The spectacular Volcanoes National Park is located in the northwestern part of Rwanda and covers an area of approximately 160 square kilometres. The magnificent park is characterized by dense forests and is home to 5 extinct volcanoes. The volcanoes have tropical rainforests on their steep slopes that are inhabited by endangered mountain gorillas.
Volcanoes National Park is a popular spot for mountain gorilla tracking and has 13 exciting gorilla families that visitors enjoy tracking. Gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park are;
Sabyinyo Gorilla group:
This family is one of the unproblematic accessible gorilla groups. The exciting Sabyinyo is renowned for its strong, charismatic and able-bodied silverback leader called Guhonda. Guhonda expresses deep love for the family at all times and protects them. The attractive family’s name means “old man’s teeth” in Kinyarwanda – a local language spoken by the indigenous Banyarwanda.
Susa Gorilla Group:
This is a historically large gorilla family and it’s important to single out that it did gain fame through the celebrated Dian Fossey’s research and is renowned for its playful juveniles and amiable infants. Dian Fossey pioneered gorilla habituation activities in Rwanda and started with this family.
Susa gorilla family due to its excitement and peace with human presence was featured in the highly acknowledged movie “Gorillas in the Mist”, the family gave a glimpse of their life in the jungle that attracts a lot of visitors till today.
Karisimbi gorilla group:
The charming family was named after the dormant volcano in the national park, Karisimbi extinct volcano group is quite a challenging family to trek due to its relatively high altitude place it inhabits in the national park but worth the effort at the end of the trek. The group is well known for its unique interactions and humble demeanour.
Umubano gorilla family:
The interesting name means “living together,” and this reflects the society of Rwanda. This lively family was formed after some dominant members split from the hereditary Amahoro. The Cubano gorilla group is known for commensurate peaceful dynamics.
Amahoro gorilla group:
The word amahoro Means “peaceful” in Kinyarwanda. This particular family is renowned for its ever-calm interactions with humans and cooperative behaviour among themselves. It provides an opportunity for visitors to observe mountain gorillas in a quite harmonious environment as compared to the rest.
Kwitonda gorilla group:
This beaming family was named after their dominant silverback leader, Kwitonda, who is a terrifically strong individual yet humble. This strong family migrated from the nearby forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The family is highly recognized for its resilience and the daily challenges it overcame during their unforgettable migration.
Hirwa gorilla family:
Hirwa group on the other hand is composed of gorillas from very different groups, the traditional name – Hirwa means “lucky one”. It’s an interesting name summarizing a tale of gorillas coming together from different backgrounds to form a new cheerful family.
Bwenge gorilla family:
This gorilla family was named after their dominant silverback, also called Bwenge. This hospitable group has been through several challenges in the jungle but has continued to show resilience and strength over time. The name Bwenge means “wisdom” in Kinyarwanda.
Agashya gorilla group:
This buff group was formerly known as Group 13, The Agashya family became famous in the Volcanoes National Park jungle for its relatively large size and the territorial dominance of its terrifying silverback, who is uniquely known for his solid protective behaviour over the members of the family.
Baraka gorilla group:
The name Baraka is a Kinyarwanda word meaning “blessing,” and this family is characterized by an exclusive calm and peaceful demeanour. It’s a proportionate smaller group that offers excellent gorilla trekking experiences to the visitors of the park.
Noheli gorilla group:
Meaning “Christmas,” the Noheli family is a new gorilla group and was named to acknowledge its unique formation. The group was formed on 7th November 2021 following the leave of three females from the groups of Isimba and Susa to join the lone silverback called Noheli. It’s another example of gorillas from different families coming together to form a peaceful group.
Kwisanga gorilla group:
This timid and amiable group was formed as a result of the continued interactions between members of other families. Kwisanga is less habituated than other more established groups and little information is known about it. Tracking this family can be a little bit hectic but worth the effort once found.
Ugyenda gorilla group:
The family’s name means “going” or “on the move”. It signifies the family’s early times of movement from time to time. The Ugyenda gorilla family is renowned for its ever-changing dynamics, whereabouts and very unpredictable behaviour.
All the above gorilla families provide extraordinary experiences to visitors, engaging opportunities to interact and know more about the gorillas from the information they get from professional guides in the area. The information obtained in addition to physical viewing of the gorillas adds up to the spectacular experiences in this jungle.