Gorilla Families in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest that are tracked by tourists in Uganda

Bwindi is a huge forest, 330sq.km in size. There are about 340 mountain gorillas in Bwindi, of the remaining 750 in the world. It has three sections that are currently open for tourist visitors - Buhoma which is the headquarters, Ruhija which is 30km from Buhoma, and Bwindi South which is only accessed through Kisoro - where there are the other two gorilla families of Nkuringo and Nshongi. At Buhoma there are three gorilla groups that are habituated for tourist viewing. These are Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura.Then there at Ruhija is the Ruhija Gorilla Group, which was fully open for tourism in February 2009. Therefore with Nkuringo and Ishongi in Bwindi South thats a total of six families/groups that are open to visitors. Each of these six gorilla families has between 8-12 gorilla individuals, and 8 trackers are allowed per day - therefore a total of 24 at Buhoma (Mubare, Habinyanja, and Rushegura), 8 at Ruhija and 16 in Bwindi South (Nkuringo and Nshongi)- Bwindi therefore can take up to only 48 trackers a day. With another 8 trackers allowed at Mgahinga, Uganda allows up to a maximum of 56 trackers a day.

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ChimpanzeeThese are mountain gorillas, staying in high up in the mounatins of Bwindi, up to 4000metres ASL. Therefore to track them one may traverse dense growth in this impenetrable forest, through swamps and wet undergrowth, and climb cliffs and high areas in search of them. Tracking can take as little as one hour up to as many as 8 hours when one returns to base camp. But the tracking is made easy by the rangers who would have known prior to your tracking, where the gorillas are. For environmental reasons, you are allowed a maximum of one hour with the gorillas.