IGISHA

30 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Igisha group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by the dominant Silverback Igisha. Igisha sometimes referred to as Susa B split from the original Susa A on November 30th, 2014. Igisha moved with 23 individuals and formed Susa B group that was later named Igisha after him. Igisha group is currently composed of 30 individuals which include 4 Silverbacks, 7 adult females, 2 black backs, 3 sub-adult females, 1 sub adult male,5 juveniles and 8 infants.

MUHOZA

14 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Muhoza group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Muhoza the dominant Silverback formed his group of 7 individuals on 3rd December 2016. Muhoza grabbed two adult females from Hirwa group and Muhoza group is now composed of 14 individuals; including 1 Silverback, 8 adult females and 5 infants.

ISIMBI

20 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Isimbi group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by the dominant Silverback-Muturengere. Isimbi group is a result of Karisimbi group split which took place on 10th April 2012. Getty Silverback took the lead of the new group of 7 individuals but unfortunately Getty died on December 22nd, 2013 due to abscess on air sac and pneumonia. After his death, the young blackback then, Muturengere took lead of the group with the help of Poppy, an adult female. Poppy is said to be the oldest living adult female among all gorilla groups. However, Poppy has not been since 28th August 2018 at the time she was in Iyambere group. Muturengere fought other groups that sought to grab some members of his group and the group has since grown from 7 to 20 individuals who include 1 Silverback, 7 adult females,1 sub adult female, 4 juveniles and 7 infants.

HIRWA

17 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Hirwa group originally found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda (but currently ranging in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda) is led by the dominant Silverback Munyinya. Munyinya came from the main Susa group in 2002 and somewhat disappeared for about 4 years, until June 17th, 2006 when he showed up with a couple of other individuals. The group was opened for tourism in July 2006 and named as Hirwa in the same year. Since his return, Munyinya increased the size of his group by grabbing individuals from surrounding groups such as Sabyinyo, Agashya and Kwitonda. Despite being the newest group on the block, Hirwa kept exhibiting its strength and maintained its status and respect from other gorilla groups in the area. Hirwa group is composed of 17 individuals including 2 Silverbacks,4 females,1 sub adult female,2 sub-adult males, 5 juveniles and 3 infants. This group is known to have the second ever surviving twins (Isango Gakuru and Isango Gato born to Kabatwa) after the main Susa group.

 

 

 

KARISIMBI

11 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Karisimbi group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by the dominant Silverback Nyagakangaga. This group was formed after the split of the main Susa group on June 28th 2009. On this day Nyagakangaga who was among several subordinate Silverbacks took 13 individuals and moved away to form his own group referred as Susa B then. It was later named Karisimbi in 2010 at the gorilla naming ceremony – Kwita Izina. The group was named Karisimbi because; it ranges from within and around Karisimbi Mountain in Volcanoes National Park. Unfortunately/fortunately, another faction broke away from Karisimbi on April 10th 2012 to form another group called Isimbi. Today, Karisimbi group is composed of an unknown number since it has not been seen since October 2016.  However, before it crossed to DRC on October 7th, 2016 the total number of group individuals was 11 including 4 Silverbacks, 1 adult female, 1 blackback, 1 sub-adult male, 1 sub-adult female, 1 juvenile and 2 infants. The group has since end of October 2016 been out of daily monitoring.

KWITONDA

35 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Kwitonda group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by Akarevuro. Originally formed in Virunga National Park (in 1995) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kwitonda group migrated to Rwanda in 2003 to escape pressure from other groups. Kwitonda Silverback is thought to have been a solitary male before joining Rugabo group in DRC. After the death of Rugabo Silverback, Kwitonda grabbed some individuals of the group to form his own group. After this, he moved to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and established its home range between Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga. Unfortunately, Kwitonda died in 2012 due to old age and left Akarevuro and Kigoma both subordinate Silverbacks fighting for leadership of the group. Somehow Akarevuro won the respect of the group members and took full leadership of the group. Kwitonda group is made up of 35 individuals including 4 Silverbacks, 11 adult females, 4 blackbacks, 3 sub-adult males, 2 juveniles and 11 infants. There’s no doubt that Kwitonda group is the largest of all gorilla groups with even the highest number of gorilla infants!

