Rwanda is gifted to be among the three countries that possess mountain gorillas in the whole world. Rwanda alongside Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo contain the 880 mountain gorillas that are currently thriving in the wild of Virunga massif shared among the three and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. This has formed a stronghold for gorilla safaris in Rwanda and the adjacent countries of Uganda and Congo. In Virunga massif where the Rwanda’s Volcanoes National park is a component, there dwells 480 mountain gorillas. Volcanoes National Park found in the north west of Rwanda has 10 habituated gorilla families that have attracted various travellers to undertake gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
The gorillas in Rwanda are split into two categories including research groups and trekking groups. The research groups include Pablo’s Shida and Beetsme with enormous members. The gorilla trekking groups include;
The Susa A group which is difficult to trek is named after the Susa River that runs through their dwelling place. It has 28 gorilla members with 3 silverbacks. Being a challenging group to trek, the conservation trackers make sure that they know where it has slept the previous day to tracking. The twins of Byishimo an Impano makes this group thrilling to trek during Rwanda safari visit. It also contains poppy, born in 1976 and is one of the first gorillas to be habituated by Dain Fossey.
Karisimbi Family (Susa-B). This split from the Susa A and has 15 members. It dwells in the Mount Karisimbi slopes thus its trek involves active hiking.
Sabyinyo Gorilla Group. This is led by the powerful Guhonda as the silverback and is the largest silverback in all gorilla families in Rwanda. It has 8 individuals with 1 silverback. The main rival Ryango has been driven to solitary life.
Amahoro Gorilla Group. This has 17 members with 1 silverback. As the name suggests, the Amahoro group is very peaceful which has made the silverback – Ubumwe to lose members to Charles of Umubano gorilla family.
Umubano Group. This has 11 members with 1 Silverback. It broke off from Amahoro after the disagreement between the silverbacks Ubumwe and Charles the current leader of Umubano.
Group13 (Agashya Group). At the time of habituation, the gorilla family had 13 members which formed its name. Agashya is known for taking his family members up the volcano in case of danger. He has increased the group members to 25.
Kwitonda Family. This gorilla family has 18 members and the name literally translates to the humble one. It has 2 silverbacks and it is known for having migrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo which makes it to stretch to far distances posing an extended trek.
Hirwa Group. The Hirwa gorilla family arose from the merging of members from the groups of Sabyinyo and Group 13. This gorilla family has 9 individuals with 1 silverback.
Bwenge Family. This has 11 members with 1 silverback. It dwells on the slopes of Karisimbi Mountain and is led by Bwenge who formed the group in 2007. With two successful births, the group is growing stronger recovering from the loss of its 6 infants. Its trek is a bit strenuous hiking up to 600m.
Ugenda Family. This has 11 gorillas with 2 silverbacks and is known for its constant movements. Thus, its trekking while on gorilla safari in Rwanda could be challenging too.
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