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Nyakagezi Gorilla Family in Mgahinga National Park

Located in southwestern Uganda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is home to the Nyakagezi gorilla group, the only habituated mountain gorilla family in the park. Encompassing an area of 33.7 square kilometers, this pristine wilderness is not only a sanctuary for over 80 mountain gorillas but also boasts a rich diversity of wildlife, including over 80 bird species and primates such as golden monkeys. Nestled within the park are three of the eight Virunga Range volcanoes, adding to its breathtaking scenery and natural wonders.

What sets the Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family apart is its unique history and composition. Formerly ranging across Uganda, DR Congo, and Rwanda, the group has since settled primarily on the Uganda side since 2012. Remarkably, the group still harbors the old silverback, Bugingo, an uncommon occurrence among mountain gorillas, where defeated silverbacks are typically banished or seek refuge elsewhere. Despite Bugingo’s presence, leadership of the group has shifted to a silverback named Mark.

Trekking the Nyakagezi gorilla family offers a rare and intimate wildlife encounter, with only eight permits available each day. The family consists of just 10 members (they can add anytime when they give birth) , including four silverbacks, two adult females, two black backs, two juveniles, and one infant. While Bugingo’s presence adds a layer of intrigue to the group dynamics, visitors are also treated to the fascinating social interactions and behaviors of these magnificent creatures, making for an unforgettable experience amidst the lush landscapes of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

Nyakagezi gorilla family is one of the easiest gorilla families to trek in that it prefers a narrow home range for breastfeeding, nesting, and relaxing due to the abundance of food in the area they don’t have to move for long distances foraging all day.

What best time to visit Nyakagezi gorilla Family in Mgahinga national park?

Planning a visit to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to track the Nyakagezi gorilla group but unsure about the best time to go? Rest assured, Mgahinga welcomes visitors year-round, offering pleasant weather and a variety of adventure activities regardless of the season.

The park boasts a range of tourism activities available throughout the year, with gorilla trekking being a highlight. However, for optimal conditions, consider visiting during the dry season, which spans from June to September and December to February. During these months, the trails are less muddy and slippery, enhancing the overall trekking experience.

While the dry season offers favorable trekking conditions, it’s essential to note some drawbacks. The air may be hazier during this time, affecting visibility and distant views. Additionally, booking gorilla permits and lodging well in advance, preferably five months ahead, is advisable due to high demand.

Conversely, the wet season, occurring from April to May and October to November, presents challenges for trekking due to muddy and slippery trails. Hailstorms and mist may further disrupt tracking activities, hindering wildlife sightings. However, the wet season showcases lush green vegetation, providing a picturesque backdrop for birdwatching, especially for migratory species like the Brown chested Lapwings.

Travelers should be prepared for unpredictable weather conditions, as even during the dry season, unexpected rainfall can occur. Carrying rainproof gear such as backpacks, trousers, hiking boots, jackets, and long-sleeved shirts is advisable to ensure comfort and enjoyment during your visit.

Ultimately, while Mgahinga Gorilla National Park offers adventures year-round, the dry season months of June to September and December to February provide optimal conditions for gorilla trekking and exploration.

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