The Republic of Rwanda is among the three countries globally with endangered mountain gorillas. They are greatly endangered species and do live in the jungles of the volcanoes National park. This park is located in North Western Rwanda in the Virunga area and have three major of Karisimbi, Mikeno and Bisoke. There is an estimate of 400 mountain Gorillas in the area of which 300 in habit the forested gentle slopes. There are 10 habituated gorilla families for viewing by tourists. Below are the habituated mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park.
- Agashya Mountain Gorilla Family
Agashya Mountain gorilla family has 13 mountain gorilla members and is also called 13 groups. The members in this group increased and today the family has 25 individual members with a dominant silver back, 12 females, 3 youth and 7 young ones. Agashya which is a dominant silver back is very ambitious and has persistently managed to increase the mountain gorilla numbers in his family from 12 to 25. He is very productive of his gorilla family and once he senses that there is any danger and intrusion, he moves with the whole mountain gorilla family uphill which sometimes makes it quiet hard for the tourists to trek.
- The Amahoro Mountain Gorilla Family
Amahoro Gorilla family has 17 individuals and is quiet a peaceful mountain gorilla family that lives on the gentle slope. It is quiet hectic to get this gorilla group because it involves hiking thus tourists who have visited the group always take about their unique experience and encounters.
- The Bwenge Mountain Gorilla Family
This gorilla group comprises of 11 mountain gorilla individuals and is faced difficult times after the death of 6 young mountain gorillas. They do live along the Karisoke volcanic area and was named Bwenge after the dominant silver back. To get this gorilla family, it is quite e challenging as it involves a hike of about 2 to 3 hours through the trails and steep slopes.
- The Hirwa Mountain Gorilla Family
This group was formed from the Sabyinyo family and has group 13. This group came together to form a joint gorilla family called Hirwa which means the lucky one and has now got 9 mountain members including a dominant silver back,2 juveniles and 3 young ones. The Dominant silver back is very strong and determined to protect all the individual gorilla members in the family.
- The Kwitonda Mountain Gorilla Family
Kwitonda shifted from the democratic republic of Congo and it’s made up of 18 gorilla members including the dominant silver back. It is among the difficult gorilla groups to be trekked because most times, it keeps far in thick forested areas that cannot be easily accessed by tourist/visitors.
- Sabinyo Mountain Gorilla Family
This is made up of 8 mountain gorilla individuals, inhabiting the gentle slopes of the Sabyinyo volcano which is shared between Uganda and Rwanda. This group is easily accessed as compared to the other gorilla group and has the biggest silver back called Guhonda with 3 female mountain gorillas.
- The susa A Mountain Gorilla Family
Susa A group lives at a relatively higher altitude and is also a challenging mountain gorilla to trek. It was made famous by Dian Fossey an American Zoologist who took long studying the mountain gorillas. It is some of the oldest habituated gorillas and very famous for Impano and Byishimo, a twin mountain gorilla. The trekking of the group offers exciting moments especially as tourists watch the twin mountain gorillas.
- Susa B Mountain Gorilla Family
It has got 15 individuals and was previously part of the Susa mountain gorilla family which later broke off forming the Susa B or Karisimbi gorilla family. It resides along the slopes of Mount Karisimbi and also among the difficult mountain gorilla groups to get. It can be trekked by the physically fit tourists since sometimes they move uphill making it hard to get them.
- Uganda Mountain Gorilla Family
This gorilla family inhabits the kirisimbi volcanic area with 2 silverbacks and also quiet difficult to trek since it always move from one area to another explaining the family’s characteristics.
- Umubano Mountain Gorilla Family
It also consists of 11 individual members which are lead by dominant silver back which is black and 3 females and 6 young mountain gorillas. It separated from then Amahoro group after a fight that saw Charles the dominant silverback of Umubano winning Ubumwe, the dominant silver back leaving the Amahoro group with a number of females. Many people all over the country leave their home lands to the land of a thousand hills for gorilla trekking adventure. Thought the gorilla trekking permit is expensive but the experience is worth the money and no on ever regrets after the trek. It is magical and if you want to have a memorable gorilla safari, Rwanda is the place to visit.