Tracking the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family on the sides of the Virunga Volcanoes
Meet the Nyakagezi Gorilla Group making their home in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is the only habituated of the Gorilla Families found in Mgahinga Gorilla Park, where you track the Gentle Giants on the Mountains that Cook, the Virunga Volcanoes, part of the Virunga Massif. There are 80 plus Gorillas on the Ugandan side of the Virunga Volcanoes, and they make up the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family Group.
Presently the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is home in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla Park and has been there since the son Mark, the now leading Silverback, took over from his Father Bugingo and his brother Mafia.
The group used to have that Wanderlust Spirit and travel to the Rwandan or DR Congo side of the Volcanoes. That has not been the case in recent years, but you can still find such erroneous information on various websites claiming that the family is in Rwanda, not Uganda.
That information regarding the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family is outdated, which is ancient history and not the current reality. It goes back to when Bugingo, now retired, was the leader of the Nyakagezi Family.
However, the Hirwa Gorilla Family has been on an extended visit from Rwanda to Mgahinga Gorilla Park. The Nyakagezi family has had permanent resident status in Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla Park for over six years.
Meet the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family
The Nyakagezi Gorilla has become a favorite, with many Gorilla Trekkers that enjoy tracking gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes. Three Virunga Volcanoes are inside Mgahinga Gorilla Park, and the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family can reliably be traced there.
The Nyakagezi family is unique because there are currently Five Silverbacks. Two matured from Blackbacks into Silverbacks, increasing the number from three to five.
The word “Nyakagezi” indicates the area in Mgahinga Gorilla Park where the family is found, where they forage consistently forage for food.
Trekking time usually is four hours. A moderate level of fitness is suggested. The area where the Nyakagezi family roams is more open, making it ideal for photographers who want clear Gorilla Pictures without any obstruction from dense brush and forest Undergrowth.
The Nyakagezi Gorilla Group was Habituated in 1991
The Nyakagezi family was habituated initially in 1991 in Mgahinga Gorilla Park after the park was established. In 1994 visitors were allowed to trek with their families. For years, the leader of the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family was the now over 50-year-old Bugingo.
Bugingo abdicated and was replaced and usurped by his son Mark. Mark was and is assisted by his brother, Mafia. Bugingo has taken on the mantle of Mzee (older wise person), the elderly leader in retirement, and happily plays the grandfather’s role. This is highly unusual.
The norm is that former leaders become loners. The other now silverbacks are Ndugutse and Rukundo. They were the only Blackbacks in the group, and two females and children were in the family.
Five silverbacks in one family are impressive. What is even more amazing is that they seemingly get along. There are two Females and three youngsters. The group may change in number or size over the next year or two. As with human families, so is with gorilla families.
Births, deaths, divorce, and feuds lead to separation. Things change, but now is an ideal time to visit the Nyakagezi Gorilla Group, with more Silverbacks than most other groups in Uganda’s other Gorilla Park, Mgahinga Gorilla Park.
Why Trek the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla Park?
The Nyakagezi Gorilla Family Trekking Advantage-What, what our Clients have told us.
- Easy Access from Kigali, Rwanda; – It is only a 3-Hour Drive to Mgahinga Gorilla Park from the regional Kigali International Airport. That is one hour less than driving to the southern regions of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
- Fewer Trekkers than either in Rwanda or Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda.
- More Silverbacks than other Gorilla Families.
- More open viewing of the Gorilla Family with less obstruction from thick underbrush.
- 4-Hour Trek-1-Hour with the Nyakagezi Family.
- $700 Permits – $800 less for Permits than in Rwanda.
- Affordable Luxury Lodging with more extras at Mount Gahinga Lodge.
- Add-On Golden Monkey Trekking, Volcano Climbing, Hiking, and the Batwa Cultural Trail.
- Safe and Secure Gorilla Trekking.
Why we like the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family:
Why offer a Gorilla Trekking Safari with the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla Park? We know Uganda, and we live and work here. We know all about Mountain Gorillas, they are our passion, and we are Gorilla Encounter Matchmakers.
A Gorilla Tour Operator in Uganda. We know a good thing when we have trekked the Nyakagezi Family ourselves. We know all about the Nyakagezi Family myths and fables floating on the internet, and hopefully, the above has debunked a few for you.
We think and know from experience that the Nyakagezi Gorilla Trekking Experience is precisely what many discerning African Travelers seek. An authentic experience, that magical encounter with a gorilla family without the crowds.
Many of our Clients take it even further. They choose to trek Gorillas in both Mgahinga Gorilla Park with the Nyakagezi Family and with another in the southern area of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
Let us know if you want to visit the Nyakagezi Gorilla Family in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.