Gorilla Families in volcanoes national park 

Gorilla Families in volcanoes national park 

Gorilla Families in volcanoes national park

Gorilla Families in volcanoes national park: Volcanoes national park is the only habitat of mountain gorillas in Rwanda and a great mountain gorilla trekking destination in Rwanda, Volcanoes national park is located in northwest Rwanda in Musaze covering an area of 160 square kilometers. This park encompasses five of the eight Volcano Mountains namely Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga and Sabyinyo volcano, these volcanoes are forested habiting mountain gorillas on the high altitudes. 

Mountain gorillas in volcanoes are more than the recorded as they increase every day, on record there are only 10 habituated gorillas in Volcanoes national park. These families under went through habituation process of about 2-3 years , this experience is intended to make the gorilla ready for gorilla trekking experience and comfortable with human presence. Mountain gorilla families in Volcanoes national park include

  • Susa family 

Susa family in Volcanoes national park is a famous family which was used by Dian Fossey a zoologist while on her research about mountain gorillas, this family comprises of 28 family members with 3 silverbacks. Susa family derives its name from Susa River where the first members of this family where found, initially Susa family comprised of 42 family members and because of constant feuds and confrontations some members broke away, this family is is one of the lucky families to receive a set of playful twins Byishimo and Impano.  

  • Sabyinyo family 

Sabyinyo family in Volcanoes national park is a small gorilla family of 8 family members, this family is under the leadership of a powerful silverback Guhonda who is one of the largest mountain gorillas in Volcanoes national park at the weight of 220 kgs. Sabyinyo gorilla family derives its name from Kinyarwanda word Sabyinyo which means “old man’s teeth”, on a mountain gorilla trekking safari in Rwanda this family is trekked on the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo. 

  • Amahoro family 

Amahoro family in Volcanoes national park is a family of 18 family members with 2 silverbacks, this family is named after a Kinyarwanda word Amahoro meaning peace. Amahoro name explains the peaceful character of this family and because of the peaceful character, this family has lost its family members to other families with aggressive dominant silverbacks such as silverback Charles. Amahoro family is under the leadership of silverback Ubumbwe a calm and peaceful silverback, this family lives and is trekked on the slopes of Mount Visoke while on a mountain gorilla trekking safari. 

  • Agashya family

Agashya family in Volcanoes national park is previously known as Group 13 which was a reference to the 13 initial family members who started this family. Agashya family was initially under the leadership of dominant silverback Nyakarima, silverback Nyakarima was later overthrown by dominant silverback Agashya who is still the leader of this family. Agashya family is named after a Kinyarwanda word meaning news, this family comprises of 27 family members and it is trekked on the slopes of Mountain Sabyinyo on a mountain gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park. 

  • Umubano family 

Umubano family in Volcanoes national park is a break away family from Amahoro family, this family’s break away was led by silverback Charles breaking away from Ubumbwe the dominant silverback of Amahoro family. As silverback Charles was growing up to be a fully grown up silverback he began undermining the leader of silverback of Ubumbwe which resulted into constant confrontations thus the breakaway. Umubano family comprises of 13 family members consisting of 6 infants, 3 adult females, 1 sub adult and 1 silverback.     

  • Hirwa family 

Hirwa family is one of the newly habituated mountain gorilla families in Volcanoes national park living and trekked in on the foothills of Mount Sabyinyo, this group comprises of 16 family members and it was formed family members who split from Group 13 and Sabyinyo family. Hirwa family is named after a Kinyarwanda word meaning lucky word which explains the unusual formation of the group which is by an act of luck for mountain gorilla individuals to join in one group voluntarily. Hirwa gorilla family is under the leadership of a very protective dominant silverback, this family is found and trekked on the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo. Hirwa family is one of the difficult gorilla family to trek while on a mountain gorilla trekking experience in Volcanoes national park. 

  • Karisimbi family

Karisimbi family in Volcanoes national park is one of the gorilla families in the park living on high altitudes, this family is trekked and inhabits the slopes of Mountain Karisimbi and it is from this mountain from which this family derives its name. Karisimbi family is a break away from the larger Susa family that is why this family is usually referred to as Susa B, this family comprises of 16 family members residing on the altitude of 4507 meters of Mount Karisimbi. Because of the high altitude, Karisimbi family is one of the hard gorilla families to trek in Volcanoes national park.  

  • Ugenda family 

Ugenda family in Volcanoes national park comprises of 11 family members with 2 silverbacks, this family is named after a Kinyarwanda word meaning “being on the move” which explains the mobile nature of this family. Ugenda family inhabits and is trekked on the slopes of Mount Bisoke, this family is one of the difficult families to trek while on a mountain gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park due to its mobile nature. 

  • Bwenge family 

Bwenge family in Volcanoes national park is a family of 11 family members named after a local Kinyarwanda word Bwenge meaning “Wisdom”, Bwenge family is a family of 11 family members with one silverback Bwenge who is the leader of this group. Silverback Bwenge left his mother group to join some females to form Bwenge family and by 2007 this family was fully habituated and named after him. Bwenge family is the ideal family to trek on a mountain gorilla trekking safari in Volcanoes national park for lazy trekkers, this family inhabits and is trekked on the slopes of Mount Visoke. During the tenure of leadership of Bwenge silverback he had fenced some dark times for example when he lost 6 of his infants.   

Gorilla Families in volcanoes national park 
Gorilla Families in volcanoes national park

  • Kwitonda  family 

Kwitonda family in Volcanoes national park is a family of 23 family members with 4 silverbacks under the leadership of silverback Kwitonda, Kwitonda is a Kinyarwanda slag meaning humble one. This family once lived in Democratic Republic of Congo and migrated to Volcanoes national park, this family is mobile and it usually inhabits on the slopes of Mountain Muhabura. 

In Volcanoes national park there are many mountain gorillas living in the thick forests of the park, it is only 10 families which are habituated and open for mountain gorilla trekking safari in both Rwanda and volcanoes national park. 

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