Situated in the northern sector of Bwindi national park, Mubare boasts being the pioneer gorilla family not only in Bwindi but Uganda as a whole. Following a successful habituation process of over 2 years, Mubare family was fully launched for trekking in 1993.
At the time, Bwindi was home to only about 200 mountain gorillas, all which were not habituated and therefore were easy targets for poachers. Mountain gorillas later became popular and efforts to continuously conserve and protect their habitats led to the birth of habituation activities.
Mubare family was the first to be spotted in the nearby Mubare hills (reason for its name) and its habituation began in 1991 and lasted for up to 2 years. The family was originally made up of 18 members at the time of habituation but due to frequent attacks in subsequent years, the group reduced drastically in numbers. Several fights from other wild gorillas, kidnaps, deaths and poaching were among the many challenges that befell this Mubare group.
The worst raids to this group occurred in 2012 which left Ruhondeza, the lead silverback dead and the group remained with only 5 members. Ruhondeza died at the age of 50 and was accorded a decent burial given his history with the family. Silverback Kanyonyi, Ruhondeza’s son later took over leadership and by 2013, Mubare gorilla family had increased to 9 members. Sadly, Kanyonyi also died in 2017.
Mubare family today is comprised of one silverback, 1 black back, five adult females and 2 infants. This fascinating gorilla family is one of the easiest families to track in Uganda, due to its close location to the park headquarters; however this may vary from time to time depending on seasons and weather. Sometime tracking this group can take as little as 1 hour, but sometimes trekkers can even spend 5 hours looking for this family.
The trail head to begin Mubare gorilla trek is at Buhoma park headquarters and it is usually allocated to the elderly or weak due to its closeness to park headquarters.
Because of its history, Mubare has become one of the most fascinating gorilla families in Uganda with the highest demand from gorilla trekkers. Therefore, securing gorilla permits to trek Mubare family requires advance booking, for up to one full year before the trekking date.