The gorilla families in Rwanda can be found in Volcanoes National Park, where Dian Fossey notably conducted her studies. Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is part of the larger Virunga mountain ranges that extend all the way to the Congo. The Virunga ranges, which include Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Virunga National Park, are home to approximately 500 mountain gorillas. The remaining mountain gorilla population, which accounts for more than half of the entire global population, is located in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. Volcanoes National Park has an overall population of approximately 380 mountain gorillas, with approximately 11 habituated gorilla families available for tourist tracking.
Mountain gorillas, like humans, live in families. A family, on the other hand, is led by a dominant silverback who takes it upon himself to protect his family from other hostile families, wild mountain gorillas, and any other potential threat. The following are the habituated families in Rwanda
Susa gorilla family
The Susa gorilla family is one of Rwanda’s most popular gorilla families. Dian Fossey made the Susa gorilla family famous since it was the family she researched at the Karisoke Study Centre during her research years. The Susa River prompted the family’s name, and they have three silverbacks. The family had up to 42 members at one time, but it divided into two over the years, giving rise to new gorilla families in Rwanda. The Susa family lives at the top of the mountain, making it one of the most difficult treks, which can take a whole day. The park rangers, who constantly are aware of the gorillas’ positions, can choose not to hike on days when they travel so far that they are practically difficult to reach. The lively gorilla twins, Byishimo and Impano, made this trio even more famous. The Susa gorilla family is ideal for adventurous travelers; the journey to discover them is well worth it once you find them.
Karisimbi Gorilla family
This family lives on the slopes of Mountain Karisimbi, as the name suggests. It consists of 16 members and one silverback. Susa B refers to a branch of the Susa family that has broken away. The Karisimbi gorilla family is now the most difficult to hike since it lives on the upper slopes of Mount Karisimbi, which stands at 4507m. To avoid difficulties, the Silverback of this group led the others to a remote location that was difficult to access. If you’re looking for a true physical challenge or some heavy hiking, you should secure your permits for this group.
Titus Gorilla family
The Titus family was named after Silverback Titus, who was born during Dian Fossey’s studies at Karisoke, the gorilla group she was studying. Titus the gorilla, who was raised by an unrelated male gorilla, was abandoned by his mother and sister when the poachers killed his father, uncle, and sibling. Dian Fossey described the newborn as “uninspired and wiry,” with difficulty breathing, but Titus overcame these obstacles.
Amahoro gorilla family
The Amahoro gorilla family consists of approximately 17 individuals, including one dominating silverback named Ubumbwe. The group name literally translates to “peace,” which the dominating silverback plainly exhibits, even when Charles took a few of females to start his own family. The family resides on the slopes of Mount Bisoke, and despite the hike’s steepness, people still adore and choose to trek with this gorilla family because of the youngsters’ fun, predictability, and peacefulness.
Kwitonda gorilla family
The group consists of 23 individuals and is directed by Akarevuro, one of the three dominating silverbacks, the other two being Magumu and Kigoma. The group used to live in Africa’s oldest National Park, Virunga National Park, until relocating and settling on the lower parts of Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga in 2003. It was still commanded by Kwitonda, a lovely silverback who died in 2012, just after turning 40. The group is named after Kwitonda, who led his family away from Congo’s war-torn zones.
Ugenda gorilla family
It has 11 members, including two Silverbacks. Ugenda means “mobile,” which refers to the group’s mobility. The Ugenda gorilla troop is always on the move and rarely stays in one spot. This community appears to live on Mount Bisoke, and the hike is not too tough. This group of gorillas bears a striking likeness. When you examine their key bodily features from head to toe, you will spend the next hour attempting to tell them apart but will have little success. You will be astounded by God’s perfection in creating them. Surprisingly, the ranger guides can tell them apart without seeing them by listening to the tone of their vocalizations and their rate of pulse per minute. This is the result of a relationship they’ve had with them since their habituation a few years ago. Using this prior experience, they will identify the various individuals and share their captivating life tales with you, highlighting their finest and worst times.
Bwenge gorilla family
Titus created the Beetsme group in 2007 after being ousted as leader of the Titus group. For nearly 5 years, he controlled with a steely grip and fathered over 20 children from both his group and outsiders. Bwenge was one of these newborns, an ambitious son who, at the age of 19, led a revolution that resulted in the foundation of this group. He was followed by two females from his previous group as well as two females from Pablo’s group. They labored together to help him create a strong foundation for a little kingdom that currently has 11 members. They dwell on the mountainside of Karisoke. So far, the group has lost six infants, most of whom were killed in confrontations with other tribes.
Hirwa gorilla family
The Hirwa family is a new group with sixteen individuals and one Silverback. It was founded by members of the Sabyinyo family and Group 13 members eventually joined to bring the total to 16. It can be found between Mount Gahinga and Sabyinyo. This is one of the fortunate groups in the park, as they were one of the few that had twins. In the year 2011, they had twins. ‘Hirwa’ means ‘Lucky One’ in Arabic. Do you need luck, or are you lucky? You may have to travel to see this family.
Umubano gorilla family
There are thirteen individuals in this group: one silverback, one blackback, six newborns, and three adult females. Charles, a dominant silverback who got tired of fighting in the Amahoro group, founded it. This was the result of several invasions by competing gorillas. As a result, Charles got twelve other gorillas to collaborate with him in establishing a family that believes in alternatives to violence to solve problems. That’s how the group got the name Umubano, which means “living together in harmony” in Kinyarwanda.
Sabinyo gorilla family
This group is for those who would like to see gorillas in the wild without having to go through too much difficulty. They prefer to graze in the conveniently accessible forest zone of the mountain that bears their name, Mountain Sabinyo. They don’t travel very far when food is scarce here. They prefer to hang out on the lower slopes of the bamboo zone. Because they favor less densely forested locations, it is simple to photograph them as they go about their daily lives in the wild. Guhonda Silverback leads the group of 12 members.