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Gorilla Groups – Volcanoes National Park

May 1, 2013 East Africa Bush Tails

(Parc National des Volcans in the Virunga Mountains)


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Sabyinyo Group: (13 members)
Historically this group is the easiest to trek. It is lead by ‘Guhonda’ who is the heaviest silverback in the area. Guhonda is not so easy going and has been known to charge but he is just bluffing.

Susa Group: (30 members)
Four silverbacks, and is led by one named ‘Kurira’. The group is also known for having a set of twins, which is a very rare occurrence .

Amahoro Group: (18 members)
Amahoro means “peaceful group”. This group has split into Amahoro the Umubano Group. The group currently numbers 17. Its silverback, ‘Ubumwe’, is so peaceful and calm that he has lost group members to ‘Charles’ of the Umubano Group.

Agashya Group (formerly known as ‘Group 13’): (25 members)This group got its name because there were only 13 members when they were first habituated, there are currently 21. Its silverback, ‘Agashya’, is very easy going making this group a favorite wi th the trackers.

Umubano Group: (13 members)
This is led by ‘Charles’ who was formerly part of the Amahoro group. As Charles matured, he could not stand being given orders and challenged Ubumwe.

Kwitonda Group: (21 members)
This group has migrated from DR Congo and numbers 16 with one silverback. Since this group is relatively new, not much is known about them. Typically, trekking can be of moderate difficulty.

Hirwa Group: (16 members)
This group has recently emerged from different habituated famili es. The group consists of nine members with one silverback. In June 2006, trackers witness – ed the group’s formation. Gorilla transfers from Group 13 and Sabyinyo joined the very small Hirwa group. Then other gorillas joined.

Karisimbi Group: (15 members)
The Karisimbi Group is better suited to visits for more serious hikers.
It appears that they have established their home range high up on the slopes of the Karisimbi caldera. Thus, a visit to this group may well end up as a full-days trek.