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Rwanda Gorilla Groups


Gorilla Groups – Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

Susa Group

Family Size: 33 members, including 2 Silverbacks

This group sometimes migrates to higher altitudes making them harder to track. The group is well known for having twins: Byishimo and Impano. This was also the group originally studied by Dian Fossey. Drive from the starting point from Kinigi takes approximately one hour and clients should be prepared for a severe hike. This group split in 2008, the name of the group which split from Susa is called Karisimbi with 15 members including 3 silverbacks.

Sabyinyo Group

Family size: 13 members, including 2 Silverbacks, one of whom is the biggest of all the silverbacks in the volcanoes.

This group resides in the gentle slopes between Mount Sabyinyo and Gahinga and thus are easily accessible. Gorillas might take anything from ten minutes to an hour to reach, but generally, the slopes aren’t too daunting (though can be slippery after rain).

Amahoro (‘Peace’) Group

Family size: 18 members, including 2 Silverback

Trackers are faced with quite a steep climb to reach this group, however the group is gentle and tranquil. Generally to be found on the slopes of Mt Visoke – intermediate in difficulty.

Group 13 name changed to Agashya (meaning special)

Family size: 27 members, including 1 Silverback

This was the first habituated group and has grown from an initial 13 members! Can be found in the same area as the Sabyinyo group, although it sometimes moves deeper into the mountain.

Umubano (‘Live Together’) Group

Family size: 13 members, including 2 Silverbacks

This group was formed by members of the Amahoro family after one of the males (Charles) broke off in order to lead his own group. Their territory overlaps with that of the Amahoro Group.

Kwitonda Group

Family size: 23 members, including 4 Silverbacks

This family is named after the dominant Silverback of the group and means ‘humble one’. The group inhabits the lower slopes of Mt Muhabura and is also one of the more difficult families to track.

Hirwa Group

Family size: 16 members, including 1 Silverback

This is still a relatively new group which was formed from two different families, Group 13 and Sabyinyo. Usually to be found in the foothills of Mt Sabyinyo on the Gahinga side. This group has two twins born at the beginning of 2011.

Karisimbi Group

Family size: 16 members, including 2 Silverbacks.

This group was formed when the largest gorilla family, Susa split into 2 groups. This hike is categorised as difficult and as its name denotes the group is found on lower levels of Mt Karisimbi.

Ugenda Group

Family size: 11 members including 2 Silverbacks

Ugenda means mobile. This group is found around Mt Bisoke and the hike is generally not too difficult.

Bwenge Group

Family size: 11 members including 1 Silverback

Bwenge means wisdom. This group is found around Mt Bisoke and the hike is generally not too difficult.


As wholesalers to the Tourism Industry, we maintain Ministry of Tourism and Trading Licenses. Snowea Wildlife Safaris is a member of ATTA, UTA and AUTO which are travel authenticated.We customize the provision and delivery of safaris to our clients whether individuals or groups, from one client to groups of 12 or more plus many zoological societies worldwide. We thus, endeavour to cater for every special requirement and have hosted a wide variety of requests – whether a trip down memory lane, gatherings, journeys of discovery into family history, alumni groups, birthdays, anniversaries, specialist trips such as cultural, photographic, primate or ornithological focused and educational research travels.