There is always a question of ‘which is the easier Gorilla family to trek? ‘by the trekkers/tourists/visitors.
Now it is not true that some Gorilla families are hard to trek while others are an easy path to trek, some of these families are too used to humans and can often be seen roaming the gardens of some safari lodges. Not only that, mountain gorillas are wild animals too whose actions are impulsive/unprompted. The ease of viewing or having a sight at them relies on the movements of that Gorilla family that day- and let’s not forget that they mainly move to search for food, fear especially when they fight with each other/another group, though there are other more factors that may influence their movements, still true that some Gorilla families reside around less strenuous elevations but at times also move to the deeper valleys implying that you could at times sight Gorillas within ease 15 mins of your trek while it may also take you 6 hrs to locate the same family on another day.
However, the Rushegura family group(R-Group) residing in Buhoma section of Bwindi Impenetrable National park has been so easy to sight a number of times but also hard at times. This is because the initial/starting point is in this section(Buhoma) and yet that’s where it resides. Therefore, when you book permits for Rushegura Gorilla group, it does not confirm that you will have an easier trek.
Also in the Ruhiji section of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the Bitukura family group (B-Group) is also located near. In this case the Trekkers/ visitors are advised when you book Gorilla permits for this specific section make sure you book accommodation in this same park -this will in turn reduce on the drive time so that you don’t have to drive to reach the starting point.
Mgahinga National Park (Nyakagezi Gorilla Family) is also often very near and it depends on the movements of the day. Therefore, there is no guarantee that this specific Gorilla group is actually going to be ease to trek but also not so certain that it’s going to be hard to trek. Currently in Uganda there are thirteen habituated gorilla families and they are located in different regions/sections as below:- Buhoma section having three different Gorilla families residing there ,that is Rushegura, Mubare and Habinyanja (sometimes might need to drive to reach the trail head of this group).In the Ruhija Region/section ( Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyaguriro (Which are still on/ for research), Rushaga region/section has got Nshongi, Kahungye, Mishaya and the new group called Busingye which has just separated from Kahungye Gorilla group .There is the Nkuringo section which contains one Gorilla family called Nkuringo.
Most important and advisable is to make sure you choose a well-informed travel company (Adventure in the Wild safari) to arrange your gorilla safari to advise you on which accommodation to book depending on the gorilla families booked- because there is a common mistake of one booking accommodation that is very far away from the start point of the gorilla trek section and this makes it slightly hard/difficult to enjoy your gorilla trek since you will have to travel long distances to reach your trekking area.
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has got various sections (Buhoma, Ruhiji, Nkuringo and Rushaga) and each of these sections have gotten many Safari lodges to stay in depending on the Gorilla family you are going to trek. Much as you can book accommodation in one section(Buhoma) and trek in another section(Ruhiji) and the reverse is true, this should be avoided if possible and here you will relish and have a memorable trek and you won’t have to complain at all.
Why was I booked a hard Gorilla family to Trek by my Tour operator or Tour Company?
This is so because you reserved your Gorilla permit late and the operator has gotten few options to consider. All good tour operators know what to offer, the preferred locations regarding safari lodges, Gorilla families, Gorilla trekking areas, etc. So to avoid all this make sure you acquire your Gorilla Permit in advance (5 months earlier) to enable you make the right choice.
All in all, Gorilla Families are impulsive in behaviour so there is none like is ‘Simple to trek/trace or hard to sight’. A Gorilla trek is sometimes energetic/vigorous and a good level of physicals fitness is required, with all this and your main goal is to trek, then you won’t have any of the above complaints pop-up during your trek activity.