SABYINYO

18 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Sabyinyo group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is headed by the dominant Silverback Gihishamwotsi. At its habituation the group was named Amavubi (wasps) due to their aggressive character which gave hard time to the habituation field teams. The name was later changed to Sabyinyo, after the mountain where the group was first seen. After the death of the Silverback Murthi of Group 13, Guhonda a lone Silverback took advantage of Murthi’s death and grabbed 3 females from Group 13 (Gukunda, Kampanga and Ijisho) and a number of others from Group 11. These are the individuals that Guhonda used to form his group with. Sabyinyo group is currently composed of 18 individuals including 3 Silverbacks, 6 adult females,1 sub adult, 4 juveniles and 4 infants.

SUSA

22 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Kurira group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by the dominant Silverback Kurira. It is also referred to as the original Susa. Susa is an old and famous group in Volcanoes National Park formed in 1974 with initially 7 individuals. Before splitting up in 2009 it was the biggest ever recorded group counting 41 members. Susa A split into 2 other groups (Karisimbi and Igisha or Susa B). Karisimbi later split into another faction of Isimbi group. After the split, the original Susa group remained with 16 individuals. Today Susa (Kurira) group is composed of 22 individuals including 4 Silverbacks, 6 adult females, 3 blackbacks, 3 sub-adult males, 3 juveniles and 4 infants. Susa A is known to have the first set of surviving twins in the history of mountain gorillas first born in 2004 (Impano and Byishimo) and later in 2011 (Impeta and Umudende, although Impeta passed on in 2015). The group is also known to have been a victim of a poaching incident in May 2002 where 2 adult females were killed trying to protect 2 babies from poachers who wanted to steal and sell them on the illegal market.

UMUBANO

13 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Umubano group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Umubano which was formerly part of Amahoro group is still led by Charles the dominant Silverback. Umubano separated from Amahoro A (led by Ubumwe) without aggression. Shortly after the separation, the 2 groups would meet, interact, and feed together for one or two days and then go separate ways. Umubano group is composed of 13 individuals, including; 6 Silverbacks, 2 Adult females, 2 blackbacks, 2 Juveniles and 1 infant.

 

 

 

AGASHYA

25 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Agashya group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Originally known as Group 13 and headed by the dominant Silverback Murthi. Unfortunately, Murthi died in 1992 leaving behind 3 young males (Munane, Nyakarima and Kwirinda) who struggled to lead the group. The 3 males stayed together until Munane turned into a Silverback and led the group. Kwirinda died from injuries sustained through a fight with another group, while Nyakarima left the group. In his quest to expand the group, Munane interacted with other groups and acquired females. He unfortunately died on May 18th 2002 due to natural causes leaving behind a blackback to lead the group. Due to his young age, the blackback associated with the adult female Safari who helped him in managing the group. However, a Silverback (Agashya) from an unknown group then came and took over leadership from the young blackback. The group was later named Agashya in 2010 at the Kwita Izina ceremony. Currently, Agashya group is led by the Silverback Agashya and composed of 25 individuals; including 4 Silverbacks, 6 adult females, 4 blackbacks, 2 sub-adult female, 3 juveniles and 6 infants.

 

AMAHORO

23 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Amahoro group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by dominant Silverback Gahinga. The habituation of Amahoro group started in March 1996 and stopped in 1997 due to the war. The group was opened for tourism in 2000. On May 4th 2002, the dominant Silverback Amahoro died at about 31 years of age. After his death the two subordinate Silverbacks Ubumwe and Charles could not agree on who would step in Amahoro’s leadership.  Therefore, the group split into two; the main Amahoro led by Ubumwe and another led by Charles. Charles’s group was later called Amahoro B then Umubano. Today Amahoro group is made up of 23 individuals including 2 Silverbacks, 8 Adult females, 1 Sub-adult female, 3 Blackback, 3 Juvenile and 6 Infants. Amahoro group is also under observation of a split. According to reports one Silverback has on several occasions disappeared for days with about 7 individuals but later returns to the group.

