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Rugendo Gorilla Group History, Members & Silverback Name

Gorillas live in social groups led by a dominant silverback and Rugendo gorilla is one of the mountain gorilla families that can be trekked in Virunga national park. They spend most of their day feeding on vegetation composed of leaves, fruits, stems, fruits, bamboo shoot and also supplement their diet with ants, insects and termites.

Female mountain gorillas normally reach sexual maturity before male gorillas, they have 1-2 fertile days in a month and once they are pregnant the gestation period  is about 8 and half months. A female mountain gorilla gives birth to four to six off springs in a life time.

The female mountain gorillas are responsible for weaning their young ones, baby gorillas feed on breast milk until the age of about 4 years and the mothers also sleep with their babies until they mature a bit where they sleep in their own nests but next to their mothers.

Rugendo mountain gorilla family

 The famous Rugendo mountain gorilla family was one of the first habituated mountain gorillas in Virunga national park in 1985, the group was dominated by silverback Rugendo at the time of habituation until when he was shot in 2001.

Rugendo was succeeded by his son Senkwekwe who also died mysteriously in 2007 and the group stayed without a dominant silverback until 2008 when a solitary male silverback known as Bukima who was a former member of Buhanga group took over the leadership up to date.

Rugendo mountain gorilla family is now composed of 9 members with 3 silverbacks, 1 black back, 1 adult female, 2 sub adult females, and 2 babies. Rugendo gorilla family can be trekked from Bukima and Bikenge areas of Virunga national park.

Other groups formed from Rugendo gorilla family

Humba gorilla family

Humba mountain gorilla family was formed as a result of Humba the silverback and Nyakamwe silverbacks living his fathers group that is Rugendo gorilla family to start up their own gorilla family. The two silverbacks left their group with 9 individuals to form their group but later Nyakamwe broke away to form his own gorilla family.

Nyakamwe gorilla family

Nyakamwe mountain gorilla family was formed when silverback Nyakamwe broke away from his elder brother Humba to start up his own gorilla family, Nyakamwe took with him 10 individuals and left Humba with 6 individuals. Nyakamwe mountain gorilla family can Joe be trekked from Bukima sector of Virunga national park and its now composed of 11 individuals.

Gorilla permits

Gorilla trekking permits in Democratic republic of Congo cost $400 during the peak season and $200 during low season. Gorilla permits should always be booked in advance of 3-6 months before traveling to the country due to scarcity.

Best time to visit

Democratic republic of Congo can be visited all year round but the best time is in the peak season of June to September when the roads to the national parks are accessible and trekking trails are in good condition.


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