Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park – Habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda
Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park, are unique and all are different from each other therefore you can get the difference of each family through the following factors. Location of the particular Gorilla family, hardship during the trekking process, leadership roles, vegetation cover among others.
Igisha Gorilla family-Susa B
This Gorilla family comprises of 24 members headed by Igisah silver back, originally, the group originated from Susa B group; they broke off in 2014 and formed their own Gorilla family that was later named after the male silver back Igisha the head of the family. This group is known to be the hardest to trek in the volcanoes National Park so it requires an amount of physical fitness to trek in search for this Gorillas family.
Kurira Gorilla Family
The family currently comprises of 42 members, but initially they were only 7 members in this group. The family later with time, grow big and expanded to 42 members which forced them to spilt in to two to make the Igisha family which is now known as ‘’Susa B’’. The group lives in the Volcanoes National Park headed by Kurira Alpha a male silver back Gorilla. This group is the oldest and was created by Dian Fossey in 1974.
Amahoro Gorilla family
Also found in the volcanoes national park, the group has 18 members and 2 silver backs, the group derived it name Amahoro from a local Kinyarwanda word to mean ‘’peace’’ .the group is known is known for its calmness and peaceful serenity that has caused the family bad luck to lose some of its members to the aggressive families. Amahoro resides on the slopes of Mount Bisoke and it’s hard to track them it requires physical fitness to hike on top of the slopes.
Sabinyo Gorilla family
Sabinyo Gorilla family, is composed of 13 members and 2 silver backs, the was formed after the death of the dominant silver back who was fast the leader of the family, due to the cause of his death, some of the females left the group and joined other females of group eleven all together they became 4 females and 2 silverbacks that led to the formation of this group and later changed named to Sabinyo. This group usually roams around Volcanoes National Park and it’s the easiest to track.
Agashya Gorilla family
This Gorilla group is named after the initial family individual who were 13 at the time of habituation. The group was led by a silverback called Nyakarima later over thrown by Agashya meaning the ‘News’ which is now the leader and the family was named after him. Today the family has grown to 27 members including one silver back (Agashya). The group occupies the same territory with Sabinyo group but sometimes Agashya takes the family deeper into the mountain when it senses danger.
Kwitonda Gorilla family
This Gorilla group is named after the dominant silver back called Kwitonda meaning ‘’humble one’’, the group migrated from the Democratic Republic of Congo and have inhabited the slower slopes of Mount. Muhabura and it’s also hardest to track since sometimes they move to the upper slopes causing difficulty in hiking to search for the Gorillas. The group comprises of 23 members with 4 silver backs.
Umubano Gorilla family
This group initially has 13 members including 2 silver backs. The group was formed by a silver back called Charles, Charles broke off from the Amahoro family due to the constant fights between him and Ubumwe, Charles couldn’t bare this so he chose to live and formed Umubano family. But still live together in the same location with the Amahoro group.
Hirwa Gorilla family
This family is composed of 16 members including 1 silver back. This is a newly formed group that originated from two different families that is group 13(Agashya) and Sabinyo family, the group derived its name from the local word to mean ‘’lucky one’’. The group in 2011 was blessed with twins. Hirwa family inhabits the slopes of Mount Sabinyo spreading up to Mount Gahinga.
Ugenda Gorilla family
This group comprise of 11 members including two silver backs, Ugenda is a local word meaning ‘’mobile’’. The group derived its name due to its nature of moving from place to place, the group roams around mt. Bisoke and the hike is not difficult since they are easily located by the trekkers.
Bwenge Gorilla family
This group is currently having 11 members including one silver back, the group derived its name Bwenge from the local word meaning ‘’Wisdom’’, Bwenge was formed in 2007 after he left his native group, and was joined some few female members from other families. The group is then named after the silver back Mwenge. They wonder around the slopes of mt. Bisoke and are not difficult to trek and its best recommended for trekkers who are not used to hiking long distances.
Titus Gorilla family
Titus Gorilla family originated after the Silver back Titus which was born during the days of Dian Fossey’ research at Karisoke, this was the gorilla group Dian Fossey was studying. Titus the young gorilla lost his family to poachers including his father, uncle and brother and his mother and sister joined other families leaving Titus to be raised by a kind male gorilla that even wasn’t related to him. According to Dian Fossey Titus the infant seemed “underdeveloped and spindly” and had difficulty breathing, but Titus overcame these difficulties and emerged as one of the successful silvers back in the Volcanoes National Park. The group lives in slopes of Mount Karisimbi. Great Adventure Safaris arranges trip to trek gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda.