Kahungye Gorilla Family is situated in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable forest National Park and is one of the 17 habituated Mountain Gorilla families that are protected in the impenetrable forest of Bwindi. The Bwindi Impenetrable forest is one of the montane forests situated in the southwestern part of Uganda.
The forest evidently has four sectors, that is Nkuringo, Rushaga, Buhoma and Ruhija each bedwelling its own families of the endangered mountain gorillas. Among the most absorbing sectors to trek gorillas in Uganda is the Rushaga sector, the only sector where Gorilla habituation experience can takes place from and as well inhabits the most number of gorilla families.
The group was officially launched in October 2011 following two years of successful habituation process. At the time of habituation, this family was under the leadership of a subordinate silverback, known as Ruhemuka. Ruhemuka led Kahungye family until March 2013 when it
succumbed to what was termed as a forest accident.
It was reported that on the morning of 6th march 2013, Ruhemuka was found dead by rangers who discovered that he had fallen from a tree and landed on his head from a height of 20-30 meters. This destroyed his brain leading to excessive bleeding that later caused his instant shock and eventually death.
From the time of habituation, Kahungye was one of the biggest families in Rushaga with up to 27 members but just after a few years, the big family split to form a second family called Busingye. This left Kahungye family with only 17 members including three silverbacks – Ruhemuka the leader, Rumanzi the subordinate and Gwigi (door), three black backs, three adult females, three sub-adult females and two infants.
The family is currently being led by silverback Gwigi (a local Kiga word that means “door”), followed by Rumanzi – the subordinate. Kahungye family is one of the easiest to trek as it is located close to the Rushaga sector trail head, neighboring Busingye, Nshongi and Mishaya families.
The family can be trekked all year round; however the dry season months present the best encounters; these include June through to October and Mid December to Late February. This is when the trails are dry and penetrable making the entire trek easier for all kinds of travelers.