Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of Uganda’s most booked Safari and Tours destinations. The park’s habitats conveniently craft apposite shelters for closely half the world’s Mountain gorilla population, a record 400 individuals. This population includes both the wild and twelve (12) habituated mountain gorilla families. Apparently, only eleven (11) mountain gorilla families are open to Uganda Gorilla tracking safaris and the remnant family is set-aside for research alone.
Today we will “chill” with Bwindi’s oldest habituated Mountain Gorilla Family called Mubare. Mubare gets its name from the nearby Mubare hills, and this group has been receiving visitors since October 1993. The group has surely seen a lot through the years; a lot more than any other habituated mountain gorilla family has. With no doubt, the Mubare mountain gorilla family has cordially welcomed visitors into their home for over two (2) decades now.
Today only eight (8) individuals can be found in this family when tracking mountain gorillas in the Buhoma sector of the great Bwindi Impenetrable National park; a number that has greatly lessened from the 18 family members that were seen by the first tourists in late 1993. Some family members have died of old age whereas some are in the other sectors of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Over the years, Mubare mountain gorilla family has seen more than one (1) regime of alpha silver-backs, but this group is more famous for their passionate alpha silver-back the Late Ruhondeza who died some years after his fiftieth birthday (50). Ruhondeza held the family’s banner for a great number of years until an awfully fateful event befell in March 2012 when his family was attacked by a group of wild mountain gorillas.
As the family head, Ruhondeza tried so hard to fight them off but in vain. Many of his relatives were taken as captives leaving a mere five (5) individuals in Mubare. The loss of family members broke Ruhondeza’s heart forcing him to sorrowfully flee into the woods where he died three months later.
Some believe that it was this heavy heart that caused his death, while other witnesses want to believe that he just died peacefully in his sleep. We will not argue deep into that but focus on one of the highlights of the gorilla safari in Bwindi which involves paying tribute to this fallen hero at his tombstone. Ruhondeza’s 50 plus years are survived by Kanyonyi, the family’s current hardworking alpha silverback. Kanyonyi’s efforts have surely paid off, principally evidenced by the increase in family members from a mere five members in 2012, to the eight individuals that can be seen by tourists on gorilla safaris in Uganda today.
There is a lot more to the Mubare mountain gorilla story for you to discover when you tour Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. I kindly beg that you share with me the other interesting truths that you will find out about this historic mountain gorilla family during your Safari.
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