Agashya Gorilla Family Group

This family group is currently living in Volcanoes National Park and is known as group 13. It is currently led by a silverback called Agashya who overthrew Nyakairima before he took the throne. In a range of 8 years, this gorilla family has over 27 individuals in the family including 1 silverback, 12 females, 7 babies, and 3 juveniles.

A few years back, Agashya family group/group 13 was habituated, and by then their silverback was Nyakairima even now, his still the number one cause of the increase in the family. The word “Agashya” means “News” in Kinyarwanda. This group of gorillas is so kin about their security, unfortunately, the group is taken to the trees up mostly when they feel insecure. The trekkers usually scare them too.

Agashya family group of gorillas stays close to the Sabyinyo gorilla group where they have similar activities to do together like sloping mountain Sabyinyo which is one of the sizeable species of the mighty Virunga Volcanoes.

Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Group

At Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga where the Sabyinyo gorilla family is found. The Sabyinyo Gorilla Family Group was named after the “Sabyinyo Volcano” meaning “old man’s teeth” in Kinyarwanda. The Sabyinyo group was part of group 13/Agashya group and they split apart after the death of their leader silverback in 1992. A few females came from group 13 and group 11 to join the Sabyinyo gorilla family group which made a group of 13 individuals with 4 females and 2 silverbacks. One of the silverbacks is bigger than the other in size and weight too.

This group has a very small number of members in the whole of these gorilla families which does not remove the fact that it’s also a gorilla family. Sabyinyo Gorilla Family is good at entertaining trekkers in the nature habitat. The best trekking time is during the dry season throughout the year. These individuals don’t usually go far when they are looking for food, this makes a perfect match for lazy trekkers who find it so hard to move long-distance trekking.

Titus Family Gorilla Group

Titus family gorilla group is a biological family name that was named after a silverback of the family that was born and found on the eastern slopes of the Karisoke Volcano. A scientist called Dian Fossey is one of the people who witnessed the birth of the silverback Titus. Dian Fossey was making her research at Karisoke which was a gorilla group at that time where Titus lost his family members like the father, uncles, and brothers to a looter. This caused too much of bad memory for Titus’ mother and sisters, they were forced to join other gorilla families to secure their lives hence leaving Titus alone. Dian Fossey was their godmother and she was buried near Karisoke Volcano.

Titus was picked up by one of the male gorillas and raised him and yet he wasn’t even related to Titus. When Dian Fossey made her research, she realized Titus was an infant and he looked like he was underdeveloped and skinny. When Titus was growing up, he had difficulties in breathing but later on, he got better and stronger than other gorillas.

A few years later he formed a family that later joined 5 female gorillas. When Titus turned 17 years of age, he surprised scientists when he claimed the dominant silverback.

In 2007, Titus was the silverback of Titus family gorilla group and later on got a son whom he named Kuryama. Kuryama broke away from the family and also formed his own group of gorillas, this caused other members of the family to leave the Titus family group. Titus as a silverback had to fight for his people to stay in the group but hence they refused to stay. Two years later, Kuryama came back to the group to take over the throne from the father who was the silverback of the group.

In 2009, Titus , the silverback of the Titus gorilla family group, also known as the “King of Gorillas” died in his night nest at age 35. The nest was surrounded by Titus’s family members when the doctors confirmed his death. He was believed to be the richest gorilla in Rwanda when it came to the springs more than the rest of the gorillas. He fathered 20 babies with 5 females in the family group and many more from other gorilla families. Currently, the Titus gorilla family group is now led by the silverback Kuryama who was the son of the late silverback Titus.

Amahoro Gorilla Group

This gorilla group is also known as the mountain gorilla family. Amahoro gorilla group obtained its name from a local Kinyarwanda word that means “Peace”. This group is really a peaceful gorilla family and even the visitor who usually trek them can witness the peace and harmony they have amongst themselves. The leader of the family group is called silverback Ubumwe meaning “togetherness”. The family has 17 members where there is 1 silverback, 5 adult females, 2-sub adult male, 2 black backs, 2 juveniles, and 5 babies.

Amahoro mountain gorilla family group established its home around Mt. Bisoke. They can reach the top of the mountain, that’s where the mountain gorilla’s name came from. It usually becomes very hard for trekkers to trek them from the top of the mountain however peaceful they are. Some members of the family left the group because of the simplicity of their silverback to join other secure families.