BIKINGI

14 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Bikingi group is the newest group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and it is found in Rushaga tourism sector. Habituation of Bikingi gorilla group commenced in early 2012 as a follow-up exercise for numerous dispersed members of a former group named “Mishaya” which had, shortly earlier, disintegrated following sudden death of its sole leader – the Silverback “Mishaya”. Several members of the disintegrated Mishaya group were located at a locality known as ‘Bikingi” under a new leader with other new family members totalling to about 24 individuals. The whole group later got named ‘Bikingi’ a name that was assigned to the group leader too. The group was henceforth subjected to close monitoring in order to better account for the habituated members therein. However, on 9th June 2018, the group suffered yet another serious blow when its leader, Silverback Bikingi, summarily died following a brutal fight with another intruding solitary Silverback – leading to yet another dispersal of group members. Some females migrated to other monitored gorilla groups in the neighbourhood, for instance, about 7 individuals joined Kahungye group; while 9 members of the initial Bikingi group stayed. Currently, the group is headed by an unknown silverback and is composed of 14 individuals including 2 silverbacks, 1 black back, 4 adult females, 3 juveniles and 4 infants.

KYAGULIRO

8 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Kyaguliro group is found in Ruhija tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Rukara. Kyaguliro group is primarily dedicated to gorilla research by Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-Evan). MPI-Evan studies mainly the group’s behavioural and habitat ecology through daily monitoring visits to and data collection on the group. Kyaguliro’s habituation began in 1995 when Silverback Zeus was the dominant leader who was later on clobbered to death by his successor Silverback “Rukina” in December 2004 following a leadership competition. In 2015 Rukina also succumbed to death from an electric shock due to lightning. After Rukina’s demise, the group was left under the leadership of an inexperienced young Silverback (Mukiza) who was later ambushed by an immigrant Silverback (Rukara) from the neighbouring Bitukura gorilla group and the interaction fuelled a split of the group into two in May 2016. The splinter group led by the Silverback Rukara maintained the name Kyaguliro while the other splinter section led by the young Silverback Mukiza was named after its leader “Mukiza”. The group is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Rukara and is composed of 8 individuals including 1 Silverbacks, 2 Black backs, 2 Adult females, 2 Sub-adults, and 1 infant.

 

BUSHAHO

12 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Bushaho group is found in Nkuringo tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is headed by the dominant Silverback Bahati. Following a number of individual gorilla dispersals from Nkuringo group, a search for their whereabouts was launched in early 2012. It was discovered that one of the former silverbacks of Nkuringo group, “Bahati”, who was initially perceived to be living solitarily, had rather formed a parallel group, with some of the members from the former Nkuringo group that had individually dispersed among other non-habituated members.  Close monitoring of this parallel group was done, and the group was subsequently habituated and named ‘Bushaho’ after the topo-name of the locality where the group forages most. The group is currently composed of 12 individuals including; 1 Silverback, 1 Blackback, 4 Adult females, 2 Sub-adult females, and 4 infants.

MUKIZA

13 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Mukiza group is found in Ruhija tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is led by the dominant Silverback Mukiza.  The group was formed in May 2016 after the split of the parent Kyaguliro group.  Mukiza group is also primarily dedicated to gorilla research by Manx Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-Evan). The group is currently composed of 13 individuals including; 1 Silverback, 6 Adult females, 1 Sub-adult, 2 Juveniles and 3 Infants.

BITUKURA

11 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Bitukura group is found in Ruhija tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is led by the Silverback Mugisha. Mugisha replaced Ndahura after he passed on on 18th Dec 2016 following an accident – he fell from a tree. Habituation of Bitukura group started in 2006. Bitukura group is currently composed of 11 individuals; 2 Silverbacks, 4 adult females, 1 black back, 1 juvenile male, 1 sub adult male and 2 infants. Bituruka group is well known for multi-male tolerance in the group sometimes with up to five adult males living in the same group at once.  Bitukura group likes foraging around Ruhija tourism station of BINP and sometimes along the forest edges in the sector.

