his family. Surprisingly these 2 silver backs separated in 2002 without any fight. The members who supported and stayed with Rwansigazi were the Habinyanja and those who preferred Mwirima also formed another family called the Rushegure gorilla family. Later the leader of Habinyanja surrendered his leadership to Makara who’s now the officer in charge of the family.

In 2011 sad news hit this family when one of its friendly Black back gorilla called Mizano was found dead. His body had a lot of spear wounds around its neck and shoulders. This came after Mizano ran into a group of poachers with their dogs. He decided to die while defending his family from these ugly poachers. This incident was reported to be the first curried out by poachers after that of 1995.

Habinyanja group moves daily in the forest. So, it needs someone with energy to trek this family which today has 15 members. The following are some of the family members;

  • Makara
  • Rwansigazi
  • Maraya
  • Kisho
  • Nakabuye
  • Binyoko
  • Rugyendi
  • Nyamuhongo
  • Elsa
  • Hamusini
  • Hakato
  • Gacyaro
  • Bagenyi

Prominent members of Habinyanja family are, Makara, Rwansigazi, Maraya, Kisho, Nabukye, Binyonko, Rugyendi, Nyamuhango, Elsa, Hamusini, Hakato, Gacyaro and Bangenyi


Rushegura gorilla family; this family / group is also found in the Buhoma region or sector. Most times it’s called the R group. The late Mwirima , a son of Mukurusiparted ways with his brother Rwansigazi who was famous for taking gorillas on distant adventures while Mwirima preferred shorter adventures. Rushegura was habituated in 2000 and after 2 years the group experienced its first trekking. This family is also ranked among those that are highly populated or with bigger number of members. Rushegura can be termed as a fragment of Habinyanja group. Normally tourists begin from the park headquarters to trek this gorilla family but a times they might need to drive for almost 15 minutes for its trail head in Mukono.

Reshegure gorilla family is extremely active within the Buhoma region and covers a broad territory a time it also takes the Batwa village, Uganda Wildlife Authority Park office, Bwindi Water fall, and even Buhoma Camp. These sights are normally bonuse the gorillas in this family move into adjacent Banana groves. Sometimes this family crosses in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Currently This group has 16 gorillas and below are some of the members in it;

  • Mwirima (dominant silver back)
  • Kabukojo (black back)
  • Kyirinvi (adult female)
  • Kibande (adult female)
  • Buzinza (adult female)
  • Nyamunwa (adult female)
  • Kalembezi (sub adult male)
  • Ruterana (sub adult female)
  • Nyambazi (juvinile)
  • Kafuruka (juvinile)
  • Kanywanyi (baby infant)
  • Buzinza (infant)
  • Nyamunwa (infant)
  • Katabazi (infant)

Bitukura gorilla family; this gorilla family is located in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Bitukura gorilla family is amongst the new gorilla families in Bwindi to help Katland Safaris Ltd tourists increasing numbers visiting Bwindi impenetrable National Park.

Bitukura gorilla family also is being eaten up by Ruhija side of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. And our esteemed visitors should not worry about where to stay since there is also Accommodation in Ruhija but most clients prefer being taken to Buhoma since it has a variety of accommodation option when it comes to lodging compared to Ruhija. When you opt to sleep in Buhoma you will need to wake up early since there is a need to drive for 2 hours to the starting point.

The name Bitukura was as a result of a River that bears the sane name where this gorilla family was first seen. The habituation of this family started in July 2007 and by October 2008 they Uganda Wildlife Authority had launched this family for tourists to trekk. Basing on the fact that this group was used to Uganda Wildlife Authority officials, and became easy for habituation.

The following are the members of Bitukura family;

  • Ndahura (dominant silver back)
  • Karamuzi (silver back)
  • Rukumu (silver back)
  • Rukara (silver back)
  • Betina (adult female)
  • Ruhara (adult female)
  • Kamuga (adult female)
  • Obia (black back)
  • Mugisha (black back
  • Twakire (juvenile)
  • Kadogo (infant)
  • Mubwindi


Rwanda Gorilla families

Rwanda has several Gorilla families that visitors have access too. They allow only eight visitors per group per trekking day. The following are the Gorilla families in found in Rwanda.

