Kabirizi Gorilla Group
Kabirizi gorilla group / family was at the beginning called Ndugutse when it was dominated by a silverback called Ndugutse that was caught in a crossfire between Rwanda rebels and the DR Congo army. Kabirizi was not born in habituation but was a wild lone gorilla until 1998 when he came to head the family and the name Kabirizi was given to him. It’s famous for being a king of the Virunga national park and a silverback in the group.
Kabirizi the ruling silverback is a very ambitious gorilla renowned for protecting this gorilla family from danger in that he even lost his upper and lower canine teeth during a fight with another gorilla. The group inhabits the Bukima sector of Virunga national park and is one of the most visited gorilla families with many members.
The group’s name changed from Ndugutse to Kabirizi named after an ICCN director who died in a traffic accident in 1990. Kabirizi gorilla group is facing challenges from another silverback in the group known as Masibo. Kabirizi mountain gorilla family was composed of 32 individuals at the time of habituation.
Numbers in the mountain gorilla family keep on changing so the given number in a particular year can change due to different reasons. Tourists must always follow gorilla trekking rules and regulations, especially while in the presence of mountain gorillas.
Other gorilla families you can trek in Virunga national park include the Rugendo gorilla family which can be trekked from the Bukima area of Virunga national park, Munyaga gorilla family, Bageni gorilla family, and Nyakamwe gorilla family.
Gorilla permits for Kabirizi Gorilla Group in DR Congo.
Gorilla trekking permits in DR Congo cost $400 in the dry season and $200 in the low season. DR Congo has the cheapest gorilla permits although the security conditions in the country are not good, therefore before buying a gorilla permit in DR Congo you must first check if it’s safe to visit the park at that time. You are advised to buy permits in advance of at least 3-4 months, especially during the peak season.
What to carry for Kabirizi gorilla group trekking
Mountain gorillas’ home in DR Congo is made up of rainforests and thick vegetation compared to Rwanda and Uganda, apart from being physically fit one must be prepared to hike so through must come with waterproof hiking boots, a hat, long-sleeved cloths, garden gloves, insect repellents, rain jacket, enough drinking water, energy-giving snacks and so much more.
Best time to visit Kabirizi gorilla group
DR Congo can be visited at any time of the year but the best time of the year to visit in the dry season from June to September when the roads leading to the park are accessible and the trekking trails are in good condition.