Located in the jungles of Mgahinga national park, Nyakagezi is the only habituated gorilla family in this park. Mgahinga gorilla national park is located in south western Uganda, within the Virunga Conservation Area which spans Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo.
Among other unique attributes, Mgahinga is best known for its Nyakagezi gorilla group, which is the only habituated family plus approximately 80 mountain gorillas which are not habituated.
Nyakagezi for long lived a nomadic lifestyle as it crossed back and forth between Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo, apparently looking for favorable living conditions to settle. By this time, permits to trek this group were obtained on ground depending on the location of the family.
But since 2012 when the group decided to settle permanently in Mgahinga, trekkers can book Nyakagezi permits in advance either through the Uganda Wildlife Authority or through a trusted, professional tour operator.
The group was originally led by the aging Bugingo who is now 54 years, but was later overthrown by his son, Mark who is the current dominant silverback.
Unlike other gorilla families, Bugingo, even after overthrow still lives harmoniously in the same group with his son, Mark. Usually, when a silverback is overthrown, it departs from the group and attacks another family to become a dominant silverback or lives a solitary life until death.
Nyakagezi gorilla group is composed of up to 12 individuals, including Mark (lead silverback), Mathew, Bugingo, Nshuti, Ndungutse, Mutagamba, Baby Rukundo, Mafia, Furaha, Nkanda, Nyiramwiza and Nvuyekure.
Trekking Nyakagezi family
Unlike trekking other gorilla families in Bwindi, a trek to meet Nyakagezi family is never forgotten. It presents the most off-the-beaten path experience which only a few have taken.
Nyakagezi trekking experience should however not only be centered on mountain gorilla trekking, but should as well be an excitement that is built around scenic overlooking Virunga volcanoes, the gorge walk, and magnificent golden monkeys – other amazing primates that call this park home. Indeed you’ll treasure the gift of nature in Uganda’s most well preserved national park.
Being the only gorilla family open for trekking, Mgahinga presents only eight trekking permits on a daily basis. Each permit costs 600$ per person (foreign non-residents), 500$ (foreign residents) and 250,000UGX for Ugandan and EAC citizens.
Other than trekking the Nyakagezi gorilla family, travelers can also engage in one of the adventurous mountain hikes on each of the Virunga volcanoes that boarder the park, including Gahinga, Sabyinyo or Muhabura mountains. All offering dramatic volcano climbing experiences.