Dr Congo Gorilla Families
Apart from Uganda and Rwanda, DR Congo is another country in the world gifted with endangered mountain gorilla families and groups in Virunga national park which is located in the eastern part of DR Congo is the home to these giant apes sharing 95% DNA with human beings. Virunga national park in DR Congo has got eight habituated gorilla families that can be seen below.
Bageni gorilla group
Bageni gorilla family is one of the habituated gorilla families that can be trekked in the Bukima and Gatovu areas of Virunga national park. Bageni gorilla family is the largest habituated gorilla family in Virunga national park comprising 26 members. The group is a splinter of Kabirizi gorilla family in 2013. A female gorilla member of Bageni family once gave birth to twins that unfortunately passed away before making their first birthday.
Nyakamwe gorilla group
Nyakamwe gorilla family is one of the newly habituated gorilla families in Virunga national park. The family is led by a silverback Nyakamwe and can be trekked in the Bukoma sector of Virunga national park in the eastern part of DR Congo. Nyakamwe gorilla family was started in 2014 as a splinter of Humba gorilla group. Nyakamwe left with 10 members. Nyakamwe gorilla family is made up of 11 individuals now and these are 2 silverbacks, 1 black back, 3 adult females, 1 sub-adult, 2 juveniles, and 2 infants. This gorilla family is the second-largest family in Virunga national park and is the most peaceful gorilla family with no signs of power struggle.
Munyaga gorilla family
Munyaga gorilla family is made up of 7 members with 2 silverbacks dominated by Gasore, though the group has a few members, tourists love to trek it because it’s one of the groups with twins from Bilali. The group gets its name from its former leader Munyaga who was succeeded by Mazawo who was also succeeded by Gasore.
Lulengo gorilla family
Lulengo gorilla family can be trekked from Jomba area of the park near the Uganda DR Congo border. The gorilla family is made up of 9 members dominated by a silverback Lulengo. Lulengo gorilla family was at first called Musekura gorilla family but the name changed in memory of a park director who lost his life on a land mine.
Mapuwa gorilla family
Mapuwa gorilla family is located in Jomba near Uganda and DR Congo border, the dominating silverback was Mapuwa before the current one Mvuyekure took over the group. The group is composed of 22 members.
Rugendo gorilla family
Rugendo gorilla family is one of the oldest habituated gorilla families in Virunga national park, the group was named after the silverback Rugendo that was dominating at the time of habituation but it’s now dominated by Bukima. Rugendo led the group with 18 members until his son Humba broke off with 10 members to form his own gorilla family, Rugendo died during clashes between Congolese army and Rwanda rebels.
Humba gorilla family
Humba gorilla family was formed when Humba fought with his father Rugendo and grabbed away 10 members to begin his own gorilla family in 1998. Later Nyakamwe broke away from this group to begin his own family. Humba gorilla family can be trekked within Gatovu and Bikengi sectors of the park.
Kabirizi gorilla family
Kabirizi gorilla family can be trekked from Bukima sector of Virunga national park near Goma, the gorilla family derives its name from Kabirizi a ICNN director who died in a traffic accident, this group was at forest dominated by a silverback Ndugutse and later Kabirizi. Ndugutse was shot in 1997 after being caught in a cross fight between Rwandan rebels and DR Congo government. A wild lone gorilla Kabirizi took over the group after Ndugutse death.