Over half the mountain gorilla population of lives Uganda. According to the November 2012 census results released by the Uganda Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Mountain Gorilla population is on the increase. There is a minimum of 400 gorillas from the 302 of 2006 in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park alone and about over 80 in Mgahiga Gorilla National Park making 480 mountain gorillas in Uganda and a world total of 880 divided between the 3 African countries i.e. Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Apparently (2014), there is a total of 36 gorilla families in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, however, only 11 of these are habituated and can be accessed by visitors. The other migratory group in Mgahinga Gorilla Park thats frequently moves between Uganda and the DRC and very unpredictable. Gorilla habituation is a process that takes 2 years. During this time gorillas get used human beings – they remain doing their routine activities in the wilderness even when human beings are present. According to the UWA conservation rules, only 8 adult visitors can be allowed to track each of the habituated gorilla group each day. That avails 88 gorilla tracking permits each day along with 8 for Mgahiga family.
Gorillas move to new places everyday and never stay in one place twice. There is nothing like closest or furthest gorilla family, trek terrain may be different but the time taken is unpredictable. A 2 or 3 hour trek today could be tomorrow’s 6 or 7 hours. Booking your preferred gorilla family is possible but has to be done through your preferred tour agency/operator ahead of time. – There is a whole list of legitimate ones from theAssociation of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) website.