Having wide knowledge about gorilla families in Rwanda is essential for anyone planning to visit this small country for gorilla trekking experience. Since the time of Dian Fossey, gorilla tourism in Rwanda has become popular attraction a high number of travelers from different parts of the world. Rwanda is a premier gorilla tour destination sheltering over 350 mountain gorillas habituated into 10 families. The other population lives in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Rwanda gorillas live in Volcanoes National park located in North Western Rwanda. Each gorilla family is visited by a group of eight people daily for a maximum of an hour. Gorilla families in Rwanda include:
• Susa A
Susa A Gorilla family
Named after Susa River, which flows in the region where the gorilla family calls home. Susa A gorilla family is an interesting gorilla group in Volcanoes National park. This historical gorilla family was the one that Dian Fossey conducted her research on during her gorilla conservation campaign in the park. The gorilla family live sin high altitude areas of the park which make it one of the hard to trek gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. The family comprises of over 40 members hence the biggest in the whole park. Some of Susa A family members are twins which it more interesting to trek. Hiking up to meet this gorilla family require physical fitness and mental readiness. However, it’s all worth it!
Hirwa Gorilla Family
Hirwa family was formed by Munyinga silverback who broke up from his former family Susa A to become independent. The name Hirwa locally means ”Lucky one” which means this family is lucky indeed. In 2019, Hirwa gorilla family crossed to Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. However in 2020, the gorilla family moved back to Volcanoes Park and its available for trekking.
Kwitonda Gorilla Family
Locally translated as humble one, Kwitonda is a humble gorilla family worth visiting in Volcanoes National park. The gorilla family is named after its founder” Kwitonda silverback”. The family migrated from Congo’s Virunga National Park in 2003 but has now settled fully in Volcanoes Park. After the death of Kwitonda, the family was taken over by Akarevuro who was a subdominant silverback during the rein of Kwitonda. Apparently, the group comprise of 28 members, which make it one of the largest gorilla families in Volcanoes National park.
Agashya Gorilla Family
Formerly known as Group 13, Agashya gorilla family named after its head “Agashya Silverback” who took over leadership from Nyakairima, the former silverback. The group name changed following the take over of Agashya silverback. Agashya is a Kinyarwanda name “News”.
Karisimbi Gorilla Family
Also known as Susa B, Karisimbi gorilla family is yet another interesting gorilla family to visit in Volcanoes National park. The group was initially part of Susa A until it broke off in 2009. Nyagakangaga ran away with 13 members to form an independent family. The family was at first called Susa B but was later named after Mount Karisimbi where it resides. The fact that Karisimbi gorilla family lives on the slope of the mountain, its one of the hard to trek gorilla groups in Volcanoes National park.
Amahoro Gorilla Family
Locally translated in Kinyarwanda as “peace”, Amahoro is a peaceful gorilla family to visit on your Rwanda Rwanda to Volcanoes National park. The gorilla family inhabits the slopes of mount Bisoke, one of the volcanoes in the Virunga Massif. The family is headed by Ubumwe Silverback who never fights back whenever attacked by other silverbacks. Due to the peaceful character of the silverback, Amahoro gorilla family as continuously lost its members to other families with aggressive silverback
Sabyinyo Gorilla Family
This gorilla family inhabits in the lower slopes of mount Sabyinyo after which it’s called. The family was initially called Amavubi, which means wasps due to the hard nature of these gorillas during the time of habituation. It was one of the hard to habituate gorilla families in Volcanoes National park. Ryango is the dominant silverback for Sabyinyo gorilla family. The group stays near the headquarters of Volcanoes National park, which make it easy to reach, compared to other families.
Pablo Gorilla family
Named after its founding silverback gorilla “Pablo” this gorilla family is an interesting one. In 2006, Pablo gorilla family comprised of 65 members which made it the biggest ever gorilla family in Volcanoes National Park. Hover over time, the family has lost members and it currently comprise of roughly 25 family members. The family is currently headed by Gicurasi as a dominant male who overlooks all other family members. The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund daily monitors the family.
Titus Gorilla Family
Titus is one of the pioneer gorilla families in Volcanoes National park with great history of formation. The family is named after its founder “Titus “who led this group until 2007 when a new energetic Beetsme took over leadership. The family comprise of adult females, juveniles, blackbucks and infants.
Umubano Gorilla family
Umubano family was initially part of Amahoro group until when Charles could no longer take orders from his elder Ubumwe of the Amahoro family. Charles broke off taking with him two adult females to start his own family. Umubano is a Kinyarwanda local word meaning “living together”. Umubano apparently comprise of 13 members who live together peacefully.
In conclusion, each gorilla family in Volcanoes National park is unique in its own kind. You can visit any one of the 10 gorilla groups in Volcanoes Park on your next Rwanda safari guided by Gorilla Trek Africa, the reliable travel company in Rwanda.