Nshongi Gorilla Family – The biggest Gorilla Group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Gorilla Trekking in Rushaga.
Nshongi Gorilla Family is a group found in Rushaga sector in the south of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. The group is named after Nshongi River near which this gorilla community was sighted first. The colour of the river is like that of honey. And honey in Kigezi area is called Omushongi Gwoboki (the honey of bees) in Rukiga dialect. This prompted the locals to name the river Nshongi, a title that was later given to the gorilla family by the conservationists of Bwindi.
The habituation of Nshongi group started in 2007 and the process lasted for about 2 years. The gorilla cluster was launched officially and opened for tourism on the 26th September 2009. This family has 36 members with the silverbacks and black backs coexisting is peace. This bunch of primates is among the largest families in Bwindi National Park. In some gorilla families, cases of overthrow or coups by young energetic silverbacks deposing older ones and chase them away have been reported. The case in a point has happened in Rushegura and Kyaguriro groups. But Nshongi group has been an exception as three silverbacks and seven black backs live together in peace. Interestingly, even the governing silverback, Nshongi is not the eldest one in the family, a signal for peace, acceptance, respect and restraint in this vast unit of the endangered primates.
But this peace in the group should not be taken for granted as Busasi, the belligerent young black back who could in a little while struggle for supremacy. The worrying existence of the mature female Bwiruka. She is Nshongi’s favorite but is alleged to have had undisclosed encounters with Bweza. We only pray for peace to continue prevailing in this bigger family so that it remains solid to ease gorilla tourism in the area.