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Would you like to go gorilla trekking in Rwanda? There are 12 habituated gorilla families that can be visited by tourists taking safaris in Rwanda. These groups have undergone a habituation process to make them get used to human prescence. Visitors will be allocated the gorilla family to be visited on the day of the gorilla trek at the Kinigi headquarters. Please note that it is important to inform the staff about the level of your physical fitiness so that you can be assigned a gorilla family that you can manage to have a successful gorilla trek.

The 10 groups (or families)  of gorillas habituated  to visitors that are currently  living in the Volcanoes National Park are listed below. Together, they count around 150 individuals gorillas in total. The groups are :

  • Agasha Group (former Group 13)

This is the oldest  of the groups habituated for tourism which has seen visitors since the end of the 1970”s. This is a rather large group, with over twenty animals (September 2010) which  has  its  range in the saddle between Mt. Visoke and Mt. Sabyinyo or on the flanks of  Mt. Sabyinyo.

The Agashya group was named after its commanding silver back, whose name means ‘the News”. Agasha’s take over was unprecedented; he won the group over by first studying the former leader, Nyakarima and hence challenging him.

  • Amahoro group

Another medium-size group,with  over  twenty  gorillas  (  September 2010 ). It  is  usually  found  on  the  lower  slopes  of  Mt. Visoke  and  in  the  area  of  lake Ngezi.

  • Hirwa group

Hirwa  group  is  yet  another  medium-size  group, with  around  twenty  individuals  (September 2010 ) It  is  usually  encountered  in  the  saddle  area  between  Mt. Sabyinyo andMt.M” Gahinga  , in  an  area  of  the  park  with  a  comparatively  lower  gorilla  density.

  • Kwitonda group

Kwitonda  group  is  the  second  group  of  gorillas  habituated  for  tourism  living  in  the  Mt. M”Gahinga  area . It  is  a medium-size   group  counting   about  twenty  individuals  ( September 2010 ).

  • Sabyinyo group

This  medium-size  group  has  its  home  range  in  the  saddle  area  between  the  three  Eastern  and  two  Western  volcanoes  included  in   volcanoes  national  park.  The  family  is  still  led  by  Guhondo , currently  the  largest  silverback  male  in  the  national  park, with a weight  of  about  220kg.

  • Susa group

A gorilla  groupwith  several  mature  silverback  males . It  was  the  very  first  group  to  be  studied  by  Dian  Fossey . Group  Susa  has  its  home  range  in  the  Mt. Karisimbi  area. It  is  also  the  furthest  group  to  reach  and  it  is  not  exceptional  for  visitors  to  come  back  from  the  forest  only  at  the  end  of  the  day.

  • Karisimbi group

Group  Susa , which  was  the largest  group  ever  of  mountain  gorillas  at  that  time, split  in  2009  to  form  two  subgroups  ( Susa A  and  Susa B  ). Both  subgroups  continued  to  join  and  split  again,  but  they  have  now  established   different  home  ranges  and  have  become  two  totally  distinct  gorilla  groups . Susa  B war  renamed  the “ Karisimbi “ group . Karisimbi  group  also  established  its  home  range  on  the  slopes  of  Mt. Karisimbi.

  • Umubano group

Another  medium-size  group  accessible  to visitors , Umubano   group  has  its  usual  home  range  on  the  slopes  of  Mt. Visoke.

As  many  infants  are  regularly  born  female  can  leave  a group  to  join  another , the  sizes  of  all  gorilla  groups  never  remain  stable  for  long