BUSINGYE

12 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Busingye group is found in Rushaga tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is headed by the founder Silverback Busingye.  Members of Busingye gorilla group were initially habituated in Kahungye gorilla group as a whole in 2008. In March 2012 the Silverback Busingye led a splinter from Kahungye henceforth forming the Busingye group. This group was named after its leader “Busingye” Silverback.  Busingye group is fondly known for foraging within the inner forest with very rare access to the park edges. The group is composed of 12 individuals including; 1 Silverback, 1 Black back, 5 Adult females, 3 Juveniles and 2 infants.

BWEZA

11 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Bweza group is found in Rushaga tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Kakono. Bweza group members were initially habituated as Shongi group until early 2013 when they detached they split from Shongi to form a new group led by Silverback Kakono. Bweza group likes to forage on community land adjacent to the park (where vegetation is more disturbed) than in the intact forest areas. Bweza group is currently composed of 11 members including; 3 Silverbacks, 4 Adult females, 1 Juvenile and 3 Infants.

HABINYANJA

16 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Habinyanja group is found in Buhoma tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is led by the dominant Silverback Makara. Habituation of Habinyanja group started in 1996 and in February 2002 the group split into two leading to the formation of Rushegura group. Habinyanja group initially comprised of more than 25 members before its fission. The group is currently composed of 16 individuals including; 1 Silverbacks, 4 Blackbacks, 4 Adult females, 4 Sub-adults, 2 Juveniles and 1 Infant. Habinyanja group is uniquely known for ranging further and colonizing new areas away from its originally known home range areas beyond Buhoma sector.

KAHUNGYE

19 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Kahungye group is found in Rushaga tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is headed by the dominant silverback Ruziika. The habituation of this group started in 2008 with about 29 individuals including 3 adult males (Silverbacks – Riziika, Busingye and Rwiigi) who catalysed frequent intra-male rivalry. In March 2012, the Silverback Busingye led a fission that split the group into two. Currently, Kahungye group is composed of 19 members including; 2 Silverbacks, 3 Blackbacks, 7 Adult females, 2 Sub-adults, 2 Juveniles and 3 infants.

MISHAYA (New)

10 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Mishaya gorilla group is a new group found in Rushaga sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The initial birth of Mishaya group occurred in July 2010 when Shongi group split into two with a splinter section led by Silverback Mishaya. On 3rd February 2014 Mishaya group received a tough blow when its sole leader ‘Mishaya’ died from an obstruction of the intestinal gut henceforth resulting into a dispersal of the remnant group members as they had no other adult male to exercise leadership. Some of the members ended up joining Bweza group,  others joined Bikingi group while the whereabouts of more others was not immediately known until May 2018 when they were re-discovered under the leadership of Silverback “Tinfayo” – a former member of Shongi group who left his former family around 2012 with one Adult female (Shida) and her infant (Rotary). Re-habituation of the group became inevitable in order to beef-up close monitoring of the already habituated members.  Mishaya (New) group is currently headed by the dominant Silverback “Tinfayo” and is composed of 10 members including 1 Silverback, 1 Blackback, 4 Adult females, 1 Sub-adult female and 3 infants.


MUBARE

6 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Mubare group located in Buhoma sector is the oldest habituated gorilla group in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.  The Silverback “Ruhondeza” is the historical group leader who succumbed to old age in June 2012 leaving the group’s leadership in the hands of his surviving oldest son Silverback “Kanyonyi”.  However, in November 2017 a formerly solitary Silverback “Maraya” violently fought and killed “Kanyonyi” before subsequently taking over group leadership. Kanyonyi had previously accidentally fallen from a high tree and sustained injuries which left him too weak and easily susceptible to defeat by the attacker.  When Kanyonyi died most group members emigrated and a couple of infants became victims of infanticide at the wrath of Maraya. Infanticide is a common practice among gorillas more especially when unrelated leaders takeover group governance. Mubare group is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Maraya  and is composed of 6 individuals including; 1 Silverback, 3 Adult females and 2 Infants. The group is uniquely known for Single male leadership and strong male intolerance to intra-male competition. The group’s historical leader (Ruhondeza) was well known for practicing ‘infanticide’ to eliminate the would-be future competitors  until when his ageing made it possible for some mothers to evade his wrath leading to the survival of only two of his sons: Kanyonyi and Muyambi.

