Mubare Gorilla Group

Mubare Gorilla Group of Buhoma Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

Mubare Gorilla Group is one of the gorilla families in Uganda found in Buhoma Sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  This group was the first of mountain gorilla groups to undergo habitation in the year 1993. Mubare was first seen by trackers in the Mubare hills deep in Bwindi forest. The gorilla group was named after the good-looking Mubare Hills where its members were first sighted. Buhoma area is one of the four gorilla trekking sector of Bwindi National Park.

Regarding Buhoma Gorilla trekking, Mubare is the oldest habituated gorilla family in Uganda that tourists frequently visit. In 1991, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) began on the process of habituating the group. Gorilla habituation is the process of making the primates get acquainted to humans. The habituation exercise lasted roughly 2 years whereby in 1993, tourists began trekking the group.

Mubare Gorilla Family formation

The late Ruhondeza, a silverback gorilla who passed away in 2013 following a fierce fight with a black back is the one who headed this family. Ruhondeza left the family under the command of a black back that has expanded the family from 5 to 9 members as of today.

During the reign of Ruhondeza, Mubare gorilla family had over 18 gorilla members but over time, the family has reduced tremendously in numbers.  The reduction in numbers was due to the fact that as he aged, the jealousy Ruhondeza never groomed a successor. The UWA trackers assert that Ruhondeza was fond of fighting off or killing any potential upcoming male in the group. He never wanted anyone to challenge or usurp his powers.

The year 2009 was not an easy period for Mubare as it lost three of its members in course. In the first months of the year, one adult females died as a result of the fractured skull. She left a 6-month infant whom other family members worked hard to take care of it. One day, this infant was found in the morning dead on the bed of Ruhondeza by a team trackers.

The group of 18 gorillas went ahead to lose more members up to when the number shrunk to 5 members. Still under the leadership of Ruhondeza, Mubare was attached in March 2012 by a troop of non habituated gorillas who defeated the head took away some female members from the family unit. Due to disappointment and humiliation, Ruhondeza left the commanding authority and took a hide in the proximate community jungle. But due to the fact that the local people loved him, they never evicted him from his hideout. Good enough, the staffs of the Uganda Wildlife Authority went ahead to monitor his solitary life until when he was traced dead in sleep due to natural causes. Ruhondeza was accorded a decent burial nearby the UWA headquarters. While visiting Buhoma, your guide can show you his gravesite so that you may remember this remarkable giant male.

Ruhondeza was succeeded by another male who has managed to enlarge the group size to 9 members out of snatching some members from other units through attacks. Some of the Mubare group members include Kanyonyi – the black buck, Kashundwe, an adult female, Muyambi, a sub-adult male, Malaika, a half female adult and Kashundwe, an infant among others.

Other gorilla families in Buhoma region include Habinyanja Gorilla Family and Rushegura Gorilla Group, which are some of the Mountain gorilla groups in Uganda.