Mountain Gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
For travelers on Uganda gorilla tours, Mgahinga is best known as an alternative destination to Bwindi for gorilla trekking tours. The park shares its mountain gorillas population with the adjoining Parc National des Volcanoes in Rwanda and the Parc National des Virungas in Congo which is all found in the Virunga massif.
The most recent mountain gorilla census conducted in 2018 revealed a world population of 1063 mountain gorillas with 604 gorillas living in the Virunga mountains. The other habitat for mountain gorillas is in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda with a population of 459 gorillas.
Mgahinga National Park’s abundant green vegetation provides suitable habitats for these endangered apes. Gorillas in Mgahinga live in families (groups) that comprise several individuals. There is one habituated gorilla family in Mgahinga called the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family, described below.
Nyakagezi Gorilla Family In Mgahinga National Park
Nyakagezi is a place in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where there is a lot of sumptuous food attractive to the gorillas. Nyakagezi gorilla group has in the past decade restricted its range to the Mgahinga National Park rather than in the past when it used to cross over the neighboring country of Rwanda.
The family currently is consists of 9 members with 5 silverbacks, 2 adult females, and 3 youngsters. The gorillas can be easily identified by their names, and these are;
- Five silverback gorilla−Mark, Mafia, Rukundo, Ndugutse, and Bugingo.
- Two female adults−Nshuti and Nyiramwiza
- Three youngsters−Mutagamba, Nshuti, Baby, and Fred
Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is headed by Silverback Mark and assisted by Mafia. Mark took over power from his father Bujinjo. Bujingo is not like other Silverback gorillas who stay as loners after losing power. He still happily leaves with the family and takes on the role of ‘Mzee’ which literally refers to an elder.
This is the easiest gorilla family to trek by visitors interested in gorilla trekking in Uganda. This is because they prefer a small range to forage for food which makes it to see them compared to the Mountain gorillas in Bwindi National Park that are known to travel long distances