NKURINGO

15 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Nkuringo group is found in Nkuringo tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is headed by the dominant Silverback Rafiki.  Nkuringo is the first gorilla group to be habituated in the entire southern sector of BINP since 1997. Initially, the group had 17 members but over time a couple of group dynamics have taken place including dispersal of some members, births and deaths too. The group is currently composed of 15 members including; 1 Silverback, 3 Blackbacks, 8 Adult females, 2 juvenile male and 1 infant male.  Nkuringo group is also the first gorilla group to record the birth of gorilla ‘twins’ in BINP in December 2004. The group is famously known for foraging outside the park in the buffer zone for up to 98% of their time. This practice led to the displacement of the former local human settlers in the frontline villages in Nkuringo sector to create a buffer zone to minimize human-wildlife interface. This displacement followed an outbreak of Scabies in the Nkuringo group in December 2000.

SHONGI

8 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Shongi gorilla group is found in Rushaga tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP) and is headed by the dominant Silverback Bweza. Initially, Shongi group size was as large as 34 members including multi-males but over time intra-male rivalry caused notable dispersals of individual males as well as fissions. In July 2010, Shongi group split to form Mishaya group and later-on split again to form Bweza group in August 2012. Today Shongi group is composed of 8 members including; 1 Silverback, 1 Blackback, 3 Adult females, 1 Sub-adult and 2 Infants.

 

ORUZOGO

17 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Oruzogo group is found in Ruhija tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The group is headed by the dominant Silverback Bakwate. Oruzugo group is fondly known for foraging and feeding on vegetation dominated by ‘Alchornea hitela’ – a plant locally known as Oruzogo upon which the group’s name originates. Feeding on this plant species makes Oruzogo group so unique because other gorilla groups rarely feed on the same. Oruzogo group whose habituation started in 2008 is composed of 17 individuals including; 3 Silverbacks, 2 Black backs, 5 Adult females, 3 Sub-adults, 2 Juveniles and 2 Infants.

KATWE

7 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Katwe gorilla group is found in Buhoma sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is headed by the dominant Silverback “Mahaane”. Close monitoring of Katwe group started in January 2018 following the death of the Silverback “Kanyonyi” of Mubare group (in November 2017). Kanyonyi’s death resulted into disintegration of the group members to initially unknown locations. Upon discovering that some fully habituated members of Mubare group, for example adult females “Kashundwe” and “Malaika” had joined Katwe group, the group’s habituation began in order to maintain continuous close monitoring of the habituated individuals and their new counterparts in Katwe group.  The group name is derived from the topo-name of the hilltop/locality where initial habituation of the group kicked-off from. Katwe group is composed of 7 members including; 1 Silverback, 2 Blackbacks, 2 Adult females and 2 Sub-adults.

RUSHEGURA

15 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Rushegura group is found in Buhoma tourism sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and is headed by the dominant Silverback “Kabukojo”. The group was formed in February 2002 following a split/fission of the parent group – ‘Habinyanja’. Rushegura group was named after a tree species ‘Ebishegura’ found in the area where the split occurred. Rushegura group is also known for foraging closer to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park’s headquarters (Buhoma) and for visiting local community gardens around its home range areas. The group is currently composed of 15 individuals including; 1 Silverback, 3 Blackbacks, 6 Adult females, 1 Sub-adult, 3 Juveniles and 1 Infant.

Photo used with permission from Ryoma Otsuka.

NYAKAGEZI

8 Members | Updated: 4 December 2019

Nyakagezi group is found in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and is headed by the dominant Silverback Mark assisted by the Silverback Ndugutse. The habituation of Nyakagezi group started in 1991 and the group was later opened for tourism in 1994.  The group is composed of 8 members including; 3 Silverbacks, 2 Adult females, 1 Juvenile male, and 2 Infants. The gorilla group is fondly known for its trans-boundary nature, which makes it freely roam across the three countries (Uganda, Rwanda & DRC) of the Virunga Massif at will.  Nyakagezi group is also known for multi-male tolerance.