Susa Gorilla family,

Susa group is one of the Mountain Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. This group currently has 17 members and 2 Silver-backs but had a total of 42 members before its split. The most exciting things about Susa are the twins in this group. It’s also the first group that Dian Fossey first studied during her years in Rwanda. The group is apparently the hardest to track but turns out to be the most preferred by most Gorilla trekkers. Susa A inhabits the lower base of Mount Karisimbi.

Sabinyo Gorilla family,

This family currently has 16 members and 2 Silver-backs. Sabyinyo Gorilla family came into existence shortly after the death of a dominant silverback. After his death, a few females left teaming up with other females from other groups to form a total of 4 females and two Silver-backs and also have their name changed to Sabyinyo Gorilla group. One of the Silver-backs that leads this group at the moment is the largest in Volcanoes National Park. This group usually roams on the slopes of Mountain Sabinyo and this makes it relatively easy to track.

Amahoro Gorilla group

Amahoro means peace in Kinyarwanda language and therefore this group is known for its peaceful ways. The peaceful character of the family has long caused it to lose members to other aggressive Silver-backs who seek to expand their respective families. This Family is led by a silverback called “Ubumwe” which means togetherness. Amahoro Gorilla group currently resides on the slopes of Mountain Bisoke and has about 18 members with 2 Silver-backs. This group is quite hard to track as the terrain to the slopes of this mountain is strenuous. If you have a peaceful character in nature and love peace as well then you might have to book your permits for trekking this Gorilla group.

Kwitonda Gorilla group

There was a Silverback that crossed from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Rwanda in the year 2003. There is a possibility that it was under pressure from other gorilla families in the area and so it moved to form a group of its own in a whole different neighborhood.

The name Kwitonda was adopted from the dominant silverback in this group. Akarevuro who was young in the reign of Kwitonda has taken over the leadership after the demise of Kwitonda. The two other Silverbacks in the group, Kigoma and Magumu also submitted to the fact that Akarevuro had taken over the leadership of the group. In September 2012. This Gorilla group now has 29 members and Kwitonda is the dominant silverback. The word Kwitonda means the humble one. This Gorilla group is found in the Virunga section of the park and also not so easy to trek. But this family is commonly found on slopes of Mountain Muhabura.

Agashya Gorilla group

Originally it was called Group 13 and this is because it had 13 family members, but due to a number of factors the family has grown large to approximately 20 members. Agashya family is formerly known as group 13 but recently changed its name. This group got its name due to the initial number of the 13 individuals that started the group. This family was initially led by a dominant silverback called Nyakarima who was later on overthrown by another dominant leader, Agashya who leads till today. The name Agashya means News and surprisingly the family was named after him. Apparently, it has way more members that it did previously. The total is about 20 members with just one Silverback. They also roam on the slopes of Mountain Sabyinyo just like the Sabyinyo family.

Umbano Gorilla group

This Gorilla group had 11 members. Surprisingly this group broke away from the Amahoro group due to the fact the dominant silverback was challenged by another silverback called Charles who is now the leader of Umubano. With 13 members including 2 Silver-backs, Umubano gorilla group was formed by members of the Amahoro family after one of its Silver-backs called Charles, broke off to form his own group. Despite the peace in Amahoro group, Charles and Ubumwe have endless battles till Charles could not take it any more hence, the birth of Umubano Group. Apparently, this group lives in the same territory the Amahoro Group.

Hirwa Gorilla family

Hirwa Gorilla family has 20 members with one Silverback. It was formed by members from the Sabyinyo family and group 13 but later on more members joined to increase the tally to 20. It roams between the mountains of Mount Gahinga and Sabyinyo. This is one of the luckiest groups in the National Park and slots among the few that managed to get twins. Their twins were born in the year 2011. The word Hirwa means ‘Lucky One’. Need some luck or rather are you lucky? You might need to trek and see this Gorilla family.

