Rwanda is home to mountain gorillas and is one of the most popular spots for gorilla watching in Africa.
Here are quickl facts about Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills.
Rwanda has got many gorilla groups. Here are the different families that have been habituated for visitors taking gorilla safari in Rwanda;
The Susa Group (the Susa A family), this group was researched by the great Dian Fossey. It got its name from River Susa that flows in the home ranges of the mountain gorillas. It’s known to be the most challenging to trek since it’s sometimes stays up in the high ranges of the mountain, however the ranger of RDB will know in advance how the group is located the day before in advance for the next trackers the following day. This is the best group for adventurous hikers who prefer harder hikes while tracking gorillas in Rwanda.
This group is also so impressive and has over 28 gorilla members with three silverbacks. It was the biggest gorilla group before it was separated into two. It had 42 members and when the visitors would visit, they would see so many mountain gorillas scattered in the entire area. The group is also common for its infant twins ie the Byishimo and the Impano which are so pretty and playful. It has one of Rwanda’s oldest habituated gorillas like poppy who was born in 1976. Poppy is sought to be one of the gorillas that was in the group of Dian Fossey who conducted research on her.
Karisimbi Family which is the Susa B, this family was separated from the Susa A and today, its referred to as Susa B or the Karisimbi group. It has got 15 individuals and normally found on the slopes of Mt Karisimbi Volcano which is the highest peak of Rwanda. This group is also better appropriate for the serious hikers and these have formed their home in the higher mountain slopes of Karisimbi Caldera. Visiting this group might take you the whole day since the group moves to the higher altitude which makes the tracking challenging Tracking this group might be stopped in case it moves to the far location.
The Sabyinyo Gorilla group can easily be reached at and is led by a strong silverback Guhonda. This silverback is the biggest of all the gorilla groups due to its massive physical appearance. Guhonda has also maintained his main competitor Ryango from his group as a solitary silverback. It has also few members than other gorilla families. The group also derived its name from Sabyinyo volcano and it means an old man’s teeth. It’s one of the groups found nearer to the border of the park with only 8 individuals which includes silverback, three adult females, a youthful female, 2 juveniles and a baby gorilla.
The Amahoro gorilla group, the name amahoro means peaceful group and this is the most calm gorilla group with only 17 members including a silverback , two black backs, five adult females, 2 sub adult Males , 2 juveniles and 5 babies. Ubumwe the silverback is so peaceful and easy going as well as serene, he also lost some group members to the Umubano group which is led by Charles.
The Umubano group comprises of 11 individuals including; a silverback, a sub adult male, 3 adult females and 6 babies. This group was an initial group of the Amahoro group however separated following Ubumwe who was the dominant silverback was over powered by Charles who is now the current leader of the Umubano
13 group also called the Agasha group had 143 members during its first habituation and today the group has got 25 individuals including; a silverback, 12 adult females, 2 sub adult females, 3 juveniles, and 7 babies. Previously the group was led by Nyakarima who was then over powered by Agashya whose names the news. Agashya also made headlines by first observing as well as estimating the strength of Nyakarima and also challenged him to a brutal fight hence taking away the entire group. The agasyha has also increased the number of the members in the group from 12 to 25 individuals.
The Kwitonda family has only 18 members and it’s led by Kwitonda the silverback whose name means the humble one. It has got 2 silverbacks and a black back. It moved from DRC and stays far away which make it challenging to trek. This one and the Susa B are some of the challenging groups to find.
The Hirwa group also became renowned on the 7th June 2006 after the trackers witnessed its creation when some of the members from the two separate families group 13 and Sabyinyo group joined to form a smaller group at the time. It has got 9 individuals including 1 silverback, 3 adult females, 2 sub adult males and 3 babies.
The Bwenge family has got 11 members with a silverback. It is commonly seen in the slopes of Karisoke volcano. Bwenge is the silver back which leads the group and was established in 2007 just after he left his birth group and joined by other females coming from other gorilla groups.
The Ugenda Family also live in Rwanda’s Karisimbi area, it has also got 11 gorillas including 2 silverbacks, and its name means being on the move since the family was constantly moving from one place to another. Since it moves too much, it’s to challenging to track and involves prolonged movement in finding them.