BAGENI

35 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Formerly found in Bukima and Gatovu areas of Virunga National Park, Bageni group now ranges between Gikeri and Gatovu areas. The group was formed in January 2013 after Bageni the Silverback split from his father’s group (Kabirizi group). Bageni moved away with 20 individuals including his mother Mapendo and brothers and formed his own group called Bageni group. The group is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Bangeni and is composed of 35 individuals including; 3 Silverbacks, 12 adult females,4 sub-adults, 7 Juveniles, and 9 infants.

LULENGO

11 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Lulengo group is found in Jomba area of Virunga National park in DRC. Initially known as Rugabo, the group’s habituation started in 1985 with the Silverback Rugabo as the group head. Unfortunately, Rugabo and 2 other females were brutally shot dead in 1994 in Jomba. Related to this incident, Mvuyekure a juvenile then was carried away by poachers with the aim of selling him off in Uganda; fortunately, Mvuyekure was rescued and the poachers were arrested and imprisoned. So, following the death of Rugabo, his son Lulengo took over leadership of the group which was composed of 12 individuals at the time. A couple of interactions that saw to the transfer of some individuals from Lulengo to other groups was witnessed, for instance; From 1998 Lulengo interacted several times with Mapuwa and Rugendo groups and a good number of his members crossed to these groups. Today Lulengo group is headed by the dominant Silverback Lulengo and is composed of 11 individuals including;1Silverback, 1 blackback, 3 Adult females, 2 Sub-adults, 2 juveniles and 2 infants.

HUMBA

13 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Humba group is found between Gatovu and Bikenge areas of Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC. The group was formed in 1998 following a split from Rugendo group. Humba a son to Rugendo, broke away from Rugendo group with 6 individuals leaving the father Rugendo with just 9 individuals. Interestingly the Silverback Nyakamwe decided to go with his brother Humba. By 2014, Humba group had increased to 16 individuals, unfortunately Humba and his brother Nyakamwe got into a fight leading to the split of the group.  Humba stayed with only 6 individuals while his brother Nyakamwe walked away with 10 individuals. In February 2015 Humba interacted with Munyaga group and surprisingly the sub-adult female Kakule left Munyaga group for Humba group. Interactions and births continue to occur. Today the group is headed by the dominant Silverback Humba and is composed of 13 individuals including; 2 Silverbacks, 4 adult females, 1 sub-adult male, 2 juveniles, and 4 infants.

KABIRIZI

23 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Kabirizi group is found in Bukima area of Virunga National Park in DRC. Around 1994, Zunguruka group led by the Silverback Zunguruka was habituated in Bukima area. Zunguruka later died of old age and left his son Ndungutse to lead the group, until 1997 when he (Ndugutse) was killed by bullets in a crossfire between DR Congo army and Rwandan rebels near the Bukima patrol post. After Ndungutse’s death, his son Buhanga took over the leadership of the group with 13 individuals. Unfortunately, Buhanga faced resistance from his brother Karateka. Later, the two brothers Buhanga and Karateka fought, forcing Karateka to leave the group with 3 individuals. On 10/01/1998, Buhanga interacted with Karateka and grabbed back 3 individuals leaving Karateka a lone Silverback. On 06/02/1998, Buhanga had a violent interaction with Kabirizi (then alone Silverback too) that left him with serious wounds, which later claimed his life. Surprisingly Buhanga in his wounded condition was still able to protect and keep all his group members together. After his death, an adult female called Nsekuye took over the leadership of this wandering group. Her leadership did not last long since on 23/02/1998, she was overthrown by a lone Silverback called Munyaga. On the other hand, Kabirizi grabbed a few individuals from Luwawa group when its dominant Silverback Luwawa was killed in 1995. Later, Kabirizi interacted with Munyaga several times until he grabbed all his females to form a big group. On 27/01/2013, Kabirizi group split into two. Kabirizi remained with 16 individuals while his son Bageni took away 20 individuals. Today Kabirizi group is headed by the dominant Silverback Kabirizi and is composed of 23 individuals including; 3 Silverbacks, 3 black-back, 7 adult females, 1 Sub- adult, 2 Juveniles and 7 infants.

