Volcanoes National Park is said to have been the first park gazetted in 1925 as a small area bounded by Karisimbi, Bisoke, and Mikeno volcanoes to protect gorillas from poaching in Africa. The park takes a lead in hosting Rwanda’s Gorillas. Like elsewhere in the world, Gorillas in this park are grouped in different families and the critic of choosing themselves to these families is best known to the Gorillas themselves. This is identified through the happiness you encounter in the different families. With tours in Rwanda to Gorillas, we were guided through the different Gorilla families.
Sabyinyo family; habits the closest territory to the park’s edge between Mt. Sabyinyo from which it takes its name and Mt. Gahinga. It’s a two hours walk to reach the Gorillas, with its memorable and unforgettable group leader Guhonda of 220kg having the largest silver back to date. Amahoro family; means peaceful led by Ubumwe. There is a steep climb to reach this group but once you are there, no regrets for your efforts of climbing with such the amazing looks of these gorillas. They really display a peaceful stage like their name stands hence keeping the group known and attractive to anyone who would have interest in tracking them.
The Umubano family; means live together led by Charles the silver back who was once part of Amahoro group. When matured to the same rank as Ubumwe, decided to form its own but the two groups live peacefully alongside each other and here Ubumwe is seen giving respect to Umubano revealing the togetherness in its name. Susa group; currently the largest family of Gorillas in the world. It’s this group that the oldest poppy is found said to have been born in 1976. This group is hosted along river Susa where its name originates.
Kwitonda family which includes three silver backs known to have come from Uganda and DRC to establish itself on the slopes of Mt. Muhabura. Agashya family named after its commanding silver back whose name means the news. This group is known to spend most of its time on the forested saddle between Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga. Hirwa family an emerging group of members from the other groups. The newest group being hosted on the foothills of Mt. Sabyinyo on the side of Gahinga with its name meaning the lucky one. We so happened to attend a Rwandan ceremony called Kwita Izina which takes place every time a new born has emerged to give a name to that new born. This was a real journey to remember with all the groups at my sight.