Gorilla Families in Rwanda

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The park currently has 7 gorilla groups and 56 permits available per day. The number of permits can change without notice if the gorillas go across the border. PNV’s seven habituated gorilla families are Group 13, Sabinyo, Amahoro, Umubano, Susa; Kwitonda and Hirwa. Most groups are half-day walks but Susa can take 5-7 hours.
You can also climb a volcano, visit the remains of Dian Fossey’s grave and the graves of the gorillas which she studied.

Sabyinyo family is led by Guhonda

Gorillas live in families as people do. There are seven gorilla families available for tourists with 8 tourists allowed per group, each tourist can chose which family he or she wants to visit.


The largest group with 41 gorillas. This family is the hardest to trek as it tends to range high into the mountains but trackers will know well in advance where the group is located.  The group is also well known for having rare 5 year old twins named Byishimo and Impano.




Sabyinyo is an easily accessible group led by the powerful silverback Guhonda. There are fewer members within this family than in the other groups however they are equally impressive as a family. Guhonda family was visited by Bill Gates and his wife Milinda on 17 July 2010.They then named a newly born gorilla as ‘Keza’ (the cute one). Keza is now 2 years old.



Led by the calm and easy going Ubumwe, Amahoro is made up of 17 members and means “peaceful”. To reach Amahoro one must endure a fairly steep climb however the climb is well worth it once in contact with this tranquil group.


Group 13

When first habituated this group had only 13 members hence its name. Now the group has approximately 25 members, a very positive sign for conservation and the efforts put forward by RDB Tourism & Conservation to protect the gorillas’ habitat.



This 18-member group is led by Kwitonda which means “humble one” and has two silverbacks and one blackback. Having migrated from DRC, this group tends to range far making it a moderately difficult trek.



A family of 11, Umubano were originally Amahoro members but broke off after the dominant silverback was challenged by Charles, now the leader of Umubano. When a young silverback challenges the dominant silverback he must steal some females from the existing group in order to form his own family; thus Umubano was formed.



This group emerged recently and was formed from different existing families, namely from Group 13 and Sabyinyo. Eventually more gorillas joined.


Visit Rwanda to witness this family growing.


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