What is the best easy Gorilla family to Trek?
It is a very common question: “Which is the easier gorilla family to trek?”
Travelers always want to make sure they will see the Gorillas on a Gorilla trekking trip; some Gorilla families in Bwindi forest of Uganda are too used to humans and can often be seen roaming the gardens of some safari lodges.
It is not true that some gorilla families are easier to trek while others are out rightly hard to locate. Gorillas are wild animals whose actions are spontaneous. The ease of seeing the gorillas depends on the movements of the gorilla family that day. Gorillas mainly move in search of food though there are other factors that may influence their movements. Though it is true some gorilla families live around less strenuous elevations, they also at times move deeper in the valleys. Some times you may be able to see gorillas within 15 minutes of your trek while it may also take over 6 hours to locate the same gorilla family on another day.
However Rushegura Gorilla family in Buhoma (Bwindi forest national park – Uganda) has often been easy to meet a good number of times but can also be so hard to find some days. Bitukura family in Ruhiija sector is also often located near.
In Mgahinga National park, the only gorilla family named Nyakagezi Family is often very near. It all depends on the movements of the day thus there is no guarantee that this gorilla family is actually easy to trek.
In Volcanoes National park-Rwanda, there are more gorilla families which are a bit less strenuous to track and these include Amahoro group, Sabinyo Group, Hirwa group.
Most important and advisable is to make sure you choose a well informed travel company to arrange your gorilla safari because there is a common mistake of one booking accommodation that is far away from the start point of the gorilla trek and this makes it slightly hard to enjoy your gorilla trek as you will have to travel long distances to reach your trekking area.
Please note that Bwindi Impenetrable forest National park has four sections; Buhoma, Rushaga, Nkuringo and Ruhija sectors and each area has appropriate safari lodges to use depending on the gorilla family you are to trek.
There are 14 gorilla families in Uganda; Buhoma (most prefered region for trekkers) has three gorilla families that is, Rushegura, Mubare and Habinyanja while Ruhija sector has four groups that is Bitukura, Oruzogo, Kyaguriro and Mukiza which just disintegrated from Kyaguriro family. Rushaga sector has five families; Nshongi, Kahungye, Mishaya, Bwengye and Busingye. Nkuringo has one gorilla family called Nkuringo family. The other gorilla group is in Mgahinga National Park.
One other frequently looming question is – “why did this tour company book me on a hard to track gorilla family?” This happens when you reserve your gorilla permit late and the operator has few options to consider because all good tour operators know the preferred locations regarding safari lodges, gorilla trekking areas and Gorilla families. However all gorilla families are spontaneous in behavior – none is simple to trace or hard to see.
In brief; a gorilla trek is sometimes strenuous and a good level of physical fitness is required and any of the above issues should not pop-up during your Gorilla Trek!