Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is situated in the south Western part of Uganda, its one of the places in the world where tourists can trek the endangered mountain gorillas, the park is also a birders paradise with about 341 species of birds and 320 species of trees and about 200 butterfly species. The Bitukura mountain gorilla family is among the habituated gorilla families living in Ruhijja area of Bwindi forest impenetrable national park, this group is led by the second youngest gorilla which is in usual for the mountain gorilla families.
The Ndahura Silverback took over power from the Silverback Karamusizi, the group originally had 24 members before it split up to 14 members. Karamusizi the former dominating Silverback died at the age of 40 years. The name Bitukura is derived from a local river in which the gorillas were first sighted. Gorilla families normally take a period of two years to be habituated but the Bitukura gorilla family took only a period of 15 months, the group was habituated in 2007 and opened up for tourism in 2008.
The Bitukura gorilla family shares a close bond with the Kyaguriro gorilla family the eldest female gorilla Twigukye even migrated from the Bitukura family to the Kyaguriro family. Sadly, Ndahura silverback met his death in December 2016 after falling off from a tree and the dominating silverback right now is Rukumu.
While trekking mountain gorilla families’ tourists go through beautiful environment filled with birds, colorful butterflies, wildlife occasionally, primates and different vegetation types. The other gorilla family in Ruhijja area is the Oruzogo gorilla family. Oruzogo gorilla family is one of the recently habituated gorilla groups in Bwindi impenetrable national park, the dominant silverback of this group is known as “Tibirikwata”. This gorilla family was opened up for tourism in June 2011.
One of the most interesting tourists activities that can only be enjoyed in Uganda is gorilla habituation experience this involves tourists joining researchers in the process of gorilla habituation. Gorilla habituation takes four hours of being with mountain gorillas unlike trekking that takes only one hour of observation.
When visiting Bwindi impenetrable national park, tourists should endeavor to visit the Batwa people, his people lived in the forest for about 500,000 years living through hunting and fruit gathering. They were displaced when the park was conserved but never the less they have still managed to maintain their typical African cultural values including healing some diseases using traditional herbs.
The best time to come to Uganda for gorilla trekking is in the dry season when the hiking and trekking trails are easily accessible and there are less chances of being disrupted by rain. Tourists visiting in the low season can get discounts from some hotels.
Gorilla permits in Uganda cost only $600 and the gorilla habituation experience costs $1500. Visitors should endeavor to book their gorilla permits in advance about three months before arrival. Tourists visiting the Ruhijja area of Bwindi can sleep in lodges such as; Trekkers tavern cottages, gift of nature lodge, Ruhijja gorilla mist camp, Ruhijja gorilla safari lodge, Ruhijja gorilla resort, Cuckoo land tented lodge and Chameleon hill lodge among the rest.