MAPUWA

25 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Mapuwa group is found in Jomba area of Virunga National Park in DRC. Mapuwa group was formed on August 1st, 1998 by the Silverback Mapuwa when he grabbed 2 females (Kagofero and Kanepo) from Lulengo group to form his own group. Mapuwa is a son to the Silverback Rugendo and evolved in Rugendo group. In August 1995, Mapuwa left Rugendo group at the same time as his brother Ruzirabwoba for solitary life. In 2017, the group split into two. Mvuyekure (a silverback among the group) went away with most of the group members and formed its own group (Nvuyekure) leaving Mapuwa with only 3 individuals. And in March 2019 these two groups (Mapuwa and Mvuyekure) ranging in same area interacted and fusioned again under the leadership of Mvuyekure (most probably due to the elderly age of Mapuwa SB). Mapuwa group is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Mvuyekure and is composed of 25 individuals including 3 Silverbacks, 2 blackbacks, 6 adults females,2 sub-adults, 6 juveniles and 6 infants.

MUNYAGA

9 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Munyaga group is found in Bukima area of the Virunga National park in DRC. The Silverback Munyaga was a lone wild Silverback before 1998. In February 1998, Munyaga met Buhanga group then headed by the adult female Nsekuye and took advantage of the absence of a dominant Silverback in the group and made himself the group leader. Later the group interacted several times with Kabirizi group until Munyaga lost all his females to Kabirizi group. After that, Munyaga disappeared for two years (2007-2008). Following his disappearance, Mawazo took over leadership of the group until today. Today the group is composed of 9 individuals including 3 Silverbacks, 2 Adult females, 2 Subadults, and 2 infants.

NYAKAMWE

14 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Nyakamwe group is led by the dominant Silverback Nyakamwe and found in Bukima area of the Virunga National park in DRC. Nyakamwe group was formed in 2014 as a result of the split in Humba group. Nyakamwe Silverback had internal conflicts with his brother Humba and ended up leaving the group on 20/04/2014 with 10 individuals, leaving Humba group with only 5 individuals. Today, Nyakamwe group is composed of 14 individuals including 3 Silverbacks, 4 Adult females, 2 Sub – adults, 3 juveniles and 3 infants.

RUGENDO

11 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Rugendo group is found in Mikeno sector between Bukima and Bikenge areas of Virunga National Park in the DRC. Rugendo is among the first groups to be habituated alongside Rugabo and Zunguruka in 1985. At its formation, the group was led by the Silverback Rugendo which was unfortunately killed by rebels in 2001 in Bukima area. Rugendo is known to be the father to many Silverbacks in Virunga National Park including; Mapuwa, Humba, Ruzirabwoba, Mukunda, Nyakamwe, Mburanumwe, Baseka, Kongomani, Lubutu and Bahati. After his death, his son Senkwekwe took over leadership of the group until 2007 when he was murdered with 5 other gorillas of his group by unkown people. The group remained without leadership for a couple of months until 2008 when the solitary Silverback Bukima took over its leadership. Bukima was initially a member of Buhanga group and spent some time in Munyaga group before becoming a solitary Silverback in 2005. Rugendo group is currently headed by the dominant Silverback Bukima and composed of 11 individuals including 3 Silverbacks, 3 Adult females, 1 Sub- adult, 1 juvenile and 3 infants.

BARAKA

25 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Baraka group is a new group in  Virunga National Park, and, it is found in Gikereri area.  Baraka group is in the final stages of its habituation and has already been opened to tourism. Baraka group is composed of about  25 individuals including 5 Silverbacks. Identification of all the other group members will start in Jan – Feb 2020.

WILUNGULA

40 Members | Updated: 20 November 2019

Wilungula group is a new group Virunga National Park, and, it is found in Gikereri area.  Wilungula group is also in the final stages of its habituation and has already been opened to tourism. It is currently composed of about 40 individuals including 4 Silverbacks. Identification of all the other group members will start in Jan – Feb 2020.