Karisimbi Gorilla family,

This is the group that split from Susa Gorilla Group in the year 2009. Their bitter split sliced down the number of Susa (the biggest mountain Gorilla group by then with around 42 members) to approximately 26 members exclusive of their Silver-backs. Karisimbi previously stood at a score of 15 members but unfortunately some of their members quit and joined other groups. Today this group has 11 members including 1 adult female, 4 Silver-backs, a black-back and 2 infants. I would say Karisimbi Gorilla Group is one of the hardest to trek. The group sought shelter near a caldera in Mount Karisimbi. Sometimes it could take up to a day to locate them and on the rear occasions when they move to a much higher altitude. Led by a Silverback named Nyagakangaga, Karisimbi Gorilla group inhabits the slopes of Mount Karisimbi the highest peak of the Virunga Volcanoes.

Titus Gorilla family

Titus Family was named after the Silverback. Titus, a primate that was born during the time when Dian Fossey was still carrying out her research at Karisoke Research Center. Titus’s family got murdered by poachers leaving him as the only survivor. He went through a lot of hardships growing up but managed to overcome all those obstacles and emerged as one of the most successful Silver-backs ever to inhabit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Despite being a small family, this group turns out to be one of the most interesting groups to track. It inhabits the slopes of Karisimbi and Visoke volcanoes and adopted its name from Titus. Titus breathed his first during the era when Dian Fossey was still carrying out research at the Karisoke Gorilla Family. His natal family was described for strength and humbleness.

Muhoza Gorilla family

Muhoza is one of the Gorilla family found in the Volcanoes National Park. Muhoza now has a total number of 12 members which include one silver-back 6 adult females, 2 sub adults and 3 infants. Before Muhoza had seven members and later on in 2016 managed to grab some members from other Gorilla groups like Hirwa. Muhoza is the most exciting Gorilla family to trek.

Igisha Gorilla family

Igisha Gorilla family is the last stable group of Mountain Gorillas formed in Volcanoes National Park and is led by Igisha as the dominant Silverback. Igisha Gorilla group originated from Susa Gorilla group that split on November 30th 2014. Igisha silverback moved with 23 individuals and formed the group that was later named Igisha after him. Igisha group is currently composed of 27 individuals which include 3 silver-backs, 7 adult females, 2 black-backs, 3 sub-adult males, 1 sub adult female, 4 juveniles and 7 infants.

Isimbi Gorilla family

Isimbi Gorilla family is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and led by the dominant Silver-back Muturengere. Isimbi Gorilla group is a result of Karisimbi Gorilla group split which happened on 10th April 2012. Getty silverback took the lead of the new group of 7 individuals. Getty died on December 22nd 2013 due to abscess on air sac and pneumonia. After his death, the young black-back then, Muturengere took lead of the Gorilla group with the help of Poppy, an adult female. Poppy is said to be the oldest living adult female among all Gorilla groups. Muturengere fought other groups and grab some members of his group. The group has since grown from 7 to 14 individuals who include 1 silverback, 6 adult females, 2 juveniles and 5 infants.


When wishing to go for Gorilla trekking, your choices should lie between Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park or Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Uganda is becoming one of the most unique and sought-after travel destinations point in Africa. Uganda has two rainy seasons thus the short rain season that happens in the months of October – November, and the long season that occurs from mid-March to the end of May. The remaining months are considered to be Uganda’s dry season. Uganda has recently experienced some climate changes in its weather patterns, this has made it harder to predict these seasons unlike before.

The best time to do Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda.

Uganda and Rwanda both experience an average temperature that is around 22 and these temperatures always drop at night to 12. Ugandan rainfall levels are between 1000-2000mm per annum. But the region generally gives clear skies throughout the year enabling Gorilla trekking throughout the year.

High season;

This usually happens in the months of June, July, August, September, December, and February. During these months less rainfall is experienced as its over taken by Sunshine.

January – February and June – September is the best period to do Gorilla trekking both in Uganda and Rwanda. Although this period is termed as year-round up activities, these two countries during this period they are always experiencing dry seasons hence enabling visitors to choose trekking in dry months (high seasons).

December is also another busy month. In fact, it’s the busiest month of the year basing on the fact that the entire world is always off for Christmas holidays and year ending. Therefore, we kindly advise you to book your trekking permits as early as possible to avoid disappointments.

