Located in Buhoma sector of Bwindi impenetrable national park, Rushegura is without doubt one of the biggest and oldest gorilla families in Uganda. Rushegura was formed in 2002 making it the 3rd gorilla family in Buhoma region, following the creation of Mubare in 1993 and Habinyanja in 1997.
The family is best known for visiting lodges in the nearby areas and was fond of living a nomadic lifestyle; crossing between Uganda and D.R. Congo. But it has now found a permanent habitat in Uganda’s Bwindi national park.
Rushegura was originally founded by a gigantic and ambitious silverback named Mwirima at the age of 25 only. Mwirima, together with Rwansigazi were sons of Mugurusi (the late silverback of Habinyanja family).
Following the death of Mugurusi in 2000, Rwansigazi took over as a lead silverback; but when Mwirima gained maximum support from most family members, it split in 2002 over internal disagreements to form his separate family away from Habinyanja group.
The group was recognized during the same year, in 2002 as efforts to reunite to Habinyanja family were futile. The new group was named Rushegura under the leadership of silverback Mwirima while Rwansigazi remained the lead silverback of Habinyanja family. The name Rushegura refers to the place where silverback Mwirima separated from the Habinyanja family in February 2002.
Upon separation, Mwirima left with over 5 members of the family, but later more gorillas kept joining until they were 12 members. Mwirima led the group until March 2014 when he died of natural causes, and left the group in the hands of a dominant black back, Kabukojo and helped by another black back Kalembezi who have led the group until now.
At the time of his death, Mwirima had grown the group number from 12 to 19 members. Some of the members in Rushegura group include Kabukojo (black back), Kalembezi (black back), Kyirinvi, Kibande, Nyamunwa, Buzinza, Karungi, Ruterana, Kafuruka, Kanywani, Nyampazi, Katazi and so many others.
Rushegura is known to be the most peaceful, calm and friendly groups in Bwindi national park. It usually roams the Buhoma village, and sometimes can be seen at Gorilla Forest camp or in the nearby gardens. Tracking Rushegura family begins from Buhoma headquarters or sometimes visitors have to drive for 15 minutes to the trail head at Mukono.