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Nshongi Gorilla Group

There are over 15 habituated gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, apart from being home to half population of mountain gorillas in the world, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is home to 120 species of mammals, over 13 species of primates, 341 species of birds, 400 flowering plants, 200 species of trees and 220 species of butterflies.

Mountain gorillas have a low birth rate that’s why any deaths can deteriorate their numbers. Female gorillas have 1-2 fertile days in a month and once they conceive the gestation period is 8 and half months, after birth a female will then take 4-6 years to produce again. Some silverbacks practice infanticide in their families killing all the male baby gorillas to avoid being challenged in the future.

Mountain gorillas spend most of their time foraging all day until noon time when they rest and this is also the time mothers groom their babies. In the late afternoon gorillas get back to forage until 7pm in the evening when they build nests to sleep in.

Nshongi gorilla family

Nshongi mountain gorilla family is situated in the southern part of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, the name of the family was derived from a local word to mean “Omushongi Gwoboki” meaning honey this is so because the family was spotted near river Nshongi which has got a deep colour like honey.

Nshongi mountain gorilla family was habituated in 2007 and opened for trekking in 2009; this was one of the largest habituated gorilla families in Bwindi with 36 members at the time of habituation but the group later split with Mishaya taking away some members to form Mishaya gorilla family.

Nshongi gorilla family later split in 2012 following the fight where Bweza took away some members to form his own gorilla family. It should be noted that numbers in mountain gorilla families keep changing from time to time due a reasonable number of factors.

Gorilla trekking

Trekking Nshongi mountain gorilla family starts very early morning and takes about 2-8 hours, only a group of 8 health people will be allowed to trek the family. Once the trekkers find the group then they are given an hour of observation and to take photos.

Gorilla habituation

Bwindi impenetrable forest national park is the only national park that gives tourists an opportunity for gorilla habituation. Gorilla habituation involves visiting a wild gorilla family daily for a period of 2-3 years until the family passes a mocking exercise then it can be opened for trekking.

Rushagga sector of Bwindi offers tourists an opportunity to join rangers and researchers in their daily work of habituation. This is more exciting than gorilla trekking because instead of an hour you get to spend 4 hours in the presence of mountain gorillas.

Gorilla permits

Gorilla permits must always be booked in advance of 3 months before the actual trekking date especially during the peak season. Gorilla trekking permits cost $700 per person per trekking while gorilla habituation permits cost $1500 per person.

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