Therefore, if you need the best Gorilla trekking conditions with no worries of prices, high season is the best for you. These countries Uganda and Rwanda have raised topography meaning the climate is fairly cool throughout the year, despite some serious walking/hiking that may result into feeling hot.

Low season;

Visitors who usually come in low season experience real adventure to the maximum. This is because during low season, there are always few people in the jungle. There are also price reductions in accommodation facilities since fewer tourists come into the country and lodges are on a less demand in this season and there is always availability of Gorilla and Chimpanzee permits because of less tourists coming in.

While in rainy seasons you may incur some challenges in travelling both in Uganda and Rwanda, a day is never lost due to rains, surprisingly days have both rain and sunshine, this means that despite of wetness and coldness its usually favorable for you to continue with your activities as stated in your itinerary whether it rains or not Gorilla trekking is conducted on a daily basis as it has never been cancelled due to bad weather.


Tourists willing or planning to do Gorilla Tracking the following are the guidelines or rules and regulations you shall need to follow as issued Uganda Wild Life Authority. They apply as set out in printed leaflet by Uganda wildlife authority. (Gorilla rules)


  • A maximum number of 8 visitors may visit a group of habituated mountain gorillas in a day. This minimizes behavioral disturbance to the gorilla and the risk of exposure to the human borne diseases.
  • Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas. On the way to the gorillas;
  • Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
  • DO NOT leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
  • You will be taken to where the guides observe the gorilla the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting along the way.
  • When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.


  • A 7metre (21 feet) distance should be observed at all times from the gorillas. The further back you are, the more relaxed the group will be.
  • You must stay in tight group when you are near the gorillas.
  • Keep your voices down at all times. However, it is OK to ask the guide questions.
  • Do not smoke, drink or eat when you are near the gorillas. Eating or drinking inevitably will increase the risk of food/ drink morsels/droplets falling, which could increase the risk of transmission of diseases.
  • Sometimes the gorillas charge. Follow the guides example (crouch down slowly, do not look the gorillas directly in the eyes and wait for the animals to pass). Do not attempt to run away because that will increase the risk.
  • Flash photography is not permitted! When taking pictures move slowly and carefully.
  • Do not touch the gorillas. They are wild animals.
  • The maximum time you spend with the gorillas is one hour. However, if the gorillas become agitated or nervous, the guide will finish the visit early.
  • After the visit keep your voices down until you are 200 meters away from the gorillas.


Remember that mountain gorillas are very susceptible to human disease. The following rules are ways to minimize the risk your visit might poses to them.

  • Respect the limits imposed on the number of visitors allowed with the gorillas each day. This minimizes the risks of disease transmission and stress to the group.
  • If you are feeling ill, or you are carrying a contagious disease, volunteer to stay behind. An alternate visit will be arranged for you, or you will be refunded your money.
  • If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze when you are near the gorillas, please turn your head away and cover your nose and mouth in order to minimize the spread of bacteria or viruses
  • Always stay 7metres (21 feet) away from the gorillas. This is to protect them from catching human diseases.
  • Do not leave any rubbish (e.g., food wrappers) in the park; foreign items can harbor diseases or other contaminants.
  • If you need to go to the toilets while in the forest, please ask the guide to dig you a whole with his panga. Make sure the whole is 30cm deep and fill it in when you are finished.


  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes suitable for steep muddy slopes.
  • Put on ear plugs for those who feel uncomfortable with the jungle sounds.
  • Carry packed lunch and enough drinking water.
  • Carry rain gear, sunscreen lotion, a hat (as the weather is unpredictable) an insect repellent.
  • Bring a photo of film camera. Using flashlight is not permitted.


Once you confirm that your Gorilla trekking permits are at your hand and secured your accommodation together with transport, it’s a must to know the right Gorilla trekking gadgets for a safe Gorilla trekking adventure. In most cases these trekking gadgets they apply in all Gorilla trekking National Parks such as Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks in Uganda together with Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. For cases where a client may combine the trekking together with wildlife tours more gadgets may be needed and for more information contact Katland Safaris Ltd Limited.