Most silverbacks do not like looking at them directly in the eyes, they think you may want to overthrow or challenge him among the gorillas. This thing happened in the Amahoro gorilla family group when a gorilla called Umubano looked directly into Ubumwe’s eyes while talking to him. He was the last gorilla to do that because he was hit so hard that he nearly died. This really annoyed him as a gorilla and he decided to leave the group to form his own, he also left with a few members of the group of Amahoro family.

Susa Gorilla Family Group

This gorilla family group found its home in volcano national park in Rwanda. Its name was derived from the River Susa which crosses the area they found as home in the park. This is one of the most popular gorilla groups and is historical at the Volcano National Park in Rwanda. Susa gorilla group was also among the gorilla groups that Dian Fossey researched about at Karisoke Research Center and it was discovered in 1978.

Susa gorilla family group is seen most of the time connecting with the Pablo mountain gorilla group. The gorilla group is divided into two Susa Families. These include;

Susa A Group

In particular, this group was the one Dian Fossey was forced on in her research in the Karisoke Research Center. It had over 42 individuals but now it has 28 individuals left in the group because of the conflicts they had as a group. For the tourists who enjoy trekking, this is the hardest gorilla group to trek because they enjoy being at a high altitude from the ground. The group has 3 silverbacks and a pair of twins whereby one is “Impano’ and the other is “Byishimo” in the family.

Susa B Group (Karisimbi)

In 2008, this is when the gorilla group gained its members from Susa A family group which is also known as the Karisimbi Mountain Gorilla Group. The population kept on increasing from 5 members to now 16 members in that some of the female gorillas gave birth and it led to this range of members in the group.

They are found at a higher altitude of Mt Karisimbi in Rwanda rated as the highest mountain in Rwanda (4,507m) high. This group of gorillas attracts a bigger percentage of visitors because of the high peak mountain and how they leave high up on the mountain.

Umubano Gorilla Family Group

This gorilla family group is also found at the heart of the famous Virunga Conservation area in volcanoes national park. It has 13 members in the gorilla group ie; 1 silverback, 1 blackback, 6 infants, and 3 adult females who make up a group of gorillas. The Umubano gorilla family got its name from the Kinyarwanda word “Umubano” which means “living together in harmony”. This group was formed by a dominant silverback called “Charles” who was tired of fights among fellow gorillas and formed his own which he named Umubano. Charles the silverback believed that there are many other ways of solving conflicts besides violence among themselves.

The Umubano Gorilla Family came from the Amahoro Gorilla Family where they had too many conflicts after the death of Charles’s father. Charles separated himself from the elder brother called Ubumwe hence their separating in peace. When Charles the silverback of the Umubano family was leaving the Amahoro family, he left with a few members including 2 female gorillas to make his own family. Charles and Ubumwe have sometimes been seen grazing and moving together for a few days.

Hirwa Gorilla Family

The Hirwa gorilla family got its name from a Kinyarwanda word that means “Lucky” and they are also located on the slopes of Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga. This group of gorillas started making these mountains their home in mid-2003 and came from Virunga National Park. The family group was led by a silverback called Kwitonda who died of old age at 40 years, it happened at the beginning of the year 2012.

The Hirwa Gorilla Family was named this name because it’s among the 7 groups of gorillas staying in Virunga National Park and they have a pair of twins one is called “Magumu” and the other is called “Kigoma” in their family. This family is one of the most secure families among the gorilla families in Rwanda, who are also considered to be a big number of members in the group.

Kwitonda family group

Kwitonda gorilla family has 23 members which include; the three dominant silverbacks called “Akarevuro, Abba, and Mzungo” which means “welcome home white friends”.  Kwitonda was a family name that came from a silverback called Kwitonda who avoided conflicts among their fellow gorillas in Congo.

This can be the best group for trekking because it’s welcoming however much the group is hungry or it’s raining or too much sun, they are always together as a family. On a good day, the children in the group are usually found happily waving to people who pass by them. This can be really interesting to see about these gorillas who are found in Mt. Sabyinyo and free to all the gorillas living in the same area.

Bwenge Gorilla Family Group

This gorilla group was formed by Titus in 2007 when he gave birth to over 20 babies and the other babies were born in this group by two female adults. For over 7 years, Titus was the dominant silverback of this gorilla family who was overthrown later on because he was leading two families at once. One of the babies in the Bwenga family became 19 years and he was also called Bwenga, he took over the father’s throne and became the silverback of this group.

Bwenga gorilla group has 11 members which include; I silverback, 2 adult females, 6 infants, and 2 sub-adults whereby the biggest number of them were a victim of the conflicts they had in their previous families.