Rwanda’s Gorilla Groups : Everything To Know  : Gorilla Groups in Rwanda: Rwanda is one of the few African countries, together with Uganda and D.R.C., where visitors can witness the majestic endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Today, visitors can witness ten habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, while a group is reserved for research and is used to choose the young gorillas for the Kwita Izina naming ceremony. This indicates that, considering that each gorilla family has a maximum of 80 members, there are 80 gorilla permits available each day for travelers hoping to see gorillas in a single day. It’s surprising to learn that every gorilla group has a distinctive quality that sets them apart from one another. All visitors, even those who are citizens of Rwanda, must pay the $1500 fee for a single gorilla permit in Rwanda.


Titus Family

The Titus group is the original family named after Silverback Titus, who was born at Karisoke, the gorilla group that Dian Fossey was studying during her research days. Titus the gorilla, who was left to be raised by an unrelated male gorilla, lost his mother, father, brother, and other family members to poachers. His mother and sister also joined other families. The baby appeared “underdeveloped and spindly“, according to Dian Fossey Titus, and had trouble breathing, yet Titus overcame these obstacles.

Susa Group (Susa A)

Prior to the separation, this family had 42 members, making it the most well-liked family. Renowned for being the group Diana Fossey investigated from 1967 to 1985 while she was living in Rwanda, the 42-Individual group was divided in 2008 because it had grown so big. Later, the breakaway group was referred to as the Karisimbi group, or Susa B. This group were named after the Susa River, which flows through their native area, and they are well known for their mischievous twins, Byishimo and Impano. The 33-Individual group, which includes two silverbacks, lives in the woods on Mt. Karisimbi’s lower slopes.

Karisimbi group (Susa B)

This group separated from the original Susa in 2008 and is sometimes referred to as Susa B. There are two silverbacks among its sixteen members. The group is the most difficult to locate since it lives on Mt. Karisimbi’s upper slopes, where the elevation is 4507 meters. Trackers interested in severe hiking should consider joining this group, as they have made their home up on the upper slopes. As they get higher up, it can be challenging to track this group, but RDB rangers will usually find them a day in advance.

Amahoro Group

The name Amahoro comes from the Kinyarwanda word for calm. The family is well-known for its amicability and tranquility, which has led to some of its members leaving Ubumwe to join Umubano, another clan. Since the word Amahoro means “peace“, the group has lived up to its name and is recognized as the most tranquil of all. It has eighteen individuals, two of whom are silverbacks, and is somewhat difficult to locate because one must trek up the slopes of Mount Bisoke, where the group made their home.

Umubano Group

Due to the ongoing struggles between Charles and Ubumwe, the two head silverbacks, who were constantly at odds with one another, Charles broke away from the other family. Charles finally managed to split out from the organization with a few others, creating the Umubano group. The group’s name, which translates to “living together“, refers to its 13 members, including two silverbacks.

Sabyinyo Group

Living on the gentle slopes between Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga, this gorilla family is the closest and most straightforward to monitor. The group is well-known for its enormous silver back, Guhonda, which has kept Ryango, its primary rival, from the family and left him a lone silver back. Thirteen Individuals make up the group, one of whom is a silverback who was banished from the others. Guhonda, the group’s captain, is the biggest silverback in the park, weighing in at around 220 kg. The Sabinyo volcano, which translates to “old man’s teeth“, inspired the group’s name.

Agashya Group

This group bears the name of the first family member, who was 13 years old at the time of habituation. The family was named after the silverback, who, after being overthrown by Agashya, also known as the “New“, became the group’s new leader. Nyakarima was the group’s original leader. The family now consists of 27 Individuals, including Agashya, the silverback. The group shares territory with the Sabyinyo group, although on occasion, when it detects danger, Agashya leads the family further up the mountain.

Kwitonda Group

The name of this group of migrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo comes from the name of their prominent silver back, Kwitonda, which translates to “humble one.“ The group, like the Karisimbi group, is difficult to trace since it occasionally goes to the upper slopes of Mount Muhabura due to its migration background. The group wanders around the lower slopes of the mountain. There are four Silverbacks among the group’s twenty-three total members.

Rwanda’s Gorilla Groups
Kwitonda Group

Hirwa Group

In 2006, several members of the Sabyinyo group and some from the 13th group (Agashya) joined this family. With the addition of more gorillas, the group currently consists of 16 gorillas, including one silverback. The group’s unfortunate creation process gave rise to its name. Hirwa, which translates to “the lucky one,” was fortunate enough to have twins in 2011. The Hirwa clan resides beside Mount Gahinga in the foothills of Mount Sabyinyo.

Ugenda Group

The word “Ugenda“ in Kinyarwanda means “mobile“ or “on the move.“ The group’s distinctive habit of moving from place to place inspired the name of the group. It has 11 members, including 2 silverbacks, and wanders the Karisimbi area, making it challenging to track because it doesn’t have a fixed residence.

Bwenge Group

Bwenge, the dominant silverback of the group, founded this group in 2007, after leaving his Natal group and recruiting females from other groups. It is named after him. The group, which lives on the Karisoke volcano’s slopes between the Karisimbi and Bisoke mountains, went through difficult times after the deaths of six of its infants. But the group sprang back, and today it consists of 11 members, one of whom is a silverback. Given that the name “Bwenge“ in Kinyarwanda means “Wisdom“, it makes sense that this group was highlighted in the film “Gorillas in the Mist.“

In conclusion, after reading the description, you need to have a clear understanding of the traits and personalities of each gorilla group and be able to select which gorilla family to track during your Rwanda tour in Volcanoes National Park.

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