Seeing these endangered creatures in their natural habitat is a dream come true and this requires you to be fully prepared for this lifetime experience with these dramatic creatures in the wild. Consider your parking list very crucial while planning your Gorilla and wildlife safari to Africa.  Make sure that you pack based on the purpose of your safari.

Below is the list of items that you should consider while packing for your Gorilla safari to Uganda:

Water proof hiking boots

Hiking boots are a must to have for Mountain Gorilla hike whether in Uganda, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo. You will need light weighted hiking boots for this lifetime adventure. Your hiking boots should be in position to give support to your ankle while you hike through the strenuous terrains. Avoid heavy boots as they will make your hike very challenging.

Gardening gloves

Gardening gloves are useful as they offer protection to your hands in case you fall down and you need to catch any support from the different tree species, shrubs sometimes with thorns which can be harmful to human body. A pair of gloves is necessary as they will safely guard you from the spread of germs.

Rain jackets

Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks are tropical rain forests and weather here is unpredictable, this means that visitors have to be well prepared with their rain jackets or poncho to help protect you from rainfall since weather here changes at any time. Even during the dry season, expect rains at any time of the day due to the tropical rain forests.

Long sleeved shirts, blouses, t-shirt and trousers

Long sleeved shirts are very useful in case of any falling tree branches or ants, stinging insects and vines. Make sure that you pack long sleeved shirts and pants with long stockings among the first items in the list.

Bottled water and snacks

Mountain Gorilla Trekking is strenuous and it takes between 30 minutes to three quarters of the day while hiking to look for the Gorillas the impressive creatures. This calls for physical fitness in visitors and this requires you to have not less than two liters of drinking water and energy giving snacks to boost energy and enable you finish your trek. Katland Safaris Ltd provides drinking water to all our clients and also a packed lunch which is always prepared at the lodge where you are booked for accommodation

Camera and additional batteries

The most exciting moment of Gorilla Tracking is when you at get a family of Mountain Gorillas relaxing and you set your camera to take their pictures. It is a memorial experience and you need a good camera without a flashlight and don’t leave out extra batteries behind since you may need them while in the forest. You need to be equipped so as to avoid any inconveniences that may come as a result of low battery in a camera.

Hat and sun screen or sun glasses

In case of sun rays, you will need to safe guard your eyes from scorching sun rays and that is why you need a hat and sun glasses. However much you are in the middle of the forest with tall trees sometimes you walk in the open during the search for the Mountain Gorillas


When you are in the jungle you do not only look out for the Mountain Gorillas but also a variety of different bird species are available for you catch a glimpse with other primates.  The National Park offers refuge to over 350 distinct bird species for any bird lover to sight while on your Mountain Gorilla tracking experience.

Insect repellants

The forest is a habitat to many kinds of insects, that are harmful to human being and these includes black aunties and many others, so the repellant will help you move without disturbances from the insects that would be harmful to your skin and some visitors especially the females have phobia to the insects, so this could be a good way of keeping the insects away from them.


Porters are always optional but there are some incidents when you need them. According to our experience we always advise our clients to utilize the porters for the good of their Gorilla trekking. As earlier discussed that Gorilla trekking can be hectic, this calls you to have someone to offer you with a push or a pull on your way to the Gorillas. Porters do charge some money but it’s worth their services they render, since they are even still school going students, they mostly do this in their holidays, weekends and even during their vacations or during times when chased from school to look for fees. Through doing this they are helped to solicit money for their school fees.



Rwanda is the fourth smallest country on the African mainland. Rwanda’s geographical size is the same as for Bwindi, Haiti, Albania, Gambia, Swaziland and Djibouti. In the latest years Rwanda’s modern human settlement become the last glacial period either in Neolithic period around 8000BC, after in long humid period turned up to 3000BC.The archaeological had to reveal evidence from different settlement by the hunter gathers into the stone age, later it was followed by the larger population of the iron age settlers who used to produce iron tools.

Between 700Bc and 1500AD a number of Bantu group migrated into Rwanda look for land settlement and land agriculturalist, this affected the Twa to move to the mountain slopes since half of land was taken by the Bantu. The historical back ground of this Bantu migration came up with different clans the Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, The Hutu were the first settler, Tutsi were cattle gathers, Twa hunters to form a racial group of Nile Hamitic origin.

