Rwanda Gorilla families

Rwanda has several Gorilla families that visitors have access too. They allow only eight visitors per group per trekking day. The following are the Gorilla families in found in Rwanda.

Susa Gorilla family,

Susa group is one of the Mountain Gorilla family in Volcanoes National Park. This group currently has 17 members and 2 Silver-backs but had a total of 42 members before its split. The most exciting things about Susa are the twins in this group. Its also the first group that Dian Fossey first studied during her years in Rwanda. The group is apparently the hardest to track but turns out to be the most preferred by most Gorilla trekkers. Susa A inhabits the lower base of Mount more 

Sabinyo Gorilla family,

This family currently has 16 members ands 2 Silver-backs. Sabyinyo Gorilla family came into existence shortly after the death of a dominant silverback. After his death, a few females left teaming up with other females from other groups to form a total of 4 females and two Silver-backs and also have their name changed to Sabyinyo Gorilla group. One of the Silver-backs that leads this group at the moment is the largest in Volcanoes National Park. This group usually roams on the slopes of Mountain Sabinyo and this makes it relatively easy to track.Read more

Amahoro Gorilla group,

Amahoro means peace in Kinyarwanda language and therefore this group is known for its peaceful ways. The peaceful character of the family has long caused it to loose members to other aggressive Silver-backs who seek to expand their respective families.This Family is led by a silverback called “Ubumwe” which means togetherness.  Amahoro Gorilla group currently resides on the slopes of Mountain Bisoke and has about 18 members with 2 Silver-backs. This group is quite hard to track as the terrain to the slopes of this mountain is strenuous. If you have a peaceful character in nature and love peace as well then you might have to book your permits for trekking this Gorilla group.Read more

Kwitonda Gorilla group,

There was a Silverback that crossed from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Rwanda in the year 2003. There is a possibility that it was under pressure from other gorilla families in the area and so it moved to form a group of its own in a whole different neighbourhood.

The name Kwitonda was adopted from the dominant silverback in this group. Akarevuro who was young in the reign of Kwitonda has taken over the leadership after the demise of Kwitonda. The two other Silverbacks in the group, Kigoma and Magumu also submitted to the fact that Akarevuro had taken over the leadership of the group. In September 2012. This Gorilla group now has 29 members and Kwitonda is the dominant silverback. The word Kwitonda means the humble one. This Gorilla group is found in the Virunga section of the Park and also not so easy to trek. But this family is commonly found on slopes of Mountain Muhabura.Read more

Agashya Gorilla group.

Originally it was called Group 13 and this is because it had 13 family members, but due to a number of factors the family has grown large to approximately 20 members. Agashya family is formerly known as group 13 but recently changed its name. This group got its name due to the initial number of the 13 individuals that started the group. This family was initially led by a dominant silverback called Nyakarima who was later on overthrown by another dominant leader, Agashya who leads till today. The name Agashya means News and surprisingly the family was named after him. Apparently it has way more members that it did previously.The total is about 20 members with just one Silverback. They also roams on the slopes of Mountain Sabyinyo just like the Sabyinyo family.

Umbano Gorilla group.

This Gorilla group had 11 members. Surprisingly this group broke away from the Amahoro group due to the fact the dominant silverback was challenged by another silverback called Charles who is now the leader of Umubano.With 13 members including 2 Silver-backs, Umubano gorilla group was formed by members of the Amahoro family after one of its Silver-backs called Charles, broke off to form his own group. Despite the peace in Amahoro group, Charles and Ubumwe has endless battles till Charles could not take it any more hence, the birth of Umubano Group. Apparently, this group lives in the same territory the Amahoro Group.

Hirwa Gorilla family

Hirwa Gorilla family has 20 members with one Silverback. It was formed by members from the Sabyinyo family and group 13 but later on more members joined to increase the tally to 20. It roams between the mountains of Mount Gahinga and Sabyinyo. This is one of the luckiest groups in the National park and slots among the few that managed to get twins. Their twins were born in the year 2011. The word Hirwa means ‘Lucky One’. Need some luck or rather are you lucky? You might need to trek and see this Gorilla family.Read more 

Karisimbi Gorilla family,

This is the group that split from Susa Gorilla Group in the year 2009. Their bitter split sliced down the number of Susa (the biggest mountain Gorilla group by then with around 42 members) to approximately 26 members exclusive of their Silver-backs.Karisimbi previously stood at a score of 15 members but unfortunately some of their members quit and joined other groups. Today this group has 11 members including 1 adult female, 4 Silver-backs, a black-back and 2 infants.I would say Karisimbi Gorilla Group is one of the hardest to trek. The group sought shelter near a caldera in Mount Karisimbi. Sometimes it could take up to a day to locate them and on the rear occasions when they move to a much higher altitude.Led by a Silverback named Nyagakangaga, Karisimbi Gorilla group inhabits the slopes of Mount Karisimbi the highest peak of the Virunga Volcanoes.

Titus Gorilla family

Titus Family was named after the Silverback. Titus, a primate that was born during the time when Dian Fossey was still carrying out her research at Karisoke Research Center. Titus’s family got murdered by poachers leaving him as the only survivor. He went through a lot of hardships growing up but managed to overcome all those obstacles and emerged as one of the most successful Silver-backs ever to inhabit Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.Despite being a small family, this group turns out to be one of the most interesting groups to track. It inhabits the slopes of Karisimbi and Visoke volcanoes and adopted its name from Titus. Titus breathed his first during the era when Dian Fossey was still carrying out research at the Karisoke Gorilla Family. His natal family was described for strength and humbleness.

Muhoza Gorilla family,

Muhoza is one of the Gorilla family found in the Volcanoes National Park.Muhoza now has a total number of 12 members which include one silver-back 6 adult females, 2 sub adults and 3 infants. Before Muhoza had seven members and later on in 2016 managed to grab some members from other Gorilla groups like Hirwa. Muhoza is the most exciting Gorilla family to trek.

Igisha Gorilla family

Igisha Gorilla family is the last stable group of Mountain Gorillas formed in Volcanoes National Park and is led by Igisha as the dominant Silverback. Igisha Gorilla group originated from Susa Gorilla group that split on November 30th 2014. Igisha silverback moved with 23 individuals and formed the group that was later named Igisha after him. Igisha group is currently composed of 27 individuals which include 3 silver-backs, 7 adult females, 2 black-backs, 3 sub-adult males, 1 sub adult female, 4 juveniles and 7 infants.

Isimbi Gorilla family,

Isimbi Gorilla family is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and led by the dominant Silver-back Muturengere. Isimbi Gorilla group is a result of Karisimbi Gorilla group split which happened on 10th April 2012. Getty silverback took the lead of the new group of 7 individuals. Getty died on December 22nd 2013 due to abscess on air sac and pneumonia. After his death, the young black-back then, Muturengere took lead of the Gorilla group with the help of Poppy, an adult female. Poppy is said to be the oldest living adult female among all Gorilla groups. Muturengere fought other groups and grab some members of his group. The group has since grown from 7 to 14 individuals who include 1 silverback, 6 adult females, 2 juveniles and 5 infants.