Gorilla Families in Virunga National Park
Travelling to Congo is an ultimate gorilla safari adventure which undeniably expose travelers to the less visited endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. As you drive towards the eastern part of Congo, there comes Virunga national park a home to 8 habituated gorilla families ready to receive travelers. A face-to-face encounter with Congo gorillas is an excellent and ethical package bringing you close to gentle giants in their natural habitat. Travelling to see gorillas in the tropical forest of Congo is particularly a not miss venture which help travelers to appreciate how a good health and wellbeing of gorillas in their natural habitat is paramount. The park borders volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda with which they form the Virunga massif. The habituated gorilla troops in Virunga national park include:
Comprised of 32 members, kabirizi is an interesting gorilla group to visit headed by kabirizi as dominant silver back. The family dwells in Bukima sector and was initially named Ndugutse after which it was renamed kabirizi following the death of the silver back Ndugutse in the cross fire by the rebel group. Kabirizi took over the leadership of the family in 1998 after his habituation from being wild. Kabirizi gorilla group has an interesting history, which make an encounter with it an experience for lifetime.
Habituated in 1989, Rugendo gorilla family is the oldest gorilla family in Virunga national park. Presently, the family has 9 members, which has decreased from the past 18 members in the past. The decrease in family size started in 1997 when the family split into two and half of the family went with Humba to form another group. The family is now under the leadership of Bukima as a dominant silverback.
The family was formerly part of the Rugendo family till 1998 when Humba agreed with his father (Rugendo) to separate and form an independent family. Humba left Rugendo family with 8 members who included 3 babies, I black back and four adult females. At present, the family has expanded to 16 members including 2 silverbacks. Humba is known for being a humble and calm family which many tar veers have yearned to trek.
Residing in Bunagana area near Congo Uganda border, Lulengo family is made up of 6 members including 1 silverback and is known as a very humble and friendliest gorilla family to interact with. Lulengo is a dominant silver back that has ensured that a family keeps peaceful. The family was initially called Masekura but was then renamed Lulengo in the commemoration of the technical director of Virunga national park who died in a collapse of a land mine. Lulengo the current silverback in the family was part of Rugabo group after which it split to form an independent family.
The family lives in Jomba near Congo Uganda border under the leadership of Mapuwa a dominant silverback. Mapuwa was part of Rugendo family until 1998 when Mapuwa separated from his family to start an independent family. Mapuwa has strongly fought to expand his family and is comprised of 22 members at present.
The group has 11 members and is one of the newly habituated gorilla families in Virunga national park. The family is named after Nyakamwe the dominant silver back that lead the family.
Munyaga is the last group that was opened to trekkers in 2008 residing in Bukima sector. In the time of its habituation, the family was led by Munyaga silverback who then disappeared giving a chance for Mawazo the current silverback to take over leadership of the family. The family has a total of 7 members and 1 silverback.
The family comprises of 26 members and is at present the largest gorilla group in Virunga national park. Bageni is the dominant silverback though there are struggles for leadership between two silverbacks named Kitagenda and Kanamaharagi who are fighting to take over leadership.
Conclusively therefore, trek gorillas in Virunga national park rewarding you with a phenomenal experience.