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Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla Walking Safaris

Gorilla Tracking groups in Rwanda_Where To See The Gorillas Of Rwanda

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Rwanda Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda may only be seen within Volcanoes National Park a section of the bigger Virunga Mountains. Approximately 480 mountain gorillas live in the Virunga and reside on the altitude range of 2,300 to 4,500 meters in the southern area of Virunga National Park in Congo, and some in Uganda’s Mgahinga National Park.

Rwanda gorillas are divided into two; those for study or research purposes which are strictly accessed by scientists plus researchers only. Among these are Beetsme and Pablo’s Shida’s which have the highest number of gorillas.

There are ten habituated gorilla families that are for tourism gain, so these are available for trekkers to visit. At most 8 people may visit each of the gorilla groups every day and you may spend at most one hour. Among these gorilla groups are the: Ugenda, Umubano, Susa group, Karinsimbi, Sabinyo, Hirwa, Amahoro, Bwengye, Group 13 (the Agasha group) and the Kwitonda. All these are mountain gorillas,

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10 Gorilla Tracking groups in Rwanda

Susa Group Susa A Family

This is the gorilla group that was researched by Dian Fossey.
It derived its name from River Susa which flows in the home range of these gorillas. The family is the most challenging to trek since it normally stays up in the higher ranges of the mountains however the RDB’s Tourism and Conservation trackers will know in advance how the group is located the day before in advance for the next trackers. Tourists have been barred from tracking the group because of its distant location. This group is very impressive with a family size of 28 gorilla individuals with three Silverbacks. This was the biggest gorilla group prior to separating into two. The group had 42 individuals and when visited people would see so many gorillas scattered in the entire area.

This group is renowned for its infant twins; Byishimo and Impano which are pretty playful. It as well has one of Rwanda’s oldest habituated gorillas like Poppy who was born in 1976. Poppy is thought to be among the gorillas which were in the initial gorilla group that Dian Fossey’s conducted her research.
normally, a mother dumps one of its twins, since it is nearly hard for her to take care of the two infants. As we observed the mother – Nyabitondore, take good care of her twins, Impano and Byishimo, we occasionally imagined that she would ran mad from this big task. However now you can see the twins playing around amidst other gorillas.

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Karisimbi Family Susa B

This family is separated from the initial Susa A family and today it is referred to as Susa-B or the Karisimbi Group. It has 15 individuals and normally found on the slopes of Mt Karisimbi Volcano (4507Meters) the highest peak of Rwanda. Karisimbi Group is better appropriate for serious hikers. It seems that they have formed their home in the higher mountain slopes of Karisimbi caldera. So visiting this group may take a full day hike. The group at times moves to higher altitude making the tracking pretty challenging.  Conservation guides will be aware of the location of the gorilla group the previous day. Tracking the gorilla family at times can be stopped due to its far away location.

Sabyinyo Gorilla Group

Sabyinyo can easily be reached and it is led by a strong silverback Guhonda. This is the biggest silverback of all the gorilla groups, since it is very massive in physical appearance. Actually Guhonda has maintained his main competitor Ryango  from his group as a solitary silverback. In comparison to other gorilla families, Sabyinyo has fewer members although it is similarly impressive.
This group derived its named from Sabyinyo volcano and it actually means an “old man’s teeth”. The Sabyinyo is among the groups found nearest to the border of the park with 8 individuals that include one Silverback which is the biggest in the entire park. three Adult females; a youthful female; two Juveniles as well as a Baby gorilla.

Amahoro Gorilla Group 

Amahoro which means (peaceful group) Is the most calm gorilla groups. This group has seventeen individuals: a Silverback; two Black-backs; five Adult females; 2 Sub-adult males; 2 Juveniles as well as 5 Babies.  Nonetheless, the peace comes at a good price. Ubumwe, the silverback of this group is peaceful, really easy going as well as serene, he has sadly lost some group members to the Umubano group led by Charles.
To see the Amahoro you should maneuver over the somewhat steep climb but the climb is worth it when you finally find this amazing group.

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Umubano Group

The Umubano which means neighborliness family comprises of eleven individuals which are a Silver back; a Sub-adult male; three Adult females as well as six Babies. Umubano were initially members of Amahoro group however separated following Ubumwe the then dominant silverback being overpowered by Charles who is the current leader of Umubano.

As Charles grew into an adult silverback just as Ubumwe, he couldn’t stand taking orders around so he decided to fight and eventually challenged Ubumwe. This fight went on for some weeks and nearly months. Eventually Charles was able to take a couple of females from Ubumwe hence forming a group Umubano. From that time, he commands a lot of respect and appreciated by Ubumwe.

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The Agasha Family

The Agasha family has 25 members from 13 members before. The group has Silverback; twelve Adult females; two Sub adult female; three Juvenile as well as seven Babies. Previously the group was led by Nyakairima who was overpowered by Agasha whose name means “the news”. In fact Agashya made headlines by first observing and estimating the strengths of Nyakarima and finally challenged him to a brutal fight taking away his entire group. This greatly shocked Nyakarima and was an extraordinary event in witnessed gorilla history. After Agashya shifted up the volcano to safe guard his group and ensure that Nyakarima didn’t find them. Since then Agashya has increased the number of members in his group by snatching some from other groups and incorporating them by expanding from 12 up to 25 individuals.
The Agashya family is also known at any first sign of danger to take his entire group to the peak of the volcano. One time, while some tourists had gone to observe the Group 13 this identical scenario occurred. Agashya imagined that there was an opponent silverback which was about to fight him. In reaction, he led his group to the volcano. Whenever we closed in to the group they would go further away until we couldn’t go any further.

Kwitonda Family 

Kwitonda is a group that has 18 members and it is led by Kwitonda the silverback whose name means the (humble one). It also has 2 silverbacks plus a black back. It moved from the DRC, and normally stays far away which makes it challenging to trek. This along with the Susa B is some of the most challenging groups to track.

Hirwa Group “which means “lucky one”

The Hirwa Group group became renowned on 17th June 2006 after trackers witnessed its creation when some members from 2 separate families the Group 13 and the Sabyinyo group joined to form a smaller group at the time. Fortunately some other gorillas also joined this group and today the Hirwa group has nine individuals: one Silverback; three Adult females; two Sub adult females as well as 3 Babies.

Bwenge Family

The Bwenge family has 11 member with a Silverback. It is majorly seen in the Slopes of Karisoke Volcano. Bwenge is the silverback that leads the group which was established in 2007 after he left his birth group and was joined by other females coming from other gorilla groups. The group has faced some challenging times; which included the death of six infants. Today this group is becoming strong with two successful births in the past couple years as well as a strong silverback leader. The trek to visit the group is challenging and includes an ascent of nearly 3 hours. The trails at times are muddy and pretty steep. Its group which featured in the legendary movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist.

Ugenda Family

The Ugenda Family lives in Rwanda’s Karisimbi area which comprises of 11 gorillas including 2 silverbacks. Its acquired this mane which means “being on the move” since the family was constantly moving from one place to another. Because it is constantly moving, tracking it is normally challenging and involves prolonged movement to find them.

Gorilla Naming Conservation Ceremony Event

Gorilla Naming Ceremony

There are quite a number of mountain gorilla related activities, the famous one being the Kwita Izina ceremony of naming gorillas for Gorilla Walking Safaris, it is a yearly event where various celebrities are invited to this occasion. Booking your gorilla adventure during this time would be a chance to participate in this event.  A number of gorilla conservationists exist in Rwanda.

From The Dian Fossey Foundation to The International Gorilla Conservation Project and so much more

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