Nyakagezi Gorilla Family
Nyakagezi Gorilla family is found in Mgahinga National Park situated in far south western Uganda. It’s a full habituated Gorilla family and the only group in Mgahinga National Park. Nyakagezi Gorilla family gives visitors amazing experience after a less strenuous walk through Mgahinga National Park. It’s an alternative for those who have failed to get Gorilla permits in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
It should be noted that, Mgahinga Gorilla Park has approximately 80 plus Gorillas and one habituated Gorilla group is officially offered for Gorilla tourism – the Gorilla group is the Nyakezi Family.
The gorilla group derived its name from the place called “Nyakagezi” in Mgahinga national Park. It’s where the group spends most of the time feed – Nyakagezi area offers a lot of food which attracts the gorillas.
It should also be noted that, Nyakagezi family is one of the easiest to track given the fact that it prefers a narrow home range for feeding, nesting, relaxing and recreation. The group has three silver backs, 2 adult females, 2 black backs and 2 infants.
Its home range extends to Rwanda and sometimes, the group pays a visit to their Volcanoes National Park counterparts in Rwanda. In case of absence, the tourists who booked their permits already are allowed to trek other Gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park at no extra cost.
Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is commanded by Silverback Mark assisted by Mafia, Ndungutse and Bugingo. Rukundo is the sole Black back, Nshuti an adult female with two babies namely Nshuti baby and Fred. Fred was named so in 2010 when a veterinary doctor, Fred, attached to Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project worked hard to save it from a life threatening wire snare.
You can buy permits from the park offices in Kisoro town and Ntebeko the park head office or from Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) head office in Kampala. Guides on the ground say the group is playful and interesting that it occasionally attracts repeat visitors.
The Bugingo silver back is estimated to be 53 years and still thriving in the gorilla family something uncommonly seen in gorilla life. In normal occasions, any silver back gorilla that happens to be overthrown from the main group would resort to a lonely life or totally abandons the family like the case of Mubare gorilla group in the Buhoma North of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Despite that fact that Nyakagezi Gorilla family moves freely in the natural environment and sometimes movee to DR. Congo and Rwanda, currently, the group is settled in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda where tourists are assured of gorilla trekking experiences. Since 2012 the gorilla family has been settled within the Mgahinga National Park and the sucess rate to see these great apes stands at over 95% chances. Because it is the only group in the park, Uganda Wildlife Authority sells only 8 gorilla permits for this Park per day.
Alternatively, you can trek Golden Monkeys in Mgahinag National Park because this is the only Park in Uganda where Silver meets Gold, the interesting Batwa trail (that takes you through the life of the People of the Forest” who were hunter-gatherers), Birding and mountain hiking to Mountain Sabyinyo, Mountain Muhavura and Mgahinga.
How to Reach Mgahinga National Park:
If you want to encounter Nyakagezi Gorilla family in Mgahinga national Park, note the following:
*You can reach by road or by Air.
By Air, visitors can take scheduled flights from Entebbe International Airport or Kajjansi Airstrip and then land in Kisoro Airstrip where they can be moved to the park on road to their respective lodge.
By road, follow Kampala-Mbarara-Kabale-Kisoro route where you can easily connect to Mgahinga National Park where Gorilla trekking is done.