Rwanda gorilla trekking experiences take place in Parc Nationale Des Volcans (Volcanoes National Park). This park is gorilla maestro Dian Fossey undertook her research from. Apparently, 1000 mountain gorillas are left in the world and half of this population resides in Uganda. The rest is shared between DRC and Rwanda.
Without a doubt, Rwanda remains a prime destination for gorilla trekking. Trekking the Virunga Mountains in search for gorillas in an extremely awesome experience. The accommodation facilities in this park will keep the spark alive. They are truly African with a great sense of style.
Just in case you have any extra days on your safari, endeavor to visit Akagera National Park. This wildlife park borders Tanzania in the east. It rewards a spectacular wildlife watching experience. Down south is Nyungwe Forest National Park, a home to Rwanda’s Chimpanzees. It also turns out to be one of the best spots for birding in Rwanda.
Rwanda has about ten habituated mountain gorilla families. These include Sabyinyo, Susa, Karisimbi, Umubano, Amahoro, Kwitonda, Hirwa, Bwenge, Agashya and Ugyenda.
Susa Gorilla Family
- It has about twenty nine members and 3 silverbacks.
- This was the largest mountain gorilla family before it split into two. Its name derives from Susa River.
- This is the particular group that Dian Fossey studied. It gained more popularity when it bore twins: Impano and Byishimo.
Karisimbi Gorilla family
- Karisimbi Gorilla group has 15 members with 3 silverbacks.
- It is also called Susa B because it is the group that split from the original Susa family.
- This group wanders around the slopes of Karisimbi Volcano.
Sabyinyo Gorilla family
- Sabyinyo family has 12 members and two silverbacks.
- This group got its name from Mount Sabyinyo.
- It inhabits the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga. It stays inbetween these two Virunga Volcano Mountains. Sabyinyo means “Old Man’s Teeth”.
Amahoro Gorilla family
- This group has about seventeen members with only one silverback.
- Amahoro means ‘peace’ in local Kinyarwanda. The family earned this name because of its extraordinary and gentle character. Its Silverback is the most peaceful and has lost a number of members to other groups after turning down challenges. Reaching this family is a tough hike.
Umubano Gorilla Family
- This group has eleven members with one Silverback.
- Umubano implicates ‘live together’ in local Kinyarwanda. This family split from Amahoro gorilla family to form their own.
- Despite sharing the same territory with Amahoro, they still live together and peacefully.
Kwitonda Gorilla Family
- Kwitonda has eighteen members with two silverbacks
- The word “Kwitonda” implicates ‘humble one’. The group was named after their humble dominant Silverback.
- Being one of the most difficult to track, this group resides on the lower slopes of Mount Muhavura.
Hirwa Gorilla Family
- Hirwa has 12 members with one Silverback.
- Hirwa means ‘lucky one’
- Hirwa was formed after merging some members from Sabyinyo family and others from group 13.
- They have twins and wander around the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo.
Agasha Gorilla family
- Agasha has about twenty-five members and 2 Silverbacks
- Agasha implies ‘the news’.
- This group was previously names Group 13 but Agasha won the challenge from its Silverback by then, claiming leadership of the group.
Bwenge Gorilla family
- Bwenge Gorilla family has ten members with one Silverback.
- Bwenge implies ‘brightness’.
- This family lives close to Ugyenda family on Mount Bisoke.
The Ugyenda Group
- Eleven members and one silverback.
- Ugyenda implies ‘departure’.
- Ugyenda gorilla family inhabits the region of Mount Visoke.
- Tracking this group is not so difficult.