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10 Habituated Gorilla Groups – Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda

Posted by on June 2, 2017

The 10 Habituated Gorilla Groups that Visitors to Volcanoes National Park can Track

You can track 10 Habituated Gorilla Groups – Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda

Volcanoes National Park is home to 10 Habituated Gorilla Groups that can be tracked by Visitors. That translates into 80 possible visitors each day to the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.10 Habituated Gorilla Groups - Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda

For your Gorilla Trek, you will be assigned to a gorilla group that fits your level of fitness and ability to take the tougher gorilla treks in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Below you will find each gorilla family group and a brief description of each.  Enjoy your time tracking your group and the hour that you will spend with them.

Unfortunately, Rwanda has upped the price of Gorilla Permits to 1500 USD to assist it with the Gorilla Conservation efforts and surrounding Community Infrastructure.  

Beyond that, the Permits are part of the country’s efforts to market itself as an upmarket – exclusive African Destination for Gorilla Trekking.


Exclusive Luxury Lodges and Hotels are going up adding to the existing ones in the Park and in Kigali.

The 10 Habituated Gorilla Groups – Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda open to receive Visitors

10 Habituated Gorilla Groups - Volcanoes National Park-RwandaSusa Gorilla Group Family:

The Susa Group was a group of Gorillas that Dian Fossey studied during her many years in Rwanda until her untimely death in 1985.  Today the Susa Group at one time was over 40 members but like many families had a family feud and split.  Today there are about 28 Susa Gorilla Family Members.

The Susa Group has three silverbacks in its group and there is also Poppy who is thought to a member of the Susa Group when Dian Fossey studied them – he was born in 1976

The group is named after the Susa River that runs through the area where the Susa Gorilla Group roams and calls home in Volcanoes National Park.

The Susa Gorilla Group often takes the longest to track due to the distance to the area where the group is found on that day.  On rare occasions when the group is up too high, too far the Susa Group is canceled for that day.  The trek with the Susa Group can often take all day.

The Susa Gorilla is one of the most sought out groups by Visitors to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Karisimbi-Gorilla-GroupKarisimbi Gorilla Family Group:

This group was formed when the largest gorilla family group, the Susa group split into 2 groups after what was a family feud.

There are presently 15 group members  that are part of the Karisimbi Gorilla Family.  They are found on the lower levels of Mount Karisimbi Volano and the trek here can be most difficult for some.

Like with the Susa Family from whom they split from – this is a long trek and on rare days when the Karisimbi Family is too far away – treks to them are canceled.

Though the trek may be difficult – it also equally rewarding in that you will see a lot including some stunning scenery.

At the end of the day no one complains about the difficulty – the joy of being in the presence of the Mountain Gorillas makes it all worth it.

Sabyinyo-Gorilla-GroupSabyinyo Gorilla Family Group:

The Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Groups is one of the easier Gorilla Group Families to track in Volcanoes National Park.

The group is led by the massive Silverback Guhonda who is one of the most powerful silverbacks in the park.

This is a smaller group and in 2014 there were eight members to the Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Group.

There is one Silverback in the Group and three adult females, the rest area juvenile members who will certainly entertain you as you see them for one hour up close.

They are most often found in the gentle foothills slopes of Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga.

Amahoro-Gorilla-GroupAmahoro (‘Peace’) Gorilla Family Group:

The Amahore (Peaceful) Gorilla Family Group lives up to its name and you will enjoy your time with them.

When it comes to tracking them one has to deal with a steep climb up to reach where they are on that day.

The Amahoro Gorilla Group has 17 members which make them a sizeable group to trek.

Most often they are roaming the slopes of Mount Visoke  and it is a trek of medium difficulty.  Please keep in mind that you decide the speed with which the trek is done and you can always use a porter – support his or her family and it will make it easier to trek your Gorilla Family on that day.

Amahore Gorilla Family Group may live up to their name – peaceful – however they are also active and a delight to behold when you are in their presence.

Agashya-Gorilla-GroupAgashya (meaning special) Gorilla Family Group:

When first habituated the Agashya Gorilla Family Group had only 13 family members – that is why it was referred to back then as the 13 group.

The group has thrived and grown where today it is 25 plus  family members with 1 Silverback leading this large group.

The Agashya Gorilla Family Group is found in the same general area as the Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Group, though at times they move to a higher and deeper site.

Most often they are found in the foothills slopes of Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga.

This Special – large group will be easier to track for most – though when they shift higher it takes medium effort to track them.

 Umubano-Gorilla-GroupUmubano (‘Live Together’)Gorilla Family Group:

The Umubana Gorilla Group Family originally was a part of the Amahoro Gorilla Family Group.  However a family feud like it does with human and animal families ensued the Umubano (Live together) group under the leadership of Ubumwe – the dominant silverback of the new gorilla family broke up the relationship and formed his own family group.

Today the Umubano Gorilla Family Group consists of 11 members – they are found in the overlapping territory of the Amahoro Gorilla Family Group.

The trek to the Umubano Gorilla Family Group is of medium difficulty and can be done by most of those who are coming to trek Gorillas

Each Gorilla Group Family has their own distinct personality and that is why that many choose to trek more than one gorilla group.

 Kwitonda-Gorilla-GroupKwitonda (Humble One) Gorilla Family Group:

The Kwitonda Gorilla Family Group is led the dominant Silverback of the group whose name means “Humble One.”  There are 17 family members to the group.

The Kwitonda Gorilla Family Group is found on the slopes of Mount Muhabura.  The group is a bit more difficult to track and that adds to the excitement of the day.

Each Gorilla Family has its level of difficulty tracking.  Each one has its own challenges.  If it was easy to track Mountain Gorillas there would be many move visitors.

Tracking is made easier by having skilled guides, helpful porters, being dressed right and having the right equipment which includes walking sticks.

Enjoy the Kitonda Gorilla Family Group.

hirwa Gorilla-GroupHirwa Gorilla Family Group:

The Hirwa Gorilla Family Group is a relatively new Gorilla Family which was birthed from two different Gorilla Families – Agashya or 13 Group and the Sabyinyo  Gorilla Group.

There are nine family members that belong to this group and they are usually tracked in the foothills of Mount Sabyinyo on the Gahinga side of the Mountain.

There are twins found in this group which makes things quite interesting.

The tracking skill level can be difficult depending on the location of the Hirwa Gorilla Family Group on that day.

Once again being properly equipped and ready makes the difference in a visit to your habituated Gorilla Family.

ugenda-gorilla-groupUganda (Mobile-being on the move) Gorilla Family Group:

The Uganda Gorilla Family Group is made up of 11 Family member and as their name implies – they are on the move like all Gorilla Family Groups.  Moving each day and building new nests for the nights – a reason like all gorilla groups  need to be tracked afresh each day.

The Uganda Gorilla Family Group is found around Mount Bisoke and tracking them is not of great difficulty.  The group is one of the easier ones to track as long as they do not live up to their name of “being on the move.”

Each gorilla trek is an adventure all of its own to be enjoyed.

You will certainly enjoy one of Rwanda’s newest Gorilla Families – the Uganda – being on the move gorilla group.  Presently for the last few years they have in Uganda again in Mgahinga Gorilla Park.

Bwenge Gorilla-GroupBwenge (Wisdom) Gorilla Family Group:

The Bwengwe Gorilla Family Group’s name means wisdom.  You will track them on the slopes of Mounta Karisoke Volcano.

The leader of the group is Bwengwe and the gorilla family was formed in 2007.  The group has experienced a lot of loss in that six of its infants have died.

Presently the group is thriving with new births under the strong leadership of Bwengwe.

The trek to where the Bwenge Gorilla family roams can take a  good three-hour trek which makes it one of the more difficult groups to to track.

Some members of this group were featured in the “Gorillas in the Mist” movie.

Recreate your own Gorillas in the Mist Trek with them.

Enjoy tracking Rwanda’s habituated Gorilla Families open to visitation…10 Habituated Gorilla Groups – Volcanoes National Park-Rwanda – please contact us.