Gorilla trekking in Mgahinga national park of Uganda is entirely based on the famous Nyakagezi gorilla family.

Mgahinga national park is one of the two gorilla destinations in Uganda, with Bwindi impenetrable national park. The park is located in the far south west region of the pearl in Kisoro district.

The Nyakagezi gorilla family is the only habituated gorilla group of Mgahinga national park. Despite the presence of about 80 gorilla individuals in the park’s forest. The Nyakagezi group is the only family available for trekking, because of its familiarity with human presence.

The family is made up of 10 members with the Mark, as the dominant silverback. He overthrew his own father, Bugingo to take control over the family. Unlike other gorilla families, Bugingo a defeated silverback still lives happily in the Nyakagezi gorilla family. This is unusual, as when a dominant silverback is overthrown. He goes into isolation or moves to another group till he dies.

Nyakagezi gorilla group still accommodates it’s first leader together with other silverbacks that include mafia, Rukundo, and Ndugutse. This makes it a unique gorilla family worth visiting on a Uganda safari.

Other members in the family include Nyirwamwiza, Nshuti, which are the two females in the group. Together with Nkanda, Fred who are the juveniles, and Furaha the available infant.

This gorilla group derived its name from an area in Mgahinga national park called Nyakagezi. This area is rich in edibles which attracted the family to stay and enjoy the fruits of the area. The area is located in an open place at the low altitudes of the park. This makes trekking of the Nyakagezi gorilla family much easier compared to the other families in the other gorilla destinations.

Trekking of the Nyakagezi group begins as early as 8:00 am. Trekkers are supposed to report to the headquarters as early as 7:00 am. Where they are briefed about the guidelines required while trekking the gentle giants of the park. Trekking of the family takes about 2 to 4 hours since they are found at the lower altitudes.

In the previous years, the Nyakagezi family had repetitive visits to the nearing park in Rwanda, volcanoes national park, and settled their for a while. Fortunately enough, the family is now fully settled in Mgahinga national park of Uganda. This guarantees the sight of these gentle giants on a Uganda gorilla safari.

Mgahinga national park issues only 8 trekking permits per trek.  This means only 8 individuals are allowed to have an encounter with the family. A one-hour contact with family is provided to the trekker.  To fully see and have a close look at the family as they live about their day, feeding, resting, wrestling and enjoying the forest.

Visitors are allowed to take pictures and videos to keep the memories of The Nyakagezi gorilla family from their primate tours.

Trekkers with valid trekking permits are the only visitors allowed to have a fully experience with the Nyakagezi gorilla group. The trekking permits can be obtained from the Uganda wildlife authority, or indirectly through tour operations. Gorilla trekking permits cost differently depending on the nationality.

Foreign nonresidents and foreign resident’s gorilla permits cost $700 and 250,000ugx for the East African residents.

Besides the Nyakagezi gorilla family as the main attraction in Mgahinga national park. The park is a hidden treasure with lots of other attractions and activities to enjoy while on the visit. Golden monkey tracking is one of the other activities to look out for while Mgahinga national park.

The park is the only destination in Uganda where the gorillas co-exist with the golden monkeys. This justifies its tag line,  “where silver meets gold”. Golden monkey tracking is enjoyed as a complementary activity in the park from gorilla trekking.

A unique experience of the first inhabitants of the forest with the mountain gorillas is as well enjoyed while in the park.  The Batwa pygmies offer interesting traditional dance sessions, together with intriguing talks about their history and culture. Mountaineering along the slopes of mountain Gahinga and other Virunga ranges, all entice a visit to Mgahinga national park.

However, the fascinating behavior and life of the Nyakagezi family makes a major highlight for visiting this gorilla group on a Uganda safari.

 

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