Gorilla families in Rwanda

Gorilla Groups in Rwanda / Gorilla Families in Rwanda – Rwanda is one of the only three destinations where you can see the endangered mountain gorillas in the world. The other two destinations are Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are the largest species of primates and are fascinating to watch. Mountain gorillas are live in mountainous areas and cannot survive in captivity, but rather only in their natural habitat.

Mountain gorillas are one of the attractions that no one needs to miss on their African safari. Trekking them is very interesting and one of the adventurous activities that travelers enjoy most.  In Rwanda, mountain gorillas are found in Volcanoes national park in the northwest of Rwanda, at its border with Uganda and the DRC. They live in groups also known as families and these groups can undergo habituation to make them familiar to people. There has been 10 habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda but one of them shifted to Uganda, leaving her with 9 habituated gorilla groups. They include;

Susa group (Susa A)

Susa group has so far been the biggest mountain gorilla family in volcanoes national park. it comprised of 42 members before sit split and remained with 33 members. The group has two silverbacks. Susa A is the first group that Dain Fossey first studied when she was doing her studies on these primates in Volcanoes national aprk. This gorilla group lives on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi and is one of the most difficult groups to track. However, onec you find it, you will be impressed by its features. Susa group is lucky to have twins.

Sabinyo gorilla family

Sabinyo gorilla family got its name from Mount Sabinyo, one of the eight Virunga volcanoes in the region. It has 12 members and 2 silverbacks and inhabits the slopes of Mount Sabinyo and Mount Gahinga. It often roams around Mount Sabinyo and is one of the groups that are quite easy to trek.

Amahoro gorilla family

This gorilla family got its name as a result of its calmness and gentelness which indicates that it is a peaceful group. Amahoro means “peace” and it was named so to reflect its peaceful character. The group has 18 members and 2 silverbacks. It has lost a number of members because of its gentle character. Amahoro gorilla family lives around the slopes of Mount Bisoke. The mountain has a challenging terrain which makes the group quite hard to trek.

Agashya gorilla family

This group started with 13 members and was named group 13 but the name later on changed to “Agashya” which means “News”. It was headed by a silverback called Nyakarima which was later overthrown by silverback Agashya after whom the group was named. Currently, the group has grown to about 27 members. Agashya gorilla family lives on the slopes of Mount Sabinyo.

Umubano gorilla family

Umubano group broke off from Amahoro gorilla family. Two silverbacks Charles and Ubumwe in Amahoro group often had fights until Charles decided to break off with some members to start a new group which is known as “Umubano”. The group has 13 members comprising of 2 silverbacks.

Kwitonda gorilla family

Kwitonda gorilla family is one of the largest groups in the park with 23 members including the 4 silverbacks. The group was named after a dominant silverback called Kwitonda who was well known for his humbleness. Kwitonda gorilla group in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Virunga national park before it migrated to Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. It lives around the slopes of Mount Muhabura.

Karisimbi gorilla family

This group broke off from Susa A gorilla family and for this reason it is sometimes called Susa B. it is made up of 16 members with one silverback. The group was named after Mount Karisimbi because that’s where they live. It is however the most difficult group to trek because it roams around the upper slopes of the mountain. It is said that the dominant silverback of the group chose to take the group that far in order to avoid trouble. Karisimbi gorilla family is the best option for trekkers who want to experience a hike that requires much energy.

Ugenda gorilla family

Ugenda means “mobile” and the group was named so because of its mobility. It is very nomadic, moving from one place to another more than other groups do. It has 11 members including 2 silverbacks. Ugenda group roams around the slopes of Mount Bisoke. It is one of the groups to opt for if you do not want to trek on a terrain that will require a lot of fitness.

Bwenge gorilla family

This group is made up of 11 members with one silverback. It inhabits the slopes of Mount Bisoke and this is also one of the groups recommended for people who want to trek on a relatively easy terrain. Bwenge means “wisdom”. Bwenge gorilla group started in 2007 by a silverback called Bwenge after leaving his former group with othwer females. Bwenge gorilla group has a bad memory of the death of its 6 infants.

Titus gorilla family

Titus gorilla family roams around the slopes of Karisimbi and Bisoke Mountains. It was named after a gorilla called Titus that was born during Dian Fossey’s times in Volcanoes national park as she was carrying out studies and research about Gorillas at Karisoke research centre. During Titus’ tender age, his family was murdered by poachers and he was the only survivor. Life was very difficult for him in the forest but he overcame.

Hirwa gorilla family

The name Hirwa was is a Kinyarwanda meaning “lucky one”. It is one of the lucky one because it is one of the few groups that have had twins in the family. The group was started by members from Sabinyo family and group 13 and was later joined by other members from other groups to make a family of 16 members. It is well known for roaming around Mount Sabinyo and Gahinga until recently when it settled in Mgahinga national park in Uganda. It is one of the most exciting groups to trek in the Virunga region. currently, if you want to trek it, contact us so that we can secure your gorilla permit from Uganda Wildlife Authority.

Rwanda is a luxury gorilla trekking destination with its gorilla permit costing $1,500. Share your interests with us so that we shall book for your permit for trek in the appropriate area in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda.