Gorilla families in Rwanda

Gorilla Families in Rwanda – Volcanoes National Park

Having knowledge of Rwanda gorilla groups is very essential for everyone intending to go gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda. The small land of a thousand hills (Rwanda) is one of the three destinations where travelers can visit and trek the surviving population of the endangered mountain gorillas. Over time, Rwanda has merged as the leading gorilla tour destination receiving the highest number of travelers coming for gorilla safaris from all over the world. Altogether, Rwanda has 10 gorilla families each of which is visited by a group of eight travelers every day for an hours’ interactions. We advise our potential travelers to have an idea of habituated Rwanda gorilla families before booking a Rwanda gorilla safari to Volcanoes National park. African Apes Holidays brings you a full list of Rwanda gorilla families/groups to ensure a memorable gorilla encounter in the land of a thousand hills. Interestingly, each gorilla family is different and unique in its own kind in terms of size, location, and history of formation. Gorilla groups in Rwanda include:

Susa A Family

Rwanda gorila families

Susa A Gorilla group

Also known as the Kurira gorilla family, A is the biggest and oldest gorilla family in Volcanoes National Park. The family was habituated in 1974 and was the first gorilla family, which Dian Fossey conducted her gorilla research on during her campaign to save the endangered gorillas in the Virunga Massif. The rich history of Susa A gorilla family makes it exceptional from the others. Susa family lives on the slopes of Mount Karisimbi and is one of the toughest to trek gorilla families in Rwanda but the magical feeling of meeting this old gorilla family is worth the effort. Susa A family is headed by Kurira silverback gorilla who plans and decides for the entire family.

Igisha gorilla group – Susa B

Igisha gorilla family was formerly part of Susa A gorilla group till 2024 when Igisha silverback split from his former family to start up his own family, The family has expanded over time due to the fighting skill of Igisha silverback who fights and grabs members form other gorilla families to expand his family. Currently, Igisha gorilla family comprises of over 20 members and is one of the fastest-growing gorilla group in Volcanoes National park Rwanda. Igisha (Susa B gorilla family) lives near Susa River after which it derives its name “Susa”.

Karisimbi gorilla family

Trekked in the slopes of Karismbi volcano, this gorilla family is an amazing one but quite difficult to trek. In most cases, travelers doing a 2 Days Karisimbi hiking get chances of meeting Karismbi gorilla family which is an added advantage. The family currently has over 15 members comprised of the silverback, black backs, juveniles, babies and adult females. Make sure you are physically fit if you want to trek Karisimbi Gorilla family. For this mater, the gorilla family is normally trekked by the youth and energetic travelers who can hike to higher altitudes.

Sabyinyo Gorilla group

Named after Sabyingo volcano, Sabyinyo gorilla family is yet another interesting gorilla family to trek in Volcanoes National park. The family comprise of 12 members who include 2 silverbacks, adult females, juveniles and babies. Sabyinyo gorilla family lives at the base of Mt Sabyinyo and is one the most accessible and easy to trek gorilla family in Rwanda. It’s, therefore, the favorite for the physically challenged and elderly travelers on Rwanda gorilla safaris.

Amahoro Gorilla group

Known as the most peaceful and friendly mountain gorilla family in Rwanda, Amahoro gorilla group is worth visiting. Amahoro locally means “peaceful” which name was derived from the peaceful status of this gorilla family. The family has over 18 members headed by Ubumwe silverback gorilla. Amahoro gorilla family is one of the strenuous gorilla families to trek in Volcanoes National park. It’s not for the faint-hearted but the magical feeling of meeting this peaceful family is surely worth the effort.

Umubano gorilla family

Volcanoes National Park

Umubano Gorilla Family

Locally translated at “live together” Umubano was formerly part of the Amahoro gorilla family. The family is headed by Charles as a dominant silverback who decided to break away from Amahoro family and become independent. Charles silverback fought and defeated Ubumwe (the silverback of Amahoro family) taking with him some adult females and babies to start up his own family (Umubano).

Bwengye gorilla family

Habituated and opened for trekking in 2007, Bwenge is locally translated as “wisdom”. The gorilla family lives at the base of Mount Bisoke and is one of the easiest to trek gorilla family in Rwanda hence the best option for the elderly and physically unfit. Bwenge silverback currently leads the family.

Hirwa gorilla group

Habituated n 2006, the Hirwa gorilla family is locally translated as “Lucky one” whose members broke from Sabyinyo and Agashya gorilla families. Hirwa is so far the smallest gorilla group in Rwanda but trekking it is memorable. In October 2019, Hirwa crossed borders to the Gahinga regions of Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and is now trekked from Uganda. However, 50% of gorilla permits revenue or Hirwa gorilla family is given to Rwanda Development Board, the sole owners of Hirwa family.

Agashya Gorilla Family

Formerly known as “group 13” Agashya gorilla family was named after the 13 members who started this family. Agashya is the current dominant silverback who overpowered and threw away Nyakarima, the initial silverback gorilla. Agashya gorilla group currently has 27 members who comprise of the silverback, adult females, black back and babies.

Ugenda Family

Ugenda is locally translated as “mobile” due to the mobile movements of this gorilla family. Ugenda gorilla family is always on move and hence one of the hardest gorilla families to trek in Rwanda. The family inhabits the slopes of Mount Bisoke and travelers hiking to trek Ugenda family are ought to be physically fit and in good shape. Ugenda family currently has 11 members, which include 2 silverback, black backs, babies and adult females.

Titus gorilla family

Having lived since the time of Dian Fossey, Titus is one of the oldest gorilla families in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park. The gorilla family is named after “Titus”, the founder silverback and the only survivor of his former group that was lost to poachers before the introduction of gorilla tourism in Volcanoes National Park. Titus gorilla family roams in the slopes of Mount Bisoke and Karisimbi and is a medium hike.
Other gorilla families used for research in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda include:
• Pablo gorilla family
• Muhoza gorilla family
• Isimbi gorilla group
• Gushimira gorilla family
• Mafunzo gorilla group
• Musilikale gorilla family
• Isabukuru gorilla group
In conclusion, therefore, an encounter with anyone of the habituated gorilla families in Rwanda is a lifetime experience every traveler should add on his her bucket list to Rwanda. Contact GAfrican Apes Holidays today, book your Rwanda gorilla safari and be enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.

Posted by African Apes

African Apes Holidays offers you exceptional apes safaris to trek mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, colubus monkeys and other wildlife experiences in Uganda, Rwanda, Congo and East Africa

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