The reconstruction of king’s palace in Rwanda known as Nyaniza brought the social organization in an area and they were these three clans the Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa who were not limited in the geographical lineages. By mid-eighteenth century the Tutsi expanded in the kingdom of Rwanda, king Kigeli Rwanbugi had to conquer several states to expand the kingdom from west and north during the nineteenth century under his reign.

The Tutsi were cattle gathering and privileges in exchange for economic, even though Hutu were the first settlers they had nothing so they were forced to work for Tutsi chief. But the king Rwabugiri changed the cause of this two to grow into relationship, the Twa by that time were much better off than the pre-kingdom days but their number continued to decline due to the fighting of these two clans the Hutu and the Tutsi.

The signing of the territory to Germany as part of Germany East African in 1884 Berlin Conference marked the beginning of colonial era. The Germany did not fight the social life of this country, what they did they had to provide enough support to the king delegating power to the king.

During the world war 1the Belgian force took control over Rwanda and Burundi in 1916 and it brought up direct colonial rule in between the two countries known as League of Nation Mandate in local name Ruanda-Urundi.

By 15 century Rwanda faced genocide in between the three clans that’s to say the Hutu, Tutsi and the Twa who had fighting against each other. This happened when the Tutsi had tension of getting early independence while the Hutu had emancipation movement. The Rwanda revolution took place in 1959 when the Hutu clan who called themselves the wealthy clan started killing the Tutsi and ended up destroying their houses and many people’s life were lost. This caused more than 100000 people to migrate to the neighboring countries seeking for refuge. Before it was the Belgium who ruled the Ruad –Urundi meeting”Rwanda and Burundi “of which Rwanda had to form the northern part  as a united nation trust party after the second world war. Latterly on in 1961 the pro Hutu Belgians held a meeting in which the country had to vote so that they should stop the monarchy that was in between the two clans, Juvenal Habyarimana won the election and he became the president of Rwanda from 1973 -1994.

Later on Rwanda had to separate from Burundi to gain its independence this took place on 1 July 1962 and this day become a celebration day and a public holiday. Tutsi continued to be violated by Hutu who called themselves as wealthy clan with largest scale of land and the poor Tutsi and the Twa people were humiliated by forcing them out of the forest to go to the neighboring countries, the overtaking of military coup abolished the Hutu and this reduced amount of violence against Tutsi and the Twa remained marginalized.

They never stopped from attacking this clans, the Rwanda patriotic front in short, the rebel group they continued attacking of over 500,000 Tutsi refugees in 1990, this rebel they attacked the Tutsi from their hiding places all way in Northern Rwanda to their base in Uganda. This happened during the Rwanda civil war; people started to condemning the Hutu government for failing to understand the problem that was facing these refugees but for them continued neglecting them.

Unfortunately, in 1992 president Habyarimana’s Authority were weakened even he was forced into coalition with the demostic opposition to sign the 1993 Arusha accord with the Rwanda patriotic force. Due to selfishness of Habyarina’s heart to one clan people hated him, eventually he died on the shooking down of the plane on 6 April 1994 near Kigali Airport.

Approximately of about 100days around 800,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed in well planned attacks on the orders of the interim government, even number of Twa were killed despite not being directly targeted.

Indefinitely the Tutsi restarted their offensive and ended up taking control of the country politically, methodically gaining control of the whole country but this happened by the help of the United Nation peace keeping force which was in charge of ending this genocide.

The Rwanda patriotic force they again caused over two million Hutu to migrate to the neighboring countries of Zaire where they got a refugee camp to stay, additionally the RPF were the leading army that worked straight forward in the first and the second Congo war.

After the death of Habarimana the country had to seat as the member of the government by that time to contest for another election because they wanted another president who will stand on power and fight the genocide in the country.

The overtaking of president Paul Kagame brought change, development, peace and harmony in the country. Rwandan president Paul Kagame is known of being the head of the state and had improved on the powers of the country through creating policy conjunction with the cabinet, commanding the armed forces, negotiating treaties, signing presidential orders and declaring war or state emergence.

The coming of the Belgian and Germanys simplified a lot on both countries through introducing large scale project in Education, healthy public works and improvement on agriculture techniques to reduce on the problem of famine and also to change on way of presidential elections.

Both Germanys and Belgium protected the Tutsi separately, they wanted to solve out incidence between the Hutu and the Tutsi to consider Hutu and Tutsi in different races The Belgians decided to introduce identity cards labeling each individual as either Twa, Hutu, Tutsi or naturalist this earned to prevent further movement in between this class.


You need a Gorilla permit handled by each of the National Parks to trek the Mountain Gorillas. Katland Safaris Ltd provides relevant Gorilla permit booking information for Rwanda and Uganda to enable you plan your Gorilla safari very well.

You always have to obtain a Gorilla permit 3-4 months in advance while booking a Gorilla tour, always pay your Gorilla permit fee in advance to enable us acquire it for you.

Gorilla trekking is guaranteed when you acquire a Gorilla pass. Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla permits are very competitive and scarce most especially during peak seasons of June, July, August, September, December and February. Sometimes Gorilla tracking permits get sold out four months in advance so any traveller needs to book a Gorilla permits 3-4 month in advance. Kindly follow our Gorilla permit booking information for details.

What’s a Gorilla trekking permit?

This is a document or an electronic card issued by, Uganda Wildlife Authority of Uganda, Rwanda Development Board of Rwanda that gives access to any tourist above 15 years of age to trek Mountain Gorillas in any of the three habitats. This permit gives you access to view Gorillas for only one hour but the Gorilla trekking itself can take a minimum of 30 minutes or up to nine hours while looking for Gorillas in the forest.

Gorilla Permit Booking Information focuses on giving you details to prepare well for your Gorilla expedition.

Price for Gorilla trekking permit

A Uganda Gorilla trekking permit costs 600usd per person per trek for Gorilla trekking, that is to say with this kind of permit a tourist is given one hour to spend with the Gorilla. Another Gorilla habituation permit costs USD 1500.00 per person per trek, with this type of permit a tourist is given four hours to spend with the Gorillas.

A single Gorilla permit can only be used once (single day), by a single person and to trek Uganda Mountain Gorillas in only two destinations Gorilla trekking permits are only bought at Uganda wildlife Authority head offices in Kampala and they cost of USD $600.00 per person for foreign nonresidents, USD500.00 for foreign residents with valid work permits and sh250, 000 for East African Citizens. Katland Safaris Ltd organizes all-inclusive tours to see Mountain Gorillas

Gorilla trekking permits for Rwanda are booked and bought from Rwanda Development Board in Kigali or Ruhengeri town (near the PNV) after paying USD 1500.00.


When planning to do Gorilla trekking in Uganda, you have to consider the type of a Gorilla permit you hold or planning to have. The permit determines the Region in which you will be trekking Gorillas.

Bwindi Gorilla trekking sectors include:

  • Nkuringo in the South.
  • Ruhija in the East,
  • Buhoma in the North,
  • Rushaga in the south

For Gorilla permit booking, confirming any accommodation property it has to be determined by the Gorilla permit you will be holding.

Each sector has its own Gorilla groups or families and for those interested in trekking given sectors should let Katland Safaris Ltd know so that we act accordingly while booking your Gorilla permit.

It’s more important that the Gorilla family allocation happens on the day of trekking where tourists are grouped depending on their physical abilities and interests. You will need to express your interest so that they allocate you a Gorilla group that will help you achieve it. Therefore, for any kind of information contact Katland Safaris Ltd Limited.

How can you obtain a gorilla trekking permit?

Kindly contact Katland Safaris Ltd Limited for any information you need in preparation to plan your Gorilla tour, for example desired trekking dates, month and year, you have to also select a country of our expertise either Uganda or Rwanda. After you have checked with us, we will have to contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority to check the availability of the Gorilla permits on the days you submitted to us and after we shall get back to you for confirmation. We accompany it with the invoice so that payment is made to our account so that we buy your Gorilla permit in advance and send scanned copies to you.

You will help us and send scanned details of your passport as a requirement for Uganda Wildlife Authority to print out and issue your Gorilla trekking permit.