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Comprehensive Guide to Rwanda’s Gorilla Families in Volcanoes Park

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is one of the places to trek mountain gorillas.

The park is located north of Kigali city, bordering Uganda in the Virunga Range volcanoes.

With over 15 mountain gorilla families, below are some of the most popular gorilla families you’ll trek on Rwanda gorilla trekking tours.

Assessing the Difficulty of Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda

Bwenge Gorilla Family

Bwenge gorilla family derives its name from a local word that means wisdom.

This is also the group that featured in the movie “Gorillas in the Mist.”

Bwenge gorilla family was formed when the dominating silverback, Bwenge, broke away from his family in 2007 to form his own group.

Bwenge can be trekked from the slopes of Karisoke, in between Mount Karasimbi and Mount Bisoke.

Ugenda Gorilla Family

The Ugyenda gorilla family derives its name from a local word that means “on the move.”

This is because this family is always on the move from place to place, making it even harder to trek.

The group wanders around Karisimbi slopes and is composed of 11 members, including two silverbacks.

Hirwa Gorilla Family

Hirwa gorilla family was formed by a combination of members who split off from the Sabyinyo gorilla family and the Agashya gorilla family.

This is one of the lucky gorilla families to have a set of twins who were born in 2011.

Kwitonda Gorilla Family

Kwitonda gorilla family can be trekked on the mountain slopes of Mount Muhabura.

The group derives its name from the dominating silverback called Kwitonda, which means “Humble One.”

The group is said to have migrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Agashya Gorilla Family

Agashya gorilla family, also known as Group 13, is dominated by Agashya, the silverback who took over leadership from Nyakarima silverback.

The group can be trekked around Mount Sabinyo.

Agashya is known for taking his family into higher slopes when he senses danger.

Sabinyo Gorilla Family

The name Sabyinyo means “old worn-out teeth” in the local language.

The group derives its name from Mount Sabyinyo, which is one of the Virunga ranges.

Sabyinyo gorilla family is dominated by Guhonda, the famous reigning silverback and the heaviest silverback in Volcanoes National Park.

The group inhabits the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga and is one of the easiest gorilla families to trek in Volcanoes National Park.

Umubano Gorilla Family

Umubano gorilla family was formed when Charles broke away from his natal group after several fights with Ubumwe, who dominated the group.

This group derives its name from a local word that means “Living together” and is composed of 13 members and two silverbacks.

Amahoro Gorilla Family

Amahoro gorilla family can be trekked from the slopes of Mount Bisoke.

The group derives its name from a local word that means “peace.”

The group is one of the most peaceful families in Volcanoes.

They even lost some of their members to the Umubano gorilla family.

Karisimbi Gorilla Family

Karisimbi gorilla family, also known as Susa B family, broke away from Susa A mountain gorilla family in 2008.

This is the hardest family to trek in Rwanda, inhabiting the higher slopes of Mount Karisimbi.

The group is composed of 16 members with 2 silverbacks.

Susa A Gorilla Family

The Susa A gorilla family was one of the most interesting gorilla families in Rwanda, with 42 members at the time of habituation before the group separated.

This group was also thoroughly studied by Dian Fossey and was one of the lucky families to have twins, Impano and Bwishimo.

The group can be trekked around Susa river at their home range on the mountain slopes of River Karisimbi.

Titus Gorilla Family

The Titus gorilla family is one of the groups that was researched by Dian Fossey.

The dominating silverback lost his family, including his father, to poachers.

Dian Fossey indicated that he had difficulties in breathing and seemed underdeveloped but overcame all that.

The group derives its name from the silverback, Titus.


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