The Sabinyo Gorilla family is one of the easy to track gorilla families in Rwanda. It is headed by a powerful silverback gorilla Guhonda. Guhonda is a renowned biggest silverback gorilla in all the gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. This mighty silverback gorilla has kept his challenger Ryango out of his family as a lonely silverback. There are fewer mountain gorillas that are found in this gorilla family compared to other gorilla families but one thing to appreciate is that the gorilla family is equally impressive.
This remarkable gorilla family derived its name from Sabyinyo volcano meaning “old man’s teeth.” Sabyinyo is one of the gorilla families that are closely located around the national park and it is composed of 8 members, one silverback, 3 adult female gorillas, one non adult female gorilla, two juveniles and one baby. This gorilla family can be tracked around Mount Sabyinyo and Gahinga.
One of the most fascinating gorilla groups that capture the attention of gorilla trekkers to Volcanoes National Park is the Sabinyo Group. This fascinating group was started following the death of the dominant silverback of the Agashya group (group 13) in 1992. Initially, the group was known as the “Amavubi” group meaning Wasps because of the difficultly faced during its Habituation. It was composed of 3 silverbacks named Ruhennyi, Guhonda and Ryango
Following the passing of the dominant Silverback of Agashya group (known as group 13 at that time), some of the silverbacks took some of the females such as Gukunda, Ijisho and Kampanga to form their own groups hence a new group was formed with two silverbacks and four females and the name was eventually changed to Sabinyo. Mount Sabinyo is where the group was first sighted. Sabinyo means “Old man’s teeth” because of the gapped-shape of its Peaks.
As the group make-up keeps on changing based in the rate of birth, immigration and emigration, death, new group members came to the group while others left the group. There are currently 13 members in the group including 2 silverbacks and various infants, and is known for its friendliness and the biggest silverback in the whole world-named Guhonda who weighs 220 kilograms. This wonderful silverback likes beating his chest as a way of showing superiority. Visit to this group normally starts with a short drive, followed by a 15 minutes’ walk within an even ground to the trailhead. This group is one of the easiest to track groups and is located closer to the Park boundary.
Best Time to Visit Sabinyo Gorilla Group
This group can be visited anytime of the year, but the best time to visit is the dry season from June to mid September and December to February. During this time, the hiking trails and less muddy and slippery.
Guidelines for Trekking the Sabinyo Gorilla Group
Before you think of participating in gorilla tracking, make sure to book for a gorilla tracking permit from the Rwanda Development Board Office that costs $1500 per person for all categories of tourists.
Only 8 persons are allowed to visit this group, and only one hour is allocated to be spent with the gorilla group. This means that only 8 gorilla permits per day are available for sale, hence tourists have to book in advance to avoid being disappointed.
Wear appropriately that involves long sleeved shirts, long trousers, wear a hat and sunglasses, waterproof hiking boots, long socks, rain jacket/poncho and carry a backpack. Carry enough drinking water and packed lunch to keep you hydrated and have enough energy to climb easily.
Hirer a porter who will help to carry your backpack and support you during hiking, and also carry a walking stick which is also handy for climbing.
In conclusion, Sabinyo gorilla group is one of the 10 habituated gorilla Groups. This group is one of the most easiest and nearest groups to track because it is situated just a few hours from the trailhead.