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Gorillas Back in Mgahinga National Park, Uganda

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Story Source: Volcanoes Safaris

The Nyakagezi gorilla group in Mgahinga National Park have for many years been a fairly nomadic rag-tag bunch. Made up of 3 silverbacks, 2 blackbacks and only one adult female – mother to the 2 blackbacks, they have been crossing in and out of Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC since 2005.

In 2008 they crossed the border of Uganda deep into the Rwandan side of the Virunga Massif forests and did not return.

However, recently the Ugandan Wildlife Authority has reported that the long lost Nyakagezi family have returned to Mgahinga National Park, and they have 2 new members in tow! An adult female with a baby have been stolen from another gorilla group in Rwanda and have joined the Nyakagezi group. This is great news for the gorilla group as the addition of another adult female will help to stabilise it and reports are showing that the group are already happier and more relaxed. The full family group now includes Nyakagezi, the lead silverback who is around 50 years old and father to most of the group, 2 more silverbacks, brothers called Mark and Marfia, and 2 blackbacks who are also brothers, and sons of Nyakagezi. Rukondo and his brother are typical curious young males, they love to pose and play in the trees. The two females both have young babies, one, another male of around 18 months, the other a baby girl of about 4 months.

The group has been back in the Mgahinga National Park for around 5 months and it is thought that they will be reluctant to go back to Rwanda whilst they have sufficient food sources in Mgahinga, as the last time they crossed into Rwanda they were involved in a fight with another gorilla group.

The Nyakagezi gorilla group can be tracked from Volcanoes Mount Gahinga Lodge , which lies near the border of Uganda, Rwanda and DRC. Gorilla permits for this group are only available to buy a couple of days in advance until the range and exact territory of the gorilla group becomes more stable however, for guests staying at the lodge it is a real treat to see these gorillas back in the park having been away for so long.

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