The Kwitonda Group is a 28 member gorilla family. It is headed by Kwitonda, a legendary silverback gorilla which led the group from the Virunga National Park into the Volcanoes National Park. Kwitonda is locally translated as “humble one” in Kinyarwanda due to the humble character of its founder, the fallen “Kwitonda silverback”.
The group is known to be a humble group and it believed that it moved away from the Virunga due to the pressure from other gorilla families that lived in the vicinity. The group entered the Volcanoes National Park in 2003. Later Kwitonda died and the group is now under the leadership of Akarevuro.
Kwitonda was a very peaceful silverback that it reached an extent of leaving members to mate freely with other gorillas. Scientists believe that Kwitonda grew old and got to understand that he was weak to lead the group thus granting rights to other members. Kwitonda moved was from the family and was found dead later. He died at 40 years of age and his postmortem revealed that he died due to old age.
His body was found on 10th day of September in 2012 by the Gorilla Doctors and in the last few years prior to his death, Kwitonda had shown clear signs of deteriorating health associated with his age.
The Kwitonda Family settled between the Mount Sabinyo and Mount Gahinga and it is one of the families to track on your next safari in the Volcanoes National Park. The group is known for its relaxed approach to other gorillas as well as tourists.
It is composed of 28 members. Today, the 28 strong Kwitonda Mountain Gorilla family is one of the largest families in the Volcanoes National Park, second only to the Pablo family at 33 members.
This family is one of those breathtaking gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park just like Susa “B” group.
The Kwitonda Lodge was named after Kwitonda, a legendary gorilla most known for exhibiting behaviors that only intelligent and peace loving leaders poses!
Highlights from the Kwitonda Group