GORILLA GROUPS IN RWANDA
AMAHORO GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL, RWANDA
Amahoro means peace that means the gorilla group is peaceful. Trekking Amahoro group involves climbing the mountain to reach the group. It is composed of 18 members including 2 silver backs and is a bit strenuous to track as one has to endure a hike up Mt. Bisoke slopes where the group established their home.
The troop is found on the slope of Mountain Visoke and it is a trek of medium difficulty. Please keep in mind that you determine the speed with which the trek is done and you can always use a porter – support his or her family and it will make it easier to trek your Gorilla Family on that day. The Amahoro Gorilla Group has 17 members which make them a sizeable group to trek.
Please keep in mind that you determine the speed with which the trek is done and you can always use a porter – support his or her family and it will make it easier to trek your Gorilla Family on that day.
BWENGE GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK - RWANDA
Bwenge Gorilla group was formed in 2007. The group occupies slopes of Karisoke volcano between Karisimbi and Bisoke mountains and had witnessed dark times when its 6 infants died. The group has however recovered and now has 11 members including one silver back. Bwenge is a Kinyarwanda word which means ‘Wisdom’ and it’s no wonder that this was the group that featured the Movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.
The group has experienced a lot of loss in that six of its infants have died. Presently the group is thriving with new birth days under the strong leadership of Bwengwe. The trek to where the Bwenge Gorilla family roams can take a good three hour trek which makes it one of the more difficult groups to track
HIRWA GORILLA FAMILY IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Hirwa gorilla family is one of the ten habituated groups in Volcanoes National Park. It was formed in 2006 by some members of Sabyinyo group and others from 13 groups (Agashya).
The group derived its name from its formation process that was out of luck. Hirwa means ‘the Lucky one’ and as luck as it, the group got twins in 2011. Hirwa group is usually tracked in the foothills of Mount Sabyinyo on the Gahinga side of the Mountain.
The group is very interesting due to the fact that there is twin which are amazing to see and photographing.
Once again being properly equipped and prepared makes the difference in a visit to your habituated Gorilla Family.
SUSA GORILLA FAMILY IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Susa is one of the famous Gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park. It is also known as the group of Dian Fossey from 1967 to 1985. This is the most popular family with previously 42 members before the split. In 2008 the group of 42 individuals split into 2 as it had become so large.
The breakaway group was later known as Susa B or Karisimbi group. Susa a group is well known for it’s playful twins of Byishimo & Impano and was named after the Susa River that drains through their home range. The group is composed of 33 members including 2 silverbacks and inhabits the forests on the lower slopes of Mt. Karisimbi.
Today the Susa Group at one time was over 40 members but like many families had a family feud and split. Today there are about 28 Susa Gorilla Family Members.
The Susa Group has three silver back in its group and there is also Poppy who is thought to a member of the Susa Group when Dian Fossey studied them – he was born in 1976
The Susa Gorilla Group often takes the longest to track due to the distance to the area where the group is found on that day. The trek with the Susa Group can often take all day and its one of the most sought out groups by Visitors to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.
THE 13 GORILLA GROUP A.K.A AGASHYA GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK:
Agashya means special Gorilla Family Group:
When first habituated the Agashya Gorilla Family Group had only 13 family members – that is why it was referred to back then as the 13 group. The group has thrived and grown where today it is 25 plus family members with 1 Silver back leading this large group.
The Agashya Gorilla Family Group is found in the same general area as the Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Group, though at times they move to a higher and deeper location. Most often they are found in the foothills slopes of Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga.
This Special – large group will be easier to track for most – though when they shift higher it takes medium effort to track them.
UGENDA GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Ugenda means on move or mobile. It is known for moving from one place to another. Ugenda gorilla group has 11 members including 2 silver backs and wonders around Karisimbi area hence very difficult to track since it has no particular home.
The Ugenda Gorilla Family Group is found around Mount Bisoke and tracking them is not of great difficulty. The group is one of the easier ones to track as long as they do not live up to their name of “being on the move.” Each gorilla trek is an adventure all of its own to be enjoyed. You will certainly enjoy one of Rwanda’s newest Gorilla Families – the Ugenda – being on the move gorilla group.
UMUBANO GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES, RWANDA.
Umubano gorilla group was formed after a serious struggle between Charles and Ubumwe the two head silver backs; Charles consistently challenging the supremacy of the leader Ubumwe.
Charles eventually succeeded in breaking away with some members hence forming Umubano group. The group is composed of 13 members including 2 silver backs and its name means ‘living together’.
The Umubana Gorilla Group Family originally was a part of the Amahoro Gorilla Family. However a family feud like it does with human and animal families ensued the Umubano together) group under the leadership of Ubumwe – the dominant silverback of the new gorilla family broke up the relationship and formed his own family group. Today the Umubano Gorilla Family Group consists of 11 members – they are found in the overlapping territory of the Amahoro Gorilla Family Group.
The trek to the Umubano Gorilla Family Group is of medium difficulty and can be done by most of those who are coming to trek Gorillas. Each Gorilla Group Family has their own different traits and that is why that many choose to trek more than one gorilla group.
KARISIMBI GORILLA GROUPIN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
Karisimbi Gorilla group is found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park. It was formed after the split of Susa group. The name Karisimbi was derived from its location – the group is mostly trekked at the lower level of Mount Karisimbi Volcano.
Karisimbi Gorilla group is sometimes referred to as Susa B. It is made up of 16 members including 2 silver backs. The group is the hardest to track as it inhabits the upper slopes of Mt. Karisimbi at an altitude of 4507m. To trek Karisimbi Gorilla group, the trekkers need high level of fitness since it involves climbing a mountain to find the gorilla group.
Like with the Susa Family from whom they split from – this is a long trek and on rare days when the Karisimbi Family is too far away – treks to them are canceled. Though the trek may be difficult – it also equally rewarding in that you will see a lot including some stunning scenery.
At the end of the day no- one complains as to the difficulty – the joy of being in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas makes it all worth it.
SABYINYO GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, RWANDA
It is one of the easiest Gorilla group to trek in Volcanoes National Park. The Group is led by the strongest Silverback known as Guhonda. This is a smaller group and in 2014 there were eight members to the Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Group.
The group is consisting of one Silver back and three adult females, the rest area juvenile members who will certainly entertain you as you observe them. Sabyinyo gorilla group is often found in the gentle foothills slopes of Mountain Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga.
Its trek is also some how simple. The group is composed of 13 members including one silver back after another was exiled from the group. The commander of the group (Guhonda) weighs 220kg and it often challenges enemies in the bamboo forests of Volcanoes National Park. The group was named after the Sabinyo volcano that means the ‘old man’s teeth’.
KWITONDA GORILLA GROUP IN VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK
The word Kwitonda means the humble one. There are 17 family members to the group. Kwitonda Gorilla Group is often trekked on the slopes of Mountain Muhabura. The group is a bit more difficult to track as it involves climbing Mountain Muhabura which makes it an excitement of the day.
Tracking is made easier by having skilled guides, helpful porters, being dressed right and having the right equipment which includes walking sticks.
This is a migrant group from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which was named. The group is composed of 23 members including 4 silver backs.