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In Rwanda, there are several habituated mountain gorilla families within Volcanoes national park. The habituated gorilla groups are divided into two;

  • Habituated Gorilla Groups for Tourism
  • Habituated Gorilla Groups for Research

These groups are not settled in one place. These different groups are mobile foraging in a particular range and their position will keep on changing from time to time. Mountain gorillas habitually climb higher in the dry season and come down during the rains. They can move on due to tension from wild gorillas and individuals who will often join other groups.

Gorilla Groups Habituated for Tourism

Here are some of the groups currently habituated for gorilla safaris in Volcanoes National Park:

Below are the 10 habituated gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park

  • Amahoro gorilla group
  • Sabyinyo gorilla group
  • Hirwa gorilla group
  • Kwitonda group
  • Umubano group
  • Karisimbi (Susa B)
  • Susa A
  • Agashya (Group 13)
  • Ugenda
  • Bwenge


The Susa was the largest group with 41 gorillas. Today the group split into two; Susa A and Susa B. This was the hardest family to track as it tended to vary high in the mountains but the advance team of RDB Tourism & Conservation trekkers could always locate the whereabouts of the group in advance.

This group had a pair of twins namely Byishimo and Impano.

Susa A gorilla family

The Susa A gorilla group is a unique gorilla family of its own and consists of the largest members with presently 28 gorillas. Originally, it composed of about 41 individuals and incredibly, it is a group Dian Fossey conducted her gorilla study. The family is popular for rare twin births (Impano and Byishimo) and it dwells on high mountains, thus requiring physical wellness in you to trek it.

Susa B (Karisimbi group)

Karisimbi group split from the Susa A group and there exist 2 silverbacks. It is one of the hardest gorilla families to track in Volcanoes National Park because they live on the upper slopes of Karisimbi Volcano. If you enjoy hiking adventures then it is a perfect group to explore. A total of about 15 mountain gorillas make up this gorilla family.

Sabinyo Group

Sabyinyo gorilla group is named after Sabyinyo Volcano and it is headed by Guhonda. It is comprised of fewer members but rewards trekkers with incredible experiences. It is one of the gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park that dwells near the park headquarters.

The Sabyinyo Group has roughly 12 individuals, that includes; two silverback gorillas which are normally found quite close the edge of the forest amidst Sabyinyo and Gahinga


Amahoro gorilla family group takes its name from the word ‘Amahoro’ that denotes peaceful. It is one of the amazing gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park worth exploring on a Rwanda gorilla trek. This group is under the leadership of the calm Ubumwe. Amahoro group stays uphill and to visit them, you will trek through the steep slopes.

The Amahoro comprises 17 members and it means “peaceful”. For one to reach Amahoro you must encounter a moderate steep climb though the climb is worth it once in touch with this peaceful group.

Umubano Family

Umubano group takes its name from Umubano, a word that means living together. It is headed by Charles silverback who left Amahoro family and now, the group has 11 members.

Most members of the Umubano family belonged to the Amahoro members but later on split after the dominant silverback got challenged by Charles. When a young silverback tests the abilities of the dominant silverback he ought to steal some females from the prevailing group in order to create his own family; thereby forming Umubano.

Agasha (Group 13)

Group 13 is the name of the group came from the 13 members of this group when it was first habituated.

Currently the group has a proximity of 25 members which is a very productive sign for conservation and the energy put forth by RDB Tourism & Conservation to safeguard the gorillas’ habitat.

Karisimbi Group

The Karisimbi Group, which broke off from the Susa group a few years ago, they live in the Mount Karisimbi areas of Volcanoes National Park.

Hirwa Group

The Hirwa Group has about 11 members and these include one silverback and another pair of twins.

The Hirwa group is made up of members who broke away from about 3 groups, Sabyinyo, Susa and Agashya (Group 13). This happened when Munyinya silverback gorilla left Susa with 2 female gorillas and others to make his own family.

The Hirwa and Susa group are the only known surviving twins of mountain gorillas in the world.

Kwitonda gorilla family

Kwitonda gorilla group is headed by Kwitonda silverback and its name denotes the humble one. This family was originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and migrated to Volcanoes National Park. Trekking this gorilla group requires some moderate physical wellness since its members reside on the upper slopes of Mount Muhabura. About 18 gorillas exist in this group alone.

Ugenda gorilla group

This is one of the interesting gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Park with amazing story to tell. The group is always on move mostly around Karisimbi area and it has 11 individuals.

Bwenge gorilla family

Named after Bwenge silverback, Bwenge gorilla group left other families to make his. The word Bwenge denotes wisdom and the group resides on the slopes between Bisoke and Karisimbi Volcanoes.

Gorilla Groups Habituated for Research

Here are the  groups that are habituated for scientific research:

  • Pablo group ( 44  gorillas  in  September 2010 )
  • Kuryama group  ( 15  gorillas  in  September  2010 )
  • Ntambara group ( 11 gorillas  in  September  2010 )
  • Isabukuru group ( 11 gorillas  in  September  2010 )
  • Inshuti group  ( 6 gorillas  in  September  2010 )
  • Titus group ( 6 gorillas  in  September 2010 )
  • Urugamba  group ( 6 gorillas  in September 2010 )